For those unfamiliar with the terms lipless crankbait or weedless jigs, you may be thinking “oh no, not more nautical terms to learn”. These are actually names of fishing lures, and after reading this article, you can tell your dock mates you prefer slow-rolling spinnerbaits.
If lipless crankbait is on your mind, you may be trying to decide which bass fishing lures to bring along on your upcoming summer trips? The good news is that you don’t need a ton of tackle to experience success when the temperatures rise. Just make sure you have a handful of proven summer performers, and then switch up your seasonal techniques accordingly. From topwater frogs to slow-rolling spinnerbaits, plan on bringing these seven lures along when targeting warm-weather lunkers.
1. Lipless crankbaits: During the post-spawn period, largemouth bass begin to move away from the shallows and can be found at a variety of depths. Choose a lipless crankbait that matches the primary forage in the waterway where you plan to fish, and put it to use as a search lure. By varying the speed of your retrieve, you can easily fish these lures at different depths until you figure out where the bass are holding up.
2. Topwater frogs: Listen closely, what’s that sound? Do you hear frogs croaking near your favorite lake? Summer is one of the best times of year to fish for bass using topwater frogs. Focus on the early morning or evening hours, and find spots with emergent vegetation. Work your topwater frog over the top and around the edges of the vegetation, and it shouldn’t be long before you experience an explosive strike.
3. Ribbontail worm: Cast out a Texas-rigged 7-inch ribbontail worm along heavily vegetated shorelines when the summer heat is at its peak. Bass will move into these shoreline areas during the hottest parts of the day due to higher oxygen levels near the vegetation. Use a slow dragging motion or a subtle twitch when fishing ribbontail worms in these conditions since the fish are likely to be sluggish and less aggressive.
4. Weedless jigs: When submerged vegetation serves as an ideal summer retreat for fish seeking a reprieve from the sun and heat, weedless jigs can be a fantastic lure choice. Try flipping a weedless jig into a thick weedbed using a heavy rod and braided line to get a nice, firm hookset. These lures produce — even on summer’s hottest days.
5. Deep-diving crankbaits: As water temperatures rise, bass will move into deeper holes to escape the heat. This is a great time to pull a deep-diving crankbait out of your tackle box and work it along shallow to deep transition zones. Make sure you bounce your cranks along the bottom or off of a submerged structure. Bass will tune into these vibrations using their lateral line and move in for a strike.
6. Swimbaits: In clear water conditions, soft swimbaits tend to excel at attracting big bass during the summer. They are excellent lures to use near cover, when skipping docks, and targeting suspended fish. Since the swimbaits can be used in a number of different situations, they are great to have on hand when fish aren’t consistent with a particular pattern.
7. Spinnerbaits: Slow-rolling a 3/4 to 1 ounce spinnerbait along drop-offs or submerged cover can be an effective technique for enticing summer bass to bite. Try casting toward the shallows or parallel to submerged vegetation with your rod tip down, and then slowly retrieve your lure back toward the boat.
Once you have your tackle box stocked, don’t forget to check your state fishing regulations and renew your fishing license if needed. Tight lines!