I love to fish rattling, lipless baits in cold-water conditions both in the winter and summer time. They can be extremely effective when fish are more lethargic and don’t want to chase lures horizontally. Fish can also be lethargic when water temps get warm, skies are clear and they are not feeding. Those are key times to fish lipless rattle-baits.
I’m impressed with the new Rap-V Blade and I have used them as they are and also modified them so that I have “non-rattling” ones , rattling ones, ones that are standard with one treble and one in-line single hook and ones with two treble hooks.
To make some silent producing only the flashy side-to-side action for safety I removed the hooks on some of my rattlers and drilled two holes into each of the body cavities that house the rattlers.
I removed the rattles and filled up the cavities with fast drying two-part clear epoxy cement.
The modified rattlers work well and sometimes the silent one works best, other times the rattling one works best!
As we gear-up to fish for bass and pike using crankbaits and body baits I wanted to share a great alternative by replacing the treble hooks with VMC “in-line” hooks. I have experimented using crankbaits with trebles and singles and I have come to believe that in shallow-water conditions, the in-line single hooks catch less weeds and bottom and hook-up fish as well as a treble and may even hold on to a jumping fish like a bass better with just a single hook!
The VMC in-line singles have the hook-eye parallel to the hook, not “perpendicular” as with regular hooks. Since they are in-line you can rig them so that the hook is always pointing out in the best possible “hook-up” position.
It’s simple to change from trebles to in-line singles on most hard-body lures. I normally up-size the hook size when I switch to an in-line single.
In-line single hooks come in the most popular sizes and can also be used to replace trebles on
Our good friend Simeon Kubassek who work out of Lake Superior’s north-shore, his girlfriend Mirjana and buddy Wayne too advantage of early tributary steelhead fishing. I have fished the north-shore of Lake Superior for steelhead in my younger years and I can confirm that I planned my trips there the middle of May and even then we would be standing on huge chunks of river ice on the shorelines to fish from. This year the tributaries were already open in April and the fish ran up early.
The same drifting techniques work on Superior’s north-shore as they do in southern Ontario. Drift rods in the 9 1/2-13′ length are standard matched with either a center-pin reel or spinning reel.
Most anglers fish 8-10 lb. test monofilament line and add a clear “fluorocarbon” leader anywhere for 12-24″ below the float.
Salmon or Steelhead roe bags usually produce well but some anglers also fish small live worms and artificials like Rapalas, Vibrax spinners and the Luhr Jense Kwikfish.
Fresh-run steelhead will hold in deeper pools and runs and below obstructions like rapids, dams and weirs.
Some of my favorite rivers to fish along the Trans Canada highway are the Wolf Black Sturgeon rivers and their tributaries.