Lipless Crankbaits for Giant Bass! How To’s, Tips, Tackle, and Techniques | Bass Fishing


Glenn: There we go. Oh, and he’s a puller. Oh, he wants to fight. Come here you. All right, let’s see if I can get him out
without getting a hook to my face. I didn’t bring the net. That’s my problem. Keri: You got him good. He ain’t going nowhere. Glenn: That’s a good fish. Keri: Look at that. One knocker. Glenn: Hey folks, Glenn May here at BassResource.com. And today I wanna talk to you about vibrating
baits. These are things like rattle traps, the Booyah
One Knocker, the Savage Gear Soft Vibe, all sorts of baits like that. What I’m talking about are…look at all these,
you know. These are some of my baits. These are the hard baits, the rattling kind. I have…this is a Savage Gear Soft Vibe. If you guys haven’t seen this before, this
is actually a soft, plastic bait. See that? See how it twists? Yeah. There’s no rattles in it. Obviously, it’s a solid soft body. But it’s another one of these lipless…some
are called them lipless crankbaits, vibrating crank baits, however you wanna call them. But that’s what we’re talking about today,
these kind of baits. I’ve got one tied on to my rod right now. I’ve been fishing with it for a while. These are great. These are great year round, actually. They work really well when you cast them in
the wind. They fire like a bullet. They don’t have a whole lot of resistance,
to them. So when it’s windy outside, you can cast this
and use it when you can’t use the other crankbaits. You can fish it at different depths, which
is great. A lot of crankbaits you can only go down so
deep. These you can go as deep as deep as you want
them to. Just let it keep on sinking until it gets
the depth you want. You can fish it at different speeds. It’s great for covering a lot of water, a
lot of different depths to find fish. The key is, of course, when you’re fishing
them, you have to pay attention to how deep you are and what your speed is when you catch
a fish, so you know exactly where they are. But they’re great fish finders. So I’m gonna talk to you a little bit today,
first of all, the equipment, how to rig them, how to modify them and that sort of thing. And then, we’re gonna go out and show you
a few retrieves. They catch a lot of fish for you. So let’s start off with the equipment, with
the rod. The rod here I have, specifically, it’s a
seven-foot crank bait rod. It’s a medium power fast-action tip. So you can see it’s got a lot of bend, a lot
of flex to it, right? That is key. The reason you want that parabolic action
is to have a lot to give when the fish bites. These hooks aren’t huge. So there’s not a lot of bite in those hooks. So the fish can leverage against it and actually
pull rip the hooks free. But if that rod’s got a lot of bend, a lot
of give to it, then every time that fish makes a run for it, that rod gives and allows the
hooks to stay in the fish’s mouth. So that’s really key. Plus, with a parabolic bend like that, you
know, moderate action, it allows that rod to load up on the cast and you can fire that
bait way out there, which is great when you’re covering flats. You need to cover a lot of water, its large
expanses of flats and weeds. That’s what you want is to be able to get
away out there. Paired with it, I have…this is a Helios
rod, I have a Helios reel from Okuma. I love this. The Helios Air has a 7:3:1 gear ratio, I believe. And you want a moderately fast reel. Because you do fish these really slow, you
wanna have that flexibility. But when you’re fishing really fast, you need
a reel that can really crank it in really quickly when you wanna burn that bait back. So a reel that’s got over a 7:1 gear ratio
is what I like for crankbait fishing. Doesn’t need to be a 9:1 or super high speed,
but over 7:1 is what I like to have for fishing these baits. And paired with that, I’m using fluorocarbon
line. This is a Seaguar’s Tatsu fluorocarbon line
12-pound test. There’s a lot of reasons why I use fluorocarbon
for this. Fluorocarbon, first of all, has a sensitivity
I need to feel the bite because sometimes the bites aren’t that strong. They’re just nipping, they come from behind
and keep swimming with you and you just feel a little bit different cadence in the vibration
of the bait. So you need to feel that transmitting through
the rod, through the line. This rod has micro guides on it which are
more sensitive than standard guides. But this line, 12-pound test, is about what
I like to have because it allows this bait to get down to the depths pretty quickly. Fluorocarbon is dense so it does sink a little
bit, lets the bait get down there. Monofilament has a big bend in it. It’s more buoyant, has a big curve like this
when you’re pulling the bait back. There’s a lot of extra line in there. You don’t have as direct connection to the
bait as you do with fluorocarbon. I don’t use braid for two reasons. Braid is buoyant. For the exact reason, it has that bend in
it and won’t let that bait get down as deep as I want to. But also braid, it’s not that great in rocks. It will get frayed. It will get cut up. And you can end up breaking off and losing
a bait. Fluorocarbon is more durable in rocks. And it’s also very versatile in weeds and
wood, and everything. So it’s a real good all-around kind of line
to use for fishing crankbaits. If I’m gonna throw a heavy cover, I might
heavy up a little bit and go to 15 or 17-pound line. But typically, 12 pound is exactly what I
want. That works really well for this. Aha. Keri: You’re right. He does not…oh. He’s got a little fight left in him, though. All right, you lift this up a little bit. Can you do an easier release and shake yourself
off of there for me? Oh, no. I got him. Glenn: You got him hooked weird. Keri: He did that to himself. He’s hooked really weird. You weren’t going anywhere. Somehow you impaled yourself. You slapped at it and it got you. Glenn: Yeah. Those sharp hooks. Keri: They’re gone. Smallmouth don’t mess around. Glenn: Now, let’s talk a little bit about
the bait, the interesting thing about these baits. First of all, you know, a lot of people, if
you read articles about fishing, especially Rat-L-Traps, if they’re older ones, they’ll
say right away, “Throw the hooks away and put on new ones.” Because that was the case back in the day
when Bill Lewis came out with all those Rat-L-Traps the hooks were notoriously bad. You wouldn’t even wanna use them. They’ve since corrected that problem. And most baits today…this is the Booyah
One Knocker. I just showed you the Savage Gear Soft Vibe. The hooks that come with them are very strong
and extremely sharp right out of the box. I do touch them up sometimes. I check every hook point, make sure they’re
all sharp. And sometimes I touch them up right out of
the box. But for the most part, the hooks are really
good. I don’t need to change them out. What I do change out sometimes is the split
ring. In this case, you can see that I have a snap
attached to it. Not a swivel snap or snap swivel. It is just a snap. And there’s a reason for that. Now, if the bait comes with a split ring that’s
round like that, what always happens is the knot inevitably finds that spot between the
wires and then those wires rub against the knot, and end up breaking it right there at
the knot. So it’s round split rings. I take those off and I replace them with a
snap. The other cool thing about a snap is it’s
really easy to change baits. You don’t retie. You can just unhook and put another bait on. You’re back to fishing really quick. But there are some baits that come with an
oval snap, and that…I’m sorry, with an oval split ring, and those wires they connect on
the side. Well, the knot’s never gonna reach that
because it’s gonna sit in the curve part of that oval split ring. So those work fine. I don’t pull those out. I don’t swap those out. I can just tie directly to them. But if it’s a round split ring, definitely
replace them. All right, let’s talk sizes and colors here
for a little bit. There’s all kinds of sizes and colors these
baits come in. They’ve got different weights. They’ve floating, sinking, suspending, the
whole nine yards. But if you’re just starting now, look, stick
by the tried and true, a half-ounce bait. Start with that. That is standard size and chrome colors, specifically,
chrome with blue back just like that one. And you get a chrome with black back. And that will work for most of your scenarios. Mostly sunny days works really well. When it’s sunny, put on Chrome. A little bit of wind on the water, a bit of
chop, like chrome. This is what I got tied on. It’s a little standby, works really, really
well in super clear water. Then I go a little bit more natural colors
that aren’t so flashy. So, for example, here I’ve got, you know,
the Soft Vibe. Comes in like a shad color here. Here’s more of a perch pattern, a little more
natural colors. They don’t get so much of a flash, but they
look more realistic. So I’ll use those in really clear water. And then, in cloudy conditions, I’ll use something
more of a gold. Maybe a gold pattern or a gold chrome with
a black back, something like that, that works really well in those conditions. But just stick to those colors and you’ll
have most of your stuff covered. The only one I would maybe add to it would
be like a red color for the spring. In the early spring to mid spring, a red color
works really well. Other than that, you don’t need to go crazy
with all the colors. I showed you a bunch of baits earlier on and
that was a…that’s a product of me going crazy when I shouldn’t have. Don’t be like me. Just stick to the basics. You’ll be fine. So that’s the setup. Those are the baits. Now, let’s get out to casting those and showing
you how they work. Keri: I actually caught a fish and it’s a
largemouth, on the One Knocker. And look at that. He’s got a face full of it, too. Come here, you. Come here, you. I do not want to get hooked. Stop it. I do not want to get hooked. Stop it. Got you. Right there. One knocker. What are you doing over here? All right. Let’s let this beast go. A largemouth, I don’t know what you’re doing
over here, but go play. Glenn: All right. So let’s talk a little bit about retrieves,
some of the different ones you can use. It’s pretty versatile bait, so let me go through
several of these. The first one is just a straight retrieve. Now, you would think that’s simple enough. But, you know, it’s funny how…I think the
most common mistake people make with these baits is they reel them in too fast. Just a nice easy retrieve, see this? I’m not reeling really fast. It’s a light, small bait. It’s easy to overwork it because it does come
through the water very effectively. So, a nice slow at a moderate retrieve is
the most effective. You tend to get bigger bites when you fish
it slower. So, remember that when you start using it. The thing is, what happens is, after 5, 10
minutes, 15 minutes, your retrieve will start to speed up. I do that. I’m totally guilty of doing that. So got to check yourself every once in a while. When you’re out there fishing it, “I’m I reeling
it too fast? I’m I reeling it too fast?” Keep asking yourself that. Make sure you’re reeling it nice and slow,
and easy because you’ll catch bigger fish doing it that way. So that’s the first thing to do. The next retrieve is…it’s funny. It’s actually the opposite of that. But this is really effective when you have
submerged weeds such as milfoil, submerged hydrilla. You wanna burn it back. Burn it back right over the tops of that. Now, if the fish are buried up in there, they
can’t see the bait coming through the water. They can just hear it and they can feel that
vibration. You wanna get that reaction strike. And you wanted that to go by them really quick
they don’t have much chance to think about it. They just strike it. So that you wanna bring it back quickly. Keep your rod tip up so it doesn’t deep bury
down in the weeds. And just bring it back pretty quick, right
over the top. So this is really good when the weeds are,
like, maybe two feet, three feet under the water. Perfect way of bringing it right over the
top and you get a lot of strikes that way. The key thing when you’re fishing weeds
is that sometimes you’ll get it stuck. You know, you’ll get it stuck into the weed. I’ll tick the tops of those weeds you know,
and you’ll catch some weeds on the bait. It’s really easy to free that, especially
if it’s hydrilla. Hydrilla will come right off. If you just reel it, you get that weed on
there. You just give it a pop. That’s all you gotta do. Pop, pop, you know, pop those weeds right
off. Milfoil tends to stick like Velcro sometimes,
so it may not be as easy to do it that way. But that’s how you get the weeds off your
lure. And, you know, it’s funny, is when you do
that, that often elicits a reaction strike. So keep that in mind when you’re fishing in
weeds. Another way to use this lure, and this is
what makes us so versatile, is the yo-yo retrieve. This works really well when the bite is off,
when they’re really with lethargic and they don’t wanna chase the bait down. Let it fall. Let it sink. And then all that you’re gonna do is just
gonna reel up and then let it fall again. All’s I’m, here, I’m just reeling up the
slack. I’m letting it fall on the slack line. And just point the right tip down and bring
it back up. And you wanna bring that rod back down ready
for the hooks, the strike, the hook set. But let it fall again on semi-slack line and
then just bring it back up again. This looks like a dying bait fish. And if the bite really isn’t on, the bass
will key on that. They’re pre-programmed by nature to attack
injured bait fish, and that’s exactly what you’re mimicking here. I just had a little bite right there as a
matter of fact. That’s a little fish I could see him in this
is clear water. But that’s a great way of catching fish when
they’re not really actively pursuing baits. Another retrieve is stop-and-go retrieve. And I don’t know why I keep hooking my line
on here. But for whatever reason, I am doing that. But the stop-and-go retrieve is one of my
favorites because it’s an erratic retrieve. It does make it look like the fish is injured
or disorientated. All you do is you cast it out there and as
you retrieving it in that nice, slow to medium speed, like I mentioned again, just pause,
stop, and then bring it up again. And start retrieving it, pause, and then give
it a few more cranks, pause. And then, crank some more for a while and
then pause for longer. As you can see, I’m doing it erratically. There’s no cadence to this. You want it to look erratic. You want it to look disorientated and a disoriented
fish doesn’t pause, stop, pause, stop, pause, stop. It has to be erratic. So keep that in mind. A lot of the bites happen when you pause the
bait. Sometimes when you’re bringing that bait in
for a while, just give it a pause anyway. Sometimes the fish are just following it. And suddenly, it stops and it’s right in their
face. And they have no time at all to react to it,
and they usually do, you know, get a bite that way, right at that pause. One other trick I wanna show you here is when
you throw it out, because these baits are so versatile, they can fish a lot deeper than
most crankbaits. So this is where it can be really fun to fish. As you cast it out there and let that thing
sink. You let it sink, sink, sink, sink, sink. And then when it hits the bottom, all you’re
doing is you just jig it up the bottom. Lift it up. It looks like the yo-yo retrieve. Except now, we’re actually doing it off the
bottom. Let it hit the bottom. Let it sit there and then pop it off the bottom
again. Give it a harder jerk. It’s almost like a jigging spoon. Let it sit there on the bottom, sit in the
bottom, and then pop it off that bottom. Reel up that slack and let it flutter back
down. A lot of times the bite happens as that bait
is falling back down the bottom. So be ready to set the hook. This is a thing you can’t do with the other
crankbaits. This is what makes vibrating crankbaits so
much fun to fish. They’re so versatile. You can do this especially in the winter time
when the crankbaits don’t work. Throw this in 40 feet of water. Yeah, I do. It’s 40 feet. And you can catch fish that deep by jigging
it off the bottom that way. So those are some of the different tricks. I hope those tips help. For more tips and tricks, visit BassResource.com.

Danny Hutson

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