Why The Crankbait Bite Is The Best


Catching fish when the crankbait bite is on is hard to beat. One minute you’re reeling and feeling the crankbait’s vibrations through the rod. And then suddenly, a fish smashes the lure. Here are some perspectives on why the cranking bite is one of the best.


Crankbaits Are Easy To Fish

Fishing a crankbait doesn’t need to be complex. A quality crankbait will, by design, do most of the work for you. On a steady retrieve, a crank wiggles, kicks and, sometimes, rattles its way through the water to attract and trigger fish.


Even someone new to the sport can catch bass, walleye and pike, fishing a BX Brat or DT04 crankbait up shallow. Shorelines, points and flats comprised mainly of rock, sand and wood are good areas for the approach.



Crankbait Fishing Is Engaging

Part of the fun of fishing cranks is experimenting with different elements of the retrieve. While every Rapala crankbait has an innate, fish-catching action, adding your own flare to the presentation is not only fun and engaging, but helps trigger bites.


A simple pause, for instance, prompts fish to attack. Briefly turning the reel handle faster or slower to alter speed also triggers strikes. As does banging the lure into obstacles, like rocks, logs and dock pilings.


Bass, walleye, pike, muskie, trout and panfish are just a few species unable to resist crankbaits. Makes sense, really. Since, from a fish’s perspective, quality crankbaits look rather scrumptious.


The new Original Deep Wiggle Wart in a crayfish colour pattern serves as a good example. The lure’s profile, detailed crayfish finish and legendary side-to-side swimming action make it a dead ringer for a mudbug — banging the crank along bottom further enhances the ruse.



Crankbaits can also mimic forage fish. Examples here include the natural profiles, swimming actions and fine finishes of the Bleeding Pearl Shad Rap, Green Emerald Shiner Deep Tail Dancer and Custom HD Live Bluegill in the new DT08.



Crankbaits Are Versatile

Another reason many believe the crankbait bite is the best is because these lures are effective throughout the year and catch fish in a range of conditions. Consider the Rippin’ Rap and new 2” Rap-V Blade lipless crankbaits. Using a brisk retrieve, these lures excel at covering water and triggering reaction strikes from bass, pike and walleye from spring into fall. Rocky shorelines, points, sand flats and open water above weed beds are just a few areas this potent power-fishing system shines.



These same lures can also be worked along the floor on a lift-fall retrieve. Jigging a Rippin’ Rap or Rap-V can save the day when floor-hugging fish have a small strike zone and are uninterested in chasing down a meal, which can be common during cold-water periods or post-spawn conditions.



A Down Deep Husky Jerk is another example. Trolling one catches walleye and northern pike from mid-lake humps and other deep structures in summer and autumn. Every fall, too, slow trolling (aka strolling) this same crankbait lands many anglers their best-of-the-year smallmouth. More, shore anglers rely on Down Deep Husky Jerks to catch big autumn walleye flooding into the shallows to feed at night.



Crankbait Variety Gives You Options

Many crankbaits catch fish all season long. Yet, there are times when a specific bait performs better than others, which is why owning a variety of cranks is a good idea.


Flat-sided, silent, OG Tiny and OG Slim balsa crankbaits are always worth trying, but their tighter action and non-rattling design make them especially potent in cold-water when fish are sluggish. These same qualities make these compact cranks good choices on waterbodies receiving heavy angling pressure.




Now, let’s consider warmer, shallow water and more active bass, walleye and pike. These fish will eat the OG Tiny and OG Slim, but the hard flashing, wild tracking and hard kicking of a BX Big Brat might catch more and bigger ones. Likewise with the erratic swimming and loud clicking of a metal-lipped Jabber Jaw.



Knowing what to throw when comes with experience. Daily conditions must also be considered. Early morning and evenings often prompt fish to get active. Walleye rise off bottom in rivers. Largemouth, smallmouth and pike prowl open water areas near cover and structure. These times are ideal times for casting or trolling crankbaits as fish are generally more interested in chasing swimming lures.


Crankbaits Help You Fish Specific Depths

Regardless of what lure’s tied on, it’s not going to catch fish if it isn’t swimming where they’re feeding. This brings us to another key advantage to crankbaits: depth control.


The pinnacle here is the Dive-To Series. DT crankbaits are designed to dive fast to a preset depth and stay in the strike zone longer than any than other crankbait on the market. DT models target the 4, 6, 8, 10, 14 and 16 foot depth zones.



Having a collection of DTs and other crankbaits lets you get extremely precise with a presentation by choosing the best bait to reach the depth of fish and their strike zone. Successfully establishing a crankbait pattern, dialling-in depth control and proceeding to catch fish after fish until your arms get sore is one of the best rewards in fishing.


Crankbaits Are Distinct From Soft Plastics

Sometimes you need to show fish something different to get their attention and make them bite. Modified squarebills, like a BX Brat, banana-style baits, like a Tail Dancer, shad profiled lures, like a Shad Rap, and other crankbait varieties produce underwater actions, sounds and visual cues very different than these same characteristics in soft-plastic baits. Having a collection of crankbaits can work to an angler’s advantage. A well presented crankbait is a great tactic to trigger a strike from a pressured fish suffering from “soft-plastic fatigue.”




When things line-up and the crankbait bite is on, it’s the best! Head over to and make sure you’re geared-up with a collection of crankbaits from above mentioned 13 Fishing, Storm and Rapala brands for your favourite fish. Don’t forget to level-up with a specific crankbaiting rod combo from 13 Fishing and fresh Sufix fishing line. Crush ‘em on cranks this season and be sure to tag us in social of your catches using #rapsnap for your chance to be featured.