While I love fishing topwaters and dry flies, sometimes the fish aren’t there. When there are no clouds out and the sun is shining bright, the fish tend to go to deeper waters, bottom cover and off the ledges. This is a good time to get out the crankbaits. Crankbaits allow you to fish the deep depths down to about 20 feet depending on the lip of the crankbait. Crankbaits are also popular because they mimic the bait fish the big fish go after.
The first step in crankbait fishing is to choose the right color and the right depth. Take a look at the bait fish that are swimming around or ask a fellow fisherman and pick a crankbait based on the color of the baitfish. For murkier waters, it’s sometimes good to go with a brighter color crankbait like orange, yellow or white. Using a medium-action rod toss the crankbaits up to the shore lines, along cover, down drop offs and around any deep cover like rocks, trees and brush. Crank baits work better when you retrieve them in areas where there aren’t many weeds. They tend to snag on weeds but can be bounced off the bottom because the hooks hover higher than the lip of the crankbait. Also by varying up your retrieve, you can dial in your speed and figure out how the fish are hitting. Sometimes depending on fronts and barometric pressure, the fish are moving slower and won’t go after a fast moving bait. Other times when a front is moving on and the barometric pressure is fluctuating, fish tend to go on a feeding frenzy and will go after the fast running crankbaits.
The biggest part of fishing crankbaits, as is anything involving fishing, is to learn the waters, the baitfish and ask the local fisherman what works best for them. You can learn a lot by simply taking a little time before tossing your line out to study the waters and the spots where the fish seem to congregate. Good luck and happy fishing.