Types of crankbaits and their use

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The crankbait is a popular lure type and effective for catching many types of freshwater fish.

In fact, it is the type of lure to have won the more victories in Bassmaster tournaments.

Crankbaits are designed with different lip shapes and sizes, allowing you to target fish at different depths and conditions.

Here is a brief description of the different types of crankbaits and how to use them.

Crankbait with square lip

The square bib crankbait is specifically designed for fishing in shallow water, from 2′ to 5′.

A high-resolution photo of a 'square bib crankbait' fishing lure, featuring its distinctive flat bib. This lure is renowned for its realistic swimming action, perfect for attracting predatory fish such as pike and bass. Available in a variety of colors and sizes to suit different fishing conditions.

Its square lip allows it to bounce off obstacles, reducing the risk of snagging.

It's perfect for exploring rocky areas and submerged structures.

Round bib crankbait

With a round lip, this crankbait can dive to varying depths, from 2′ to 30′.

Clear photograph showing a 'round bib crankbait', a specialist fishing lure. Its rounded lip gives it a unique swimming action, ideal for simulating a moving fish. Used to target species such as walleye and bass, this lure is adaptable with different bibs to vary the diving depth. Explore a range of colors and sizes to maximize effectiveness in various aquatic environments.

It is excellent for probing different water layers and detecting where fish are hiding.

The size and angle of the lip determine the depth to which it can descend.

Crankbait without lip

The bibless crankbait is designed for deep diving, between 10′ and 40′.

Visual illustration of a 'bibless crankbait', a distinctive fishing lure. Its bib-less design offers a free-swimming, unpredictable action, imitating a fish in distress. Ideal for attracting the attention of predators such as pike, bass and walleye. Choose from a variety of colors and sizes to optimize your success when fishing in different conditions.

Without the resistance of a bib, it can quickly reach deep areas where predatory fish are found.

Ideal for deep-water fishing.

Video (Shorts) of a bibless crankbait in action underwater

Shallow diving crankbait

This type is suitable for shallow waters, between 2′ and 5′, with a small lip limiting its diving depth.

Visual capture of a 'diving shallow crankbait', a fishing lure with a distinctive design. Designed to explore shallow waters, this crankbait features a unique swimming action, ideal for imitating a fish moving on the surface. Attract the attention of predators such as walleye, bass and pike by choosing from a variety of captivating colors and adjustable sizes, to optimize your success on different fishing expeditions.

Perfect for areas where fish feed close to the surface, such as flats or grassy areas.

Medium diving crankbait

With a medium-sized lip, this crankbait can explore a range of intermediate depths, from 5′ to 15′.

Medium-depth diving crankbait displayed in striking detail. Designed for intermediate immersion, this fishing lure attracts the attention of fish such as black bass. The changing shades captured by the light highlight its realistic swimming action, making it an ideal fishing companion for medium-depth waters.

It offers versatility and can be used in a variety of fishing situations, such as gentle slopes and lake contours.

Deep-diving crankbait

This crankbait dives deep, between 12′ and 30′, thanks to its large lip.

Deep-diving crankbait, cleanly presented. Specially designed to explore the deepest layers of the water, this lure targets fish such as pike and walleye. Variations in hue on the lure catch the light, illustrating its realistic movement and making it a strategic choice for deep-water fishing.

It is popular for fishing in deep lakes where big fish often hide.

It allows you to reach areas inaccessible with other types of crankbaits.

Deep-diving crankbait in underwater action

Table of crankbait types and depths

Here's a table summarizing the different types of crankbaits, their lip shape, size and diving depth in feet.

Crankbait typeLip shape & sizeDiving depth (feet)
Crankbait with square lipSquare bib2′ à 5′
Round bib crankbaitRound bib2′ to 30′ (depending on bib size and angle)
Crankbait without lipNo bib10′ à 40′
Shallow diving crankbaitSmall bib2′ à 5′
Medium diving crankbaitMedium bib5′ à 15′
Deep-diving crankbaitLarge bib12′ à 30′

Choice of crankbait colors

Choosing the right crankbait color can make all the difference between a successful fishing day and an unsuccessful outing.

Crankbait colors play a crucial role in attracting the attention of fish in different conditions.

Crankbait colors for clear waters

When visibility is high, fish can see far ahead and watch your crankbait as it moves through the water column.

In clear water, the aim is to mimic fish food as closely as possible.

Here are some recommended colors for clear water:

  • Ghost Shad Ideal for super-clear waters, the Ghost Shad's translucency attracts the attention of fish without frightening them. It's the perfect minnow emulator.
  • Sexy Shad : In lightly tinted water, the Sexy Shad is very effective. It has a nice minnow appearance with a touch of chartreuse to make it stand out.
  • Natural Bluegill When bass feed on sunfish, imitate them. Lures imitating sunfish are particularly effective in northern lakes where sunfish are a main food species.
    Natural Bluegill crankbait made by Live Target. Ideal for finding bass in autumn.
  • Natural Crawfish : As bass feed on crayfish, it makes sense to use a crankbait that resembles one. Crayfish colors are also effective in tinted water.
    Natural Crawfish crankbait. Red with black lines imitating a crayfish.

Crankbait colors for tinted or turbid waters

When visibility decreases, it's important to use bright, contrasting colors to attract the fish's attention.

Here are some recommended colors for tinted or cloudy water:

  • Chartreuse/Blue Back A classic for tinted waters, the Chartreuse/Blue Back is highly effective in attracting the attention of fish.
Crankbait Chartreuse/Blue Back lure: Classic choice for troubled waters, effectively attracts fish.
  • Citrus Shad : On tinted lakes and rivers, the Citrus Shad is very successful. It has a white underbelly and sides that change from chartreuse to blue on the back.
Crankbait Citrus Shad: Ideal for dark waters, with white belly and chartreuse to blue sides.
  • Homer An old-fashioned color that was very successful in the 1980s and 1990s. It works well with chartreuse sides, a blue back and a bright belly.
Homer Crankbait Lure: Reminiscent of past successes, with chartreuse sides, blue back and bright belly.
  • Fire Tiger In the dirtiest waters, Fire Tiger is very effective. Its high contrast attracts fish from afar.
Crankbait Fire Tiger lure: Performs well in turbid waters, its high contrast attracts fish from afar.

Crankbait colors according to water visibility

  • Troubled Waters (less than 60 cm visibility): Opt for bright colors such as vivid chartreuse or dark red.
  • Tinted Waters (60 cm to 1.20 m visibility): Use colors that are more opaque and closer to the natural colors of minnows.
  • Eaux Claires (over 1.20 m visibility) : Opt for translucent or chrome colors that attract light slightly.

Fish to target with a crankbait

Crankbaits can catch most predators. Here is a list of the most common fish caught with this type of lure.

  • Bass (Black perch, Blackbass) Crankbaits are effective all year round, using different types depending on conditions.
  • Crapet-Soleil (Crappie) Small Crankbaits work well in shallow water in autumn and winter.
  • Pike : Use Crankbaits imitating baitfish, preferably in darker waters.
  • Walleye (Pike-perch) Choose crankbaits in natural colors, fishing above or below the fish.
  • Trout Crankbaits attract larger specimens, requiring specific retraction.

All in all, crankbaits offer a wide range of options for targeting a variety of fish. fish species at different depths and under different conditions.

Choosing the right type for the situation can greatly increase your chances of success on the water.

We hope you'll find this guide to the different types of crankbait useful for your next outing!

Happy fishing!


  • Fishing 101

    Fishing enthusiast who loves to explore and learn. I like to try out new tricks and share what I discover with other anglers. On peche101.com, you'll find my tips, techniques and anything else that can make our passion even more exciting.

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