Don’t Give Me Any Lip! (A Lipless Crankbait Story)

dont give me any lip a lipless crankbait story

A few months back I received a “care package” from Ronald Richards, who I affectionately refer to as Brother Ron. That package contained about 20 lipless crankbaits – different sizes of the Bomber Ratl “RRR” A. It just blew me away. I asked him to tell me a bit more about why he loved these specific lipless crankbaits so much, and here was what he said. Thanks again, Brother Ron.

Lipless Crankbait Care Package Bomber RRR A
Brother Ron sharing the goods.

Don’t Give Me Any Lip!

A Story from Ron Richards

About forty years ago I bought a Ratl “RRR” A made by Bomber Lure Company.

When I say I bought “a lure” that’s not really true. I always buy at least two, if not more. Just in case. If they work good I can loan one to my partner (on a cold day in hell) or if I lose one, I have a replacement.

No. I don’t remember where or why I bought that first one.

Lipless Crankbait Care Package Bomber RRR A
The Bomber Ratl RRR A Lipless Crankbait

Probably at a WalMart store in North Platte, NE. Maybe at Cabela’s in Sidney, NE. I lived about equal distance from both of them. But it doesn’t matter. I guess I just liked the looks of them and the fact that they rattled. The fact that they discontinued making them right after I “discovered” them has nothing to do with the fact that I ended up with well over one hundred of them.

Probably close to two hundred.

I fished a lot of sand pits (borrow pits) in western Nebraska for largemouth bass, and a couple of major reservoirs for anything that would hit a lure. That is still pretty much how and where I fish today.

Brother Ron Ronald Richards
Brother Ron – a true outdoorsman that fishes & hunts with family & friends. Read his bio and check out his books here.

I cannot tell you why the Bomber crankbait works so good. I can only tell you that it did and it still does. I had Rattletraps, I had Rapalas, I had Bayou Boogies, I had a large assortment of cranks that didn’t compare to the results I had using a Bomber Ratl “RRR” A.

And that is still true today.

Maybe it’s because I tie that lure on and stay with it. Maybe it’s the rattle. Maybe it’s the color.

But one thing it ain’t… it ain’t my imagination.

Lipless Crankbait Care Package Bomber RRR A
The Bomber Ratl RRR A Lipless Crankbait

One year back in the 80s the post spawn walleye were up in the willows at the west end of a NE reservoir. Three of us limited every day for three days using these crankbaits. Nothing else seemed to produce a hit. These were all spawned out females, nice fat walleye.

Nice fat walleye out of the cooker. 

My best wiper came on a Ratl “RRR” A, out of Red Willow Reservoir in Nebraska. It was a little north of eleven pounds. 

I’ve caught bluegill, crappie, catfish, northern pike and smallies on these lures. They just work!

One evening my wife and daughter and I were fishing a pit and planned on having a picnic. I caught three bass on three casts and the third one gave a mighty twist as I was pulling it out of the water and into the boat. Lure popped out and buried itself in the first joint of my thumb. To the bone. My wife is an RN, she took one look and said… “off to the ER.” I knew the doctor pretty good and told him… ”no matter what, don’t you screw that lure up!” He laughed and promised he wouldn’t. 

He didn’t… and I used it next week!

… I’m still hearing about “no picnic” though…

We moved to Missouri shortly after that episode and those lures worked amazingly good on largemouth bass down there. I now had several dozen in different colors, and the biggest bass I caught went all of eight pounds.

Then a few years ago we started going to Texas for the winter. Fishing on the Colorado River reservoirs. Primarily on Lake LBJ. Those crankbaits absolutely hammered the big bass in that lake. And still do. I had back to back five pound bass this year using one. My biggest is nine and three quarters. Still hoping for a double digit.

My technique when using a lipless crankbait is to cast it out and crank it back. Mighty simple, but it works. I do a countdown a lot of the time just trying to get the right depth. I’ve also done ok using it like a jerk bait, but a smooth retrieve still is the best producer.

Lipless Crankbait Care Package Bomber RRR A
Chewed Up & Painted Bomber Ratl RRR A Lipless Crankbaits

AJ asked for pictures with the lure in the mouth of a fish. Sadly, I can’t produce that. I have lots of bass pictures but none showing the lures in their mouth.  I can still see many of them in my mind, but that is difficult to reproduce on paper… just never seemed important until he asked for them.

If you haven’t gone lipless, try it. 

While I’ve made a case for the Bomber, I know that lots of other lipless crankbaits work too.

Best regards and good fishing.

-Ron Richards

Special thanks again to Brother Ron for allowing me to share this story. If you want to get in touch to share a story of your own, I’d love to hear from you. You can also share Ron’s story below. -AJ

Thank you Readers!

Thanks for visiting! I’m going to keep doing everything possible to keep the helpful content coming, and FREE FOR EVERYONE… but I need your help. Please chip in by making a small monthly contribution to keep this site alive & growing. $4.96 will buy a sweet Pack ‘o Dingers, and with it, I promise to catch many bass in your honor. Thanks. You are a gentleman & a scholar! -AJ

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