As water temperatures begin to cool during the fall, the bass bite on lakes across the country begins to heat up.
During this time of the year, there are a plethora of techniques and lures that are effective options as bass aggressively feed before winter hits. For Elite Series pro Edwin Evers, if he had to choose just one bait during the fall, a lipless crankbait would be his choice.
"Without a doubt, it would be an (XCalibur) Xr50 rattle bait." Evers believes that many anglers compartmentalize lipless crankbaits as spring and early season lures that become less effective later in the year.
That's a big mistake, says Evers. "The rattle bait is phenomenal in the spring, but it's just as good in the fall, if not better," he explains. "Some of the best days that I've ever had with a rattle bait have been in the fall when the water temperature has cooled and is in the low 70s and upper 60s." The effectiveness of a lipless crankbait in the fall depends heavily on the seasonal movement of baitfish, particularly shad.
As the water cools, large schools of shad migrate toward the banks and become easy prey for hungry bass. "It's incredible how shallow the bass will be when they're feeding on shad," says Evers.
"The Xr50 is a bait that I can reel really fast and cover a lot of water with.
The bass just flat out slam it." Weighing in at 5/8 ounce, the XCalibur Xr50 is a good starting point when throwing a lipless crankbait, but Evers stressed the importance of taking advantage of the different sizes and sounds available on the market. Often, he will opt for the XCalibur One Knocker, which features a low-pitched single rattle. "It's different," Evers says. "Almost every other angler on the water is throwing a bait with a lot of rattles, and that One Knocker just sounds a little different. It seems to work well in clearer water when you don't need to create much noise."
Aside from sound, Evers also varies the size of his bait according to the conditions and the area that he's fishing. When plying waters in his home state of Oklahoma, he will often downsize to a 1/4-ounce lipless crankbait — his favorite being the XCalibur Xr25. "In Oklahoma, the fish tend to migrate toward the backs of the ditches and creeks and position on shallow flats during the fall," he says. "Because it may only be 2 feet deep, I'll throw the Xr25 to keep the bait off the bottom." If he's fishing 5 to 6 feet of water, Evers will reach for the standard 5/8-ounce offering and will select an Xr75, which is a 3/4-ounce bait, if he wants to fish deeper water or is on a lake that has the potential for big fish.
When it comes to color selection, Evers keeps things simple. In stained water he prefers a white or solid color. In clear water, he opts for a ghost minnow pattern. If he's not sure what color to throw, he throws a chrome-colored lipless crankbait with a blue back. "It's hard to beat," he says. "It's just a good all-around color."
Evers isn't shy about his affinity toward lipless crankbaits in the fall. He believes that it's a surefire way to consistently put bass in the boat. "These things are idiot-proof," he says. "Tie one on, wing it as far as you can and reel it back in."
(Provided by Z3 Media)