Bass are now feeding on shad and baitfish to build up and store energy for the spawn.
There are several baits that resemble the look and action of a shad, but one of the best is the lipless crank bait or, as it’s also known, the rattle trap.
This bait has been around a while and is made by several companies and comes in a large selection of sizes from 1/4 ounce all the way up to 1 ounce and bigger for saltwater fishing. These baits are made for crappie, bass, walleye and musky fishing. There is not a fish swimming that will not hit one of these baits at the right time.
These baits have no bill and are heavy. You can cast one a mile. These baits have a tight fast wiggle on the retrieve and put off a lot of flash and vibration during the retrieve. This makes them more effective in clearer water, but they work well in most water colors.
This baits have built-in steel balls in the body of the bait. The balls move and rattle as the bait is being retrieved through the water. This puts off a lot of vibration in the water, and bass and other predator fish will use this vibration to find the bait. In off-colored water, this makes the rattle trap a good bait choice.
As I said, the weight of the bait allows for long casts. When you decide on a big shallow water area to fish, make a series of fan casts to thoroughly cover an area. This is a bait with which you can cover a lot of water fast and eliminate unproductive water. This makes this a good search bait for a new area.
Areas to look for during the pre-spawn period are large flats, humps or islands, shallow side of points and the backs of coves and where old roadbeds come into a lake. All of these are prime areas to fish a lipless crank bait.
Most of the time a long, limber tip rod works best to cast and retrieve this bait. This is the type of bait that can catch a bass on every cast when the bass are active.
Get out and give these baits a try on your next trip.