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Fishing Tips and Tricks

Fishing with the Crankenstein

The Crankenstein is a very versatile bait that can catch big bass in a wide range of presentations, location, weather, water temperature, etc.  Be creative and be sure to share with us your favorite tips!


If you're looking for somewhere to start, here are some ideas from our experience:


  • The patent-pending Axle Eye works equally well with a direct tie, a snap, or a wire leader.

  • We recommend attaching a trailer, just as you would with a spinnerbait or jig.  If you don't already have a preferred trailer, one simple option is a 3" grub like the Berkley Power Grub.  It should be rigged so that almost the entire body is on the hook and the curtly tail extends behind.

  • We recommend line with very high abrasion resistance, such as braid, so that you can take full advantage of the Crankenstein's snag resistance and confidently throw it into heavy cover.

  • The Crankenstein can be fished with spinning or baitcasting gear.

  • Pay attention to the angle of the wires.  Sometimes they can get bent open and the action will be compromised.  This can easily be restored with one hand, by grabbing one side in your palm and the other side in your fingers, and then squeezing the angle back down.  (Like using a grip exerciser.)


  • The Crankenstein generally targets shallow water.  It sinks almost a foot per second, so it can be fished in moderately deep water (up to about 15'), but it is not designed to "stay down" in retrieve, so may not be practical in a deep presentation.  (In the future, we may offer other models that are more suited to deeper water. Reach out if interested!)

  • One of the most reliable places to fish it is over shallow weed beds, with the bait very close to the top of the weeds.  Often a good hint is to pick the depth where you can just barely see it.  (And try not to overreact to giant fish flashing -- wait until you actually feel them strike before you set the hook!)

  • It can also be fished either just below the surface or right at the surface, retrieved just fast enough to produce slalom wakes but not break through.

  • Don't be afraid to fish into very shallow water.  Sometimes big bass will strike just inches from the shore right as it starts to move.

  • While the Crankenstein can drive right through rooted plants, including lilly pads, it does NOT work in floating weeds or similar debris, as these wrap around the frame and inhibit operation.


  • The Crankenstein can be used in any way that a spinnerbait can be used, including steady retrieves, stop and go, dropping into structure, etc.

  • It can also be used like a jig, because (unlike a spinnerbait) it will rest on the bottom in the proper orientation.

  • One simple and very effective presentation is a relatively slow, steady retrieve.  This is also a very fun way to fish it, because big bass typically do not go for their signature subtle strike, but instead flat-out crush it.

  • In addition, sometimes stopping the retrieve to drop it near structure, or just to try a different depth, may trigger a strike.  These strikes may be much more subtle, so pay attention!

  • If the bait is not operating correctly, a few rapid turns of the reel and/or a swift yank will often restore proper operation.  (A lot of engineering has gone into making the operation as reliable as possible, but the Crankenstein has a lot of moving parts! )

Target Species

  • The Crankenstein is designed to catch largemouth and smallmouth bass.

  • However, Crankenstein inventor Than Bogan has caught his largest largemouth, smallmouth, pickerel, white bass, perch, crappie, and even sunfish on the Crankenstein.

  • Surprisingly, small fish may aggressively attack the Crankenstein, but of course will typically not be hooked.  In some circumstances, small fish will actually form a school with the Crankenstein, and this is often a good sign that big fish strikes will be coming soon.


  • The Crankenstein is effective any time there isn't ice on the water.  It works during heat waves and cold fronts, in clear or muddy water, with sun directly overhead and at night.

  • Because the Crankenstein is especially effective in shallow water, the very best conditions for fishing it are when big fish are active in shallow water, which is often just after sunrise or just before sunset.

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