Beginners Luck – How to tune your crank baits and 2 tips to get them closer to fish

The recent ABT Qualifier was won using a pattern of fishing crank baits. Crank baiting is one of the effective methods of quickly covering lots of ground and with crank baits being developed to dive to deeper and deeper depths, this makes them more and more useful.

The design of the crank bait means that it can be fished in a number of ways but one challenge that can come up in the production process is the lure not swimming straight out of the box.  What do I mean by straight?  I mean that it has a wobble or distinct action to how it swims but still tracks in a straight line.

Atomic Crank Deep

Some lures may swing to the left or right or if excessively bad, roll around in circles.  This is not normal but doesn’t mean that the lure needs to be returned or thrown out but can in fact be fixed.

This is the method I use to tune the swimming action.

  1. The first step is to determine which way it is swimming or twirling
  2. While holding the crank bait, with a pair of long nose pliers, gently bend the tow point a small amount in the opposite direction to the way the lure was swimming.
  3. Test the lures swimming action
  4. Continue to adjust the lure with small adjustments until the lure swims straight.

Technical Breaming 03

Tip 1:  Sometimes you actually don’t want it to swim straight

There are times where an “out of tuned” lure can open up opportunities.  If a lure is swimming slightly to the left or right, chances are it may swim away from the intended structure but the opposite can also occur.  Getting your crank bait to swim under or into a pontoon, bridge pylon or boat hull can result in getting closer to the fish.Technical Breaming 02

Tip 2: Some lures are better off not swimming straight

If you fish edges or flats, a lure that erratically swings from left to right will cover more ground as it travels along this unplanned path.  These lures are great as they could be the difference in triggering a bite.  The Atomic Crank 38s are a great example of the searching crank bait and are my “go to” lure for fishing the edges.

2 responses to “Beginners Luck – How to tune your crank baits and 2 tips to get them closer to fish

  1. Do you think Atomic Crank is floating too fast to remain in the strike zone for tempting a black bream or yellow fin bream?
    Some angler add some sticky weight on their Atomic Crank, what’s your take on that? Will you do that on yours?

    • Black bream definitely respond better to a suspending lure. I put sticky weight on my Atomic Cranks to make them suspend.

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