Don’t Overlook Lipless Crankbait This Winter

When it comes to crankbaits, there are a lot of options for you to choose from such as suspending jerk bait crankbait, finesse crankbaits, umbrella rigs, and lipless crankbait. All of them are for different types of water, used for different fishing techniques but will be effective if you know where to use them and how to use them properly.  

My favorite crankbaits among them all are lipless crankbaits as they are easy to use, effective and versatile. In this article, I will introduce to you about this type of lure, its effectiveness and how you can use them for your next coldwater fishing trip.

Why should I recommend the use of lipless crankbaits?

I used to have a lipless crankbait in my tickle box, but I just left it there and had never used it. I remember it was one cold winter day when I tried various lures such as jerk bait and spinner bait but none of this lure worked. Then I came to my last option of using the lipless crankbait and surprisingly, it gave me a bite that time.

Why should I recommend the use of lipless crankbaits

Image source:

After so many other winter fishing trips, I came to a conclusion that you should never ignore a lipless crankbait in your tackle box. It is among the best lures you can use for coldwater bass fishing, especially when the areas where you go fishing are full of vegetation covers.

To make the best use of a lipless crankbait, here are some tips that you should remember:

Features That You Need To Consider In A Lipless Crankbait

First of all, you should choose a red lipless crankbait. There are many reasons why you should choose a red lipless crankbait.

Red lipless crankbait

Image source:

  • First of all, it is well proven by many scientists that the red color can attract bass fish better and they are more aggressive towards this color as well as its shades.
  • Also, you might want to use a lure which is well seen by fish in the deep water. In fact, fish can see this color much easily than other colors such as chrome, golden and silver.

Image source: Bassdozer

You can stock up red lipless crankbait and some other lures with different shades of red to be used in different bodies of water with different clearness.

The size of a lipless crankbait is very critical as well. The size of it will depend on how deep the area you are fishing in is. If it is shallow, you should choose a smaller lipless crankbait.

If the water is deeper, you can go for a bigger lipless crankbait, maybe in the size of Xr75. There are also some reasons why you should do so.

  • Smaller fish stay near the surface, and bigger fish stay near the bottom of a body of water. To make as natural as possible, you should also consider using the right prey in the right habitat.
  • You should use bigger bait for deeper areas as they tend to be heavier. Thus, they will sink better onto the bottom where most of the fish. For examples bass fish, live in the cold winter months.

Master The Techniques Of Jerking It On The Bottom

A lipless crankbait with no lip can make it easier for you to reach the bottom. In addition, most of the fish lie there during the winter.

Master The Techniques Of Jerking It On The Bottom

Image source:

However, you should make sure that you can maintain a contact of the lipless crankbait with the bottom. I find challenging if you don’t have any experience of using it before.

I find challenging if you don’t have any experience of using it before.

It will depend on how quick you control and retrieve the lure as well. If you retrieve your lure too slowly, it will get stuck on the bottom. If you do it too quickly, you might miss some of the bites.

Keep in mind that in the winter, fish will move slowly. And they are not as active as they should be in the summer. So if you move your lipless crankbait so fast, the fish you target might find the lure less attractive or it cannot simply catch up with.

So if you move your lipless crankbait so fast, the fish you target might find the lure less attractive or it cannot simply catch up with.

Remember that being slow with constant speed is the key.

Select The Compatible Rod, Fishing Reel, And Fishing Line

The right combination of fishing rod, reel, and line along with the lipless crankbait will determine the success of your fishing trip significantly.

A suitable fishing rod needs to help you have enough tips for the best hook penetration. Also, it also needs to have a great stiffness when you take it back and the lures reach the bottom or vegetation covers. The length of the fishing rod, in this case, is very important. I prefer using a 6 foot 19-inch rod. It goes well with the lipless crankbait as well as other light weighted baits. It also offers the needed balance so I can control the rod without any difficulty.


Image source: Mud Hole Blog

These are just tools but they are tools that lead to more productivity, and amid the coldest part of winter. Thus, you don’t want your reel working too fast. Just like the need of retrieving your lipless crankbait slowly, you also need to have a reel which can work slowly. You can choose one with lower gear ratio. For example the one with a gear ratio of about 5:1 to 6:1.

Finally, you can choose a monofilament fishing line or a braided one depending on the fish you are targeting. For general bass fishing, I use monofilament fishing line. The reason is that it is super stretchable while still powerful enough to reel the fish back to me.  In case I want to catch big, heavy fish with sharp teeth, I always go for the braided line as it is sturdier and cannot be snapped easily.


Many people might argue that lipless crankbaits are not as good as other types of crankbaits including jigs and umbrella rigs. Well, they might not use this lure correctly, or they only use it in the summer. I have to admit that when the weather is warmer, this type of crankbait is not your optimal choice. However, when the winter is still here, it is worth a try – you will see how well it works in attracting fish and enhancing your fishing experience.