3 Tips for Advanced Crankbaiting

Quick! What's the simplest bass lure to use?

Many would say, "Crankbait!" And they're not wrong. Designed for easy cast-and-retrieve action, it's a straightforward choice that often yields results.But what's the lure type often underutilized?If you said "Crankbait!" again, you're not off the mark. While "chunk and wind" works, a nuanced approach can elevate your game and keep you consistently catching fish.Ready to level up? Here are some tips.

Abu Garcia REVO Winch
Abu Garcia REVO Low Profile Reel

“For every foot your rod tip is under the water, you’ll gain an additional foot of diving depth“

Abu Garcia REVO Low Profile Reel
Abu Garcia REVO Low Profile Reel
Abu Garcia REVO Low Profile Reel
Abu Garcia REVO Low Profile Reel


Go deeper.

Experienced crankers understand that using small diameter line, executing long casts, and utilizing a low gear ratio reel such as the Abu Garcia Revo Winch can enhance crankbait depth, reaching areas typically out of range for diving lures. However, to gain an edge over other anglers, consider employing the "kneeling and reeling" technique, a tactic dating back to the early 1980s but often overlooked.To execute kneeling and reeling, cast from your knees and submerge your rod tip into the water. For each foot the rod tip is underwater, you gain an additional foot of diving depth by eliminating surface tension on the line.

Abu Garcia Winch

“Baits with rounded sides tend to have a wider wobble than flat-sided models. That’s something we can use to our advantage.”


Match your bait action to the bass’ metabolism.

While each crankbait boasts its own distinct action, we can draw some helpful generalizations. Rounded-sided baits typically exhibit a wider wobble compared to their flat-sided counterparts, offering us an advantage to exploit.Given that bass are cold-blooded, their metabolism accelerates as water temperatures rise. In colder conditions, opt for a more subdued lure action, making flat-sided crankbaits like the Berkley Frittside and Bad Shad ideal choices when water temperatures dip below 55ºF. Conversely, as temperatures climb beyond 60ºF, lures such as the Berkley Digger, Dredger, and Wild Thang tend to attract more attention and induce strikes.

Abu Garcia Winch

“Bouncing your crankbait off the bottom can produce random deflections that attract nearby bass.”


Trigger strikes with a directional change.

One key aspect of real forage behavior that sets it apart from most lures is its ability to change direction while swimming. These directional changes, whether to evade predators or adapt to environmental shifts, can trigger strikes from savvy crankbait anglers.There are two primary methods to mimic these directional changes. First, you can deliberately run your lure into obstructions like the bottom or cover, a technique known as "bumping the stump." This action often elicits aggressive strikes from bass.Alternatively, bouncing your crankbait off the bottom can produce random deflections that attract nearby bass.