Crankbaits are a great way to catch summer fish for several reasons.

Mike Frisch trolled this crankbait summer walleye up on a Salmo Hornet.

Mike Frisch trolled this crankbait summer walleye up on a Salmo Hornet.​

Crankbaits allow an angler to cover lots of water in a short period of time.

Crankbaits appeal to most species of gamefish regardless of where you're fishing.

Crankbaits can be cast to precise areas that are holding a concentration of fish, or they can be trolled over open areas, picking up fish that are scattered.

Crankbaits come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and actions, enabling an angler to give the fish the exact bait that the fish want.

There are other reasons why crankbaits are a good choice for fishing in the summer months, but let's talk about some ideas for using crankbaits on your next fishing trip.

Unless you really have the fish pinpointed, trolling is a great way to present a crankbait. In the summer, the fish like the bait moving pretty fast. Two to three miles per hour is not an unusual trolling speed. I run an "A" Series Raymarine sonar that has a built-in GPS which provides speeds to a tenth of a mile. When a fish hits, I immediately check the speed and also mark the spot on the GPS. By doing so, we can duplicate the productive speed and go back over the exact area that fish came from.

Many trollers like a medium action rod in the six-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half foot length, with a seven footer being perhaps most popular. These longer rods are more forgiving. Cabela's has some combo trolling rods and reels in the Depthmaster Series that do a nice job at a very affordable price.

I like to spool up with Sunline SX1 Braid in twelve pound test. This line is very strong, yet small diameter, so your bait runs deeper. It's also very sensitive, so you'll know right away if you pick up a weed.

It has become apparent that planer boards are a huge asset in trolling crankbaits. They allow an angler to spread lines effectively, and also prevent the fish from being spooked by the boat going over head. Off Shore planer boards are as good as it gets.

When trolling, use baits of different colors, sizes, and shapes, and try different speeds until the best combination is discovered. Salmo Hornets and Executor crankbaits have developed a very loyal following over the years. They run true at high speeds and the fish really like them.

On a recent fishing trip, on one trolling pass, we caught walleyes, yellow and white bass, a northern pike, and a channel catfish, all on crankbaits. A smorgasbord of fish is not unusual when pulling crankbaits in the summer. Now is the perfect time for you to discover that for yourself.

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