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Rattle Traps

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Rattle Traps  3"  1/2oz...      Water color.... I'd say 3-4' brownish clear

Time of the year, water temp ?

How long do you allow them to fall,  3,4, 5 seconds before retrieving them?

What is the best way to work them...   fast and hard, jerky ... slow and steady ?

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That is one of the great things about a trap, you can fish them at any depth that you would like.   I would suggest working them bottom up through the water column.  When you start getting bit, you have found the correct depth.

 

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One of the things I really like about lipless cranks is that I can fish them at just about any depth. The longer you wait after it hits the water, the deeper it'll run (provided you don't reel too fast).  I'll cover the majority of the water column without changing baits and there was a time, for me, when taking time to change baits could cost me points in the standings and possibly not finishing in the money.

As for retrieves, the best one is the one the fish are reacting to and the only way to determine that is to try different ones until you catch a couple. This is what I'll do until I contact fish; Start out with a 2 or 3 second drop. First cast is a steady retrieve with maybe an occasional twitch of the rod. Second cast is a stop and go retrieve using the reel. Third cast is a pumping, or yo-yo retrieve. No takers?  Increase the count to a 5 or 6 second drop and repeat the same sequence. Continue until you're fishing on the bottom, or until you catch one. It's easy to repeat a successful retrieve as  you have the depth and the retrieve dialed in. No takers? Change the angle of your cast around the clock from 10:00 to 2:00. Move and repeat.

Hope that helps.

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One more thing I'm going to add to these fine posts is sound. Some have small BB's some have larger BB's. Some have a one knocker (tungsten vs not tungsten), and some make no sound at all. These variations can make a big difference. One tournament my partner and I were both throwing lipless baits. I ended up weighing every single fish. The difference I was using a Rapala Clackin' Rap (one knocker) and he had on an Xcalibur XR50. In the past he kicked my butt with those but that night they wanted that sound/vibration.

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Something none of y'all do 😉

 

 

firsthalf13 (1).jpg

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32 minutes ago, Fishin' Fool said:

The difference I was using a Rapala Clackin' Rap (one knocker) and he had on an Xcalibur XR50.

Not to get off the OP's topic but just wanted to highlight this is very interesting that a Clackin' Rap was outfishing an XR50.  

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Are we talking about a lipless crankbait or a Bill Lewis? :) 

 

A lipless is one of my go to confidence baits. I will fish it slow, fast, shallow, deep, red, chrome, chartreuse, or any combination. That's what I like about them, I can make 100 casts in a short amount of time and switch if I don't hook up. 

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2 minutes ago, snake95 said:

Not to get off the OP's topic but just wanted to highlight this is very interesting that a Clackin' Rap was outfishing an XR50.  

I cant disagree with your comments. My partner and I joked that it was only on days with NNE winds at 17mph or more. Like I said it was probably more about the one knocker than anything. 

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54 minutes ago, Catt said:

Something none of y'all do 😉

 

 

firsthalf13 (1).jpg

Curious what the point to kneeling and reeling would be with a sinking bait? I'm not doing that because my rod would be jammed in the bottom most of the places I fish a trap if I did that. 

 

1 hour ago, Flatrock said:

Rattle Traps  3"  1/2oz...      Water color.... I'd say 3-4' brownish clear

Time of the year, water temp ?

How long do you allow them to fall,  3,4, 5 seconds before retrieving them?

What is the best way to work them...   fast and hard, jerky ... slow and steady ?

"Brownish-clear" sounds like maybe tannic water to me. If that's the case, golds and reds are my first choice. 

Main time of year is cooler water months, water temps from 40-70 is the main range I'll throw one. 

Sometimes I don't let them fall, sometimes all the way to the bottom. It's one of those things that changes sometimes throughout the day.

All the above. I prefer either a steady retrieve, or yo-yoing them back, letting it sink to the bottom and lifting it up a foot or two and allowing it to sink back to the bottom on a semi-slack line and repeating back to the boat or until out of the strike zone. 

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1 hour ago, Catt said:

Something none of y'all do 😉

 

 

firsthalf13 (1).jpg

I have done that with a diver to get a few feet deeper, but never with a ratl trap.

 

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2 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Curious what the point to kneeling and reeling would be with a sinking bait? I'm not doing that because my rod would be jammed in the bottom most of the places I fish a trap if I did that. 

 

"Brownish-clear" sounds like maybe tannic water to me. If that's the case, golds and reds are my first choice. 

Main time of year is cooler water months, water temps from 40-70 is the main range I'll throw one. 

Sometimes I don't let them fall, sometimes all the way to the bottom. It's one of those things that changes sometimes throughout the day.

All the above. I prefer either a steady retrieve, or yo-yoing them back, letting it sink to the bottom and lifting it up a foot or two and allowing it to sink back to the bottom on a semi-slack line and repeating back to the boat or until out of the strike zone. 

 

I live in Tenn and with all this rain, the lakes have a slight brownish hue to them.. Tenn has a lot of clay.  But I could see my lure about 3-4' from the surface.    The guy I bought my boat from left a rattle trap and I like the action of it, so I bought several the other day.  I've never fished them before and was looking for ideas on how to work them.  Thanks for the tips.

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3 hours ago, Catt said:

Something none of y'all do 😉

 

 

firsthalf13 (1).jpg

Catt, you are correct this is something I do not do when fishing a rattle trap or any other lipless.  How or why would I use the kneel and reel method to improve my lipless crankbait fishing?

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I let them sink depending on how deep the water is and what is sitting on the bottom.  If I'm fishing from the bank I start the retrieve as soon as the bait hits the water. 

 

This time of year I like reds, oranges, and gold with a slower retrieve.  Just fast enough to keep from getting snagged.

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6 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Curious what the point to kneeling and reeling would be with a sinking bait? I'm not doing that because my rod would be jammed in the bottom most of the places I fish a trap if I did that

 

6 hours ago, Russ E said:

I have done that with a diver to get a few feet deeper, but never with a ratl trap.

 

 

3 hours ago, Heartland said:

Catt, you are correct this is something I do not do when fishing a rattle trap or any other lipless.  How or why would I use the kneel and reel method to improve my lipless crankbait fishing?

 

When we look at lipless crankbaits the top of the lure from the nose to the line tie is the planing surface. Like any other crankbait the planing surface, speed of retrieval, & position of the rod tip from the surface of the water determine the depth the lure will run.

 

Regardless of what the angler does it will only run so deep... period!

 

Let's say a 1/2 oz Trap with the rod tip at or near the surface & a moderate to slow retrieve obtains 4-5' running depth. If the bass will not come up to that depth but if we could get an additional couple feet they would.

 

I may not stab my rod all the way down to the reel like Paul but I'll go down a couple of feet.

 

When the bass want additional depth but don't want a stop & go retrieve or a yo-yo retrieve but they want a steady retrieve.

 

It's extremely deadly right now during pre-spawn 😉

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Rat-L-Traps, what a great lure. Can be used in many situations and fished various ways. 

 

Personally I my opinion you only need three colors. 

 

Chrome w/ black back

Chrome w/ blue back

Gold w/ black back

 

I have a chrome w/ chartreuse that’s a killer but I don’t think they have ran that color in a long time. I have many patterns but those three are all I need. I have them on my boat deck at all times. I primarily fish the Bill Lewis brand, but Cotton Spots work as well. 

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Great Success in a lot of different water colors but deadly on smallmouth.  SPRO ARUKU Shad.  When on the bottom, the sit nose down to help with keeping free from snags and the noisemakers are tungston powder coated so they make a unique sound....more like a thump than a rattle.  

 

 

aruku75_cellmate.png

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My favorite way of throwing rattletraps and other lipless baits is to hop them off the bottom .When   bass are fired up they will smack it hard enough that you can hear the hit .

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3 hours ago, Catt said:

Regardless of what the angler does it will only run so deep... period!

Are you talking about a suspending lipless? Otherwise, you lost me.

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11 minutes ago, Hank. said:

Are you talking about a suspending lipless? Otherwise, you lost me.

 

Nope!

If you hold your rod at say 3° clock & reel at a steady speed that Trap like any other crankbait will only dive so deep.

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The original trap isn't one of my favorite lipless CBs, but there is a time and a place for different ones, and when they want a quick sinking loud one, it's hard to beat. Color wise, I like something mostly red, something that matches forage, something fire tigerish, and chrome with a blue or black back, add something with gold, and that should cover you most anywhere you go. I like a rip and drop or yoyo retrieve best, but It's really a matter of getting it in front of the fish, so pretty much any retrieve is in play. It's a great search bait and reaction bait that works well most of the year, so I always have some with me.

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2 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

Nope!

If you hold your rod at say 3° clock & reel at a steady speed that Trap like any other crankbait will only dive so deep.

If you let it drop the same amount of time, yeah, okay.

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29 minutes ago, Hank. said:

If you let it drop the same amount of time, yeah, okay.

 

And if they want a steady retrieve with no drop?

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9 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

And if they want a steady retrieve with no drop?

If you cast, let it drop 3 seconds, hold rod at 3º, retrieve at steady medium speed, the bait will travel at about 5’ (more or less) below the surface.

 

If you cast, let it drop 6 seconds, hold rod at 3º, retrieve at steady medium speed, the bait will travel at about 10’ (more or less) below the surface.

 

That depth will gradually become less as you get closer to the boat/bank, but unless you are reeling at a high speed, you can make a lipless swim at whatever depth you want. I know you know this, you must have some point you’re trying to make that I don’t get.

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10 minutes ago, Hank. said:

If you cast, let it drop 3 seconds, hold rod at 3º, retrieve at steady medium speed, the bait will travel at about 5’ (more or less) below the surface.

 

If you cast, let it drop 6 seconds, hold rod at 3º, retrieve at steady medium speed, the bait will travel at about 10’ (more or less) below the surface.

 

That depth will gradually become less as you get closer to the boat/bank, but unless you are reeling at a high speed, you can make a lipless swim at whatever depth you want. I know you know this, you must have some point you’re trying to make that I don’t get.

I could see the kneeling and dropping your rod be helpful for a high speed retrieve. Like he mentioned that would add several feet of depth to the lure. There is no reason to doubt what Catt is saying.

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