By GREG ‘GABBY’ CAUDILL
Smallmouth and largemouth bass and crappie are now following schools of baitfish and fattening up on them for winter. This makes fishing with baits that look and swim like real baitfish a good lure choice. The bait that does this best is a crank bait.
These baits have been around for a long time and have helped anglers fill the live well or to catch their limits of good fish for years. Crank baits have been used to help cool weather anglers catch good bass. Even in early to midwinter on most lakes, bass will strike a crank bait. These baits come in a wide variety of sizes and colors.
You can get these baits in every color made but there are standard colors that always seen to work well. Shad colors like silver white and black, green also crawdad colors like brown orange and red work well at times. These baits come in three running depths shallow, medium and deep diving. Most of these have a bill on the front of them that controls the depth at which the bait will run.
The larger the bill the more water resistance it catches on the retrieve and the deeper it will dive. Also a long cast will let the bait dive deeper and the faster the bait is retrieved the deeper it will run. Also holding the rod tip closer to the water will make the bait will run some deeper.
There is a type of crank bait that has no bill. It is the lipless crank bait like the rattle trap style baits. These baits are made to cast a mile to fish fast and make some noise in the water and cover a lot of water fast and find active bass fast.
So as you can see, these baits work well just about all year so give one a try on your next trip.