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Outdoors with Mike Roux: Facts About Crankbaits

Published on Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I made the cast well beyond where I knew the submerged brush pile laid. As the summer air was warm, I assumed the bass would be suspended around the structure. The water was 12 feet deep and I was finding the bass roughly eight to nine feet down.   

Because I wanted to cover as much water per cast as I could, I was throwing a crankbait. As the lure passed along the edge of the brush, I could feel it moving through the twigs. Then I felt something that was definitely NOT a twig.

The big bass hit my crankbait like a freight train. She immediately began stripping line and fighting the drag. She wanted into that brush and I wanted to keep her out of it – the tussle was on. Several times in those first few seconds I could feel my line hit the limbs. Finally, she made a run away from the cover and into open water and I won the fight. She weighed just a touch over seven pounds.

I do not sell nor do I promote any specific crankbaits, but these very productive lures are available in two drastically different presentations.  Let’s have a quick look at both of them.


As you can see, the difference in crankbait bodies is obvious.  (Photo by Mike Roux)

Crankbait bodies are either round or flat. One has a plastic lip protruding from their face, while the other does not. First, let’s examine the round-bodied ones.

Earlier in the season, I prefer round-bodied crankbaits. I like these when I want a slow retrieve that causes a lot of action in the water. The round body helps accomplish this action. Slow retrieves with a round-body crankbait cause the lure to wobble.  In cooler water, this slow wobble is especially attractive to less aggressive fish who don’t really want to exert much energy when chasing a meal. 

The round-body crankbaits are also the ones with the plastic lips. These lips are designed to make the lure dive deep during the retrieve.  The larger the lip, the deeper the lure can go. Speed of the retrieve is also a factor in how deep a crankbait will run. The faster you wind, the deeper the bait goes. So, for the deepest possible presentation use a heavy, round-body crankbait with a big lip.


Round-body crankbaits are great for big bass. (Photo by Caleb Roux)

Now, let’s turn our attention to flat crankbaits. These lures are usually heavier than their rounded counterparts. They need to be because they lack the plastic lip that allows them to dive. They depend on their weight to drive them down to the desired depth. With that being said, you can still get flat crankbaits deeper by increasing the speed of your retrieve. If you hesitate for a few seconds before starting your retrieve and give the bait a chance to sink a few feet, they can run even deeper.

When you throw a flat crankbait, the action also differs. While round-bodied crankbaits wobble, the flat ones have more of a wiggle. Although this may sound like a subtle difference, it is not such a subtle movement in the eyes of a bass.


Flat-body crankbaits produce a totally different kind of action.  (Photo by Nancy Roux)

I tend to throw flat crankbaits when the water gets really warm. The prey that flat lures are designed to imitate are swimming as fast as they can to escape. Likewise, the predatory bass have warmed up and are ready for a chase to get their meal. You can use this aggressiveness to your advantage, and you definitely should.

With the knowledge you now have about crankbaits, hopefully they will become one of your bass lures of choice. I encourage you to try different variations of the baits and prepare for a great season.


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Mike Roux

Mike Roux

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