Rat-L-Traps are absolute fish-catchers. There’s just something about the lipless crankbaits that bass and redfish love — or hate, whatever. They will just crunch them.
The only problem is that they are not what you’d call weedless, so fishing them around structure can be maddening at best and costly at worst. Sure, you can rip them out of vegetation and get reaction bites, but try to fish them around trees and rocks.
You’re guaranteed to lose some baits.
But bass pro Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part, La., has the solution: Just remove one of the hooks.
“Seems kind of weird, but what I do is remove the back hook off of my Rat-L-Trap and throw it with one hook,” he said.
Crochet said he does this when fishing around shallow, wooden structure, but it will also work well when cranking jetties for redfish.
And that means the lure can be fished where few anglers would think of casting.
“I can put that Rat-L-Trap in places it don’t belong, in places it’s not really seen a whole bunch, which in turn catches you more fish,” Crochet said.
The tactic works so well because it’s usually the rear treble hook that hangs up.
“As you’re reeling that bait in, that (front) hook lays down … and the Rat-L-Trap hits the wood, bounces over, the nose protects the front hook and there’s no back hook to get caught,” Crochet said.
He rounds out the technique by using 20-pound Seaguar monofilament.
“I like the mono because mono floats, so it won’t drag my bait down, which means I’ll get caught up less,” Crochet said. “I like 20-pound so I can … muscle the fish out (of the structure).
“The reason I fish mono over braid is because most of the times, this is a short, sweet task (and) I want some stretch to let that fish get the bait.”