Originally used by ice fishermen, jigging rap style baits such as the Rapala Jigging Rap catches a variety of fish from under the ice or in open water.
My home waters of Lake of the Ozarks never freezes solid enough to try these baits under ice, but I have been fishing at nearby Table Rock Lake with guides who have shown me how they use this lure to catch suspended bass during the wintertime. The lure falling in a tantalizing circle when it’s yo-yoed or bounced off the bottom is simply irresistible to the largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass the guides are targeting.
Fishing Jigging Raps During The Winter
When Table Rock guides notice wintertime bass start ignoring their jigging spoons and plastic grubs, they change to a Rapala Jigging Rap for their vertical presentation. The rap bait has a different look than a spoon and falls a lot more erratically, which closely mimics the action of a dying threadfin shad.
When vertical jigging 30 to 50 feet deep, the guides use a 3/4-ounce jigging rap in chrome-and-blue or white colors. They impart action to the lure by quickly raising their rods 2 to 3 feet high and then slowly dropping it. The key to the presentation is to allow the lure to fall on a slack line to give the lure its best action and then slowly lower your rod tip to follow the bait as it’s falling.
Jigging Rap Hacks
One of the craziest ways (yet deadly effective) I have seen a guide use the jigging rap is with a three-lure setup he called the “Cluster Rig.” His rig consisted of a swivel tied 4 to 5 inches above two 4-inch
Once he found baitfish on his depth finder, the guide dropped his rig and watched to see if any bass moved up to inspect his offering. He employed a dead-stick presentation holding his rod very still so the only action imparted to the lure was from boat movement.
For bass hugging the bottom as deep as 80 feet, the guide let the Jigging Rap hit the lake’s floor and then would reel the rig slowly to the top to trigger strikes.