Lipless crankbaits have long been a staple in the arsenal of bass anglers, and for a good reason. These versatile lures can be incredibly effective at various times of the year and in a range of fishing conditions. In this article, we’ll delve into the art of fishing lipless crankbaits, guided by the expertise of veteran bass pro Scott Suggs. Suggs not only highlights why these lures are so potent but also provides valuable insights into when and how to use them effectively.
The Allure of Lipless Crankbaits
One of the key reasons why lipless crankbaits are highly regarded by anglers is their exceptional ability to cover a significant amount of water. This makes them a valuable tool for locating and triggering big bass, especially when other crankbaits may fall short.
The Right Tackle for the Job
Before we dive into the nuances of using lipless crankbaits, let’s take a moment to discuss the tackle that Scott Suggs recommends for this type of fishing. Here’s a breakdown of the essential gear:
- Lipless Crankbait: Scott Suggs suggests using the Strike King Red Eyed Shad in 1/2 ounce size, with preferred colors being Chartreuse Sexy Shad and Tennessee Shad 2.0. These lures are available at Tackle Warehouse.
- Rod: Suggs opts for the Lew’s Team Casting Rod, a 7′ medium-heavy rod, which can handle the demands of lipless crankbait fishing. This rod is also available at Tackle Warehouse.
- Reel: The Team Lew’s Custom Pro Casting Reel with a gear ratio of 7.5:1 is Scott Suggs’ choice for this technique. It provides the necessary speed to work the lure effectively and can also be found at Tackle Warehouse.
- Line: Suggs recommends the Strike King Contra Fluorocarbon line, specifically in 15-pound test, to ensure the right combination of strength and sensitivity.
Mastering Lipless Crankbait Techniques Throughout the Seasons
Scott Suggs emphasizes that lipless crankbaits can excel throughout the year, making them a versatile choice for anglers. He breaks down their effectiveness season by season:
- Post-Spawn: During the post-spawn period, Suggs leans towards using red-colored baits. These can mimic the wounded prey that bass are often looking for after the spawn.
- Summer: As summer arrives, shad and bluegill-colored lipless crankbaits become more enticing to bass. The natural forage shifts, and these colors can trigger more strikes.
- Fall: Fall brings about another shift in baitfish behavior. Scott Suggs recommends keeping an eye on the size of the baitfish in your area and matching your crankbait accordingly.
- Winter: Surprisingly, lipless crankbaits can also be effective in the winter months. Slow down your retrieve and target deeper water for those cold-water bass.
- Early Spring: When spring rolls around, bass start to feed aggressively. Lipless crankbaits can mimic the baitfish that bass are targeting during this time.
Adapting to Different Habitats
Another aspect that makes lipless crankbaits so effective is their adaptability to various habitats. Whether you’re fishing around grass, rocky areas, or open water, these lures can excel. Suggs recommends adjusting your approach based on the specific habitat you’re targeting.
The Ultimate Search Bait
For anglers exploring new waters, Suggs emphasizes that a lipless crankbait is the ultimate search bait. It allows you to quickly gauge the depth and assess the type of cover you’re encountering by paying attention to the sink rate and how the bait interacts with cover.
Selecting the Right Rods and Reels
Scott Suggs offers some valuable insights into selecting the right rods and reels for lipless crankbait fishing. He stresses the importance of gear ratios, explaining how a 7.5:1 gear ratio reel provides the necessary speed to effectively work the bait. Matching the right rod and reel combination to your lipless crankbait technique can make a significant difference in your success on the water.
When it comes to line selection, Suggs discusses the advantages of braided lines in certain situations but also underscores the significance of knowing when to switch back to fluorocarbon. Line choice can greatly affect your ability to detect strikes and control the bait, so it’s essential to make an informed decision based on the conditions you’re facing.
Mastering lipless crankbait fishing techniques with the guidance of Scott Suggs can be a game-changer for anglers. These versatile lures can be effective throughout the year, adapt to different habitats, and serve as valuable search baits. When combined with the right tackle and techniques, lipless crankbaits have the potential to unlock new levels of success in your bass fishing adventures.