A Largemouth Bass with a Megabass Crankbait.

A Largemouth Bass with a Megabass Crankbait …

The Fishing Wire – July 30th, 2021. 

Crankbaits 101:

Confidence baits. We’ve all heard the phraseology. It’s that lure or select few baits anglers go-to at the onset, or if what’s supposed to be in play according to your horoscope or bait shop intelligence…isn’t. Full disclosure. Hardbaits were my Achilles heel, or rather, a category I avoided for years because I didn’t trust or understand them.

That all changed in a former life when I lived on the Ouachita River in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I only scratched the hardbait surface while in the Natural State, but before I knew it, crankbaits became my confidence bait. I threw and kayak-trolled them for everything this amazing span of water offered, swapping models, sizes and colors to fine-tune matters. Nothing was safe from me, boating everything from striped bass to spotted and largemouths, crappies to bluegills and walleyes. Now, I open with hardbaits and modify only if cranks aren’t getting it done, regardless of the situation.

Late summer and early autumn foster a period where crankbaits can evolve into your favored baits, too. Most every freshwater gamefish in North America will lay its life on the line for a perfectly selected and presented crankbait. They can’t help themselves.

A Sheephead or Freshwater Drum from the Maitland River with a Storm Lipless Crankbait.

A Sheephead or Freshwater Drum from the Maitland River with a Storm Lipless Crankbait …

The atmosphere is ideal, too. Warm water temperatures have fish lunging at things they can barely fit in their mouths, and with cavalier confidence. Bass are blowing up on nearly eater sized panfish. Young-of-the-year baitfish, like shad and shiners, are flirting with adulthood. Gamefish even cannibalizing on lesser sizes of their own species isn’t out of the question.

Speed kills, too. Temperate water and heightened metabolism put gamefish in hot pursuit of their quarry, including your hardbait. Moreover, crankbaits afford the ability to cover water quickly, combing for active fish. You can always dumb-down to a jigworm, dropshot or Carolina rig if marks aren’t materializing into strikes. It’s always prudent to leave the dock with a couple plastics combos prepped for immediate deployment.

Crankbaits excel in so many ways, painting a target on myriad structures and situations. Deep rocks are universally loved by gamefish in late summer and early autumn. Here, they find slightly cooler climes, and shadowed hideaways for chilling and ambushing. Crawfish get gobbled, too, as do as passing baitfish. Deeper reefs and rocky points are great spots to explore.

Reservoir pundits know it’s crankbait season as well. Offshore, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, spotted and sometimes largemouth bass amass in significant schools to partake in massive meals of young-of-the-year shad. Giant bait balls hover at or near the surface and down midway through the water column, location in the water column contingent on time of day and light levels. Bass are often seen on electronics lurking just beneath these pods. By day, bass often skim the bottom of the schools for exposed shad. At the bookends of the day, it’s common to see hordes of shad rippling the surface accessorized by bass making a mess of things. In both scenarios, crankbaits are preferred, with shallow runners favored when surface feeding is underway and deep divers the prime choice if the food source is squatting below.

Another popular summer and fall reservoir technique is cliff diving, meaning working crankbaits along steep and deep bluffs. Here, bass often suspend just off the structure, or tuck back into rocked nooks and crannies. Never ignore creek channels, either, especially deeper cuts as they ply into the main lake. Better yet if the channel is lined with submerged timber.

On northern natural lakes, warm weather finds bass milling along or just inside deep weedlines, particularly when in conjunction with a main lake point. Long straight casts along the greenery often produces hefty bass, not to mention bonus walleyes, pike and larger-than-life panfish.

Equally crucial to locating fishy areas is tying up the right stuff. You want crankbaits that can achieve the targeted depth, as well as replicate the approximate size and colouration of the forage.

Braid is the way to go for long casts and solid hooksets. For cranking, I spool with with 20-lb. for a good do-everything weight. Strong, and resistant to abrasion yet well-bodied enough to lay smoothly on the spool.

A fluorocarbon leader is a must as well. Tie in a roughly two-foot section in 15- to 20-pound test. The leader lends invisibility and a bit of shock absorption when you put the pins to it.

Lastly, I’m a snap guy. Purists might roll their eyes, but I like the lure changing speed, and I actually believe it gives a crankbait the freedom to maximize its action.

So, yes, crankbaits have become my confidence lures. And this is only one application where they can outshine your current confidence baits. 

Contact Us for current inventory and ordering details.

Related Products
Jackall B-Crawl Swimmer
A Largemouth Bass with a Megabass Crankbait.
A Largemouth Bass with a Megabass Crankbait.
Guelph Lake Largemouth Bass Ultra Tungsten 12 ounce Spinnerbait AAA
A Largemouth Bass with a Megabass Crankbait.
Snap On Boat Salmon Spoon and Plug Lure Storage Bag Pouch A B
It's Durable PVC and stitched Heavy Duty Velcro construction protects you from

Daiwa SC Shad

Googan Baits



Set The Hook The Drifter ...

WOO! Tungsten

Guelph Lake Largemouth Bass Ultra Tungsten 12 ounce Spinnerbait AAA
Largemouth Bass Rapala Topwater Bait AA.jpg Largemouth Bass Rapala Topwater Bait AAA.jpg
Lucky Craft Pointer
LIVETARGET Golden Shiner Rattlebait series
Z-Man TRD SpinZ Tail Spinners
The Savage 3D Snake
2"Lyman Lure.
Cotton Cordell Gay Blade Bait
The BOOYAH ToadRunner Junior.
The BOOYAH Melee Blade Jig.


The Molix Sculpo DR “USA Special Edition”.
The Molix Supernato.
The Lucky Craft Virtual Kingyo Gold Fish Lure.
The Missile Baits Bomb Shot Worm.
The Molix Venator Spinnerbait.
The Molix Lover Spinnerbait
Z-Man Neko ShroomZ Wacky Rig Nose Weights
Magz Mfg.

Magz Mfg.

Booyah Bait Co.
Molix Lover Titanium Spinnerbait
The Molix Lover Jig
Teckel Lures

Teckel Lures

Rapala Super Shad Rap
Lucky Craft 5” Opti Grub
Berkley Choppo Topwater Propbait
Terminator Fishing Lures Logo
Terminator Shuddering Bait Bladed Jig
The Molix Sneaky Frog.
Duo Realis Duo International Spy Baiting Spinbait 80 90 C
The Lushazer Vertical Jigging Lure.
Z-Man SlingBladz Spinnerbait
River2Sea Bubble Popper 65 & 88
Keitech Easy Shiner
Lucky Craft Teckel USA Brand The Honker Frog
LIVETARGET Hollow Body Shiner
Lunkerhunt® Prop Turtle Soft Bait
Duo Realis v-tailshad_hooks
Ish Monroe River2Sea Bling Spinnerbait
LIVETARGET Hollow Body Craw
Keitech Swing Impact Swimbait
Livetarget Commotion Shad
LIVETARGET Yellow Perch Rattlebait
Lunkerhunt Weedless Cupped Faced Yappa Rat
Keitech Fishing
SteelShad Fishing Lure
The Live Target Skip Shad.
Whopper Plopper River2Sea-logo-white
Jackall Deracoup Tail Spinner
The Megabass Vision 110+2 Jerkbait.
Ned Rig Finesse Fishing.
Lucky Craft Teckel Brand The Sprinker Frog TKL-Sprinker
Molix Trago Vib Blade Bait
Tightlines UV Lures and Soft Plastics
Jackall Riser Bait 009SP
Jackall Chop Cut Topwater Lure
E.G.B. Fishing Lures - The Original Swiss Lure
Lyman Lures
Megabass Hazedong Shad Swimbait
X Zone Pro Series Lures 3" Ned Zone

Bam Baits

Z-Man QuadZilla Collapsible Four-Arm Spinnerbait
LIVETARGET BaitBall Spinner Rig
Westin Danny The Duck Duckling
Anglers Choice Sniper Shad Swimbait
LIVETARGET Hollow Body Popper Frog
Lunkerhunt Dragonfly Finesse Topwater Lure
Jackall Rhythm Wave Swimbait
Jackall Grinch Frog and Paddle Tail Worm
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits 4” Zako Swimbait
VMC Inline Single X-Strong Large Ring Hooks - Model#7237CB
Walleye Crawler Worm Harness
Ever Green Lures Logo

Lunkerhunt Fetch

Lunkerhunt Prop Turtle
Megabass Candian Edition Top Secret
Duo Realis Vibration Lipless Crankbait Image

Acme Hyper-Glide

Acme Little Cleo Assortment.

Acme Little Cleo

Slipin Style Snag Free Tube Insert Weight AA
Yo-Zuri 3DB Series Knuckle Bait
Jackall Kaera Weedless Frog
Rapala RipStop

Rapala RipStop

Jackall Rerange Lure Assortment.
Megabass Dark Sleeper Swimbait
The Z-Man Jack Hammer.

Z-Man Jack Hammer

Panfish Micro Tubes and Grubs
Weedless Topwater Frogs
Duo Realis images
Nories Fishing Logo
SV Concept by Daiwa Neko Fat Logo
Savage Gear 3D Line Thru Pike A
The Jackall Yammy Fish.
LunkerHunt Prop Series.
Arbogast Lures Logo A
Lunkerhunt Link - Topwater Surface Bait
Gary Yamamoto Senko or Yamasenko
Cotton Cordell Lures
Cotton Cordell Ripplin' Red Fin
Storm Spinbait Arashi Lure B
Ecogear Fishing Lures Logo
Jackall Pompadour
Wacky Rigging Tool
Hook Bonnets

Hook Bonnets

Megabass Funky Flipper B
Trapper Tckle Trapper Hook Assortment

Trapper Tackle

Jackall Binksy Image
Normark Rapala Slab Rap Logo
Duo Realis Cambio Spin Assortment.
Lick Em Lures Sledgetails
Duo Realis - 2017 Great Lakes Colours
2017 Megabass Vision Oneten - Northern Secret

Guru Tackle

Innovative Safety Tools logo
Fuji EZ Keeper & Lindy Hook-A-Loop Hook Keeper Addition.
Custom Poured Gamakatsu Jig Heads Ball Bullet Tear Drop Mushroom Tube Darter Chicklet BB
Assorted Custom Jig Head Selection AA