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Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait

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Suspending Jerkbait/Stickbait fishing kicks off bass fishing to most anglers on or near the Mason Dixon line in early springtime. Bass congregate in large schools normally in a “neutral” suspending mode this time of year. They tend to stay near schools of shad or herring. A day or two of warm weather can trigger feeding and some of the best days you will ever have on the water can occur during this time.
Birthed around Mid-America’s  Lake of the Ozarks, Bull Shoals, and Norfolk Lake in Arkansas/Missouri, Dale Hollow, Percy Priest and fabled Kentucky/Barkley Lakes in Tennessee and Kentucky the jerkbait has been a early season cold water “go to” technique for years. The bite can be simply amazing at times.
Best early season water temps for staging or suspending bass can range from the early 40’s in clear water empoundments to mid 50’s in stained environments. South to southwest facing banks are usually best.
Keys to success
There are several keys to finding early spring jerkbait bass. Clear water is a must. Bass this time of year are sight feeders and will come long distances to hit a suspending jerkbait. Best starting places are outside bends of creek and river channels adjacent to spawning pockets. Cadance is also critical. The lower the water temperature the longer the pause in the cadance is the general rule of thumb for the retrieve. Many jerkbait experts like Mike McClelland believe most bass with hit the bait when the bait is still versus being jerked. “Early spring stickbaits need to be fished painfully slow. Jerk, jerk,pause, jerk,pause, jerk,pause and then let the bait sit. Bass will crunch it when its stopped noted the stickbait expert McClelland.
Another key overlooked by some is the rattle variable. It is imperative to have both rattling jerkbaits and those that do not rattle in the arsenal this time of year. As a general rule it is best to start fishing those with rattles first but do not be afraid to throw silent ones in clear water situations. Silent baits are best in chrome/blue, chrome or mirrored finishes to produce the necessary. Stained water baits should inldude chartrueses and oranges. Color is not as critical on those baits with rattles. Let the bass tell you which color they prefer.
As far as bait selection we have several favorites. The Lucky Craft Pointer 100, the Susepending Rattlin Rogue, the Bomber Long A, the Rapala Husky Jerk and the Spro McStick are all good ones. We recently added a new one that we really like from Rapala called the X-Rap Sure Set Slash Bait.
The Inside Scoop
The Rapala X-Rap Sure Set is 4″ long, weighs 7/16 of an ounce, has a feathered Sure Set hook in the rear of the bait and comes in 8 great colors. Tennessee Olive Shad, Parrot, Purple Albino, Moss Chartruese Shad, Copperhead, Moss Black Shiner, Albino Shiner and Blue Back Shiner cover the differences in water color quite nicely.
The bait is balanced well and the rattle chamber allows the balls to go to the rear of the bait making casting easy even in windy conditions. The oversized 3D eyes blended into pronounced gills, great paint jobs, and durable hardware makes this bait hold up well even after repeated fish.The tapered nose and smallish concave downturned bill allows the bait to dive and dart side to side. It suspends perfectly when stopped. Heavy duty VMC hooks match the bait perfectly.
The Rapala X-Rap is reasonably priced compared to others on the market and the quality is superb.
To buy click here.