By Don Ingram
Rattletraps are excellent lures to use during November. They mimic shad, the primary source of food during the fall and early winter months.
Rattletraps enable an angler to cover an abundance of water in search of actively feeding fish.
Rattletraps can be purchased in all shapes, sizes, colors, and weights.
When selecting a rattletrap, let the water clarity determine the color. If the water is clear, use natural colors.like chrome, white, gold, and grey. If the water is stained or muddy, use bright colors like chartreuse and orange.
When choosing a size and weight, observe the size of the shad in the body of water you are fishing and select a rattletrap that resembles the food source.
In early fall, the average shad population is relatively small. A quarter ounce rattletrap cast near schools of shad on the main lake or creek flats will produce fish during the fall.
Once a fish has been caught, observe the way the lure is in the mouth of the fish. Is it on the outside of mouth? Is one hook in the mouth or is the complete lure inside the mouth?
Was the retrieve of the lure fast or slow? Answers to these questions help a good angler fine tune his technique and catch more fish.
If the lure is on the outside of the head, the fish didn’t want the bait and slapped at the lure at the last minute. Change the size, retrieve, or color of the rattletrap.
Experiment with different retrieves and colors until you catch a fish that has the entire lure inside its mouth. When this occurs, rest assured you are using the correct size and color for the day.
However, conditions change; what worked one day may not necessarily work the next.
The right equipment is critical when casting rattletraps. I use a 6’6 medium to medium heavy action G-Loomis NSX rod with 12 to 15 pound CXX P-Line. The G-Loomis rod is the most sensitive rod I’ve ever used.
To increase the chances of landing a fish, replace the original hooks on the rattletrap with Mustad triple grip hooks. If I am fishing shallower than four feet, I use the 15 pound line. If I need the bait to run deeper, I slow the retrieve and use the 12 pound line.
If you are looking for some fantastic fall fishing, tie on a rattletrap, look for the shad on the flats, and hold on.
Don Ingram publishes an outdoor article entitled “Outdoors with Don Ingram” that is printed in various publications throughout Kentucky. He is a two-time All-American qualifier. Don has been very successful competing in tournaments in Kentucky and Tennessee. He has appeared on numerous outdoor television programs like, “Kentucky Afield,” Walmart’s “Great Outdoors,” and “Outdoors with Dave Shuffett,” aired on the Outdoor Life Network and the Outdoor Channel. Don is a Pro Staffer for the following companies: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Shimano G-Loomis Rods, Bandit Bait Company, Prowler Soft Plastics, Mustad, Optima Batteries, Lunker Lure, and P-Line.