Brent Chapman takes us through the key differences and applications of a crankbait vs. swimbait during the end of the spawn into the shad spawn.
Right now, a lot of the bass are spawning. In the south, the bass are wrapping up the spawn and beginning to move offshore. This is when crankbaits and swimbaits can really excel. Don’t forget that after the bass spawn, the shad begin their spawn. Both baits mimic shad really well and bass love them.
One of the biggest differences between the two is that the swimbait comes in a variety of sizes. The Strike King Rage Swimmer comes in small 2.75” all the way to a 5” version. The Strike King 5XD dives to approximately 15’ deep. There are deeper versions that go up to a 10XD if you need to go deeper. However, with a crankbait, the profile gets bigger as you use deeper diving crankbaits. A swimbait allows you to fish a small bait deep while also keeping a lower profile. With crankbaits, you traditionally make a long cast and crank it back to the maximum depth to hopefully tick the bottom. With the swimbait, you can fish different water columns just by how much you let the bait sink. “If I am fishing a crankbait 15’ deep I will sometimes see fish in 10’ on livescope. Sometimes, I can pick those fish off with the swimbait. I will cast the swimbait to them and count down to ten feet and bring the bait right to them” Brent explains.
Both of these baits are super effective and go hand in hand. When fishing offshore or for schooling fish, Chapman will have both tied on. For Chapman, he prefers the swimbait in cleaner water and clear-blue skies. However, if it is cloudy or the water is stained, the crankbait becomes really effective. “I can use brighter colors such as chartreuse that really stand out in dirtier water which helps the fish find it," explains Chapman.
Brent loves to throw both options during the post-spawn. When the bass are getting off their beds, these are some of his favorite baits to throw.