Choosing a crankbait that makes the right rattle

2013-06-01 00:00

IN an earlier issue we discussed crankbaits and the differences in dive depth, shapes and actions. I sincerely hope you have adhered to your newfound education and experimented on the water.

As promised, we are going to dive deeper into your selection of cranks and help you distinguish between these baits.

The noise or pitch that a crankbait makes sets the tone for the intention of the lure and is by far the most misunderstood aspect in bait selection. These differences are controlled by the internal rattles within the bait, which are generated by ball bearings concealed within rattle chambers. The rattles add weight to the bait and help the angler to cast further.

Smaller bearings achieve a higher pitch and the more bearings in a bait the louder the noise and the more aggressive the pitch will be. In baits where fewer, larger bearings are found, the lower will be the pitch of the bait and the less aggressive the sound.

Lure manufacturers do not stop there. Bearings can be of stainless steel or tungsten; they give off very different pitches of rattle.

Some manufacturers even make silent crankbaits with no rattles, such as the Strike King range of baits.

So how does this affect your attack? Baits with high-pitched rattles are remarkable reaction-bite choices and should be used when cover is prevalent.

A noisy crank that is ripped through vegetation will be more productive than a bait with a softer pitch.

The increase in bait action, coupled with the exaggerated sound when the bait comes into contact with the cover is the right combination of factors to trigger reaction bites. So when you intend to make contact with cover to provoke bites, a noisier bait is the best choice.

These types of baits also seem to produce more bites during warmer months and when the fish are active. Crankbaits with less noisy rattles, and even the silent crank options, are the go-to baits in colder water when fish are less active. These baits achieve the normal action of their louder counterparts but are not as invasive. If you find yourself struggling to get bites on a crankbait, pay attention to the pitch or noise that your bait is making and then mix it up a bit and try some different-sounding baits. A change in pitch can often be more important than a change in colour.

The fishing in our area has tightened up but bigger fish are certainly biting. Most reports coming in have one common denominator and that is the fact that the larger fish are being caught in depths of between seven and 10 metres. These fish seem to be holding on to isolated main lake cover such as harder bottoms and timber. This is quite a common pattern for this time of year, and being able to locate baitfish on your sounder in these areas will remove most of the guesswork.

Albert’s, as always, has been producing fish and Inanda has been gracious to anglers fishing crankbaits parallel to deeper main lake banks.

Midlands Bass Club will be hosting an inter-club tournament at Albert Falls next weekend and has advised that all clubs are welcome to attend. There will be cash prizes for the top-placed clubs as well as individual heaviest bags.

A prize for the biggest fish, lucky draw and raffle prizes are also on the winners’ menu. It is a fundraising event and the entry fee is R100 per angler. All bass and even artlure clubs are invited to enter. Simply send me an e-mail and I will forward you the details.

Until then, get out on the lake and catch some bass, and remember to release your catch alive to prolong the sustainability of our resource. E-mail me with reports, pictures and questions at

Catch em’ up.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.