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Crappie Crank

My attempt at a crappie pattern

Photo Information for Crappie Crank

Taken with Apple iPhone 8 Plus

  • 4 mm
  • 1/421
  • f f/1.8
  • ISO 20
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The first step was to make stencils, for the spots and Gil plates. I’ve seen several discussions on tackle underground on how to do that. Basically I’ve made a vacuum forming tool by cutting numerous holes in the top of a six inch diameter can. I also cut a hole in the side and sealed a small shop vac wand into that hole.  To make a stencil, I lay a bait blank half (I’ve cut some in half along the seam) on the can top (with the holes). I place a piece of craft plastic sheet over it, turn on my shop vac and then heat the plastic from above with my heat gun. The vacuum draws the softened plastic around the bait body.

Then I draw the pattern on each stencil (one for each side), with a sharpie and cut out the stencil with my Dremel tool. After cutting I sand, (particularly the inside of) each stencil so as not to mar the paint layers that will go on prior to using the stencils.

Prior to painting, I use masking tape to cover the lip on the blank.

As far as painting, I airbrush the following:

White base all over

Pearl white all over

Transparent blue lightly on sides and back at tail only

Trans green lightly on the face

Silver lightly on the sides and back enough to soften the blue and green

Gold Very lightly misted on sides and back to get a light champagne color

Using a gill plate stencil transparent black lightly just at back

Using the spots stencils, transparent black misted on sides

Then transparent black down very center of back

A little Orange just on throat


I apply 6 mm stick on eyes do a top coat of 30 minute epoxy making sure to put the bait on a lure Turner for 6-8 hours


All of the techniques I used were based on things I’ve read on tackle underground. The color scheme I made up from looking at crappie I’d caught and a fish field guide.

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