Small Waters Strategies – Crawfish crankbaits

Small Waters Strategies – Crawfish crankbaits

Sep 10, 2014

Crankin’ Craws for small waters bass

Bass love crawfish like seafood fans love lobster! And why not? It’s “all in the family!” The hundreds of species of crawfish found in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams across the country are relatives to the sweetest meat in the sea!

The good fortune of fishermen is that they have a family of crankbaits that are dead-ringers or these tasty crustaceans, and I pull them out often to take advantage of a bass’s crawfish craving!

Craw crankbaits like those from the Rebel line-up are deadly on bass from lake largemouth to stream smallmouth

These baits can become even more “lifelike” when mixed with a little angler know-how!

They resist hang-ups far better than most crankbaits, too. Their lip and the angle at which they run make them almost weedless.

Meet the family

Bill Dance grew to love the Rebel Craw family catching smallmouth from the streams near his Tennessee home. He’s used that same arsenal to catch largemouth in neighboring ponds and reservoirs, too. In the course of a season, he will put the full spectrum of models, sizes and colors into play.

“It’s hard to suggest a lot of lures to fishermen because you don’t know what tackle that fisherman brings to the pond or stream,” Dance noted recently. “One guy likes little stuff and brings ultralight tackle and light line. The next one throws baitcasting tackle with 15-pound test! But the Rebel Craw family has most anglers covered.”

Indeed, Rebel has a faux crawfish to fit almost anyone’s tackle, from ultralight to medium spinning to baitcasting tackle.

This crawfish series also enables fishermen to crank down from foot-deep shallows to 10-foot depths and deeper, depending on line choice.

  • The Rebel Teeny Wee-Crawfish (1.5 inch, 1/10 ounce) is a shallow runner to cover two- to three-foot depths.
  • The Deep Teeny Wee-Crawfish  (1.5-inch, 1/9 ounce) plumbs four- to five-foot depths.
  • The Rebel Wee-Crawfish (2-inch, 1/5 ounce) will reach five- to seven-foot depths.
  • The Rebel Deep Wee (2-3/8-inch, 3/8 ounce) and Big Craw (2-5/8-inch, 7/16 ounce) both reach depths of eight to 10 feet.

Crawfish are a staple on the bass's menu, points out Bill Dance. Up your odds by fishing traits like the Rebel Big Craw in a manner befitting the short darting moves of a live crawfish.

Fightin’ with finesse

“The fun is in the fight,” says Dance. That’s why he’s fond of crankin’ craws with “finesse” tackle.

“The length and actions of ‘finesse’ rods are different than ultralight,” he explains. “My ultralight rods were 4-1/2 to five feet long with soft action. But my finesse rods run six to seven feet long, and they are stiffer and more sensitive. I can cast light lures yet still set the hook and handle a good fish without breaking fine diameter line.”

The smaller crawfish imitations invite the entire sunfish family to dinner, too. Count on bluegill, warmouth and shellcracker to get in on the action with these “bass” baits.

Be the craw!

Crawfish are most often associated with rock and aquatic vegetation. But they can be found in a wide variety of habitat and locations including sand and mud bottoms. The Rebel Craw baits work best on the “edges” – bumping bottom, cranking along grasslines, ripping over the tops of submerged vegetation, digging through transition areas.

All the members of the Rebel Craw family exhibit such hard, pulsating action that fishermen have a tendency to crank and keep on cranking with them! But a steady, constant retrieve will not simulate a crawdad’s moves.




Bill Dance Rebel Tip

“Watch a crawfish under water,” says Dance. “He will move fast, then just glide real slowly…dart…then glide! The key to working this floater-diver is to simulate that erratic action. Work a strategic ‘stop-and-go’ into the retrieve. I like to crank the lure down to its designated depth, then stop it. A lot of times, I will pull it, stop it, reel three or four turns — real slowly – then reel it fast a few quick turns. Don’t overpower the bait! You want to make it look as natural as possible. “

Now that’s how to dance a Rebel Craw!

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