Crankbait (also known as plugs) are popular fishing lures that can be used to fish in shallow or deep waters, depending on the lure type. Diving crankbait, for instance, features long bills (or lips), and can be used to dive in shallow, medium or deep waters. However, lipless crankbaits feature square bills, and can be used to fish in shallow cover or top-water environments. Additionally, hard baits such as crankbaits vary in size, shape and color, depending on the type of fish you wish to target.

Crankbait is used to target predatory fish species, as this type of lure is designed to resemble small baitfish. However, crankbaits can generally be used to catch any type of predatory fish that routinely eats small species of fish. To learn more about hard bait and to discover how to use crankbait, review the sections below.

What are the characteristics and features of crankbait?

Hard baits are generally made from plastic, cork or metal and are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, depending on the fish species you wish to target, as well as your fishing technique.Crankbaits are designed to resemble the shape, size and color of various types of baitfish. As such, crankbait is available in a variety of lengths and weights. While lipless crankbaits feature square bills, other types of lures contain full lips (or bills) for diving purposes. Additionally, hard bait contains two or three hidden treble hooks on the underside.

What kind of fishing can crankbaits be used for?

Crankbait can be used to target fish in freshwater or saltwater environments. While it is best when cast into the water, this type of lure can also be trolled behind a moving boat. They are best when used for shallow-, medium- or deep-diving purposes, depending on whether the lure contains a diving lip or not.

What types of fish can I catch with crankbait?

Hard baits can be used to catch a variety of fish.The species you can catch include the following:

How do I use crankbait?

The process of how to use crankbait varies, depending on the time of year and fishing environment. For instance, those with square bills (also known as lipless crankbaits or Rat-L Traps) are ideal for fishing shallow waters in the late fall or early spring. While medium diving crankbait works well in the spring when water temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees, deep diving crankbaits are ideal during the summer months. Before you use this type of lure, you must first complete the rigging process. To rig a diver crankbait with a lip, for instance, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Thread the fishing line through the attachment point (or split ring) on the top of the diving lip.
  2. Tie a knot, like a Clinch or a Palomar knot.

To rig a lipless crankbait (a Rat-L Trap), however, you must tie the fishing line to the split ring located on the top of the lure. After rigging, you may cast the line into the water. After the lure hits the water, it will float until you crank (or reel) the lure through the water column.

What are the advantages of using crankbait?

With hard baits, you can fish in a variety of environments, regardless of the time of year. For instance, lipless crankbaits (or square bill lures) can be used to fish in waters of between 0 and 5 feet deep. Additionally, these lures can be used to fish around docks, shallow grass lines, submerged wood or rocks. Diving crankbait can be used to fish in waters as shallow as two feet to as deep as 12 feet, depending on whether the lure is a shallow, medium or deep diver. Moreover, this lure can be used to fish in the spring, summer, fall or winter, making it a versatile one. As another benefit, this type of lure is durable and can withstand multiple fish bites and fights.

What are the cons of using crankbait?

During the process of how to use crankbait, you need specially-designed rods and reels to get the most benefits out of your lure. When using these lures, the ideal rod length is between seven and eight feet. Additionally, they pair well with medium-heavy, moderate-action poles or fiberglass composite rods. Since lipless or diving crankbait requires special equipment, cranking can be more expensive than other types of fishing.

Who should consider using crankbait?

Since crankbaits are so versatile and easy to use, these types of lures are ideal for beginner and veteran anglers, alike.

How much doescrankbait cost?

Lipless or diving crankbait are available from a wide variety of popular brands, including Berkley, Rapala, Bandit, Storm and Reef Runner. However, prices vary by brand name and lure size. For instance, Berkley crankbaits from FishUSA range from $3.99 to $4.99, while Rapala lures range from $4.49 to $20.99. Bandit lures range from $6.49 to $11.99.

Where can I find crankbaits?

Crankbait is available through a variety of popular retailers, such as Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Walmart, eBay and Amazon. The best-selling hard baits on Amazon include the following: