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Thread: Lipless Crankbaits

  1. #1
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    Lipless Crankbaits

    I know there are musky fisherman who like to fish lipless crankbaits in the spring. I bought a couple of the Tony Grant models a couple of years ago and Iíve given them a halfhearted attempt with no success. Who out there uses lipless crankbaits and is actually having success with them in the spring, and do you believe under certain conditions itís a more productive offering than more traditional musky lures? Is there anyone who actually uses the lipless crankbait as a go to lure?

  2. #2
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    Hey cip
    We fish them around the dams a lot. Casting off shore and ripping them back. They get used all year long work good..

  3. #3
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    The first time I ever went to Cave Run I caught a 45" on a Rat-L-Trap less than three hours into the day. It's still the biggest I've caught on one, but I don't use them often.

    I've caught several on lipless cranks when in the South, and even a few in Wisconsin (as well as a couple walleyes) early in the season. They're not a go-to bait for me probably because I have more confidence in other baits, but for the amount of time I've used them I have done well.
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

  4. #4
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    You may have had an answer to your own question, when you said it was a 'hafhearted attempt". Once you start a rattle bite, stay on it. These baits require lighter tackle and a fast, fast retrieve. Gregg Thomas has an excellent video on them available for purchase on his Battle the Beast website, or check out this article:
    https://www.muskyhunter.com/archives/325

    Here's one I got with Tony on a Rattle Trap.


    I've been considering using them in this late late Fall bite we are having now. I just need to get my trolling motor back on line. m

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys for all of the replies. I'll give the lures another go this spring and see how I do.

  6. #6
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    My son has caught pike with them in Minnesota, but I don't use them everywhere. I have boated fish up to 44" on them, though and that's real fun on lighter tackle.
    I guess most important is to see if the forage base of the waters you fish include shad, since these baits are primarily designed to mimic shads. m

  7. #7
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikie View Post
    My son has caught pike with them in Minnesota, but I don't use them everywhere. I have boated fish up to 44" on them, though and that's real fun on lighter tackle.
    I guess most important is to see if the forage base of the waters you fish include shad, since these baits are primarily designed to mimic shads. m
    Wisdom in Mikie's post. Lighter tackle is key. The 45" I caught was in high wind and the fish got upwind of the boat, so the fight ended up being nearly 15 minutes. It's a good idea to upsize the split rings and hooks, but not too big.

    The reason they're so good in the South is shad make up the primary forage and a lipless crank looks like a small shad. Up here, the forage is more shiners, chubs and small perch. But as I said, I have caught muskies on them up here, and Joe Bucher has even caught muskies on JB Rattlers while in Canada. Don't overlook them anywhere.
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

  8. #8
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    At last year's Musky Road Rules seminar at Tony's lodge he talked about the rattle baits quite a bit. When the rattle bite is on at Cave he said you can't keep the fish off them no matter how fast you reel. He doesn't use them all year but mainly in the spring and early summer. While I haven't had the same success with muskies as I've had with bass on them, I always have them with me and one on a rod early in the year. It's also fun to chase a school of open water fish whether it's bass, white bass or muskies when they're targeting schools of baitfish. Definitely can break the monotony of chunk and wind, at least for a few minutes.

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