The Fall into Winter Crankbait:
Seek and Find with the Lipless Crankbait
by Bruce Callis
Winter is on it’s way, we can’t stop that. As the water cools further, the largemouth bass make that transaction from fall feeding and start to make the move to their winter haunts. The throw anything and catch bass starts to die down and fishing starts to get tough again. But knowing where to find them and what to throw helps us make for a fun day on the water.
As the bass pull out and start their move, we need to start looking for those locations that are high percentage areas. Secondary points and main lake points will be prime locations. As the bass move out of the shallows, look to find a ditch or channel that leads out to deeper water, then you can follow it out. Good electronics and mapping are keys. Study the map to find areas that look prime and your electronics to define the areas.
While there are a lot of baits you can use to search for the bass, a crankbait is my prime choice. While there are plenty of options, one that I will always have tied on is the lipless crankbait. Why lipless you ask? It’s simple. I can fish the lipless at any depth and at any speed. I can bring it up a point or or work it down a drop. If there is still grass in the area, I can work it over the grass, just ticking the top. I can swim it along the edge of the grass and not worry about getting fouled up on any irregularities in the edges that may jut out.
My prime choice is the SPRO Aruku Shad and the Wameku Shad is right there with it. I try to match the prevalent bait choice, whether it be blue back herring, sunfish, or thread fin shad. I will always have an Aruku Shad Chrome with Blue Back tied on, as it seems to always work anywhere, but I don’t get locked into just the one paint scheme. Nor do I get locked into just one sound and action.
I may have 2 different rods rigged with the Aruku Shads and 2 with Wameku Shads. And I will use them at each spot to try and determine what action and sound is most productive and what paint scheme is most productive. You can find a school of them sometimes holding in an area sometimes. And you have them dialed in for a while, only to have the action die down. They may very well still be there, but have become accustomed to what you are throwing. That is when I will throw the same color but in a different action and sound. If this doesn’t work, I will switch the color scheme and see if that will fire them up again.
If you can see them on your electronics, never give up. Switch out for another color and be ready for the action to fire back up. That is the secret, keep looking and changing as the conditions and action changes. Move along the channel or ditch and change boat position on the points. As the bass move, you need to be ready to do the same. Now go catch a new personal best.