Silent vs. Rattles

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SA Bass - - Sa Bass / Classroom - >> Ben­nie Wiese

Ididn’t re­ally think they would make much noise when they move through danger ar­eas. Yes, there will be some noise when bait fish move to­gether but one or two on their own won’t make much noise. When they are feed­ing and wa­ter push through their gills it would most def­i­nitely make some kind of noise, and even more when they are in panic. But for most of the time they will be very quite.

I also un­der­stand that there are other crea­tures that bass prey on in and around the dams like birds, frogs, snakes, crabs, fresh­wa­ter shrimps and cray­fish which also emit sounds.

How­ever some of the pray like crabs, fresh wa­ter shrimp and cray­fish make some sort of clicking sound when they are mov­ing, feed­ing or fight­ing.

Sev­eral lures has build in rattles or some type of clacker that cre­ates sounds to draw at­ten­tion. Glass rattles can be in­serted in soft plas­tic baits or added to jigs.

I am all for the use of rattles and there are nu­mer­ous con­di­tions where rattles will have a pos­i­tive ef­fect, but most of the time it can be the rea­son why bass might not be in­ter­ested in the bait. It might even be spook­ing the big bass.

Un­der­stand­ing con­di­tions

It’s very im­por­tant to un­der­stand dif­fer­ent fish­ing con­di­tions. If you don’t you will be start­ing the day with a big dis­ad­van­tage. For many dif­fer­ent rea­sons bass will not go for the bait that is pre­sented to them if the con­di­tions and sur­round­ings they are fac­ing are not per­fect.

My ap­proach will be as fol­lows: when I’m fish­ing very calm con­di­tions I will use a silent ap­proach but louder lures with rattles when there is more noise.

Wind will also play a part. If it is windy I will use buzzbaits with dou­ble blades to make more squeaky sounds. In calmer con­di­tions I will use a smaller buzzbait with only one blade.

With soft plas­tics its easy, weight­less baits in clam con­di­tions will do won­ders.

Sound / noise

When bait fish emits some type of sound the loud­ness will de­pended on the size of the bait ball, or what the fod­der are doing. The bass will first use their sight to hunt and se­condly their lat­eral lines to feel the wa­ter pres­sure chang­ing as the bait move through the wa­ter.

Dif­fer­ent sizes of bass can re­act dif­fer­ently to sound. For most of the time the smaller bass will scat­ter away from lures with rattles while the big­ger bass will ig­nore them. Some big­ger fish may even at­tack the lure.

Bass are very cu­ri­ous crea­tures and will ex­am­ine the lure. Be­cause we are many times not aware of the cu­ri­ous fish fol­low­ing our lures it helps to fol­low up in the same area with dif­fer­ent silent baits.

When to use noisy baits

The best time to use rattles or clack­ers will be when the wa­ter is dirty or on windy days when the bass are ac­tive and eat­ing ev­ery­thing. When the wa­ter is stained or murky the bass won’t rely on there their eye sight so much and don’t have time to in­spect the lure. For me the bass

are very skit­tish in clear wa­ter and are look­ing for some­thing more nat­u­ral. When us­ing new lures with rattles I have found that the baits rattles are too high pitched and do not al­ways work as well as when they have been used for a while. With time the rat­tle gets worked out and the sound is more muf­fled which works bet­ter.

Take glass rattles out of the packet - they are loud and if you in­sert them into tube baits their sound are dif­fer­ent. A good ex­am­ple will be crea­ture baits. They work well if you in­sert a plas­tic rat­tle which muf­fle the sound, or if you like night fish­ing then rattles are the best thing to add.

When to use silent baits

The key will al­ways to be to present your lure as nat­u­ral as pos­si­ble. With this you will have bet­ter re­sults and big­ger fish. If you think about it; what nor­mally works for you? It is weight­less baits that take their time to drop into the strike zone.

To see and un­der­stand what your bait does un­der wa­ter go and test it in a swim­ming pool. It is even bet­ter to go un­der wa­ter with the lure and see what hap­pens. This might help you to un­der­stand why the bass didn’t bite. If some­thing doesn’t look nat­u­ral to you then why should bass be fooled by it?

It’s been proven many times that very long casts made with weight­less lures in clear wa­ter will pro­duce fish. When you are faced with tough cir­cum­stances like “blue bird sky days”, the wa­ter sur­face is as smooth as a mir­ror or very clear wa­ter con­di­tions then this is the way to fish.

If you don’t en­joy fish­ing weight­less then there are some great hard jerk­baits with­out rattles. These baits can hang still for count­less min­utes in the strike zone and get the at­ten­tion of bass.

Nat­u­ral pre­sen­ta­tions de­liver bet­ter re­sults while rat­tle type baits have their ben­e­fits un­der cer­tain con­di­tions. So the rule of thumb is; only use noisy baits when bass are ac­tive, or dur­ing windy con­di­tions or fish­ing stained wa­ter.

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