Along with trail cam pictures and Halloween costumes come squarebill crankbaits, Whopper Ploppers, and buzzbaits this time of year. But don’t sleep on the category of lures Bill Lewis made famous more than 50 years ago, because lipless crankbaits flat-out catch ‘em this time of year – and they likely always will.
Here are three tips from Terry “Big Show” Scroggins to soup-up your lipless crankbait game between now and Christmas when you’re not in a treestand.
Don’t just throw the standard size
The ½ ounce size is by far the most popular and top-seller of all time, but Scroggins says the smaller 1/4-ounce size will get you bites when the larger size won’t.
“By this time of year, bass have seen a ton of lures, and the baitfish are a bit smaller too. So, a lot of times that ¼-ounce size will outfish the bigger baits,” says the winner of more than $2 Million in tournament prize money.
Braided line around aquatic vegetation
“You can get away with 12-pound fluorocarbon or monofilament on your lipless baits if you’re just throwing around rocky shorelines or pockets, but if you’re raking them over submerged grass, braided line is going to make your life a whole lot easier,” explains Scroggins.
The Florida pro reaches for 30-pound Hi-Seas braid to rip his rattling baits free from the vegetation, and that’s often when the bite occurs.
Keep your color selection simple in the fall
While there have been nearly as many red lipless baits sold during February and March the past 25 years as what Dollar General sells Reese’s cups the last week of October, in autumn, Scroggins basically leans on shades of shad or chartreuse.
“If the water is pretty dingy, I love to throw the lemon-lime color, but most days I’m going to tie on Sexy Shad or Foxy Mama,” says Scroggins. “Of course, blue and chrome is the greatest seller of all-time, and there’s good reason for that, but I like to mix it up a little bit, and show ‘em something they haven’t seen a ton of,” he grins.
Heed Scroggins’ advice in the weeks ahead and you’re sure to improve your lipless success in a manner that would make ‘ol Bill Lewis grin like “Big Show” looking at a homemade pumpkin pie after hammering home one of his famous marinated rib eyes.