Whitesburg KY

Gabby’s fishing fever

Bass fishing with a Rat-L-Trap

When some people hear the term “rattle trap'” they think of an old rusted, broken down pickup truck. But to bass anglers the term Rat-L-Trap refers to one of the best bass catching baits of all time.

The original Rat-L-Trap was produced and sold by the Bill Lewis Lure Company several years ago. At that time this was a fairly new type of crank bait, known as a lipless crank bait. This meant that the bait had no bill to make the bait dive to a set depth. The lure was instead weighted to make the bait sink.

By varying the length of the cast and the speed of the retrieve, fishermen could control the depth at which the lure would run. A long cast with a slow retrieve would make the bait run deeper, while the same cast with a fast retrieve would make the bait run more shallow and have a faster side-toside action. As I said, the lure is weighted so you can cast it a mile.

The Rat-L-Trap is one of the few bass baits that is very versatile and can be fished during most of the year.

In the early spring when bass start moving up shallow and chasing and feeding on shad, the Rat- L-Trap can be one of the best baits that you can fish because it so closely resembles a shad. Then later in the summer bass will move to the deeper, cooler water in the lake. This is when — because of the weighted body of the rattle trap — you can easily fish the deeper cover.

In the fall when bass gorge themselves on shad to store up fat for the winter, the Rat-L-Trap is a very effective bait. In recent years the Rat-L-Trap has even been used as a winter bass bait on some lakes.

Since the introduction of the original Rat-L-Trap, this style of lipless crank bait has been copied by several other lure companies, but you will find that the hard-core rattle trap fisherman will most of the time stick to the original Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap.

To fish this lure, it is best to use a light-to-medium heavy action rod because of the lure’s extra weight. Use a long rod in the 6 1/2 -to-7 foot range. The extra long rod will help with making long cast and on the retrieve and hook set also. The longer rod will pick up slack line off the water faster than a shorter rod.

Be sure to use a rod that has a good backbone to fight the fish and to keep pressure on bass during the fight. Use a rod with a fairly limber tip. The springing action of the tip will help keep bass from throwing the bait.

Because this is a loud rattling bait that can call attention to itself, this makes it a good bait to use in dark and stained water. This bait comes in several sizes from a 1- ounce size all the way down to the 1/4-ounce size.

Give this bait a try and you might just like an old rattle trap.

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