Skip to main content Skip to main content

Crash Course: How to Choose the Right Crankbait for Bass

You have lots of options in a crankbait, but don't overlook the No. 1 important thing (video).

The basic concept of fishing a crankbait for bass is pretty simple. Cast, retrieve and wait for the strike, right?

Not so fast. Picking the right crankbait to catch bass actually can be more than a little overwhelming, Shane Beilue says.

The host of Game & Fish's "Crash Course" says anglers face a lot of variables in their crankbait selection. Dozens of colors and styles. Wide wobble. Narrow wobble. Loud rattle. No rattle. Beilue has them all.

And while all of that is important to consistently catching bass, none of it is the No. 1 thing to consider.


"It's always going to be the depth [the bait] runs," Beilue says.


Whether you’re in 18 inches or 18 feet of water, your crankbait has to be connecting with the bottom, he says.

A crankbait that bounces erratically off the bottom during the retrieve can trigger strikes, and if you're not feeling the lure hit the bottom, you may not feel any bass strikes either.

Beilue says he chooses crankbaits that run 2 to 5 feet deeper than the maximum depth in a fishing area to ensure the bait gets to the bottom and stays there on the retrieve.

As far as general crankbait variables are concerned, Beilue uses lures that have a tighter, more subtle, wobble when the water temperature is 50 degrees or lower, and a wider wobble when temps warm up and bass are more aggressive in spring and summer. He uses noisy crankbaits with bright colors when the water is muddy, and quieter baits in natural, or translucent colors in clearer water.


Learn more in the video above

GAF-Crash-Course
Crankbaits in natural or translucent colors are a good choice in clear water.

See more Crash Course videos here

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Tow Ready in 2: Trailer and Hitch Connection - Simple Process, Critical Towing Step

Tow Ready in 2: Trailer and Hitch Connection - Simple Process, Critical Towing Step

Making a safe connection to your trailer is critical to safe towing. While not a complicated process, there are several important steps that must not be overlooked. In this episode of “B&W Hitches: Tow Ready in 2,” Dr. Todd Kuhn addresses the importance of making the safe trailering connection and the steps involved to getting it right

Tow Ready in 2: How to Connect Trailer Safety Chains the Correct Way

Tow Ready in 2: How to Connect Trailer Safety Chains the Correct Way

While seemingly inconspicuous to many, safety chains are critical to safe towing. One of the most overlooked and misapplied trailering components, safety chains must be connected correctly to avoid over-the-road tragedies. In this episode of “B&W Hitches: Tow Ready in 2,” Dr. Todd Kuhn addresses the importance and application of safety chains, and demonstrates the correct way to install them prior to towing.

Beyond the Bait: How to Use Jerkbaits for Smallmouth

Beyond the Bait: How to Use Jerkbaits for Smallmouth

Smallmouths are predators, and few can resist an injured, fluttering baitfish. That's exactly what a jerkbait represents: an easy meal. How you present a jerkbait can make all the difference to smallmouth, and we have some pointers in this episode of Beyond the Bait.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now