Despite two sets of treble hooks dangling from its body, the crankbait ranks as one of the most notorious lures for losing hooked bass. It seems almost impossible for a bass to avoid all those hook points, but you constantly hear those lost-fish tales of woe from even the best crankbait throwers.
Crankbait Hookup Tips
Equipping your lures with sharp hooks is one of the most critical steps you can take to ensure landing bass on crankbaits. During your day on the water, check your hooks often and if one feels dull replace it with a new treble hook. You can also replace the crankbait’s original hooks with larger ones to improve the lure’s hooking potential.
Crankbait Fishing Rod And Reel
Matching the right rod and reel can improve your chances of landing bass on crankbaits. A 7-foot fiberglass rod with a soft tip allows you to make a better sweeping hookset which will keep a bass hooked on the crankbait longer.
A baitcast reel with a good drag system is paramount to catching bass on crankbaits. Loosening the drag prevents bass from pulling off the crankbait on hard runs and eventually wears down the fish.
Detecting Crankbait Strikes
Detecting a strike and following up with a solid hookset improves your odds of landing a bass on a crankbait. When you detect a strike, wait until you feel the weight of the fish before attempting a hookset.
In most cases, the hookset determines your fate when a bass strikes your crankbait. Several bass are lost due to setting the hook too hard or using too stiff of a rod or setting the drag too tight. A hard and fast jerk of the rod works well for setting the hook on bass that have hit a plastic worm or jig, but a hookset on a crankbait bite requires the opposite approach. When you detect a strike, pull back steadily on the rod and keep reeling to tighten up your line and drive the hooks home.
Once hooked, bass tend to jump in an attempt to throw the crankbait or make a hard run to pull off of the hooks. Try to keep the fish down and allow it to run while relying on your reel’s drag to surrender line. If the fish stays down, hold your rod up to keep enough pressure on the bass, but if it tries to come up drop your rod down to prevent the fish from jumping.
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