Every angler should have a confidence bait or maybe two. Doing so improves his odds, and I explain why in Better Bass Fishing.
Mine is a lipless crankbait, preferably a Spot or Rat-L-Trap. I’ve caught bass up to 12-4 with it.
For my neighbor across the lake, it’s a small, floating Rapala. Unless he is using live bait, it’s the only thing that he throws in our little clear-water fishery. He catches plenty of bass on it, too. One evening last summer, he handed the rod to me, and I immediately caught a 5-pound channel catfish with the bait.
Also, I’ve tried other swimming minnows while he is catching fish with the Rapala. No luck. For whatever reason, fish in this lake want the “wounded minnow” developed by Finnish fisherman Lauri Rapala back in 1936.
And based on the bait’s success worldwide, I’m guessing that it is the preferred forage of lots of other fish around the world as well.
Here’s a little background on the bait from the Rapala company:
The brand was unofficially founded in 1936 when Finnish fisherman Lauri Rapala made one simple, yet genius observation: Big fish eat little fish, particularly the wounded ones. As he fished the waters of Finland’s Lake Paijanne, he noticed how predator fish would dart into a school of minnows and attack the one that swam with a slightly off-centered wobble again and again.
This elegant insight led Lauri to pick up a carving knife to whittle, shave and sand the original Rapala fishing lure. With makeshift household materials such as cork, tinfoil and melted photographic negatives, he crafted and painstakingly tested a lure that perfectly mimicked the action of a wounded minnow and would ultimately become the forefather of the legendary Original Floating™ Rapala.
From these humble origins, the greatest fishing story ever told began. As anglers around the globe began to catch more and bigger fish with the lure, the legend of Rapala grew. It became clear that the Rapala’s groundbreaking ‘wounded minnow’ action was the key to triggering strike after strike from fish of all species in nearly any application.
In 1959, Normark Corporation was established and set out to increase distribution of Rapala lures to U.S. fishing enthusiasts, helping to offer the brand’s innovative designs to more people than ever before.
Since the inception of Lauri Rapala’s original lure, Rapala has become a market leader known to anglers worldwide as the standard in functionality and high quality.
Today, more anglers put their faith in Rapala lures and accessories than any other brand. In fact, Rapala now consists of such world-known brands as VMC, Blue Fox, Williamson, Luhr-Jensen, Storm, Terminator, Sufix, Trigger X and ICE FORCE.
Confidence in the company’s ever-growing selection of products has spread to more than 140 countries worldwide and is validated with approximately 20 million lures sold annually and the prestigious claim that more world-record fish have been caught on Rapala lures than any other brand of fishing lures.