Warmups during the fall can spur bass feeding activity, and a lipless crankbait is an excellent way to target these feeding fish around grass and other shoreline cover. Wired2fish’s Ryan DeChaine explains when, why, and how to catch fall bass on grass flats and shorelines using a lipless crankbait. While the lure is simple by design, it’s incredibly versatile in terms of how you can work it and even modifications to improve performance. *Additional gear links at the bottom.
FEATURED TACKLE (retail links)
- LIPLESS CRANKBAIT – Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe, color – Citrus Shad (2.6”)
- TREBLE UPGRADE – VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble Short 1X Hook, size 3
- ROD – ARK Reinforcer Series Casting Rod, 7’2″ Med Hvy
- REEL – Daiwa Tatula Elite Pitch/Flip Casting Reel, 7.1:1
- LINE – Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon, 17-pound
- PLIERS – Rapala Mag Spring Pliers, 6-inch
DeChaine discusses when and where to grab a lipless crankbait over other moving baits, such as a billed crankbait. Fall warm fronts tend to draw bass up and out of remaining green grass clumps where they binge bluegill and other available forage. A lipless is the indisputable winner around grass, as it can be ripped and fished through cover with minimal fouling. And it also excels at variable depths thanks to its sinking characteristics. DeChaine discusses how he works lipless crankbaits by ripping, yo-yo-ing deeper, and a straight retrieve.
Upgrading treble hooks improved DeChaine’s success on this day. He often swaps out the stock belly treble hook for a bladed treble — the added flash is an excellent trigger and seems to focus strikes on the central part of the bait, which improves hook-up ratios. The rod setup is simple — a conventional worm or jig rod equipped with a high-speed reel spooled with 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon gets it done.
BOAT & ELECTRONICS
- FISH FINDER (bow stack) – Humminbird APEX 13 MEGA SI+ Chartplotter
- 360 SONAR – Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging
- LIVE SONAR – Humminbird MEGA Live
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex 112lb-36V Trolling Motor
- BOW ELECTRONICS MOUNT – Precision Sonar Over and Under Bow Mount for Deck
- BASS BOAT – Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass
- MOTOR – Mercury Pro XS 250hp
- SHIRT – Grundéns Grundies Thermal 1/4 Zip Top
- JACKET – Grundéns Windward GORE-TEX INFINIUM Insulated Jacket
- SHOES – Grundéns Freeboard Leather Chukka
- BIBS (Kyle) – Grundéns Downrigger GORE-TEX Bib
- GLASSES – Costa Del Mar Half Moon Sunglasses