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WHEN AND HOW TO FISH THE BEST RAPALA JIGGING BAITS

Winter Jigging


The Rapala Jigging Rap series and Slab Rap are the best ice-fishing baits for consistently catching more and bigger fish. Crappie, yellow perch, walleye, pike and lake trout are no match for the enticing swimming actions of these premium jigging baits. Here’s a look at the different models and when and how to fish them.


Jigging Rap

While there are no guarantees in fishing, using a Rapala Jigging Rap is as close one gets to a sure-thing. This balanced minnow bait’s tantalizing swimming action is irresistible to fish. Available in five sizes, spanning 1-1/4” to 3-1/2”, the zinc-weighted Jigging Rap comes in over 40 colours, including UV, Glow, and High-Definition Live Shad and Live Walleye patterns.


Jigging Rap


When To Fish It

The Jigging Rap is a great first choice on any fishing adventure, but its sleek profile makes it especially effective in lakes containing minnows and other slim baitfish.


The Jigging Rap’s circular action causes it to swim away from the hole, helping cover water horizontally as well as vertically to attract fish. For this reason, tying on a W2 or W3 is a great strategy when searching for trophy crappies and yellow perch. While the larger W5, W7 and W9 get the nod for walleye, pike and other predators.


Anglers should also have WH5s and WH7s in their jig box as these models feature a Tiger Eye treble attractor bead that adds gives fish a small, swaying target they can’t help but strike.


How To Fish It

All lures in the Rapala Jigging Rap Series work best using a lift-fall-pause sequence. But, here are some pointers.


Lift - A moderate lift makes the Jigging Rap swim up and to the side. For an erratic, darting action, use an aggressive rod snap.


Fall - Allow the lure to fall on a slack line. This ensures it sinks in an enticing, dying-minnow circle. Follow the sinking bait by lowering the rod tip to detect a bite.


Pause - Let a Jigging Rap come to rest before jigging it again. A pause combined with a few shakes will prompt bites from onlookers.


Preferred target species: Walleye, northern pike, lake trout, whitefish, crappie, yellow perch and bass.


Flat Jig

Weighing 80% more than a similar length Jigging Rap, the Flat Jig shines in deep water. Its flat design and mass is also useful in current. The 1/2-ounce RFJ04 is 1-1/2” while the 1-3/16-ounce RFJ06 is 2-1/2”.


Rapala Flat Jig


When To Fish It

The Flat Jig quickly gets it into the strike zone of deep fish. This makes it perfect for working basin humps, reefs and flats anywhere from 20 to 60+ feet of water for lake trout, whitefish, walleye and burbot.


Heavy-duty construction ensures the Flat Jig can take whatever abuse pike and other big predators dish-out.


How To Fish It

Like other lures in the Jigging Rap Series, repeating several aggressive rod snaps will send the Flat Jig swimming in a circle or a Figure-8 around the hole. This attracts fish. And, because it sinks fast, this sequence can also be used to evade, tease and enrage aggressive predators to strike.


Pro Tip: Use a medium/heavy to heavy powered ice rod and no-stretch, thin-diameter Sufix Ice Braid to efficiently work a Flat Jig and have enough power to set the hook in deep water.


Preferred target species: lake trout, whitefish, walleye, burbot and northern pike


Snap Rap

This lure’s large tail wing gives it a more pronounced darting and gliding action compared to a Jigging Rap. Its also thicker, delivering a meatier profile and more surface area to display any one of the 15 available eye-catching colour patterns.


Snap Rap


When To Fish It

The Snap Rap’s two-part body construction and heavy-duty hooks are built rugged and ready to wrestle aggressive predators. Durability is also useful when banging the bait on rocks to attract walleye, lake trout and other species relating to hard-bottom areas.


A fast sinker, it’s suitable for jigging deep structures and mild current. But, it’s just as good in shallow and mid-depth areas.


How To Fish It

An aggressive rod snap is the secret to maximize a Snap Rap’s appeal. The harder and higher the jigging motion, the further the lure darts up and away from centre, before turning and gliding back in a downward arc.


Use big snaps to attract fish. Then switch to small hops, pauses and shakes to seal the deal.


Preferred target species: Walleye, northern pike, lake trout, whitefish, yellow perch and bass


Jigging Shad Rap

Wider than a Jigging Rap, a Jigging Shad Rap provides another profile option and comes in 1”, 1-1/2” and 2” sizes. Green Tiger UV, Perch, Glow, Glow Red and Silver are some popular colours available.


Pro Tip: Regularly recharge Glow and UV lures for maximum fish-attracting luminescence.


Jigging Shad Rap


When To Fish It

Use this lure to match-the-hatch on shad-dominant waterbodies. Compared to a Jigging Rap, a Jigging Shad Rap has a wider swim and a slower fall, staying in a fish’s strike zone longer. This “hang time” is beneficial for getting bites from negative fish.


A Jigging Shad Rap is best for shallow to mid-depths. It can be used deep, but its slower fall makes it a less efficient search lure compared to other fast-sinking lures from the Series.


How To Fish It

Use a lift-fall-pause jigging sequence similar to a Jigging Rap. But, don’t be shy to jig this bait one to two feet as its slower descent won’t spook fish beneath it. In fact, it’ll often cause them to swim up and eat it.


Pro Tip: For the best swimming action and subtle, strike-triggering moves use a Rapala knot for the Jigging Rap Series.


Preferred target species: Walleye, crappie, yellow perch, bluegills, whitefish and bass


Slab Rap

The forward-weighted Slab Rap deviates from the action and profile of the Jigging Rap Series, giving anglers a completely different tool for triggering fish. The SLR04 is 1-1/2” and 1/8-ounces, the SLR05 2” and 1/4-ounce.


Slab Rap


When To Fish It

Its tall minnow profile and hard-vibrations make the Slab Rap perfect for appealing to trophy fish schooled-up with smaller ones.


Its slow-falling, wobbling action is effective from shallow water into depths around 30 feet. And, the Slab Rap is as reliable for catching bottom-oriented fish as it is at stimulating strikes from ones suspended in the water column.


How To Fish It

Fast rod snaps send the Slab Rap searching to the side. As it slows and falls, it circles back to centre. This covers water both vertically and horizontally, similar to the Jigging Rap Series, while emitting vibrations and an irresistible wobble.


Tip: When up against negative fish, use rod small lifts and drops to make the Slab Rap rock back and forth.


Preferred target species: Walleye, lake trout, crappie, yellow perch, whitefish and bass


No matter your favourite species, the Jigging Rap Series and Slab Rap have you covered for ice fishing. Stock-up on these great jigging baits and be sure to tag Rapala Canada when sharing your catches on social media.