Shad Rap is one of the premier baits for cranking bass in cold water. At 2.75″ length, it can be used in any temperature of water and on both spinning and baitcasting tackle.
The crankbait’s subtle side-to-side rolling action imitates a wounded minnow in distress, which can be an excellent trigger for sluggish fish during this time of year.
Using the Rapala Shad Rap in Cold Water
Rapala Shad Rap crankbaits are a must-have in any tackle box, and they are one of the most reliable lures for catching bass. Crafted from premium balsa wood, the Shad Rap closely resembles bait fish and works at various depths. Plus, it’s been hand-tuned and tank tested for perfect performance right out of the package with super sharp VMC(r) black nickel treble hooks that ensure an impressive catch every time.
Rapala Shad Rap is an excellent crankbait, but it can be challenging to use in cold water. Fortunately, there are several ways to catch more bass with this bait during wintertime.
Anglers using heavier baitcasting reels should opt for small-diameter 6- to 8-pound test fluorocarbon line. This will give your lure more power and enable it to launch faster.
Another way to catch more bass is by slowing the retrieve of your Shad Rap lure. Doing this allows the lure to remain in the strike zone longer, increasing the possibility of strikes.
When water temperatures drop, a shallow crankbait is one of the most effective ways to lure bass. Crankbaits that are only several inches deep can be an especially popular option in cold waters when fishing on rocks or shallow areas.
Crankbaits may move more slowly than jigs, but they still possess great power. This is because the weight of a jig slows down its rotation on a baitcasting reel, preventing it from spinning fast enough to propel itself through the air.
Avoid this issue by opting for a lure that moves slowly and stays in the strike zone longer. Popular options include the Jointed Shad Rap, which features an authentic rattle system to simulate a wounded baitfish.
Stop and Go
Rapala Shad Rap is an excellent crankbait that can be used both trolling and casting. With the Rapala Shad Rap, you have the versatility to swim near or deep water; depending on your reel speed, it may dive up to five feet.
For optimal performance from your Rapala Shad Rap lure, add some weight. Doing so will cause it to swim closer towards the bottom and potentially generate more strikes.
You can get the most out of your lure using either 10 or 11-pound test monofilament line. If you are trolling in weedy water, pinch a split shot three feet above the lure to prevent plants from fouling up your line.
Anglers who like to throw the Rapala Shad Rap trolled can add SuspenDots for additional control of the bait’s action. You could also use a small split-shot shell to slow down or even suspend it during retrieval.
When fishing for bass in cold or warm water, it’s essential to cover your target area before beginning a retrieve. Do this by twitching the bait several times and then letting it sit for some time before continuing with your retrieve.
Once you are covering the water, slow your retrieve to a leisurely pace and focus on working your target area. Doing this will give winter bass an opportunity to reach for your bait.
This method is an effective way to catch more bass with your Rapala Shad Rap lure. Be sure to use a rod that’s light enough not to foul the lure with weeds, yet heavy enough for it to stay at the depth desired.
When fishing with the Rapala Shad Rap in cold water, you may want to suspend your retrieves. This allows you to work the bait at different depths depending on where your rod tip is in the water column.
Suspending crankbaits often generate more strikes than nonsuspending ones, particularly when bass are sluggish or feeding on cover like wood and rocks. Ripping out cover or bumping the lure off of it will also draw attention from bass.
When selecting a crankbait to suspend, look for one with tight to moderate wobble and an elongated design. Additionally, choose a treble hook size large enough to support both the weight of your crankbait and any fish caught on it.
The ideal suspended crankbaits should also have a rattle that can be detected by the bass’ lateral line, so make sure your model has this feature. Some models, like the Scatter Rap, feature internal beads or bbs that produce an audible click when paused.
Another excellent suspending crankbait is the MirrOlip. This asymmetrical bait features a patented twitch-twitch-pause action that will entice even wary bass to hit your crankbait.
Though not the most expensive suspending crankbait available, it does come with a number of features that make it ideal for cold water fishing. The patented twitch-twitch-pause design is one obvious benefit, while its jointed, rattle-equipped shad shaped body with its light weight and wide swimming action make it an excellent winter cranking choice.
Listicle 4: Switch to Larger Size Treble Hooks
Rapala Shad Rap crankbaits are some of the most sought-after lures on the market. They’ve won tournaments and produced plenty of bass bites thanks to their versatile nature – available in an array of colors and bill lengths.
If you want to catch more bass with your Rapala Shad Rap lure, switching the treble hooks for larger size ones can help prevent it from rising too quickly and trap more fish.
Anglers may want to switch to larger treble hooks when using a spinning rod and reel, as these allow for pinpoint casts. Furthermore, the treble hook has greater abrasion resistance than its single counterpart, making it ideal for catching bass on the fly.
Additionally, treble hooks make it harder for the bait to get caught on grass or weeds, potentially leading to its fall off the lure or loss of effectiveness. A treble hook may also be superior when working a crankbait since they allow you to adjust its position while working the lure – this helps prevent it from rising too high.
For optimal performance when fishing for bass, troll your crankbaits at 1.5-3 mph. This will cover as much water as possible and guarantee that all lures are matched correctly and working together effectively.
Furthermore, opt for the smallest one you can afford when using a swivel on your lure. Slight swivels can throw off the action of your lure, so use one that is as light as possible.
Rapala Shad Rap crankbait Bass Tips
When fishing a Rapala Shad Rap crankbait, varying your retrieve pattern is key for catching more bass. You can do this by twitching, casting or slow trolling it. Additionally, you can pause or twitch the rod tip during your retrieve to cause the lure to stop in an optimal position.
This pause can be an effective tool to elicit more aggressive fish that might otherwise avoid your lure. Furthermore, it provides you with a chance to confirm whether the bait is working or not.
Another effective technique for catching more bass is using a diving crankbait when trolling. Baits like the Rapala Shad Rap dive down five to seven feet and can be an excellent choice when working large flats or points with scattered cover.
These areas often hold a lot of walleye and bass. To work these structures, try jigging minnow or hardbait such as a 1/8oz or 1/4oz flasher jig or 3″ Gulp! Minnow.
One of the advantages of the Rapala Shad Rap is its bullet-like casting ability and range of depths. This can be especially advantageous when fish are acting spooky and you need to make long casts.
When fishing with braided line, tie on an X-Rap and fireline crystal for extra hook setting power and action when making long casts. Troll fishing also benefits by using a lighter weighted rod, which helps you reach the bottom faster and more efficiently.
Combining the Shad Rap with other baits can be an effective strategy to catch more bass. Jigging spoons like PK Lures’ Flutter Fish, Northland’s Buck-Shot Rattle Spoon, and vertical jigging lures like Strike King Red Eye Shad are all viable choices for targeting largemouth bass.