The Crankbait is a very versatile lure. It can be used in deep water, top, and medium water. A Crankbait is usually a hard plastic lure with several treble hooks attached.
Choosing a Color
They come in a wide variety of colors. My preference is to go with natural looking colors. Silvers and blues imitate natural baitfish best. Lures that shine and flash are also very effective. Another popular color idea is to use a Crankbait with a brightly color underside. This is effective because many predators like Northern Pike and Bass will be ambushing this lure from below. Also consider the types of bait fish and pan fish that live in the waters you are fishing. Consider a blue gill color pattern or a perch colored lure (commonly known as fire tiger).
Choosing a Lure Type
Most Crankbaits in the store will give a specifc "dives to" depth range. This is the most important thing to know before you purchase and it should be based on what you need. If this information isn't available on the packaging, I don't buy it. Some will dive as low as 12-14 feet, others are in a middle range between 6-10. Anything that won't dive below 4 Feet is usually a floating Crankbait which is great for fishing in weeded areas. Generally speaking, the bigger the plastic lip the deeper the dive. There are a variety of lip types that provide different action. I have caught fish on all different types, some have more of a wobble, some provide a bigger splash when they resurface if they are floating. Some Crankbaits are even jointed in the middle creating an extra wobble. Depending on the activity and preference of the fish a different motion may be preferred.
Retrieving a Crankbait
The most important thing to know about your retrieve is that you should constantly change it up. A nice slow steady reel will sometimes trigger the bite of a hungry fish. Remember a slow bait fish is an easy meal! However, sometimes the fish may require more coaxing, particularly if you or others have been fishing the area recently. To entice a bite reel fast several turn and let the lure sit for a second and then twitch your rod tip twice or three times. Then repeat that motion for the duration of the retrieve. This triggers the natural instinct of the fish to attack a distressed baitfish. In my experience this retrieve is very helpful when using a floating Crankbait. By pausing and letting the lure float back to the top of the water and then creating a lot of tension, noise and vibration at the waters surface, some exciting bites are created. There are many great Crankbaits out there in constant development, my best luck has been with floating Crankbaits and jointed Crankbaits. Go out and try all these fun techniques and styles yourself. Nothing beats a nice relaxing day on the lake or pond!