Today I had a customer walk in my tackle shop, asking me about some crankbait. I showed him a few models, but it did not seem that he wanted any of them. After a quick chat, I found out that he was looking for a very specific type shape of a crank bait which I did not have.
A crankbait is a relatively simple type of bait, where as an angler, all you need to do is retrieve in by retrieving your line. They have a basic function when being retrieved, which is to dive or go below the surface of the water, where you think your targeted fish maybe lurking. To achieve this diving effect, they all have one thing in common, which is a lip or bill (usually a transparent plastic sticking out from the mouth or front part of the lure). Generally, the larger the size of this bill, the deeper it will dive.
Most baits will state the diving depth on the packaging, so thats how you can determine how you intend to use them. We can classify crankbaits into 3 depths, which are:
Shallow Divers: Move in depths of between 0-2.5m (0-8 ft). These guys are great when you want to present your lures underwater, but the water is shallow or you know that there are underwater structures you want to avoid. You can further adjust the depth by the speed of your retrieve, the faster you go the deeper it will dive.
Mid-Level or Medium Divers: These lures operate in depths of between 2.5m to 4m (8-12ft).
Deep Divers: Anything below 4m (12ft) is considered to be a deep divers, these submarines are great when targeting sea bed fish like groupers.
The only other thing you would want to note about crank bait is that they normally use treble hooks and have 2 (bigger ones 3), one being at the back and the other normally somewhere in the centre, but both on the underside of the lure. The main reason for using a treble is because it increases the chances of a hook up when the fish strikes from any angle.