Previously, we have discussed the first three basic types of fishing lures commercially available today. As you will remember, most lures produced are designed to catch fishermen before catching fish. It is not the lure type that catches the fish; it is the combination of skill, technique and understanding of the quarry that will catch the fish.
This article will look at the last two best fishing lures. There is a limit on the types of fishing lures, and the rest is all marketing.
A crankbait is a specific lure that swims under the water at a predetermined depth. The lure is designed to mimic a baitfish swimming through the water.
Crankbaits have a few characteristics similar to the hardbody stick baits. First, the crankbait has treble hooks similar to the hardbody bait, and they come in a variety of colors.
The differences are in the size as crankbaits are often shorter and fatter than a stick bait, and the crankbait’s swimming depth is the other characteristic. The short and fat body is necessary because of the swimming action of the lure, and the depth is determined by an elongated lip or weights. The longer the lip, the deeper the crankbait will swim.
There are some crankbaits that will swim as shallow as a single foot, and there are some that will swim well over 20 feet deep.
Crankbaits are suitable for virtually any fish because of the baitfish element. This means large and smallmouth bass, pike, muskies, some panfish, walleyes and even some trout and salmon fall to crankbaits.
Crankbaits will fall into two categories: lipped and lipless.
The lip on the crankbait, as discussed above, determines the depth that the crankbait will swim on average. Lipped crankbaits will also float on the surface, and they will begin to dive as the lure is retrieved. There are special baitcasting reels designed specifically to retrieve crankbaits, as a slow, steady retrieve allows the bait to reach maximum depth.
There are a myriad of crankbait colors, but for starters, stay simple. A silver body with black back or blue back is one of the most popular colors of crankbait for all gamefish species. Start there, and move forward.
- Shallow running crankbaits will swim just under the surface up to about three feet.
- Mid depth running crankbaits will vary in depth from five to 10 feet on average. Again, several factors will determine the approximate depth.
- Deep running crankbaits can reach impressive depths. There are some crankbaits that will run as deep as 20 feet without any extra weight or special equipment.
There is another crankbait type that is normally associated as a hardbody jerkbait, but it can be fished as a crankbait with ease. It is a jointed crankbait, so named because the lure is in two parts, joined approximately in the middle with metal O rings. This increases the wounded baitfish look of the lure, and the lure’s action is drastically increased. Most of the musky crankbaits are in fact jointed.
Since there is not much difference in fishing a crankbait outside of casting it out and retrieving it or trolling behind a boat, the main species of gamefish readily fall to crankbaits.
A crankbait out of the package will need to be “tuned.” All crankbaits will not swim in a straight line directly out of the package. The angler will have to adjust the small ring where the line attaches to the lure to tune the lure. A good video on tuning crankbaits is available here below.
Lipless crankbaits are so called because they do not have the plastic lip on the front of the lure. Instead, lipless crankbaits use a weight inside the lure that holds the lure at a specific depth when retrieved.
This means if the angler lets the lure drop to approximately four feet deep and begin retrieving, the lure will stay in that same approximate depth during the retrieve.
Stay with the same color schemes for lipless crankbaits as you would for lipped crankbaits. Two colors to begin is best; you can add additional colors as you begin to research best options.
Unlike lipped crankbaits, lipless crankbaits do not need the same tuning. Simply attach to the terminal end of the line and cast.
Crankbaits are ideal for covering a large amount of water in a short time. The simplicity of the cast and retrieve or trolling method work equally well for all species.
Here is a selection of videos for fishing crankbaits based on species.
The final lure type is possibly the oldest lure known outside of live bait. It is effective on several species and has had some success in saltwater as well. This lure is strikingly simplistic in its design, yet its effectiveness cannot be overlooked.
It is the humble spoon.
Colors for spoons, as normal, vary wildly. The best colors are gold and silver. Any other colors are certainly worth a look, but any real spoon angler will turn to one of these two colors before any other in the tackle box.
Spoons can be cast, trolled or jigged. The jigging action is a sharp rise and fall of the rod. This attracts fish because of the erratic action of the lure, and most fish strike on the fall.
Here is a selection of videos for fishing spoons based on species.
- Large and Smallmouth bass
- Pike and Walleye
As you click through the pages, you will certainly notice the variety and types of the lures mentioned in these articles, but ultimately, they are all similar. It is not the best fishing lure by brand, but the best fishing lures by type of fishing lure that many will need to consider.