Lip-less crankbaits are top lure for covering largemouth bass territory
Lip-less crankbaits like the Rat-L-Trap are great baits for spring bass.
Lip-less crankbaits have always been a popular and productive lure for catching bass, and some crappie anglers even use them to land big crappie.
While fishing for crappie a few years back at Kentucky Lake, some of us were finding the fish uncooperative, but a couple of Crappiemaster tourney anglers headed out to use Rat-L-Traps for crappie. By far, they had the best success of the day.
Todd Faircloth, fishing pro sponsored by Yamaha, recently was interviewed related to his use of lipless crankbaits, and their special value during spring fishing.
A single glance in his boat will always reveal at
least one, and usually several, tied on and ready to cast this season of the year no matter where the Yamaha Pro is fishing.
After all, Faircloth’s two heaviest fish of his career, both 11 1⁄2-pounders, came on the vibrating shad-imitation lures.
“The biggest advantage lipless crankbaits provide is that they allow you to cover a lot of water in a hurry, and that can be extremely important in the spring, ”emphasizes Faircloth, winner of the first Bassmaster® Elite tournament of the 2013 season earlier this year.
“Depending on the water temperature where you fish, bass could be in pre-spawn, spawn, or post-spawn mode, which means they could be in a lot of different places. With a lipless crankbait you can do that easier than with any other lure I know,” said Faircltoh in information released by Yamaha.
Lipless crankbaits are swimming, vibrating lures similar in size to regular diving crankbaits, except they don’t have the diving bills. They’re designed to look like small forage fish, and most pros like Faircloth use them primarily in shallow water less than 10 feet deep. The most popular sizes are 1⁄2- and 3⁄4-ounce.
“Lipless crankbaits are reaction-strike lures, so you don’t necessarily need to have ideal conditions to fish them,” continues Faircloth. “They produce the best results when there is a light breeze and a slight chop on the water, but I’ve also caught bass on them when it was calm and bright.
“Because they’re designed to attract reaction strikes, I use a fast retrieve whenever I fish them because I don’t want bass to have time to look at the lure.”
The real key to fishing lipless crankbaits in the spring, however, is not only using a fast retrieve, but also keeping the lure in contact with bottom cover, emphasizes the Yamaha Pro. This could be submerged vegetation such as hydrilla or milfoil, as well as rocks, gravel, or sand. The lure is not weedless, however, so
it can’t be reeled into thick brush or timber; instead, Faircloth retrieves the crankbait over the top of such cover, just ticking it slightly.
“I don’t do much more than make long casts
and reel the bait back,” Faircloth laughs. “There is hardly an easier lure to use in bass fishing, and I would guess a lot of today’s anglers probably caught their first bass on a
lipless crankbait. I’m pretty sure I did.”
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PATOKA WELCOME -- Patoka Lake will host a number of activities Saturday, May 4, designed to welcome visitors back to the recreation area.
There will be a flower and seed exchange from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Visitors can take those seeds and flowers taking over their garden to trade for some new varieties.
Then at 1 p.m. enjoy a Walking Stick Workshop. Participants will get to design and decorate their very own walking stick. At 2 p.m. participants will hit the trail for a short guided hike along the Garden Rock Loop through oak and hickory forests, rock outcroppings, and over small creek beds. The cost for this program is $5 per walking stick. All supplies will be provided.
On Sunday, people can bring their kayak (or canoe) and join the naturalist for a tour on the lake at 10:30 a.m. at Painter Creek Boat Ramp.
Participants can enjoy a morning on the waters of Patoka as they look for beaver, bald eagle, osprey, and other wildlife along the way. Hear stories of the people who once called this area home. See old photographs and heirlooms from years gone by.
Paddlers should bring binoculars and preferred refreshments for this journey. Non-motorized boat launch permits are required and will be sold at the event for $5, but may also be purchased at the Patoka Property Office from 8 a.m .to 4 p.m. daily.
For more information regarding this program or other interpretive events, please call the Visitor Center at 812.685.2447.