by Mike Gerry
Many fishermen refer to a rattle bait as an idiot bait, meaning all that is needed is to cast and reel and you will catch fish. If all you are doing is casting and reeling, you’re not fishing.
Sure, when conditions are right for this rattle bait, and most baits will catch fish without any thought into what you are doing. But, if you want the bait to be consistent it is much more than throw and reel. You may hear people say it’s easy bait to fish, and anyone can catch fish with it. Well, I beg to differ, it’s better said as an easy bait to cast but if your fishing, thought and technique must be applied as it should to any bait.
The key to me, is staying mentally in contact with the rattle bait, being aware of every movement that the bait makes while you are retrieving it. The mental part of fishing rattle baits is more important than many other types of bait you have in your tackle box. In fact in my opinion rattle baits must be fished with precision and confidence. Every movement of the bait is a calculated movement made by the fisherman. You want the bait to do many different things while presenting it to a fish and your movements must be presented so it causes a strike. The ability to feel the structure and move through it over it and around it is the key!
The truth is that there are many different presentations you can use, from speed reeling to dropping, stopping to pulling it parallel over the bottom. You yo-yo it, you pop off of cover, you let it drop to the bottom and go slack, and I could go on and on. In fact I believe I could come up with 25 or more ways to fish it. None of them would be fishing it with little to no thought or awareness of the baits movement. The fishermen make the bait what it is today, that being a well rounded fish catching versatile bait that fished correctly covers an enormous amount of ground and causes reaction bites when worked correctly by the fisherman.
So the next time you tie on rattle bait, put some thought to it and you’ll catch more bass.