Tips for Lipless Fishing
There are those who dared to steer lipless crankbaits into the grass knowing that their only limitation in success is not making that cast. In fact, you want your crankbait to always be in contact with the grass.
Here are some useful tips on how to fish a lipless crankbait.
Ticking the tops
If there is grass in a dam you will find bass staging in it, most of the time! To use a lipless crankbait is an extremely effective way to cover a lot of water fast. Even if the bait is very easy to fish with, you want to make sure you are feeling the bait ticking the top of the grass continuously. “Idiot bait” is what some of the anglers referred to if they talk about lipless crankbait. However fish that will bite under normal conditions will not react favourably, if the bait is not present in the strike zone, or in a reactionary manner. Simply casting and retrieving the bait when the bass are not active will not produce the any results.
If you find the bass they are either aggressively feeding, or hanging out until they choose to feed. On the other hand during their feeding mode, anglers are often rewarded with fast action and large numbers of catches. Their feeding period is normally much shorter than the period a bass spends in inactive mode.
By allowing lipless crankbaits to come in contact with the top of the underwater grass it creates erratic movements and so it resembles a baitfish trying to get away. Most lipless baits have rattles inside which produce noise. By making contact with the grass along the vibration and with the sound suddenly changes it creates a (desired) reaction strike.
The yo-yo retrieve
This is one of my favourite lipless techniques. A general myth when fishing dense grass is that it requires flipping a jig or stickbait into the holes of the grass in order to be effective. This is not the case the following techniques are also useful, they are simply, but not as efficient when it comes to covering a lot of water. A lipless crankbait is more ideal for such a scenario. Just allow the bait to sink to the desired depth, if possible on top of the grass line, and then begin to retrieve your bait. As you reel it back to the boat, drop the tip of the rod and slow your retrieval speed and so allowing the lipless bait to sink a couple of feet. Then instantly raise your rod tip and speed up the retrieval rate causing the bait to rise.
By doing so, the action is much like that of a yo-yo allowing the bait to cover a larger area of the strike zone plus tempting the bass as a result of the erratic movements
and the change in sound. Time and time again when the bait hangs up in the grass and you jerk it loose it’s then when the strike occurs; bass can’t resist the change!
Distinct edges or grass lines are the highest percentage areas for strikes. The edges present ambush points and act as underwater highways for bass, if bass are not relating to the outside edge of the grass line, cast into the grass and retrieve the bait “yo-yo” style out towards the edge until you find exactly where the bass are holding.
When targeting bass with a lipless crankbait it has its advantages, it has the ability to cover an incredible amount of water. A good quality 7½ft medium heavy rod which allows the angler to make an extra-long cast as well as having enough backbone to rip the bait free when it gets hung up in the grass.
Since grass lines vary in depths you can often utilize different pound test of line. For example, if the grass is shallow you can use 17 to 20lb test line. On the other hand, if the grass is deeper, 15lb test line is the favourite, this allow the bait to sink more quickly. When choosing colours you need to try matching the colour of the baitfish to match the bait which would normally be found in the dam.
The understanding of the predatory nature of bass will help with the understanding of the importance of lipless crankbaits. By making contact with the grass and ultimately translating into rapid changes in movements, sound, and vibration, bass can’t help but revert to their predatory actions. Take note your arms and shoulders you might not agree with popular opinion at the end of the day, but your realization of the effectiveness of this style of fishing will certainly eliminate any uncertainties!
This is only one of the many views I have about fishing with lipless crankbaits, but it work great for me.
Use a good quality 7½ft medium heavy rod, 15lb test line and a lipless crankbait