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Night Time Crankin'

by: Eric Elshere
Well when it comes to fishing at night time, there really is no more an exciting way to catch bass than on crankbaits. This is fact. I think that bass are so honed into loud noises and fast moving baits. This is my own opinion, you may have your own, but I will give you my thoughts and tips on throwing these baits at night.
If you are going to pick a good crankbait I would put all my money into 2 brands of baits. Norman and Pradco Fat Free Shads. These two baits have the best shape, color, and wiggle of all the crankbaits out there. I suggest for night time to use a darker color. I look for the darkest I can find. I think for the Norman Crank Bait, use either the Midnight Blue, Sun Texas Red, or Sun Crawfish. For the Fat Free Shad, I like the Threadfin Shad, Brown Crawfish, and Red Shad. These baits are my number one colors to throw at night. If I'm going to throw my baits, I recommend to use a 6'6" medium action rod to a 7' medium heavy action rod. I like to throw them on either the GLoomis or Shimano series rods. They seem to work really well. Reels don't really need to be too serious. Just make sure that they either have a 5.1 or 6.1 gear ratio's to get the baits down to it's maximum depth fast. It is really important to make as long of cast as possible to get your bait in the strike zone the longest. Use a lighter line so you can get maximum depth yet big enough to handle the fish. I like and prefer to use 10-12 pound test P-Line. This is about it for the tackle you need.
Now when looking for a particular spot key in on spots where there has been a lot of bait present at the time. This will be the spot where bass are eating shad and only this. Look for any birds before it gets dark and this will give away a ball of shad or any bait activity.
Yet, if there is no bait or birds really congregating, then go to the shallow grassy flats or long points with rock and sticks. The bigger bass seem to like sticks and rocks. Work your bait slowly over the rocks and sticks. Most of these colors of crankbaits kind of look like crawfish, so if you work it slowly over the structure and it looks like a crawdad slowly scooting away. That's what you are looking for in your spots.
This might not be the most productive way to catch fish, but it will be the way to get the more aggressive fish. It is in my books the most fun way to catch the fish at night. It can absolutely scare the snot out of you. It is a really fun way to catch the fish.
The best times when the night is a full moon. This is when the bass can see and key in on your bait best. Try to plan your trip around and during the full moon. Trust me this will get you more strikes and more fish. I can admit to this, I had a tourney on the full moon and all my bites were on crankbaits and then 2 weeks after with a new moon, no bites on it. So plan around the full moon.
I hope that this little article on crankbaitin' at night will help you out and catch a few more fish at night. It is really the most fun way to catch the most aggressive bass out there. Like I said, when you get hit, the bite can be so tremendous that you will get the snot scared out of you. I promise, it is worth it though.
For any of these baits, Norman Crank Baits, Fat Free Shads, GLoomis Rods, and Shimano Rods, P-Line, look here at and they have the best prices and variety around.

Good Luck and God Bless! Eric Elshere

Added: Mon Apr 07 2008
Last Modified: Fri May 15 2009

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