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On a ” ROL” with Rapala

To cover a lot of different fishing situations requires a lot of baits and colors!
-    Or does it?? 

Insanity or cleverness

With a big smile on my face, I’m staring down at these shimmering natural fish imitations in my palm. These are a few, but not even close to all the live roach (ROL) patterns in Rapala’s lure collection!

I am just on my way out to the water. Today we will experience some cold-water fishing in a Swedish river! 

I will take the chance to walk you through some of the lures I’ve chosen for this day and tell you a bit about them.
•    In which situations they might be useful
•    Technical information on the baits
•    Why Live Roach (ROL) color works so effectively

The thin layer of cracking ice is smashing the side of our boat. It’s a cold, early spring morning and we have already had the opportunity to spend some days out on open water.  We will cover a lot of water today which makes this a splendid idea to try this out! 

We were slowly decreasing in speed as the first area revealed the calmer and deeper parts of the river. 

Slow as the slowest

One of the biggest news in 2019 from Rapala is the X-Rap® Otus! A big brother to the successful lure, the X-Rap® Peto.

The X-Rap® Otus has a slow sinking rate with a really wide tail. The body rolls side-to-side and it is ideal to fish it really slow in cold water! It lurks in those deeper darker parts of the water. 

First couple of casts and it was flying through the air. We are fishing a drop-off from the current down to 15 meters and I am letting the Otus sink slowly down until it hits the bottom then very slowly reeling it towards the surface. 

This is a great way to fish the Otus. Giving it a good amount of time in the strike zone is the key to triggering those angry predators to hit it. With long slow pauses, we fish our way through the water mass, with an hour just flying away. 

The sonar screen was covered by heavily packed shoals of white fish. Just as we were about to change the location, -BAM!  The first fish of the day was dragging my Otus down under the boat! A nice, fat fish had fallen to the live roach creation!

Optimize every second

As we were moving down the river to our next area, we chose to adjust our fishing.

In most cases we would just step on the gas and continue spin fishing. However, with the cold weather and the experimental day we threw a couple of X-Rap® Jointed Shads behind the boat.

At this time of year, some of the river pike tend to be pushed into these drop-offs, where deeper water meets shallower water.

A good way to use the X-Rap® Jointed Shad in these situations is to slow troll it close to those lines. 

With its 13 cm length and the built-in ball bearings you can slow troll this lure close to the river’s shore. It attracts the non-active predators to amazing “irritated strikes”. Also, it’s a great lure to use simply casting in areas with a depth down to 2.5 meters. 

We closed in on our next targeted area, which is a shallow bay with various depths of 0.5 - 3 meters. 

First we made a quick stop before entering the bay.

Sneaky little pike

The area outside this bay holds a depth of about 3 - 4 meters. I’m connecting a Super Shadow Rap onto my leader and checking the movement - it’s great. 

I really love to fish the Shadow Rap® in a “middle water” or pelagic way as its versatile movement and big silhouettes make it the perfect choice in this moment. Now my intention was to trigger those pre spawn pike that were swimming outside the bays before they go to spawn. 

I made a couple of casts and then counted down the lure so I knew at what depth I will fish it. It didn’t take long until I had the first contact. BAM! But as I strike, I manage to lose it.

As I laid eyes on my lure; twitching it towards to the boat, a bigger pike slowly came up behind it. I made a long pause and there she stood. Eye to eye examining my Shadow Rap®. But in a blink, something disturbed her and swoosh! She was gone….   

One more cast. Let it sink… and start to slowly twitch it again… pause it… 

And yes!! There she was. Was it the same one?  

It wasn’t!

A much smaller pike had taken my bait and was fighting his way shaking through the water. A quick release and then we start the slow drift into the bay. I made a quick switch to an  X-Rap® Peto and looked down at the sonar again. We had just passed the 3-meter edge and were moving into shallower water. 

The X-Rap® Peto is one of those lures I use to move fast and noisily most of the time! It’s a great search bait. A big advantage is that you can also fish it extremely slowly in cold water and it will still make significant movement. The internal chambers make a lot of noise and all predator fish, active or not will focus their attention on the Peto. 

Shallow Water Wolves

I have a couple of favorites when it comes to shallow bay fishing. In the Rapala range it’s definitely the X-Rap® Peto but also the X-Rap® SubWalk! I could literally go on forever about the advantages of the Subwalk!

But let’s keep it short. 

If you are a true shallow-water angler who loves the walk-the-dog action and delicate slide movements this is all for you. The X-Rap® SubWalk operates just below the surface and comes in two different sizes. Today I’m using the 15-centimeter version. 

So, standing in the middle of the bay surrounded by last year’s yellowy grass waving into shore. We spent a couple of decent hours in the bay, switching between the Peto and the Subwalk. 

The fishing in this area was extremely slow today which I was counting on, so it didn’t come as a surprise. 

-    Maybe they haven’t come into the bay yet man? 

Just as I finished my sentence, a massive bow wave was following Jimmy’s Peto. And it was huge! Imagine a tsunami in Thailand? Yeah, at least it felt like that. 

He made a quick stop with the Peto and then a fast burn for a meter or two. The bow wave increased and suddenly it all became white! 

A big flash just ran over his Peto. Too eager to strike back made me see a flying Peto coming towards me like a projectile at 200 miles an hour. He had missed the strike! A big shadow turned on its side and swam away.

Victory doesn’t come cheap 

I was lost! Feeling sorry for him! For me! For the whole world at this moment. Next time? 

I don’t want next time. I wanted it THIS time for him! 

But keeping a smile on my face I just looked at him and said – Next time mate! 

The following hours gave us some “much smaller” pikes and the day came to an end.

Check out these lures at your local Rapala dealer. They are a game changer for sure!

The color ROL which is basically is the short name for Live Roach is that ace of spades in your hand!

Imitating a natural bait fish with its shimmering holographic foil and 3D holographic eyes it’s a perfect “match the hatch” choice!

Tight lines! 
Jonatan