Today’s lure will be the ½ oz. lipless crank, or for many, the rattle trap--both floating and sinking. Bill Lewis’ rattle traps have been around forever, but many manufacturers make them and they all work well. Probably one of the original dummy lures, this bait catches fish.
The sinking cranks work in all depths, but they are a countdown lure, and this is the trickiest part. In water less than 5 feet, I start a steady retrieve without letting it sink. In depths greater than five feet I will give it about 3 seconds before retrieving, and I will count it down deeper as I fish deeper, trying to stay fairly close to the bottom. My favorite retrieve is as slow as I can while still allowing the bait to vibrate. This lure casts a mile, works well in rough conditions, and trout and reds will hammer them--it may be one of the best search baits in the marsh. I know a lot of old timers who actually troll them and do quite well. You may need to vary your retrieve speed, but usually a steady retrieve gets it done. In deeper water, I will yo-yo this lure-- I rip it up, and let it free fall. Most of your hits will be on the fall, so be ready. This bait does sink, and will hang on oysters, so the trick around shell bottom is to work just above the shell.
One of the truly secret plugs for many redfishermen and trout pluggers is the FLOATING lipless crank. This lure only runs about a foot or so under the water and is great for swimming over submerged oysters on higher tides. It is also a good low tide lure around shells. Again, a steady retrieve works well. I have caught plenty of nice trout on this lure by giving it a good sweep, let it float up and repeat.
My favorite colors in both the sinking and floating are chrome and blue or gold and black, but many colors will work. One of my ‘go to’ patterns for redfish in ultra clear water is Baby Bass.