In the world of fishing lures there is one so easy to use and so good at mimicking baitfish that the only thing you have to do to catch fish with it is cast it out and retrieve it back. This is called cast and crank, and the lure is The Crankbait. It’s fishing made easy., Well, easier. You still have to find the fish.

   The first known crankbaits were carved by Mr Heddon in Michigan in 1898. Mr. Heddon eventually started what became known as the Heddon Lure Company.

   The story goes that Mr. Heddon was working on making a new type of bait. He had carved one out of an old broomstick but didn’t like it. He threw it into the pond and WHAM, a bass took it. That would change anybody’s mind about it. Though I’m not sure if this one was a stick bait or crankbait.

   A crankbait is simply a piece of plastic shaped to look like a fish, usually a shiner or sunfish. They’re painted in as many different colors and designs as there are fish in the ocean. They can be used in fresh or saltwater and basically come in two types: lipped, or just crankbaits, and no lipped, or lipless. 

  1.   Lipped crankbaits - Lipped crankbaits are just what they sound like, they have a lip that extends off the front of them. This lip is where they are attached to the line. Most lipped crankbaits float until retrieved. They have 3 depths.

Shallow - Shallow diving crankbaits have a smaller lip than the others. They usually dive just beneath the surface, up to a couple of feet. They might have a little more floatation than the others too. Great for shallow water and times of the year fish are feeding on things on the surface.

  1. Medium - The lip on the medium diver is a bit bigger than the shallow diving one. They are also usually heavier to help them get down to a few feet, maybe up to about 10 ft. Great for fishing ledges and drop offs for those predatory fish. Strikes on these are generally pretty strong.

Deep diving - when you need to get down past 15 feet or so this is the crankbait you want. Great for deeper water and cooler times of the year. Most fish at those depths don’t see a lot of crankbaits and still strike out of instinct. Lots of fun when you get a strike

The other type of crankbait is lipless. These are the ones that don’t float at all. They usually have rattles or bb’s in them to make some noise as they are retrieved. You can work them at any depth by speeding up or slowing down your retrieval. The Rattle Trap is a great example of a lipless crankbait. They work in fresh or salt water too and are good year-round. Fish usually hit these like a truck. Lots of fun.

I won’t guarantee that using a crankbait will get you a fish on every cast, but if you find the fish your chances are pretty good on getting a strike. The crankbait does most of it for you, all you have to do is reel and hang on. After that, it’s up to you.

Enjoy the Outdoors. Life is Out Here!

written by Benjamin Evans