There are so many questions bass guys ask themselves when contemplating chucking a rattlebait. Stock hooks? Red hooks? Remove the rear hook? Different size hooks on the front and back? Rip it? Straight reel it? Snatch it? Vertical jig it? Let’s not forget the line type theories, best rod/reel opinions, and even the darn knot suggestions specifically for rattlebaits. Theories can get so confusing, I’ve seen anglers actually shy away from picking rattlebaits up because “something” may not be right according to popular opinion. But there is one theory I’d like to put to bed, that being rattlebaits and calm days don’t jive.
The most important thing to remember despite all the other rattlebait tweaking jargon is that they are reaction baits. And when it’s calm, something intuitively tells you the rattles are too loud and obnoxious for finicky bass in tranquil waters. Take my word for it…they’re not. Because of all those theories and opinions about these lures, the discipline that gets lost in the shuffle is just putting all that hype aside and committing to throwing one. I did that just a few days ago during a calm fall day. Amongst a sea of finesse fishermen, the rattlebait crushed it for me, and the more erratic the retrieve, the harder it go smashed.
And that takes me to the other big caveat: your brain’s going to say to reel it slower to dull the rattling when it’s calm, but the faster and more erratic retrieves are often better. That’s because it’s all about the reaction, even when it’s calm. Food for thought next time you’re on glass-slick water…make some noise.