by Mike Gerry
As we get deeper into the rattle trap bite, I thought I would spend some time talking in detail as to the many ways to work a rattle trap. The way I like the most is referred to as yo-yoing the trap. It also has many ways to do what is referred to as yo-yoing, especially on Guntersville, where you are dealing with spotty grass from the summer.
Yes, the yo-yo technique is simple. It is just a matter of working the trap up and down; however, the technique of doing that has many ways to go about it, especially as noted, with a grassy lake.
Speed, control, and rod tip are particularly important when yo-yoing as you need to be able to change the drop, slowly retrieve it, or rip it upward, giving the bait a variety of different looks to the fish when you rip it vs. slowly retrieving it. Sometimes the harder and faster you rip it upward the more reaction bites you get, and when the bite is tough creating reaction bites can be extremely rewarding.
Another presentation is the steady retrieve. Often, when the fish are active, the steady retrieve works best as you are just covering water to put the bait in front of the fish’s face causing them to bite. As is the case, retrieve speed needs to vary, until you find one that catches fish; reel fast, reel slow, speed up, slow down, and stopping your movement momentarily allows you to find the presentation that the fish are reacting to.
The stopping action just needs you to pause your retrieve momentarily. Remember, speed can be changed with different reels. A faster reel will give the trap a different look than a slow one. Rod tip location also changes the look of the bait. If you hold the rod tip high, it will run more toward the top of the water level; conversely if you hold the rod tip down it will run deeper allowing the rattle trap to deflect and move erratically as you pull it though cover.
Fishing a rattle bait is all about imagination. Allowing yourself to become creative can lead you to some good days and look different to the fish in the water in the cold of winter!