Jerkbait vs Crankbait: Which Bait is Better for Your Style?

Fishing enthusiasts must know how to better lure their catch and among the first things to get familiar with is the difference between jerkbait vs crankbait. Both are ideal for getting the catch of the day, specifically for those who are dealing with bass fishing.

Although these two are famous for being extremely effective, it will still be up to you which one will work according to your style and need.

Before you go ahead and decide the kind of bait you will use, it is best to familiarize yourself with these two baits that will do you a lot of favor in your fishing lifestyle. Today, you will learn what these two have in common, as well as their differences. 

Jerkbait vs Crankbait: Similarities

1. What are They Made of?

Both are made of hard plastics and are perfect for catching a bass fish and even the walleyes. What makes them ideal for bass fishing is their ability to look like forage for fishes to eat.

2. Easy to Use

Most baits will require you to use another tackle just to get a headstart. This is something that you won’t have to worry about these two lures, as all you need to do is to tie it on your rod and that’s literally it!

3. Swimming Action

Both of these baits are aggressive in nature, which emulates a fish that is swimming as if it is trying so hard to escape and save its life. These are just among the things that these lures have in common.

A lot of people make a mistake of assuming that they are exactly just the same, but the truth is they still differ in a lot of ways. You will learn that as you continue to read this article. 

Jerkbait vs Crankbait: Differences




Bills or Lips Size

 Smaller than the crankbaits 

A bit larger than the jerkbait

Body Type

Has a lot slimmer body and even longer than the crankbait.

Has shorter and fatter bodies, which are perfect because the prospective catch can easily look at them as their possible meal.

It is so easy to trick a predatory fish using this bait, as it mimics the look of their snack.


Often contains three treble hooks.

Only has 2 hooks

Retrieval Depth

Often chosen by fishermen who try to have their catch in shallow water because their bill sizes are only less than an inch and even shorter than a half sometimes. 

It is noteworthy to add here that this bait works a lot better on the first three feet of the water. That said, you can use this on ponds and even creeks.

If you happen to be in lakes, you can still use it as long as you try to catch on the side area of the said water. There is no need to dive in deep waters just to catch a fish using this bait because you can attract fishes to swim to the shallow part of the water if you use this style.
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Crankbaits are perfect for fishing in deeper water like we’re talking about 25 feet deep and probably even more.

If you want to catch a fish in the middle of the lake, then this is the bait that you need.

Fishing in Clear Water

Not only are jerkbaits ideal in shallow water, but they are also perfect when you’re trying to fish in clear water. The rationale behind that is that this particular lure is a lot visual in nature than crankbaits. Having said that, its visibility can easily attract the attention of bass fishes.

A little warning though when fishing in clear water is that the pressure can be more felt that it tends to make a bass fish a little bit hesitant to come near.

However, this lure has the ability to pause and create erratic motions that can instantly entice the bass. So compared to crankbaits, you have a huge chance of catching your target if you use the jerkbaits.

Fishing In Cold Water

This is another area where jerkbaits are more advisable to use because of the slow retrieval that this particular lure is capable of. Even professional fishermen are convinced that jerkbaits are perfect for cold water, as it has the ability to make a bass move despite the freezing temperature of the water.

Fishing in Dirty Water

If you want to trick a bass in a water that is not so clear and even dirty, then your best bet is to lure it using crankbaits. For some reason, they are more visible in dirty or foggy kind of water, especially when they bump into rocks and other objects in the water.

Soon as the crankbait starts rattling or bumping in the water, any bass can be triggered by all those motions that they are easily lured to its presence. Hence, it will be easier for you to catch them.


These are just some of the helpful information that you need before you dive into fishing using either a jerkbait or a crankbait. These two are the most popular baits from the many lures that are out there and professional fishermen will recommend that you try both and even combine them to see which one will be more effective.

Some will also say that its combination tends to be more effective than just using one of them. You can start using the jerkbait first and use crankbait as your second choice or vice versa. But then again, your area, kind of water and temperature are things to be considered before making a final decision.

I hope you find this article helpful in your quest to choose the right bait for your need. Please share your ideas, thoughts, and comments on the comment section below.

John Morris

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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