Being a Buckeye state angler I have to be more resourceful with all my tackle and tactics. I know with our small lakes and reservoirs constantly under pressure from the public, things can really get tough. With the constantly changing weather, it can leave you scatter brained. Then add in the banks full of boats lined up to take their shot, and you have to shake things up a bit to be productive.
Lipless crank baits are typically used for fishing sparse cover, grass or small rock piles. I say flip or pitch a lipless crankbait into lay downs and cover. Bass don’t see this and I’ve found it to be very effective at producing strikes from highly pressured bass.
Let’s cover what you need to get started. I prefer to use a 6-6 med heavy rod, with a long handle from the reel to the butt. The reel should be a fast retrieve to pull in your slack line during strikes. Line should be the best you can afford. I prefer P-line for it’s abrasion resistance, 12 to 14 lb test should work well. You don’t want to waste any time getting the fish out of the cover. The lure I prefer for this is the Ambush Pro Series Stealth Diver. The line tie is in a good spot for deflection in heavy cover. Along with that, their Luresaver Technology allows the hook to come off the bait when snagged. If you do get hung, simply pull the bait free, if the hooks come off, just replace the treble hook and your back at it. It’s important to remember these baits have treble hooks, so when pitching don’t forget what you have in your hand. I base color choice on watercolor. I prefer chartreuse color for muddy water and a shad for stained to clear.
Ohio anglers should try this when the pressure from other anglers is high. This is also a productive technique when a cold front is present, because you can draw some vicious reaction strikes. I try to focus on heavy lay downs and brush piles that are located close to deep water. Pitch the bait to the back of the cover. On your retrieve, literally try to hit ever piece of cover you can. Upon contact let the bait sink for a second then repeat the process at the next obstacle. Pay careful attention after the bait contacts with cover. This is when most strikes happen. Also make repeated casts to same areas. Your goal is to get a reaction strike. Do not be afraid to lose your baits, this will prevent you from placing it in the cover needed to be effective.
When every your in a highly pressured situation, with repeated anglers fishing the same water, this technique can be a game changer. It really shines when the bite is turned off by all the angling pressure. Many anglers will call you crazy when you throw a bait like that into deep cover, but when things get tough give this a shot you will be surprised at the outcome. I hope you give it a fair try and put some monster bass in your livewell.
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