Down in Alexandria Louisiana resides the home of the undisputed most popular fishing lure known man, the one and only Rat-l-trap by Bill Lewis lures. No matter where you go to fish you can bet that somebody somewhere is probably chunking a Rat-l-trap. During this time of the year these lipless crankbaits step up to front of the line as far as catching fish is concerned. Springtime means red “traps” fished in and around the grass on both Toledo bend and Sam Rayburn. Chunking and winding the various shades and sizes of Rat-l-traps has produced countless numbers of fish for anglers over the years on both of the big lakes. Plenty of folks use these versatile lures to help them locate fish in an area, the Rat-l-trap enables anglers to cover plenty of water in just about any depth imaginable.

In the month of February and on into the spring the Rat-l-traps will be a mainstay of most anglers who are looking to catch numbers of fish as well as some really big fish. The 1/2 ounce size is perhaps the most popular of the Rat-l-trap family, probably due to the fact that it catches both numbers and quality fish. The 3/4 and 1 ounce sizes were designed for bigger fish and different applications, these larger versions are really popular on Rayburn while the 1/2 ounce is preferred on

Here at home on the Sabine River and in Sabine Lake the Rat-l-trap works especially well on both fresh and saltwater fish. My personal favorite fish to catch on the Rat-l-trap has to be the redfish. By running the banks of the river and Intracoastal canal with a chrome or gold 1/2 ounce Rat-l-trap you can really get your string stretched by quality redfish. My good friend Chris Gunn of Orange just lives and dies by the Rat-l-trap, hard to blame him because they really work. Many years ago when Chris and I started fishing together I first saw how hard and vicious the redfish strikes could be, from then on I was as they say “hooked”. Redfish on Rat-l-traps are the leading reason for freshwater enthusiasts to return to saltwater during the fall and winter months. The same fisherman who believe that fishing is not fishing unless it is at one the lakes are the very same folks you see sneaking out of the boat launch when the weather chills and the rumors are out about redfish running the shorelines. The initial strike and subsequent run associated with this style of fishing is perhaps one of the best thrills you may encounter in our part of the world, just ask someone with a doubled over rod and screaming drag if you don’t believe me.

Easily one of the biggest reasons that the Rat-l-trap is so popular is the wide variety of ways it can be fished and the success that goes along with each method. The standard old chunk and wind will work but there are a few others that are a little more specialized. Freshwater anglers are very familiar with the “tick the grass” method where the bait is run down in the grass and pulled out as contact with the vegetation is made. Some anglers go a step farther and actually let the bait
get down in the grass and then rip it out drawing vicious reaction strikes from bass. A more subtle approach is fishing the trap vertically like a jigging spoon, this works well in extreme cold when fish stack up in deeper water. The deep water presentations are a favorite of local fishermen as well, redfish and stripers are routinely caught using this method.

In the coming weeks it would be wise to not get caught out on the water without one of these fish catching baits, they work well in a variety of conditions and are very user friendly. Chrome, gold, crawfish patterns, as well as shad imitations are perhaps the most popular for both fresh and saltwater fishermen. Get a couple next time you are out shopping because when the fish turn on, these lures are usually the first to go. Good luck on the water.