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kingkobbla

Trolling Raps

21 posts in this topic

Never trolled for walleyes with raps before but going to give it a try this 4th of July weekend. At what depths do you guys usually troll them?? Also what kinds and what colors? I've been looking at them and they seem to be pretty spendy, are there any cheaper ones?? The lake I'll be fishing is clear so I figure trolling at night is the ticket? Thanks

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Never trolled at night. I use a few different colors. Perch is a real good. I'll troll anywhere from 17 to 30 FOW. Let out line till you feel bottom and then give it a couple of cranks up.

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From 17' to 30' can vary in what raps you use tremendously. from 1' to 7' feet deep an SR5 works best, or possibly a DT4 or x-rap. From 8' to 9' or 10' and SR7 works best or a shad minnow rap or DT6 or 8 and a shallow running x-rap. It solely depends where you are marking fish in the water column, and if there are weeds and other structure present.

This is only based on Rapala Shad Raps, there are tons of other lures/plugs that fill in the depths these will not get to.

remember to know what depths you will be fishing, Without being aided by weight, the names of most lures signifies the depths they will dive. DT4 means it only dives 4' deep, DT6 is 6' deep, SR5 is 5' deep etc.

Most of the above lures will not reach 30' let alone 15 feet, unless longlined with a splitshot or snap weight added.

As far as colors, certain colors may work better on some lakes but not others. I have had good luck at night and the daytime with Crayfish, perch, in more clear waters. chartruese and silver, blue and silver and the newer red tiger pattern, in murkier water.

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walleyguy32 has a lot of good info, the most important being that you need a bait that will run the depth the fish are at.

Shad raps and shallow shad raps are good choices at this time of year, or deep tail dancers if you are fishing deep water. Husky jerk-baits and original rapalas work good at night in shallower water. Lots of other bait companies have good choices too.

For colors, try to get a good selection and mix it up until you find what works. Firetiger and perch are good starters, same with clown and the patterns like blue/silver, black/silver, chartruese/silver, etc.

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DT4 means it only dives 4' deep, DT6 is 6' deep, SR5 is 5' deep etc.

SR5 refers to 5CM in lgth SR7 7cm long etc. If you are serious about starting to troll get "Precision trolling" book it discusses everything you need to know & for about $25-$30 it will be money well spent.

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I run Raps anywhere from 4' to 30', deeper depths run on lead core. Even in 10' or less i'll put out a #5 Shad with one color.

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I do about 75% of my cranking at night fishing in 3-12 fow most of the time. During the day they can be anywhere based on the lake and conditions your fishing. I've had several midsummer days where I've pulled many eyes from 4-8 fow in the middle of the day. So in response to depth I'll give an "it depends" response. Key in one wind theat is hitting structure or has recently pounded into structure. Also rocks, weedbeds, etc.

If you what to give this a real try and want to shorten your learning curve plus a lot of frustration get The Precision Trolling handbook. You'll learn more about lures and the depth they'll run with so more line in no time.

For a small collection of lure options I'd recommend a #5 shad rap(SR), #7 SSR, #7 SR, #11 floating rapala, Thunderstick, Floating Rattlin Rogue, Frenzy Shallow Firestick Minnow #12 Husky Jerk, #12 Deep Husky Jerk, Cordell Walleye Diver and #7 Minnow Rap.

These baits with run you from $1.99 - 7.99. They will cover almost the entire water column.

Like perchjerker said get a variety of colors. You'll want some natural, some flashy and some bright. Perch is almost always a good color, as is shad, firetiger, chartruese, chrome/black, Clown and gold/black.

If I could only afford 5 for fishing at night they be the #5 SR(Shad), #7 SSR(Yellow Perch), #11 floating rapala(Rainbow Trout), Thunderstick(Chrome/Black) and #12 Husky Jerk(Firetiger).

Good Luck!

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I pulled cranks for a long time before I got the Precision Trolling book. Put it on your christmas list it is very helpful, not necessary for starting out but if you want to spend the bucks you will find it worth every penny. The other thing I would add is don't get to bent about at a specific depth. From fishing live bait we get it drilled in our head to be one or two feet off the bottom. With cranks it is a different deal. I believe the rule of thumb or the stike zone is to be within 4 feet of the fish. You don't have a lot of leeway in 8 feet of water but if you are trolling around structure in 18 feet of water you have a more depths that the lure will be effective.

Also as PerchJerker said there are a lot of other companies that make great crankbaits. I find myself using other brands more and more.

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There has been a lot of good info but one other thing to remember is if you are on a lake with all sorts of structure and that is where you plan on trolling you will want to try and keep a mental picture of the structure because your lure is anywhere from 75-125 feet behind the boat so you will want to try and keep your lure at the right depth but your boat could be anywhere from 2 - 50 feet of water as long as your lure is near the correct depth.

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Wow! Thanks alot for all of the info guys. Getting the book sounds like a good idea. All of the info is helpful and i appreciate it alot! Thanks again.

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Regarding depth, leadcore, and longlining, don't forget about your avg. bottom-bouncer. While this won't work with deep-diving, big-billed baits, a favorite summer technique of mine is to pull husky jerk-baits, rouges, floating raps, etc. on a 5 foot or so floro leader behind a bottom bouncer. I don't know how well this works in clearer water, as I'm usually using it in rivers or murky lakes.

While not a replacement for leadcore or other deep-water techniques, the bottom bouncer method offers a few advantages where the fish find these types of baits preferable. First, it's cheaper than getting setup for lead. Another plus is that with enough weight, you can keep your speeds up yet not be 150ft behind the boat. I especially like the HJ's fished with this bottom-bouncer setup, as you can take advantage of the neutral bouancy of the bait. Turns, pauses, and kills really accentuate the ability of these baits to catch walleyes. Esp. in areas where fish get used to seeing shad-rap after shad-rap ripped past them at 2.5mph.

Lots of ways to do the same thing, crank for walleyes smile

Joel

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3way rigs are another option. I use them a lot on Minnetonka when trolling the jagged deep weed edges in 15 to 20ft. I use anywhere from a 2ft to 3ft dropper with a 8ft to 10ft leader. Put on enough weight to keep at a 45 degree angle or less. Allows me to stay tight to the weedline and not have 90 to 150ft of line trailing behind me. Snap weights and keel weights are another option. Floating stickbaits and shallow running shad lures are used in this approach. I've found it best to be pulling lures about 5ft from the bottom so I am not dragging the weight along the bottom. I let back enough line to tick the bottom with the weight then reelup three to four turns. Been meaning to try a Rattl Trap type lure (these are an overlooked walleye lure) on a 3way but just haven't go to it.

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Get the Precision Trolling book and a Black and silver Shad Rap in either #5 or #7 that is the one color that I always have out in any clear water lake and normally is good.

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A line counter reel is also very helpful. If you buy the Precision Trolling book they tell you how far back to let the line out to get your plug to the right depth. I fish clear water also and found that the crawdad color works really well. A #5 or #7 jointed Crawdad shad Rap would be one plug I would put out the side of my boat. If you have a friend along put a #5 or #7 Firetiger shad Rap on his pole. This is if your fishing the daytime hours. Let the fish tell you what they want. If the firetiger is catching a few fish and the crawdad is not than put a firetiger on the other pole as well. I know that sounds like a no brainer but I switch colors alot and my speed too. I've caught walleyes as fast 5 mph and as slow as 1.3 mph. If your fishing a deep lake you might want to check out lead core line. That can help you get almost any plug 20 + feet deep but if the fish are shallow lead line won't do you any good. I could talk about fishing for days but I hate typing so GOOD LUCK!!

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All these ideas are very good, especially if you want to eventually hone your trolling skills, but I pulled shad raps around for a long time by just letting out a bunch of line and going and didn't do too bad. Since it appears you haven't trolled raps for walleyes as indicated in your question, I wouldn't sweat the technical stuff too much right now and just have fun with it and see what happens.

A firetiger #5 shad rap is the first one you should buy, IMO. Tie it to your line, let out a bunch, and go. If you keep hitting bottom just reel up a little until you feel and/or see the nice flutter in your rod tip. Then you know it's running above the bottom and also an indication it's not fouled up with weeds. About 100' of 10# mono will put you around 9' down, give or take.

If you want to get into some cheaper cranks Berkley has the "Flicker Shad" which is very similar to the Rapala Shad Rap in the #5 and #7 sizes. They've been selling them for the last year or so for under $3/ea. They seem to run a tad shallower than the Rapala, but still have a nice action and color selection to choose from. At that price you could pick up two different colors for about the same price as one Shad Rap to stretch your dollar and expand the options in your tacklebox.

Sometimes I wonder if we did better without all the gadgets, gizmos, and boxes of crank baits of every color, size, and type. When we were young we just clipped on a crank and pulled them around and caught some nice fish without really putting much thought into it. Yeah, maybe we could have done even better by fine tuning the depths and color selection, but we had a lot of fun for the little amount of tackle in our box.

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LMITOUT hit the nail on the head. Pulling cranks can be a sport of it's own just like fly fishing. It can be as complicated as you want it to be with ton's varations and presentation options. Maybe to start out keeping it simple is best.

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This may have been mentioned, but true running cranks are a must! They go out of whack when you least expect it. Make sure they track well.

Turk

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Like LMITOUT said... don't try to out-think or out-rig yourself. KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid. Less rigging, more fishing, figure out one presentation at a time.

Sure, trolling shad raps is beaten to death, but for a reason. I like a #10 husky jerk in ten shad or silver. Or #5 shad rap in just about any color you like.

Just long line it and see how things go, for starters

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thanks for asking the question. this is something i want to start doing a little too. the only time i troll is for pike

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Using weights has been mentioned previously (snap weights) and they do work well but sometimes I just like to use downriggers. It may seem overkill for shallower depths (say under 50') but I just run 4lb balls on my down riggers and it lets me get cranks into the right depth range. With a downrigger you can run your favorite shallow running lure much deaper while still maintaining some feel in your rod/line. I'm presently having good luck with various colored minnowraps off the back of my downriggers on a few metro lakes. It's also quick and easy to find bottom, just drop the ball down until it hits, note the reading on the line counter, and then reel the ball up to where you want it (say 10' above bottom).

Of course, most days I just use a rap that matches the water depth (deep tail dancer, DT16, minnow rap, etc) and add a snap weight if needed.

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Most days I just use the depth specific lure as well. If I have to use snap weights I will.

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