How To – Fishing With Twitch Baits
If you are interested in modern predator fishing, you will hardly be able to avoid terms such as "twitching" or "jerking". This type of bait presentation animates hard baits or soft baits with short and hard strokes of your fishing rod. Perch and pike can rarely resist the sight of a twitch bait zig-zagging back and forth. When using an aggressive twitching action during the summer, it can be difficult for predators to attack their supposed “prey”, so shortstops between twitches are required to allow the bait to present itself as a tasty snack. Now, the important question remains - which types and forms of lures can best be made to dance through the water? Basically, from the group of hard baits that are suitable for this purpose are slim and elongated baits with small lips, which hardly have any swimming action when simply cranking. Even rubber fish with a pintail mounted on an offset hook can be twitched excellently.
Not only in the US has the Rapala Shadow Rap® and Shadow Rap® Shad been hyped by the bass professional Mike Iaconelli, which has attracted a lot of attention. In our native waters of Germany, they are our first choice to outwit pike and big perch in spring after the closed season. At first glance, the two twitch baits look similar, but they are two completely different baits, each with different special properties. In the following article we will go in deep with all details of the Shadow Rap series, their areas of use and the required equipment.
The Shadow Rap® is a 11cm long twitch bait and weighs 13 g. The running depth varies between 0.6 - 1.2 meters. For those who need something that goes deeper, there is also a deep version with a larger diving lip, which can reach down to 2.5 meters.
The slim, flattened profile and the slowly sinking action are important details that give this lure its special properties. But why pick such a small hard bait with three trebles? What many do not know - the Shadow Rap was originally developed for black bass fishing in cold water, especially before spawning. The warm-blooded fish are very sluggish in this phase due to the low water temperature and are often not ready to chase a fast-run artificial lure, since they now want to consume little energy. Now the Shadow Rap performed in slow motion can play its full strengths. One to two twitches are enough to get the predators attention. When paused, which you can do for several seconds, the bait sinks in natural form very slowly towards the bottom of the lake and gives the fish enough time to approach and make an attack. But that does not explain the three trebles yet. The idea behind them was to significantly increase the hook up rate of very cautious and sluggish biting predators in cold water, which was also well done with the thin-wire, needle-sharp hooks of VMC.
The 9 cm long and 12 g heavy Shadow Rap® Shad looks very similar to the Shadow Rap® but differs fundamentally in its features from its big brother. The body shape is low with a higher, pointy back and causes due to the low profile an extremely strong rotation about its own axis (180 degrees at many times). The flash of the side flank of the lure is a key stimulus to tempt curious predatory fish to bite and one of the secrets that makes the Shadow Rap family so successful. The more compact body shape also improves the casting properties. The Shadow Rap Shad is specifically designed to use in warmer water after spawning or during summer and is best twitched aggressively and quickly through the water. It develops his typical zigzag run. In contrast to the slowly sinking Shadow Rap this model has a floating action and when paused, rests slightly headfirst in the direction of the surface. In the warm summer months with a lot of surface activity, this behavior is very natural of a baitfish. The Shadow Rap Shad is also available in a flat running version with a diving depth of 0.9-1.2 meters and the deep variant with a slightly larger depth of 1.5-1.8 meters.
Generally, you should use a very short, between 1.70-2.00m long rod for fishing with twitch baits. In order for the jerking movements of your rod to really reach to the artificial bait, the rod should be firm and crisp. Soft rods with a high glass fiber content are made for crankbaits but are out of place for this type of fishing. Also important is the grip, which shouldbe short in order to be able to twitch comfortably and without tiring the whole day. Whether one fishes with spinning reel, or the often-feared baitcast combo with beginners, is left to each alone. They have both advantages and disadvantages and often you have to decide depending on the situation, water and weight.
For the Shadow Rap® and Shadow Rap® Shad I recommend rods in the casting weight range between 20 g and 30 g. In the deep models, you should definitely choose the upper casting weight range, as the larger diving lip also creates more resistance in the water.
Article originally published HERE.