Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap
When you're going after big pre-spawn fish in the early spring, there's nothing better than a lipless crankbait. These lures will catch fish all around the country, but if you live in the Southern United States and frequently fish around grass, they're a must-have.
It's a common misconception that lipless crankbaits like the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap only catch fish in the spring. In reality, if you choose the right color patterns, a Rat-L-Trap can be a phenomenal bait all through the year.
With so many color variations and sizes offered, many anglers don't know which bait they should be fishing with. If you try any of the colors, we've recommended below, and you're sure to catch some big fish.
What sizes are best?
This changes in the summer and some months of fall when the bass are feeding on younger shad. It's best to use a 1/4oz Rat-L-Trap to match the size of the baitfish correctly.
The one situation where you'll want a Rat-L-Trap larger than 1/2oz is after a cold front. In these conditions, bass slow down, and they become less aggressive feeders. They'll be less likely to chase a smaller lipless crankbait with tight and fast swimming action. A big 1oz Rat-L-Trap with a wide and slow wobble will catch the most fish after a cold front.
Rootbeer Rat-L-Trap Color
The Rootbeer Rat-L-Trap color is a relatively new addition to the series of lures. It features an orange belly, a white side profile, and a brown spotted top. It's a great style to fish on overcast days in any water clarity.
Designers have combined both crawfish and shad patterns in this bait. These characteristics make it a great option for Smallmouth Bass that frequently eat crayfish and Largemouth Bass known to hunt down shad.
Candy Craw Rat-L-Trap
The Candy Craw Rat-L-Trap has a similar pattern to a popular Bill Lewis MR6 color. The main body is painted almost entirely red with black swirls designed to imitate a crawfish. A simple red Rat-L-Trap like the Candy Craw always catches fish, even if the fishing conditions are terrible.
The "Red Rat-L-Trap Craze" started in Texas a few years ago. This lure outfished everything on the market and caught multiple trophy-sized Largemouth Bass. Its popularity has grown, and red-colored lipless crankbaits like the Candy Craw Rat-L-Trap have caught absurd numbers of fish around the country.
Ozark Craw Color
When fishing in clear water rocky reservoirs, the Ozark Craw Rat-L-Trap is a must-have. This crawfish style bait has a solid brown pattern on top that fades into a translucent belly. It's the combination of the rattling effect, the black stripes, and the translucency that makes it catch fish day in and day out.
Gold Rat-L-Trap Color
The Gold Rat-L-Trap is a bass killer during the springtime. Specifically, on sunny days in clear water situations, this color pattern gets hammered. At first glance, it seems like the design would be too artificial-looking to catch fish, but for some reason, it's a fantastic bait.
If you can find hydrilla or other thick vegetation along the shoreline, you're in luck. The shimmering effect of the gold paint draws fish out from the grass and leads to big strikes. Make sure to keep the bait moving erratically to imitate the flash of a darting shad.
Red Shad Rat-L-Trap
The Red Shad Rat-L-Trap catches a ton of fish on overcast days in lakes and rivers with clear water. It's a great back-up rattletrap if the Candy Craw isn't catching them as this bait has a better baitfish imitation.
Like the Gold color, this lure performs best around green aquatic plants such as Hydrilla. This makes sense if you imagine the bait from the fish's perspective. The bright red paintwork has a major contrast against green plants in clear waters, making it an easy target for hungry fish.
Orange Crawdad Rat-L-Trap
There are plenty of lipless crankbaits options for dirty water conditions as well. One of the most popular designs for stained or muddy water is the Orange Crawdad Rat-L-Trap color. Specifically, this lure catches a ton of bass on sunny days and when lakes have clay stain, yellow, or brown water.
Red lipless crankbaits will catch fish in these conditions, but the orange pattern definitely outperforms. Target grass beds, stumps, and docks with the Orange Crawdad. It's not as great in deeper waters, but it's a killer in the shallows along weed lines.
Sexy Prism Rat-L-Trap Pattern
If you're fishing on an overcast day in muddy waters, there's only one lipless crankbait that'll get the job done. It's the Sexy Prism Rat-L-Trap. The white and chrome body contrasts against stained water on cloudy days, and the vibrant colors make it a prime target. It also proves effective when Largemouth Bass feed on bluegill, as the red, orange, yellow, and blue highlights imitate this type of baitfish.
Sometimes these conditions can make Rat-L-Trap fishing more difficult. If the fish aren't biting this presentation, the best thing to do is switch to a spinnerbait or jig. These two bass lures in white colors should do the trick.
Chrome Blue Black Rat-L-Trap
The Chrome Blue Black Rat-L-Trap is ideal in the summer and fall when the bass start feeding more on shad. Any chrome-colored lipless crankbait works well, but the blue highlights on this particular design are exceptionally effective.
During the summer and fall, the bass at your local fishing spot will be feeding on younger, smaller shad. To match their prey, it's better to use a lure with a smaller profile. Transitioning from a 1/2oz Rat-L-Trap to a 1/4oz Rat-L-Trap can make a huge difference.