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How to Pick Bass Crankbaits for the Situation

Southern bass tournaments have taught pro bass angler Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson the need to be proficient with a wide range of crankbaits, especially on reservoirs with a shad forage base. Gussy shares his go-to balsa crankbait lineup, ranging from shallow, mid-depth, deep-divers to flat-sides and round-bodied lures. He explains when to use each and how he approaches crankbait colors based on the predominant forage.


While crankbaits haven’t historically been Gussy’s go-to bass bait at home (Northwest Ontario), he’s become a big fan of balsa models as of late at home and abroad down south. Their buoyant, super-natural wiggle excels for northern bass on clear water fisheries and dingy southern reservoirs alike.

Gussy ties water temperature to bait shape and action, opting for subtler flat-sided models during the spring and fall and more aggressive squarebill and conventional round-bodied baits in warmer water.