How to Fish a Lipless Crankbait for Spring

Here's how to fish lipless crankbaits during Spring. Find the fish and catch 'em up!

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Here we go. Here we go. I finally ran into some fish here, guys. I like it. Here we go. That's a perfect little chance to start the video on a little spotted bass. All right, guys. You are gonna calm down. Look at that. 
  
Today, we are filming lipless crankbaits to locate these traveling pre-spawn fish. Here's what goes down, guys. Water starts warming up, right? These fish that have been in the wintertime, they've been deep, ya know, trying to stay as warm as possible. As that weather gets hotter, these fish are going to start moving up into the creek channels and eventually they are going to spawn. They are going to lay their eggs in nests and spawn back in these areas. But as that weather warms up, they are going to slowly start going back in their secondary points and moving in the back it cuts. But they're not going to stay there. They are going to move back at night because it's still cool. They'll move back a little bit and then in the daytime as that sun comes up, they'll move back in there.

 

So with the Vicious Extreme Vibe, I can actually cover water and figure out where those fish are at that certain time of the day. Because remember, the hot weather is going to keep them on the move, so you've gotta have a bait that you can move quickly and locate those fish. 
 
So let's break down this technique starting with rigging. The set up of this rig is really simple. All you do is pull it out of the package and tie it up with whatever your favorite knot is. I use a palomar. It works for me. The rod I like is a nice parabolic bend. Okay. This is a moderate to fast taper right there. So you've got that nice bend in the rod. The reason being is that allows the fish to be able to pull. It doesn't pull these hooks out because we've got little, small treble hooks so when that fish is fighting, you don't want it to get the leverage. If you've got a real stiff rod, when that fish makes it's run, it will tear these little hooks right out of the mouth. You want that nice, little give. Anytime you're using a crankbait you want a parabolic bend, that nice give in that rod.
 
All right, so as we're working this bank, there's a few things you want to keep in mind. First is these fish, they're coming up from their wintertime spots. So these fish have been lethargic. They're moving slow. So I want to use slower retrieves. The first retrieve I like, that really is kind of a go to this time of the year, is the real basic retrieve. All I do is make a long cast, put my rod tip down, and just have a slow retrieve. And I'm keeping this bait as close to the bottom as possible. If it's dragging along the bottom and bumping like it is right now, that's okay. Oh, I just got hit too. I want to snag little things along the bottom, any kind of grass or brush piles that snag up and it pops free, that's going to trigger strikes. And that's also gonna get better action. That little erratic action out of that bait, it's going to pop out of that stuff and really get these fish to commit to it. 
 
Now the second retrieve is a sweeping action and then I reel the slack in. Sweep that rod, reel in the slack. So I'm getting that little vibrating motion that lipless baits are known for, but then I'm letting that bait die. So it's fluttering back down. So that's giving that fish...remember we talked about, they are not that active. They need a chance to go after it, so when it's fluttering down, that's that fish's opportunity to hammer that bait. And you'll find, that's a lot of times when you get hit. So as I'm reeling that slack, all of a sudden you will just feel, "boom," and that's that fish just inhaling that bait.

 

And it's okay if you are hitting bottom and stuff. You want to keep that bait pretty close to bottom. So if this bait dies on the bottom, it's okay. And as I'm working this bank and working different high probability areas, I'm going to switch back and forth between these two different retrieves. Sometimes I'll make a couple little sweeps and sometimes I'll just let that bait slowly work down the bottom. And you'll find that these fish will respond to one or the other this time of the year, and once you're finding what they seem to like more that day, or in that certain area, keep giving it to them.
 
Okay, now I want to make a couple of points here. Now, because I'm reeling this bait slowly, it's hitting the bottom a lot. I'm letting it die. You're gonna come in contact with covered obstruction. These baits are gonna get caught up, so there's two things. First, I like real light wire hooks. That way, if I get caught up in a log or something like that, a lot of times, if I pull hard enough, I'll be able to straighten one of these hooks out so I'm not going to lose my bait, right?

 

So, on the other end of that, you've gotta make sure you use heavy enough line. I'll go anywhere from about a twelve to seventeen mono with fluorocarbon. If you guys are fishing from the shore, this is another good trick. I would go up to anywhere from fifteen to twenty pound line so if you snag a lot or snag something down there, all you've gotta do is just put a lot of pressure on there, just really pull it straight, and you'll be able to straighten out one of these hooks. Carry some hooks with you, but a lot of times you can just bend it back. But if not, carry a couple of spare treble hooks with you and you can switch out these hooks.
 
As we come out of the winter and the spring, these fish have one thing on their mind. It's the spawn. So they're gonna eventually start moving to the back of these creek channels, towards the back of them and they are going to be feeding out, and going to transition areas, which are little secondary points, little cuts. And as they keep moving back there, they are going to feed up. And once the water conditions heat up enough, and they find a spot that they feel comfortable in, that's where they are going to end up spawning. So, they don't do that all at one time. They don't just go from deep water to shallow water overnight. They slowly start moving up the main lake points during the heat of the day. Then they'll move back down at night. Then, as the water temps really start rising up, they'll move to secondary points back in there. But if it cools down, they'll back out to the main points again.

 

So they keep going in these cycles. As that sun comes up during the day, they'll move a little bit farther in there, and then as the night doesn't get as cold, they won't back out as far. So with the lipless crankbait, you really want to start...you really want to cover a lot of water and figure out where those fish are in that transition area. So you start on the main lake points, especially in the morning times. Right now I started in the low sixties today on the water temps, so I started in the main lake points, and as that sun came up, I was able to find fish on the sunny side.

 

Because if you go into a creek channel, a lot of times one is going to have a lot of shade on one side, and the other side is gonna have a lot of sun. You want to focus on that. These fish need warmer water this time of the year so focus on where the sun is.

 

As you make your way back into those creek channels, you want to switch back and forth between your two different retrieves and fish the high percentage areas. So like I said, along the main lake point. Then any cuts, creek channels, or little secondary points. A secondary point is just any point that's inside the creek channel, inside the main lake points, and work your way all the way to the back. Eventually, you are going to run into those fish. They are going to be, you know, maybe a third of the way back there on some secondary points or at some cuts. Once you figure that out, then you go to the next creek channel and do the same thing but you start where you found those fish in the previous cove. 
  
With these fish constantly moving this time of the year, you need to have a bait where you can track them down. It's all about moving, giving them some some different options on retrieves, and then bumping into them, finding what transition point they've made it to, and then exploiting that. If you want to slow down to some other kind of bait after that, a drop tread or something once you've found this fish, you can do whatever you want. But until then, using a lipless crank bait, like this Vicious Extreme Vibe, is the perfect way to track those little bad boys down and have some success.
 
Guys, if you've enjoyed the video, hit us some thumbs up, comment section below, and subscribe so you can get updates when we post new videos. I'm Travis with Lucky Tackle Box and we will see you on the next one.


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