Rat-L-traps are one of the best bass fishingest lures that ever was made! It may not be the oldest bait in your tackle box, but It very well could be too! I am not sure when they first came out but I remember seeing them around in the early 70s as best as I can remember! Every one that I saw was in the bottom of a tackle box, usually rusted but not too worn. Everybody I knew was giving me rat-l-traps . of every color ,shape, and size. I lost most of them as I didnt know how to fish them and always managed to hang them up and break them off and lose them. Oh , by the way, did you noticed the word " fishingest" in the first sentence. It probably wont be in any dictionary you know of so don't bother looking it up. Not really sure what it means either but it sounded good at the time! :-)
Now back to my story, Rat-l- Traps are a different sort of lure than most, but does what it was designed to do and that is "catches fish!" But have you ever looked at one or fished with one, if you have then your probably laughing. If not then you probably need to read this article for sure. A RAT-L-TRAP throws so easy like a rock so to speak and sinks like a rock too! This makes it really hard to master because it has many techniques to use it successfully. To some , a nightmare to some an old reliable lure, that can hold its own with the best of them, YEAR round! Spring , summer , fall and yes , even winter too!
Here are a few methods that work for me , and comments are welcome as usual , if you can come up with another method or technique that's not mentioned here.
This method can have variations as well but I think most get the idea what that means, or am I so old that I remember the yo-yo of old. Any ways , you can yo yo while your retrieving a long cast , some call it jigging the trap. I have excellent luck with rat-l-traps on a buff in deep water and raise and lower in short or long yo-yo motions , up and down , I guess you could say about the depth the fish are on my fish finder. Usually a foot or so above the depth of the fish. Fish seem to like to come up and get the bait, at least that's what I have found on my own bass fishing adventures.
White bass, Hybrids , stripers, and kentucky bass , love this type of approach. You can fish this method at about any depth you want , just let it sink and count count to 15 or 20 or what ever the depth is. A 1/2 oz Rat-l-trap will fall about 1 foot per second (approximately) Always keep somewhat of some tension on the line during the fall , as most bites come on the fall . One of the biggest mistakes people make is to let the lure fall with all kinds of slack , missing the bite , because you don't feel the lure when they hit.
You can fish them like a crank bait
Slow , medium, fast or choppy , or irregular retrieve , experiment until you find the retrieve that turns the big bass on and you will have more action than you have ever experienced before. You can fish the rat-l-trap as deep or as shallow as you need , to find the fish. Fast or as slow is important sometimes too.
Rat-l-traps come in a floating model now making it a top water or sub surface model what ever your preference and the bass tend to let us know If its just right or not. If you catch the whites surfacing or stripers surfacing throw a Rat-L- Trap in the middle of the school of shad, ripping it , jerking it, reeling it slow and steady and hang on tight cause a Rat-l-trap imitates a shad and you may get it bit, and bit hard! Better yet if its the only trap you got then you better put it in your tackle box so you wont lose it , or even better yet, buy several traps of every color, because they do work .
If you are one of these guys that don't use them cause you cant keep them unhung from the bottom or rocks and sticks, then the way I see it is you only have 2 options- 1- should start using them more, and learn how to use them in all the different ways that you find them to catch fish, this is of course your first option. I did say 2 options didn't I ? Oh yeah your 2 nd option is to package them in a small box and pay the postage on them and ship them to me. Just Kidding! My address is .........OK , enough Kenny!
There will be a request for more on the Rat-l-trap and If there is a request, then we will respond, but for now , that's all folks! So until next time keep your Rat-L- Traps wet! If you do you will catch fish on them, Oh yeah, you can troll with a trap too, they are excellent and you can cover alot of water too! Boat safely and hope to see ya out there. Good luck and catch a bunch, enjoy the "Great Outdoors!"