Chasing Spring Pike with X-Rap Haku
“You can feel the adrenalin rushing and shivers on the back of your spine when you see that big dark silhouette swimming right under the boat, watching your lure. That’s a pike fishing kind of feeling, for sure.”
For the last week I’ve been wandering around with anxiety in my chest. As always, I’m ready for the boat season and I’ve arranged all my spin fishing gear which were already in perfect shape. The gear I mean. So, when the day comes, I will be more than prepared.
I’m staring at the small packages in front of me and although I already know what’s inside, I am feeling nervous. I’m sipping on a hot cup of tea and drumming on the packages with my fingers. When I finally open the boxes, I see one, two, three, four new lures… The X-Rap® Haku is here! I pick up my phone and start dialing…
-Mate, we are going fishing!
We are standing in a shallow bay, with open waters to my right. The wind grabs hold of our jackets as the waves are hitting the side of our boat. The last splash gives us a quick taste of the cold water. Today’s lure choices were easy – four new X-Rap® Haku lures are all I have with me today. Why, you may ask?
Regardless of which new models and lures from Rapala I’ve come across during these past years, I always have the same procedure when getting to know them. It is important for me to understand how the lures move and react in different situations. This is also crucial when using them in different waters in the future. So, when using that new lure and overcoming the situations you are in for is really cool, but also quite challenging.
I chose this specific location for today for a couple of reasons. Besides the fact that the climate is perfect, the water depth is suitable for Haku being all the way down from one to three meters. There is also lots of stones and old grass mixed up together in the water. We usually find a lot of bream and other small whitefish here, which are in for the spawning, or just taking cover by this sheltered bay. All in all, a perfect place for our purpose.
The X-Rap Haku
Let’s talk us through the new X-Rap Haku from Rapala. The X-Rap Haku is a combination of glidebait and jerkbait. It’s an exciting lure that you can mix up the movements with, making longer, gliding movements with a slow stop-and-go -retrieve. An increased twitching or jerking technique will give the Haku a more aggressive side-to-side action. I also noticed that by holding my rod still and just using the reel with very short stop-and-go technique the lure is almost like “hanging” in the water while slowly sinking.
The name Haku is Finnish and means “seek” and that is exactly how the X-Rap Haku works. A great seeking lure that will fool some big predators. Haku has a few special features such as the Rapala proprietary 3R System - Titanium Release Rig with VMC Coastal Black hooks. A really cool and smart idea that will increase the hits and give you a higher percentage of fish landed. At hook-set, the hook rig releases from the belly. This way, you get direct contact with the fish and it can’t use the lure as leverage to break free.
The rig is built with a 100 lbs. titanium wire and is accompanied by heavy duty split rings and premium VMC Coastal Black hooks (4551). The same hooks are used on Rapala’s other X-Rap pike models. The Haku has a weight of 74gram and length of 14 cm which makes it the perfect size for any predator out there.
At the moment you can choose between fifteen different colors at Rapala.com. My personal favorites are the Smelt on the Beach (SMB) and the Live Roach (ROL) colors. Two colors that both are very natural, which is what I prefer in most of my fishing.
So, if you are into gliders and jerkbait fishing, the X-Rap Haku is going to be your new favorite!
Shallow Water wolf
A big dark silhouette appeared beside our boat. Everything happened very fast, but I did see it was a massive pike following my Haku. She probably got scared by us or the boat and quickly swam away.
-Man! Did you that? Jesus Christ, that was a big ass pike mate. She went it that direction.
As I was pointing towards the supposed direction she left, my buddy got a hit!
-Well, it’s not her I guess, but look at this one.
-The Haku is gone, down that wide gap mate.
So, at this point we had already seen big pikes and later we saw some even bigger ones. They are definitely here... We were closing in on an even more shallow area with a small canal that connects the bay to the open water and at the end of the canal is a deeper edge where usually big breams swim. I’ve caught a few of them while perch fishing on this very same location.
Further down the canal some bigger stones are pointing up from the water and changing the way of the current. A lot of white fish are swimming through the canal, so there must be a humongous pike here somewhere.
The last few hours are closing in and I’m starting to organize my gear in the boat.
-Haha, you are all in with one lure mate? Or should I say one color in this case… This is it I see….
My friend had a point. I guess every fisherman has some crazy habits when out fishing. Mine is quite funny though: When I’m concentrated and in the last couple of hours in a fishing day, I usually start to “clean” up everything in the boat - packing all my stuff together and choosing one last setup with a rod and reel. I pick one last lure with the best color and pack everything else away. This is how all my friends know that, “ok, it’s for real now, and after this we will be heading home”.
This day the cleaning and packing was fast because I only had the Haku’s to choose from. The lure that got the honor to be the last one standing and connected to my rod was the Smelt on the Beach (SMB).
-Mate look, did you see that swirl? I think it was a pike that struck a baitfish. Haha, that was so cool
I quickly cast my lure towards the swirl and made some small twitches with no success.
Another cast in the same place, but this time I made some “longer” jerking action with a few longer pauses. Suddenly we saw her! The broad back just barely touched the surface as she was following my Haku. I made a quick stop again. And another twitch…… BAM!
-Wow, I got her!! She´s so strong!
-Hurry up, take the net!
I guess this is what makes it all worth it. When we are fighting our ways on the waters, through the rain and wind, cold air and hours of hours of waiting with nothing… Everything comes down to this moment – when you see a big fish following your lure, and the moment the fish takes the decision to attack. The fight and the adrenalin…. That is fishing at its best for me!