I have caught more fish through the ice on Jigging Raps than any other bait or lure I have ever used. It’s the most indispensable ice lure I own.
The reasons for the disproportionate share of fish catching are in their inherent properties. Jigging Raps sink like a rock. There is no patient feeding of line with a featherweight jig to find bottom. There is no need to use bait (although some do), so you don’t have to waste time checking your hook and re-baiting after missed hits. If you get a hit and miss, just leave it at that depth until the next strike. This feature allows for maximum productivity when a hungry school of fish swims by.
You won’t miss many strikes fishing a Jigging Rap. There are single hooks at opposite ends and a treble hook hanging in the center. That’s five chances at a hook-up! Compare that with a single hook impaled on a live or salted minnow.
You can fish Jigging Raps as aggressively or passively as needed. The fish’s reaction will determine the action you impart. If you are able to sight-fish or have a camera, watch how fast the fish come in to your jigging motion. Some will hit it while jigging wildly, while others will slowly swim to the jig and “kiss” a stationary presentation.
The profile of the Jigging Rap is perfectly shaped and balanced. The length ranges from 1-1/4 inch to 3-1/2 inches enabling you to match the size to the depth of the water, available forage and species of fish you are targeting.
Last but not least are the color selections. FishUSA stocks 26 colors in all five sizes! My favorite colors for perch are the Silver Fluorescent Chartreuse and Gold Fluorescent Orange. Most of the time, I fish one rod so I can continually impart action to the jig. I keep one rod rigged in each color. Many times I’ll have a run on one color then the action slows. I’ll quickly swap out the rod with the other color and, more often than not, the frenzy will start right back up.
It’s a good strategy to have a supply of both attractor and imitator colors. For example the two colors I just mentioned would be considered attractors, not representing a specific minnow. Other good attractor colors are the Clown, Green Tiger UV and Purpledescent. Excellent imitator colors would be the Bluegill, Perch, Rainbow Trout and Silver.
Jigging Raps are durable. I’ve never had trouble with fading colors or chipped paint. You will recover the cost of Jigging Raps with the money you’ll save on live minnows. The only negative I can think of is when a fish inhales the entire bait, it is a pain to reverse all five hooks!
If there is a secret to fishing Jigging Raps, it is to keep the rod in hand. This will enable you to strike back immediately. Try a variety of jigging motions – alternate fast and slow with frequent pauses. Sometimes just the slightest little twitch will trigger a strike.
Build an inventory of Jigging Raps in a variety of sizes and colors. There is a size and color for any species of fish. Find a pattern for the waters you fish. And don’t put them away in the summer – Jigging Raps can be deadly for vertical jigging in open water!