Crankbaits are versatile summertime walleye catchers, capable of triggering strikes everywhere from windswept shoreline points to deep basins.

According to ace walleye guide and longtime Lindy pro Mike Christensen, two tricks to cranking up the most fish possible are choosing the right lure size and color.

“Big baits do catch big fish, but most days you’ll catch more walleyes by matching crankbait size to the predominant forage,” he said. “Unless you’re targeting a trophy or fishing a tournament and need a kicker, I recommend keeping your presentation realistic.”

Also keep in mind that this size structure changes as yellow perch, minnows and juvenile panfish grow during the summer. To match the hatch, even slight increases in lure size — say, switching from a 2½-inch Lindy Wally Demon to its 3 1/8-inch big brother — can boost your catch rate.

On the crankbait color front, Christensen also advises mimicking the forage base.

“Choose colors found on the walleyes’ favorite baitfish,” he said.

If they’re feeding on yellow perch, for example, he recommends trying lures offering different blends and intensities of primary perch colors, such as orange, chartreuse, gold, green and black, until you find the right combination for the conditions at hand.

Dialing in the right lure size and color might take a little research and experimentation, but it’s well worth the effort whether you’re casting crankbaits to shallow strike zones or trolling the abyss.