Crayfish baits are one of the best baits for targeting quality largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. These baits come in many different shapes and sizes. Some of the smaller baits may work better on a trailer for largemouth bass, but they may be perfect by themselves for smallmouth bass. Some of the larger crayfish baits tend to work much better for quality largemouth bass.
Rod, Reel & Line
For largemouth bass, they are usually fished with a baitcaster with heavier line and a heavier rod. 17 to 30 pound test line is the norm, which allows anglers to fish around all types of cover. For smallmouth bass though, many anglers fish with lighter line and lighter rods due to all the clear water lakes that smallmouth bass thrive in. 6 to 8 pound test line is the norm with light action rods when fishing in clear water for smallmouth bass. You can catch other fish with crayfish baits, but largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are the primary targets for most anglers.
Shaky Head Jig
Shaky head jigs help keep the crayfish up off the bottom. This helps draw more strikes from bass than you would normally get by just using a regular jighead where the bait would be crawling along the bottom.
A regular jighead is an effective way to fish crayfish baits. Crawl them and hop them along the bottom and you will get plenty of bites.
Drop Shot Rig
There are better rigs for crayfish baits, however, at times, a well placed crayfish bait on a drop shot rig can out fish some of the other more popular rigs that anglers use with these baits.
Crayfish baits can work well on a swimbait hook as well. The erratic action is good with these baits if you want to use more of a jerkbait retrieve. If you crawl them along the bottom, the bait will sit just off the bottom, which helps draw strikes too.
Texas Rig / Florida Rig
Many anglers prefer the Texas rig for just about every type of soft plastic bait. It works with crayfish baits too, however, some of the smaller crayfish baits may not be big enough to work with the florid rig weights and/or some of the worm hooks that are common on the market.
Best Fishing Techniques
Hopping Along the Bottom
Working a crayfish bait with a hopping action is very effective. Just hop it along the bottom with some occasional pauses and you will get a lot of bites.
Flipping and Pitching Around Cover
Many anglers prefer to flip and pitch a variety of crayfish baits around all types of cover. It’s very effective. Just make sure you use heavy enough line to get the job done.
Dragging Along Bottom
You can also just drag the crayfish bait slowly along the bottom. Mix in an occasional pause and you will get plenty of bites.
What Eats Them