Skip to main content

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

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Sometimes you have to fish a bait that allows you to cover a lot of water efficiently. When you're on the search for bass that have moved into deeper water off the bank and away from obvious holding spots, a swimbait can locate them.
Fishing

On the Search with Swimbaits

One of the best imitations of a wounded baitfish is the soft-plastic jerkbait, or fluke. A fluke darting just beneath the surface can be too much for a bass to resist. Rig it and fish it according to water conditions and cover to make this great bait even more effective.
Fishing

Fun with Flukes

There are three models in SPRO's Outsider crankbait series: 55 (runs 3-4 feet), 60 (7-9) and 80 (19-21). Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley goes over the specifics at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Fishing

SPRO's New Outsider Crankbait Series: First Look

Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley highlights the features of SPRO's new lures at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Essential Series Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits from SPRO

Syd Ribes with Sea Falcon highlights four new lures for saltwater fishing. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Lineup of Lures from Sea Falcon

Syd Ribes highlights two new saltwater lures from SPRO: Flutter Tail Shrimp and Cannon Ball Jig. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Saltwater Lures from SPRO

AFTCO's Matt Florentino highlights the features of the new Barricade cold-weather suit, a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022 in Orlando. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.
Gear

New from AFTCO: Barricade Cold Weather Tactical Gear

Three-time ICAST Best of Category winner Bubba covers it all with new knives set. With Bubba's Matt Kinamore and Game & Fish's  Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

4-in-1 Bubba Multi Flex Cutlery Kit

The innovative landing net will weigh and measure your catch while it's still in the net. Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.
Gear

Award-Winning Frabill Witness Net 'Keeps You Honest'

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

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

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now