GMAN’s 4 Lipless Crankbait Bass Tips for Winter and Prespawn

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Gerald Swindle is a diehard crankbait angler throughout the winter and spring prespawn months, especially on grass lakes like sprawling Lake Guntersville. GMAN shares 4 timely tips for catching more bass on lipless crankbaits when they’re relating to shallow grass during cold water periods. Full tackle listing at the bottom.

  1.  Slow down and fish more methodically. It’s reasonable to think you need to drop the trolling motor and start burning water when fishing expansive grass flats. Swindle explains why this will cost you bass, instead advocating finding prime pockets and picking them clean with a slow and methodical approach.
  2.  Search for grassy pockets with reduced current and cleaner water. Winter and early prespawn bass follow baitfish into protected pockets with a mixture of grass and hard bottom. Swindle explains how to find these areas using mapping, sonar, and the naked eye. No fish finder, no problem! Find the coots, and you’ll find green grass.
  3. Lighten up your cranking rod and reel setup. Most think you need a stouter cranking setup to rip lipless crankbaits free from grass. While this is a legit warm water play, it’s often a no-no when targeting lethargic bass, both in spooking the fish and tearing small treble hooks free after the bite.
  4. Resist the desire to swap stock hooks for bigger, heavier ones. Quality hard baits are engineered to have the best action with stock hooks. Despite being smaller and lighter gauge, they allow the bait maximum action and penetrate easily, a real plus in cold water. 

Check out this video for details on how Ott DeFoe used a lipless crankbait to reel in his 2019 Bassmaster Classic win on the Tenessee River. Also, if you like this Sasquatch-chasin’ cat, but sure to check out his YouTube channel


Storm Arashi Vibe, color: Wakasagi
ARK Invoker Pro Series Casting Rod, 7′ MH Composite
Lew’s Tournament Pro LFS Casting Reel, 5.6:1
Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon, 12lb
Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI+ G3
Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging
Humminbird LakeMaster Southeast States V5
Minn Kota Talon Shallow Water Anchor
Rapala Snapback Trucker Cap