The sum of speed plus the vibrating action of a lipless crankbait equates to a top producing lure in the prespawn. Why? Because prespawn largemouth are on the move from deep to shallow water, which also means they expend excess energy and are forced to eat on the go. Burn a lipless crankbait past their path of travel and the outcome typically is a jolting strike from an aggressive, hungry bass.
Lipless crankbaits have been around for more than two decades, although the application for this bait has been limited when it comes down to choosing color patterns applicable to daylight and water clarity.
"Until recently, lipless cranks were only available in solid colors, making them most appropriate for low light and overcast conditions," observes Marty Stone, a Bassmaster Elite Series pro and member of the Lucky Craft U.S.A. pro team.
"That really limited their application and especially so during the spawning cycle, when these baits are deadly for a reaction bite," he continues.
To Stone's point lure choices are dictated by prevailing light conditions in the textbook of bass fishing know-how, making solid patterns best for low light and cloudy conditions.
In low light Stone chooses the traditional hues of chrome/blue, silver, gold/chrome and red/black.
"In low light one of those four will always produce," he says. "On sunny days you can get the same bite with fish in the grass by using translucent colors that resemble the reflections the sunlight makes off a live baitfish."
Conversely, translucent colors shine in bright, clear and sunny situations. Stone points out that Lucky Craft's technology has added a new dimension to fishing the lipless crankbait and specifically with its lineup of translucent colors.
"And that's how translucent colors have added another dimension to lipless crankbaits," he sums up.
Clear water lipless crankbait solutions
The translucent color patterns of a live shad are difficult to reproduce in lures, although new technology has allowed lure manufacturers to produce vivid hues that closely resemble the real thing.
Marty Stone's two decades on the tournament trail have made him a big believer in matching lure color to light conditions.
"You are making a big mistake if you simply tie on a dark or even chrome lure in bright conditions because the lure will send an alarm to the fish that it's not real."
Stone has plenty of options from which to choose when the sun is cranked up and the bass are in the grass. He favors the Aurora and Ghost patterns of Lucky Craft's LV Revolution lineup.