A lipless crankbait resembles the more standard crankbait, except that it doesn’t have a lip to make it dive. Instead, it has a thin cross-section, and an angled head. Because of the dynamics of fluids, which I won’t go into here, when the lure is pulled through the water, it’s shape causes it to vibrate rapidly, and violently from side-to-side. This action creates a huge racket in the water, as well as a ton of vibrations that a bass can feel in it’s lateral line from up to 100 yards out. To enhance this even more, a lot of models have rattling beads inside them to attract even more attention, just to make sure it’s not ignored. Sometimes bass bite them just to shut them up.
Fishing Lipless Crankbaits
All lipless crankbaits are designed to sink, some slowly, some faster. The sink rate depends on the conditions you are fishing in. If you are going deep, you want the bait to hurry up and get down to the fish. If you are fishing shallow, you want to be able to work the lure before it hits the bottom and gets hung up.
There are lots of ways to fish a lipless crankbait. There is really no wrong way to fish them. You can simply cast it out, and just reel it back in. Most find the best method is to let it sink, counting down to the depth you want and pulling the rod tip away quickly to make it rattle then repeat the process. This allows it to sink back down after every short retrieve, like a dying minnow. The really cool thing about this retrieve is that when this type of lure sinks, it sinks on it’s side, just like a real fish. Most of your hits will be on the drop, so you’ll want to keep slack out of your line as it drops, or the bass can spit it back out before you can set the hook.
- Lipless crankbaits are a little less prone to hang-up than other crank baits, so don’t be afraid to fish them around weed beds and submerged timber. A great technique is to drag it just above the tops of weed beds. If it hangs up, usually a good hard pull is enough to free it, and many times, this is when the strike will happen, so be ready.
- Especially over rocky bottoms, the yo-yo retrieve works wonders. Cast the lure out and let it sink all the way to the bottom. Then, raise your rod tip high, and let it drop back down, reeling in slack as you go. This makes the lure see-saw over rocks and crevices, driving bass insane at times.
- Ripping along rip-raps and rock piles can cause murderous strikes. Ripping is just pulling your rod horizontally, then reeling up slack as fast as possible, then immediately repeating. This makes the lure swim like mad, in short bursts, like a frightened bait fish.
- Even on a straight retrieve, jerk your rod tip every now and then. This can help trigger strikes with any lure.
- However you fish the lure, remember; the colder the water, the slower the retrieve. In warmer water, speed it up.