Rapala Bait Showcase
Welcome to the first instalment of the Rapala Baits Showcase, a blog series profiling the world’s best fishing lures! Taking centre stage today are Jigging Raps, Shad Raps, Husky Jerks and BX Brats — four tried-and-true lures for catching walleye, pike, bass and more.
A longtime ice fishing essential, the Jigging Rap is now just as popular during open water. For example, vertically jigging a Jigging Rap in spring is a proven way to catch whitefish from deep humps and flats. This same tactic continues producing in summer and fall, with various sized Jigging Raps taking bass, walleye, pike, yellow perch and crappie from deep water.
If that’s not enough, aggressively snap-jigging a Jigging Rap is a hot trend for walleye, pike and bass. Cast or trolled, the method covers water and triggers strikes. Fish can’t resist the lure’s evasive, darting action. The size 7 is tough to beat year round, but a size 5 has it’s place in spring. The size 9 is a good option for deeper scenarios or when fish prefer a fast, crashing fall.
Jigging Rap colours cover every water clarity and fish mood scenario under the sun. There are ultra-realistic finishes, like Live Goby, classic patterns, like Chrome Blue Gold, glow and UV finishes, plus several recent custom additions, such as Fruit Punch and Glow Pink Squirrel.
Did you know the size 7 Shad Rap has 40 years of fish-catching experience and in 2019 the Shad Rap was one of Rapala’s top manufactured lures, with over 1 million units shipped in the US and Canada? The Shad Rap Series hasn’t just stood the test of time, it’s thrived!
“When you have only so much time to spend on the water, you want to maximize every moment. You want to fish a lure you can count on,” legendary angler Al Linder said. “Simply put, the Shad Rap is one of the most consistent producers in the history of fishing. Period.”
Part of the Shad Rap’s winning formula is its unique design and balsa body, which combined produce a life-like action that triggers an attack response of predators. Versatility’s another strength. A Shad Rap’s effective cast or trolled, and performs flawlessly from ultra-slow presentations to super fast.
Looking to the season ahead, a Shad Rap is a reliable offering for walleye and pike in spring and early summer. Swim a size 5 or 7 around shorelines, points, shallow reefs and around vegetation and it’s going to get smashed. From summer into autumn, the larger size 9 model gains momentum for walleye, pike and bass.
Shad Raps come in a rainbow of fish-catching colours. Long-time fans will want to check out Moldy Fruit, Voodoo Haze, Black Wonderbread and the other new custom colours.
No tackle box is complete without a collection of Husky Jerks. Perfectly balanced, these jerkbaits can be cast or trolled at any speed and always run true. A tight swim, the perfect amount of belly roll, a rattle chamber and the ability to suspend tantalizingly on the pause are just a few characteristics making Husky Jerks irresistible to predators.
Pike eat size 12 and 14 Husky Jerks like candy. With a 4 to 8 foot running depth, these jerkbaits are ideal for fishing springtime pike hangouts, including shorelines, points, bays, rock reefs and flats.
Just as impressive is the staggering number of walleye caught each season on Husky Jerks. These lures excel in similar areas where one would cast or troll a Shad Rap, giving anglers another profile and action style to offer walleye. Trolling Husky Jerks on a three-way rig is another effective presentation for walleye.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass are just as susceptible to the flash, erratic action and rattles of these jerkbaits. Compared to a high action ripbait, a Husky Jerk has a more conservative action. This makes it effective for triggering strikes from pressured bass that have been bombarded with highly erratic jerkbaits as well as during cool water periods.
Since being launched in 2017, the original BX Brat crankbaits, along with the BX Big Brat(2020) and BX Mid Brat(2021), are proving their worth at catching big fish. Immediately popular for smallmouth and largemouth bass in shallow water, the BX Brat series also catch walleye and pike.
Gravel and riprap shorelines, sunken logs, docks, shallow reefs, rocky points, sand bars and vegetation edges are all prime areas for casting these all-wheel-drive, modified-squarebills with 3, 5 and 6 foot running depths. An under-the-radar tactic we encourage you to try is trolling BX Brats for walleye at dawn and dusk over shallow weed beds and along outside edges.
Like all of Rapala’s balsa baits, the BX Brat series float up and back out of cover well, minimizing snags. The balsa wood inner core also gives these lures a lifelike swimming action big fish can’t resist. On top of that (literally) is a rugged copolymer outer shell made to take the abuse of being smashed off hard surfaces and T-boned by angry predators. And, if that’s not enough, the entire series come in an array of highly-detailed colour patterns suitable for any water clarity scenario and for matching all types of baitfish.
The Jigging Rap, Shad Rap, Husky Jerk and BX Brat lures are just a few examples of the vast lineage of best-selling Rapala baits anglers have relied on for generations to catch fish and experience memorable days on the water. Get some and get ready for a stellar fishing season!