Here is my pattern I call Bleeding Pearl Green Shad.
Here is my pattern I call Bleeding Pearl Green Shad.
Here’s a new pattern I did this week. This one is Gold Red Crappie this one was painted for the upcoming Rat-L-Trap tournament on Lake Guntersville.
I met a customer at Gander Mountain recently and he was telling me about his grandson catching huge catfish on wheeler Lake in North Alabama. He sent me these photos but I did not get his grandsons name. As you can tell from these photos he does catch some huge catfish and all of these were caught off his pier.
With the pre-spawn to the spawning season fast approaching in the next few weeks one of the best lures for the bass are the lipless crankbaits. There are a number of lure manufacturers that produce these lures, to name a few are Bill Lewis’s Rat-L-Trap, Cordell’s Hot Spot, Strike King’s Red Eye Shad, Rapala’s Rippin’ Rap just to name a few. These lures comes with and without rattles and in a variety of colors and sizes. There have been untold tournaments and a ton of money with anglers using these lures.
Let’s start off with the tackle we use for these lures, of course there will be a lot of argument about the types of rods, reels and lines to use with the lures. I’ll explain to you what I use while fishing these lures, there are two different rods I like to use with the lipless baits. the first one is a 7′ medium action rod with a Shimano Curado 200E6 6.3:1 reel and 14 to 20 pound test monofilament line. I’ve used braid and fluorocarbon lines but keep going back to the mono as I find it fits my fishing style better. The second combo is a 7‘ medium action spinning rod with a Shimano Symetre 2500FG spinning reel spooled with 8 to 10 pound monofilament line. This setup is for schooling bass in the fall with a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce lipless crankbait.
How to fish the lipless crankbaits.
There are three ways I like to fish the lipless lures. The first one is when I’m fishing in the pre-spawn when the bass are shallow and in the grass-beds. This method is called the Pull and Drop, this method you cast out the lure let it sink to the bottom. Once the lure settles to the bottom, jerk the rod upwards about 2 to 3 feet and then let the lure settle back to the bottom on a semi slack line. The hits will almost always come as the lures is falling. This is the same way I fish a spoon and you must maintain contact with the lure at all times. If you let the lure fall on a loose slack line you will usually not feel the bass hit the falling lure. If you let it fall on a tight line you will kill the action of the lure as it falls. Sometimes you will see the line jump or you will feel a sharp thump, with either set the hook hard with a quick upward jerk of the rod.
The second method is the Rip It, in this method I like to make a long cast and retrieve slowly and let the lure settle to the top of the grass-beds, (hydrilla, milfoil, coontail) and when it hits the top of the grass, rip the lure out with a fast jerk of the rod to tear it out of the grass, The bass will hit the lure as a reaction strike in most cases. This method will take some practice to know when you hit the top of the grass and not let is settle all the way to the bottom. With the grass being thick in some places then you will stay snagged in the grass most of the time.
And finally the last method is the Straight Retrieve, this is the easiest one to master as you simply cast the lure, let it settle to the desired depth and reel the lure back in. I use this method when fishing for schooling bass in the late summer and fall. The bass will be chasing schools of baitfish now so a fast moving lure works on the bass. The key now is getting the retrieve speed right to fit the mood of the bass. Sometimes is is as fast as you can reel the lure in and others it may be to let the lure drop through the bait fish and let the bass hit is under the bait fish. Sometimes you will find the larger bass under the schools waiting for the wounded bait to sink down.
Colors and sizes to use.
There are a rainbow of colors to use for these lures. In the upcoming pre-spawn season the red colors are usually a top choice. In muddy to stained water the reds stand out better than say a chrome colored lure. If the water is clear then you can use natural shad colors, firetiger, or crawdad colors. Pick a few and decide on what works best for you and what the fish want. As I’ve said before most colors are produced to catch the fishermen instead of the fish. The new sexy shad colors are great and if I’m fishing overcast misty days then I like a gold with a black back is my choice.
So get to your local tackle shop and pick up a few lipless lures and learn to use these tools to put a few more bass in your live well this year.
I had a chance to take a look at Rapala’s new Rippin’ Rap lipless crankbait that we got in at Gander Mountain recently. The lure has awesome detail with realistic looking 3D eyes with 3D cut in scale and gill designs. The lure comes rigged with VMC® black nickel hooks which are some of the best hooks on the market. The lure comes in three sizes the 05 (2″), 06 (2.5″) and 07 (2.75″) to cover the match the hatch year round. The lures comes in 12 color patterns! This lure will be great this early spring with the pull and drop retrieve when fished around and through the grass beds. Check them out at your local retail store.