Those Crazy Smallmouth – Crankbait Patterns

It’s amazing how smallmouth bass can be so different from one day to the next, one hour to the next or even one minute to the next. We would all need a lot less tackle if this weren’t so but it is what it is. Here are some reflections on crankbait patterns they respond to:

SHALLOW FLATS
My first choice here is almost always a lipless crankbait (rattle trap) or a spinnerbait.

Frank Keller (aka 'Mr. Big Fish') with another hog. This is a nice fall smallmouth from the Walpole area.

On Lake St. Clair the classic chrome and blue 1/2 oz. rattle trap (Bill Lewis or Rapala) is the bait of choice for me. I’ve thrown other colors but always come back to that standby. A recent development was brought on by a friend who recommended a shallow running lipped crankbait, the Norman Little N in white. It was very successful on inland waters and when I took it out on Lake St. Clair it performed perfectly.

RIP RAP
Provided the bottom slopes off quickly a deep diving crankbait works best. The bass usually hit the bait moves down the slope but some of the bigger fish come when the crankbait reaches its deepest running depth. Here color hasn’t been much of an issue since it is mostly a reaction bite that comes with that presentation.

OPEN WATER
On Lake St. Clair the bite on crankbaits on the open water has changed considerably over the last 15 years. Now that the water is very clear the crankbaits with high quality natural finishes tend to fish stronger. The open water crankbite bite is also subject to the whims of our bronze backed friends. While tracking the bite throughout the season I’ll find a few periods where the crankbite bite turns on and that will be reported in Fishing Spot Specs™.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

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3 Responses to “Those Crazy Smallmouth – Crankbait Patterns”

  1. cody Says:

    nice fish!

  2. Smallmouth Fishing Tips Says:

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