The Jigging Rapala Review – How Good is it for Walleyes

Is the Jigging Rapala the Best Year Round Walleye Bait?

What Is The Jigging Rapala?

The Jigging Rapala is a painted minnow made of Zinc. It has a nose hook, tail hook, and a small treble hook hanging below the center of the minnow. It was designed for vertical jigging through the ice, so it’s balanced, keeping it horizontal to the surface. When jigging this bait it swims in a sporadic circular motion before coming to rest. The jig comes in the following sizes; W2, W3, W5, W7 & W9 and in many different colors

is the Jigging Rapala Just For Ice Fishing?

I have been using the Jigging Rapala since 1974 and been catching Walleyes, Bass. Pike, and the occasional Musky yearly. Now you may hear stories where this bait has just got popular for open water, but some of us old-timers have known this for years. I can tell you from experience that this is the best year around Walleye bait there is.

Ice Fishing With The Jigging Rapala.

I use a 26″ jigging rod and reel that is medium action. I will use a swivel and sometimes a steel leader, depending on if you have Pike in the lake. Through the ice I like to use the W3 and W5, colors Gold and Silver. To jig, tip your rod down and then snap the rod tip in a direction. This will force the jig in that direction covering more area as it begins it sporadic swim back to the center of your fishing hole. For more on the technique on using this jig.

Using The Jigging Rapala for Open Water Fishing

This is the best open water walleye bait I know of. Sure something else may be working better on a given day and I’m with you. If the fish are not biting it, keep changing baits, speeds, and retrieval methods until you find what is working. But, this bait will consistently out perform any other Walleye bait you have in your tackle box. If you have not tried it give it a try. I guarantee you, once you have figured out how to use this Jigging Rapala it will always be on one of your rods. I call it Old Faithful. Click here for more on how to use this bait in open water.

The jigs I like to use for open water are the W5 and W7, colors Gold, Silver, and Perch.

What Is The Best Year Round Bait for Walleyes – Jigging Rapala

Casting or Jigging The Rapala, It Works!

Is this Jigging Rapala just a winter Ice jig, No! I have been using this jig for over 20 years and even though it’s the best Bass, Walleye, Northern, and Muskie bait, when jigging through the ice, it’s just as good during the summer months. But you need to understand a few of my techniques for both. The color of the jig will vary depending on your lake, but I find the following three work great for me. The sizes I use are 3, 5 & 7, with 5 & 7 for the Bass and Walleye.

Gold RapalaGreen RapalaSilver Rapala

Using The Rapala Jig For Ice Fishing

I have used this jig in depths of 4 inches to 16 feet of water and caught large walleyes in all. Yes, only 4 inches of water, near the drop-off of an 80 foot hole. The Lake I continuously experienced this in, Lake Phalen in St Paul, MN. However, the average depth I find most successful is 8 to 16 feet of water.

I have fished many lakes in Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota, all being as successful. So how do you use this bail? First I add a small swivel, unless you have Northern and Musky, than I add a 6-9 inch steel leader. Why, these baits are not cheap, so I will give up a little action for saving a few dollars. And I don’t think it really matters, as I catch a lot of fish on these. Then if you’re fishing shallow water, less then 6 ft, I just give the ice fishing rod a small twitch with my hand, no arm action. If you are in 6 foot of water or more, than I use a full lift action, pointing the tip of my rod in the direction I want the jig to swim. This way I can cover more areas under the ice. Whatever action you decide to use, you just need to keep the bottom of the ice in mind. In shallow water you do not want to be hitting the ice, as this will cause the nose hook to break off.

How To Tell If You Have A Bite On The Jigging Rapala – The Ice Fishing Strike

The most common strike (bites) I have experienced are; the jig does not come to rest, at the bottom of your swimming action, or in the time it should have, set the hook. The line goes limp, like that of a crappie bite, set the hook. And of course, the hard hit run strike. No need to set the hook, just hang on to the rod and pull.

How to Use The Jigging Rapala For Summer Fishing – Open Water Fishing

Yes, you can still use this jig over the boat just like you would for Ice Fishing. But to do so, would be missing out on some great action. I use sizes 5 & 7, they both have their days. The first thing to consider is the structure of the lake. If the lake, or your fishing spot, has a lot of rock or stumps, you want to avoid using this, as you will lose them. But if you have an area that is sandy or flat, cast away. Of course do not cast into weeds, so I try to hit the edges. My best spots are; sand bars, deep water (up to 22 feet), and shorelines with quick drop-offs. The thing to watch is how heavy this bait is and how fast it will reach bottom. I typically hit bottom on every other cast, but speed things up if I do.

How to use this bait casting? Toss it as far as you can. In shallow water start the lifting action immediately, and in deeper water you can let it sink for a few seconds. Then begin bring your rod tip up to the 11 O’clock position without reeling. As you drop your rod back down to water level be reeling to keep the line tight. Repeat this motion until the bait is retrieved, then cast again.

>How To Tell If You Have A Bite On The Jigging Rapala – The Open Water Strike

The most common strikes (bites) are, when your lifting the rod tip to 11 O’clock and the pull gets heavier, set the hook, and of course the hard running strike.