The lipless crankbait is a lure almost every angler has fished at some point and coincidentally, it’s one of the best lures imaginable for fall bass fishing. It’s easy to fish, versatile at different depths and it’s something that can be used to cover a lot of water.
The average lipless crankbait weighs 1/2 ounce, I’d say; that’s the one used by most anglers the majority of the year. But these baits actually come in a wide range of sizes. There are times, like the prespawn, where 3/4-ounce lipless crankbaits shine the brightest.
Then there’s the fall, where a 1/2-ounce lipless crankbait is great but a 1/4-ounce can be the real winner of the day. There have been days in the fall where my dad would be fishing a 1/4-ounce lipless and I’d be fishing a 1/2-ounce, or vice versa, and the 1/4-ounce bait outpaced the 1/2-ounce bait five bites to one.
It’s really quite impressive. I think a large part of it is the size, again emphasizing the importance of thinking small in the fall. But in addition, a 1/4-ounce lipless can be fished shallower and slower, which I think also has a lot to do with its productivity compared to the heavier bait.
Thinking small in the fall will put more fish in the boat for you… period. It’s not always a necessity, but nearly always to your benefit in the fall to downsize.
But don’t take my word for it, however. Conduct your own research experiments. One of the best ways to see this for yourself is to set out with a fishing buddy and one of you go with the bigger baits and one with the smaller. Even put the angler with the smaller baits behind the one with the larger ones to give that person the advantage. You’ll find more times than not, as I have, that the smaller baits reign supreme.