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frazwood

Ratso baits

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I'm not new to ice fishing but I am new to Ratso baits. I bought a few this year and I have tried them on the ice the past few days.

I have had almost no luck with them at all. I can attract fish to the bait according to my electronics, but they almost never seem to take it into their mouths.

I did manage to catch three very small crappie this morning on the Ratso, but their bite was EXTREMELY subtle -- I noticed (hoped?) that the bait was falling a little bit slower than normal. The only other fish that I caught was a bluegill that I foul-hook/snagged.

Any help would be great. Thanks!

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Do you use a spring bobber?

I first tried ratsos last year and only caught a couple despite marking fish all over the lure and even following it up and down. One day when that was happening I started looking down the hole and I could see sunnies grabbing it, holding it in their mouths for a second and spitting it out. There was no detectable bite with my ultralight rod. So I bought a spring bobber and now I catch them like crazy on ratsos and other plastics.

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I've had good results twitching them(i mean super gentle twitches) right in front of late season craps and gills that have been fished hard. Did you try anything more aggressive, and did you see any bigger fish?

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They can be hot or cold, like any other lure. I happen to love them. I catch more fish on plastics now than live bait. With the ratso's, I try to vibrate the jig, getting the tail to move all over, and not so much quick jerking the jig. It's almost as if they can't help but attack it. I've noticed that while fishing plastics, the fish just inhale the jig. With live bait, they mouth it a little, but usually don't inhale it.

Last year I was crappy fishing with a buddy at 9-10pm or so and I was able to out-fish him using the ratso over his jig and minnow. Also, there was no resetting time other than to glow the head or head and body.

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I was using Ratso's last night for Crappie, started with # 8 went to a 6. I did use a Springbobber. Used one Eurolarvae on hook. I did use a springbobber as they were biting so light I couldn't feel them. Got 15 in two seperate bite periods. without the Springbobber I probably would have caught 5 or 6. I say this based on my other rod with Genz bug and Euro was just looking like sniffers to me on the Vex.

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Make sure your knot is positioned so the bait hangs horizontally in the water, after every bite I get I hold the ratso and bring my rod tip tward the back of the ratso making it hang properly in the water....BT

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Thanks again everyone!

I went out yesterday morning and I caught many more fish on my Ratso than on live bait or anything else that I tried.

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love ratso's and shrimpo's catch a lot of fish on them. I always have at least one of them rigged up to fire down the hole if I have a finiky fish down under. and I also make sure its tied correctly so it rides like its suppose to thier the same bait except one rides vertical and the other horizontal.

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I always have at least one of them rigged up...

After punching several holes in a new area, it's a ratso or Little Atom plastic that's usually dropped down first to see what's around. They've helped me track down plenty of honey holes grin

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if you need to, like mentioned before, tip the ratso or shrimpo with 1 euro and that can start the bite

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After punching several holes in a new area, it's a ratso or Little Atom plastic that's usually dropped down first to see what's around. They've helped me track down plenty of honey holes grin

Same here, when going after crappies I almost always start with a ratso or a nuggie

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Ratso's are great, but I usually use the shrimpos. I think they give you a better hook set. Both will get the job done though!

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Something else to remember with these baits, is that one can over work them . If you are vertical jigging, some times just a light tap on the rod is enough to make the tail wiggle.

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Good point. I tend to get them going pretty good to bring the fish in, then finesse the jig just enough to get just the tail going. That usually seals the deal.

I work Nuggies and weggies the same way. Put them on a small but heavy jig like the Wolfram and go to work. The heavier jig helps control the action by letting you work just the tail over the whole jig.

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So do you guys usually tip them with some larva/waxie or nothing?

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So, you guys are just giving the rod a little movement to basically vibrate the lure....not vertical jigging it up and down in bigger movements?

I would assume you are not fishing these under normal bobbers, but mainly spring bobbers?

Are you using rod holders at all?

Just trying to get an idea how you guys fish these when you have two lines wet.

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No bait for me. I twitch, wiggle, bounce, vibrate and jig them. All depends on what the fish want that day.

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Shrimpo's all the way. My 6 year old daughter was using a shrimpo with one spike and catching gills left and right last week.

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No bait for me. I twitch, wiggle, bounce, vibrate and jig them. All depends on what the fish want that day.

Thanks Borch,

Also, do you guys usually use a spring bobber?

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I don't use a springbobber with mine(18" rod with 1-2#line). This is my "go to" lure in the glo/pink body tipped with a red euro.

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Originally Posted By: Borch
No bait for me. I twitch, wiggle, bounce, vibrate and jig them. All depends on what the fish want that day.

Thanks Borch,

Also, do you guys usually use a spring bobber?

For me it depends on the bite. If I can avoid a spring bobber I usually do especially when fishing outside in the cold. I do use the Jason Mitchell Meatstick when dealing with a light bite fishing outside in cold conditions. The tip works very much like a spring bobber with fewer freeze up issues.

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Thanks Guys

Borch, what size Meatstick would you recommend for using a Ratso? 24"?

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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