Tuning the X-Rap Twitchin' Mullet
A lure I’ve been fishing with great success for the last couple of years is the Rapala X-Rap® Twitchin’ Mullet. The Mullet comes in two sizes, 6cm and 8cm, and is a great shallow water twitch bait for any predator. I mainly use both sizes to catch perch but due their smaller size and roach/shad like profile pike, zander, trout and any other predator species hunting on shallow to medium water depths can easily be teased with the Mullet.
The swimming action of the Mullet is a classic side to side twitch bait, which means that by tapping your rod and giving the line some slack, the lure will turn left and right flashing its broad sides to any following fish. The style in which the Mullet swims toward the boat is subdued and not as aggressive as many jerk baits, such as the great Shadow Raps. It’s a completely different and slower swimming action, which makes this lure so interesting because you don’t always want fast and erratic, sometimes you may succeed better with a slower presentation. On a steady retrieve the Mullet swims in a slow and wide S-pattern which we anglers can use as an optional method in our quest to find the key speed and retrieve of the day. Give it a couple of cranks with the reel and make a stop or tap it to make it turn its sides almost on the spot.
The X-Rap Mullet is a saltwater model by design, so they are constructed very robust and to hold against big strong fish. This means that in European freshwater fishing they will persist without any bigger trouble. The finish and colors of the lures are amazing and very life-like and it’s easy to find you favorite for perch, pike, zander or maybe even trout. Due to the Mullet being designed for saltwater, it comes armed with big single hooks, but I prefer to change those hooks to trebles for my perch fishing. So, let’s go to the modification part. With this easy modification you have soon turned your brand-new Mullet into a devastating predator lure!
The modification is very easy, but you might be unsure of several things, like sizes of the hooks for example. You want to put right sized hooks on the lure for great hooking but at the same time make sure that the hooks are not too heavy to affect the action of the lure.
Use a good split ring plier like the RCD Mini Split Ring Tool or the RCD Mag Spring Split Ring Pliers to remove the single hooks. You can keep the original split rings since they are strong and of good quality.
Now, on the smaller 6cm X-Rap Twitchin’ Mullet I use two different sized hooks. Up front, under the belly, I use a Size 8 treble hook, and, on the back, a Size 10. The hooks I prefer to use are VMC 7547 because they are needle sharp and a bit stronger. The shank of the hook is also perfect length for the Mullet. The idea of the smaller size hook on the back is to keep the weight down for increased action and to maintain the point of balance in the middle of the hook. The smaller hook far back is plenty enough for the fish to get hooked.
Why not use a smaller size in front also you might ask? It’s because we want a hook broad enough, so the points are outside the body of the lure. When looking at the lure from above, you should always see the front hooks on the sides of the lure. This is to increase hook rate.
On the bigger 8cm Mullet we got options. For perch fishing I use size 6 under the belly and size 8 on the back for the same reasons as explained above for the 6cm version. If you would like to use it for mainly pike or zander fishing, you can go with size 6 hooks all through. The lure is bigger and can handle the extra weight so it’s okay if you prefer bigger hooks for bigger fish. I use the VMC 7547 trebles here too, because I’ve tried them out plenty on this setup and have confidence in them.
How to fish the Mullet?
Now that we got ourselves a great twitch bait, it is time to head out! I mainly use the Mullet as a twitch bait working with my rod to get the side to side action. I also prefer to fish the X-Rap Twitchin’ Mullet slow, much slower than the Shadow Raps which I normally tap away quite fast. But I also crank it with my reel and use the stop and go method. Normal to slow fishing days I mostly use the twitching method when the perch are super aggressive, I mainly crank it for that triggering speed and its great fun to see a school of perch race to nail it before its brothers! The Mullet is mainly a lure for shallow to medium deep water use for me. Since its quite shallow running its perfect to fish around weed beds and shallow rocky bays. Due its bigger profile it also attracts fish from deeper waters to swim up to nail the bigger bite. I even had fish rise 3-5m over deep water while slow twitching the lure in lakes with loads of smaller roach.
Another thing to always keep in mind when out on the waters is what fish is the main prey for these predators? If you see plenty of roach or any other high-profile bait fish, the X-Rap Twitchin’ Mullet imitates their shape perfectly and is a good choice. If there are plenty of slender minnows, you might want to try the Shadow Rap instead because they are more of a minnow shape.