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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have gone through the many phases of choices of lures.

Some might argue that I have been a collector of sorts. (Goes with the territory ;) )

My questions are
When do you find the Rattletrap most effective?
Is there a season that you find them most productive?
Is there a particular Setup that you find complements this presentation?

I know that this lure is used to target aggressive bass...Any hints or suggestions that you would wish to share regarding this lure.

Needless to say that I have a dozen or so in my tackle box but lack the confidence to throw them in a Tournament type situation.

Still trying to learn,
Woody
 

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Pitchin' Fool
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Ive caught fish on these things and like you, Wood, should really fish it more often.

Looking back at the times I fished this lure and caught fish, it was either early spring and early fall. It can be a good cold water bait. Couple of guys in my club fishes Traps all year round and does well.

I use it more as a search bait, casting in open water while moving to one spot to another.

I dont have a rattle trap rod, but I would think a 7 ft with a moderate action much like a spinnerbait rod will do. Of course, a fast reel like a Curado will help. 15 lb line on the 1/2oz and 12lb on the 1/4th Traps.

Chrome blue and baby bass are my color choices....

Joe
 

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Wood: most of the time you will be burning them...often over submerged weeds....as such, keeping the rod high and having a 6.2 to one ratio really comes in handy......

as for time of the year, no doubt that they shine most prespawn, however, there are countless times when I have seen someone on the boat throw this lure and catch a fish that I wouldn't have thought of using it.....Pete caught one at Wampus in November when the water was just freezing!
 

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Have To Throw Them

Woody,

I would agree that Spring and Fall are the most effective lipless crank times...In the spring, you can use it like a spinnerbait over incoming weeds and in the fall over the receded weeds...Thats a no brainer...I think it interchanges with a spinnerbait very well...It comes down to whether I want to make noise or just vibrations from water displacement, and what size profile the fish want to see that day...Even the biggest trap will have a smaller profile than a spinnerbait in most cases, so water clarity, and all that other good shit factors in a lot...

I always have one tied on or have a snap with that or a spinnerbait tied on in my usual 5 - 6 rod arsenal...I have to tell you though, because i can throw it so far, and can vary the depth with the retrieve, I always have it ready to burn if I see any surface activity...Ask Vic what i did with them at Kensico...

As far as size and colors, i dont have to tell you that you should get them all...lol... I do...

But when I cut my stuff down to a backpack, the three colors i take are Chrome/Blue Back, Bone with a dark back, and this Rat-L-Trap 2000 Limited Edition Color...I dont actually know what the color is called, but it looks like a green shad--- (Green metallic over silver with a wrinkled finish...the body is dimpled)...I hear that the craw colors and reds are the ticket in the spring, but i have yet to experience their magic to the same satisfaction as other colors...I use mainly the 1/2 oz size but carry the 1/4 oz also...I actually had a few smallies hit a 3/4 oz trap that was weighted to boot on a troll at K. one time...


Also, consider the variations between manufacturers in the rattle and actions, and match that to what you want to do...For instance, The Berkley's have a broader bridge across the nose and therefore create more wobble than Bill Lewis baits...But a Lucky Craft lipless will barely feel like you have anything on the line most of the time, and you're really not sure if its rattling half the time...So you may have to try different retrieve speeds or lifts...

Change out the hooks ofcourse on the Bill Lewis baits...I use Gammy EWGs or Daiichi BB...Sometimes I remove the split rings and use one of those double hooks that loop through the weedless frogs...That way I have essentially trimmed off the oncoming hookpoint...Then I throw, and burn that thing right over the thick stuff and bump as much of it as possible like a SB...Thats a little unorthodox way to fish them, but very effective...Sometimes though, you leave a tree ornament or two...Good thing they are only $2.99 each...



Liverlips or Lipless

Mark D
 

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I agree that spring and fall are the best time for lipless cranks but I almost always give them a try regardless of conditions.

Usually burn them but have caught fish on stop and drop retrieves and even deadsticking them. The latter was discovered by accident when I was untangling a birdnest and the Trap was just lying on the bottom for a couple of minutes. After undoing the birdnest, I reeled up the slack and had barely nudged the bait when a bass hit. I caught five more bass like this over the next 30 minutes.

I also often get hits after the trap has hung up and I pull it free.

As far as particular brands of lipless cranks, I've used the Bill Lewis, Rapala, Cordell and Strike King versions and haven't found that any have an inherent advantage over the others.
 

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I'll jump on the bandwagon. In spring they are super effective in shallow water because the weedgrowth is not at its peak yet. For the same reason, the weed die off, the fall period can be equally as effective.

I have a bunch of Traps. Fisher got me into the floating trap. This one can be worked much more shallow than the traditional version. I always change the hooks out to sharper Gammies.
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GREAT responses

The reason I asked this question was that I would mostly throw them in the Spring(Red).
Lately, I have heard folks talk about using them year round..Any Trap experts out there want to give it up?
Thanks Again,
Woody
Mark I will see you at the Clarion
 

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I'm with you Woody, I carry bout 8 at all times and used 1 once this Spring. I have caught A fish on them but just don't have confidence. I was with a guy throwing one in 80 degree water and catching fish.
 

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Early Spring work best for me

Last year I threw them alot when the water was cold and did very well. As the season progressed the Trap bite died down and never really came back...even when the water cooled. I went from a MH to a M rod this year and always change your hooks so they are super sharp...I hate the hooks that come with the Rat-L-Trap. Also try the bleeding red hooks....enjoy...Mark
 

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Woody said:
I know that this lure is used to target aggressive bass...
Not necessarily. Try rippin it around when bass are being extremely finicky. I've found Traps can often draw reaction strikes from fish (especially smallmouth) who are otherwise disinterested.... It's saved me from a skunking more than once!! :)

I like to throw it on a longer rod (7 ft.). I'm looking for distance here to cover more water. Sometimes I'll even change over to spinning gear for that EXTRA speedy retrieve. As for color I haven't found a reason yet to sway from the good ole chrome/blue although when fishing down in Texas everyone swears by the red ones.

As others pointed out definitely lose those stock hooks. They're garbage.
 

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Woody...fish with our boy Kirk...he's good with traps. Actually Sugar Shads have been more productive for me. They're much louder.

As with everyone on here, sping seems to be the best time for me but I stick with the Chrome/Blue Back or Gold/Black. They work well on Greenwood in early April in the southern part of the lake. I've done well on Maho with a sunfish pattern one as well.

I like to fish it early around rip rap banks. Key is to let it drop to the bottom and sort of hop it letting it bang around on the rocks. I loose a bunch of baits but have had some killer days on Lilly and Candlewood using this technique.

Mark
 

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Woody,
I also have a box full of these. I agree with you on the early spring color. RED is #1. As the season grows I usually use blue / chrome or black / gold colors. I have used them as search baits in open water as well as rippin them through weedbeds in the shallows. I have found these baits to be deadly if you can find fish busting shad. Just cast and rip it through the surface disturbance with a stop & go retreive. On lakes like Swingingbridge, the hybrid stripers will usually nail these pretty regularly.
Mark is right about Greenwood and the location. TubeKing & I put a severe hurt on some nice fish last year in that southern part of the lake. Blue / Chrome was the color. I also dont find that the fish care much if you use the 1/4 or 1/2 oz size. If they're hitting a trap they will hit either.
For smallies--go with the 1/4oz size---even better if you use a color with a touch of purple in it.
I prefer a medium action rod / 10lb test with a little bit of "give" to it. Too much backbone and you can pull the bait right out of a fishes mouth
 

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Woody,
The Rat-L-Trap is an extremely versatile bait, much more than people realize. These are just some of the ways I fish them: Burnin'.....Slow Roll.....Hop.....Yo-Yo.....Stop-N-Go......etc., get the point !

By the way, I employ these killer techniques YEAR ROUND and they produce amazing results !!! Don't limit yourself and be fooled into thinking they only work in the Spring and Fall.

I keep my color selection relatively simple: Chrome/Blue or similar patterns on clear/sunny days and Chartreuse patterns on dark/cloudy days. Generally, I use 1/2oz. models most often but will vary between a 1/4 - 3/4oz. depending on the depth and technique.

Equipment is pretty straight forward, use a 7'0" med or med/hvy rod along with a fast 6:2.1 gear ratio reel. Top it off with a low stretch 14lb. line and you're good to go.

Good Luck......


Ronnie
 

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Woody said:
When do you find the Rattletrap most effective?
Is there a season that you find them most productive?
Is there a particular Setup that you find complements this presentation?
I have used the rat-l-traps mostly in 3/8 oz. Spring always seems to be the best. With my current fishing buddy we start later in the day and found that from 12pm-2 and then after 5 on the cross river induced strikes from both SM and LM on shallow structure, especially rock walls coming out from the shore. Retrieve was generally rip it but the occasional time when overrun or line twist and then retrieve often induced strikes. Usually used 8lb line on med action, med weight cabelas im6 6'6 rod spinning was what we used. Colors always had some flash. This is reported always on the cross river reservoir. Water levels there have been strange for years due to dam reconstruction. Don't have experience elsewhere. I do not know if this reservoir has ecologically returned to pre-damn construction conditions.

Hope that helps.

Wandy
 

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hey all, really good info on the rat-l traps. i've used them a few times, and they've worked pretty well. i too should use them more. i have a few small ones that are silver color.

i learned something really strange about them 2 years ago. i was fishing in the spring, just basically killing time. was not getting any bites. then, when i was gonna leave, i saw a lot of fish jumping, not too far off shore. i thought they were carp. so, just to catch something, i stooped really low (i admit it) and through the rat-l traps in that direction. then i reeled them in really, really fast figuring i might snag one of the carp.

keep in mind, i was reeling incredibly fast. all of a sudden, i had a nice hit and figured i snagged one of the jumping carp. wrong-it was a nice bass (around 3 pounds), and it wasn't snagged. the hook was in the lip. anyhow, i just figured this was a "fluke" catch. i don't know how that thing grabbed the lure at such a fast rate.

anyhow, all that week i caught a lot of good bass (2-3 pounds) by burning it as fast as i could. those were really agressive fish.

have also caught some pretty good walleyes on it, but at a slower speed of retrieve.
 

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Good story Tom. The fish you saw jumping were probably busting shad or other baitfish. I had mentioned this in my post. The Rat-L Trap is a great bait to use in this situation.
 

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Woody, lipless cranks have become one of my staples over the last couple of years esp in spring and fall. I bet I have at least doubled my fall catches since incorperating into my arsenal. I did have to learn a few things first though. The first one being that it is an "idiot" bait. I have found out the true, you can just chuck and wind and catch fish with it but are FAR better off to actually FISH it. I do very well with it and a lot of guys ask how fast do I fish it and that depends on the depth and weed growth. I try to fish it just fast enough to ocassionally catch on cover (milfoil, rocks, wood) and try to pop it free to bring some awesome reaction strikes even with water temps in the 40's. This can mean burning it in shallow water and slow rolling it deeper, it all depends. Over the course of the season I became especially fond of a few baits in particular. They are: Lucky Craft LV-100/500's (in Aurora Gold, Aurora Craw and Chart Shad) and Duel Drums in Craw and Firetiger. We slayed the smallies this spring in Maine on the Firetiger Drums. Which colors I use depends on water clarity and wether I think the fish are on a craw or baitfish bite.

I throw the smaller ones on a 7'M Croix Avid Cranking rod/TD-X spooled with 10# P-Line CXX Xtra Strong. The larger baits get thrown on a RICH FORHAN-BUILT RF846 with a TD-X spooled with 17# P-Line. I usually throw the LV-100's when water depth (or the cover comes up to) 8'. Anything deeper, I switch over to the 500's or the Drums.

At times in the cold water periods I will have 3 or 4 tied on (along with a hard jerk and jig). These are great baits and are highly under-utilized by a lot of anglers. These are GREAT search baits and can catch the big ones too. Of course the one drawback is that these baits can be easy for fish to throw, but using higher-quality hooks and fairly forgiving rods help A LOT. I like the rods mentioned (esp the RF846) due to the fact that they have the best combination of being limber enough to keep fish hooked but stiff enough to POP the baits off the cover. Sorry for the long post but you hit a topic I enjoy VERY MUCH and if you have any more questions feel free to give me a shout.

Happy Holidays,
Scott B
 

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the good old rattle trap.i love these baits in late summer early fall.they are a great search bait and amazing in stump fields and around flats with deep water near by.chrome blue is the best color in my opinion.i use a 7 foot mediun glass rod .u need a soft tip so the fish can eat the lure.sharp hooks are a must because it is easy to lose a fish on these baits.i usualy use bigger trebles than the bait comes with and over sized split rings.trebles that the hook point bends in are useful because they turn in the fish and brag better.2 important things about trap fishing.first if u are gonna catch fish it will be right away.if they are on a trap pattern they are on it and will come from far away.second and most important change speeds on the retrieve.good lakes are greenwood and east twin where fish will take a trap regularly
good fishin dennis
 
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