Rapala Shadow Rap
Tackle Talk Thursday
Sorry about missing last week’s I became swamped with things now that metro are lakes are ice free. Let’s get back to it this week! This week’s showcase bait is the Rapala Shadow Rap! I find this bait a very good year round bait for bass, walleye and pike! It’s a jerk bait style bait so what that means to me its a great bait you can work slow or fast to get a reaction bite out of fish not wanting to feed. I’ve found this excels when a cold front moves through compared to your normal style crank baits.
First let’s go through the different models Rapala offers for these baits and how they work. First there is 2 options you have for the standard models a shallow (dives 2’-4’) and a deep (dives 4-8’). I use the shallow version a lot of times to find where fish are holding shallow after a cold front. I will cast the bank on an inner weed line or even at times cast it over existing weeds that are standing but have a few feet of water over the tops to get the fish hiding below to come up and smack it! As far as rod and reel set-up I have found works best for myself is a 7’-7-1/2’ light tipped bait casting rod paired with a high speed bait caster reel. I like the light tip on the rod because it really helps with the action on this bait and allows the rod to load up when these fish do hit it. Now as far as the high speed reel I use this due to the fact sometimes bass in particular will come up eat the bait and drag you into that thick milfoil, this allows you to get them out of the weeds and into the boat easier without them hunkering down into it. The way I like to use these stick baits is cast them out along whatever structure you are fishing and snap that rod tip downwards pausing between snaps to reel in the excess line. What this does is kicks this bait out side to side like a wounded minnow and the pause they seem to eat on 90% of the time! You won’t feel the bite until you reel in and feel the weight. The great thing about these baits is they stay suspended in the water column super well even on the pause they don’t float up like others I have used. Now the deep versions I use the same type of set-up but I generally will fish these off the deeper structure or weed-lines. Same type of approach with this is I find the structure I want to fish and use the same exact approach snapping that rod tip in a downward motion and on the pause reeling up the slack from each snap. The deeper baits you will definitely feel more resistance on due to the bigger bill but still have great action just deeper in the water column.
Most people think of these jerk baits as just a bass bait which they do work awesome on however I’ve caught pretty much every species on these from walleye, pike to even a hungry crappie hitting it every now and then. Being they offer a shallow and deep version this bait is a very versatile cold front bait to get even the tightest lipped fish to eat. I have broken a few being they are plastic from banging into hard cover like rocks, but with the price point of $8.99 you can’t go wrong! Rapala also offers several color schemes on these some of my favorites are “ghost shiner”, “halloween” and “purpledescent”. Now one downfall on these baits like a lot of rapala’s products is the stock hooks, I recommend replacing them with #6 VMC 2x treble hooks just for a little more support once these fish eat. Check them out if you don’t have any in your arsenal so you’re ready once a cold front pushes through! Thanks everyone for your continued support, this fishing community is like a giant family I may not be guiding currently due to Covid-19 however I’m here to answer any fishing questions you may have on baits or tips and tricks. Tight lines everyone and hope you all are doing well can’t wait to get back on the water with you in my boat!