Tips for Li­p­less Fish­ing

SA Bass - - Classroom - >> Ben­nie Wiese*

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

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