Crankbait paint by numbers

When standard crankbait colors aren’t working, Inman pulls out a can of spray paint and some fingernail polish to add some color.

Crappie anglers who troll crankbaits have learned that the wilder the color, the better crappie like them. Even with the wide color variety available on the market in response to this demand, there are days when that right color just can’t be found.

That’s when it’s time to do a little paint by numbers.

“You’ll find cans of spray paint and bottles of fingernail polish in my boat during crankbaiting season,” said Wayne Inman. “Bay Springs is strange in that you can take a standard-color crankbait and not catch anything. Then grab a can of some God-awful, ugly, orangish-, greenish-, yellow-, purple-, whatever-color paint, spray a few marks on the crank and let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes, and start catching fish on it.”

The key to painting crankbaits on the fly is to add some contrast between the color scheme on the crankbait and what the fish sees. Since crappie feed in an upward position, Inman reasons that the top of the crankbiat is painted to appeal to the angler while the bottom is painted to appeal to the fish.

“The top is the pretty part, what the angler sees in the box,” said Inman. “But the bottom is usually a more drab appearance, and that’s what the fish sees. That’s why I think painting a bright streak on the bottom gets the fish’s attention better than a standard paint job.”

As for durability, Inman said not to worry.

“I use both fingernail polish and spray paint. It doesn’t matter — the paint’s not going to come off,” he said. “Just spray it on the bait, let it dry and put it right in there that quick.

“If it chips a little with use, it doesn’t matter; just paint it again.”

About Phillip Gentry 404 Articles
Phillip Gentry is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer who says that if it swims, walks, hops, flies or crawls he’s usually not too far behind.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply