All I do is change the treble hook, going just a little bit bigger.
I was fishing with a friend who is a guide on Bay de Noc one day, and he was kicking my but on jigging raps. I was hooking just as many, but never got them to the hole. He changed my hook size for me, and the battle was on. What a difference it made.
I know alot of guys like to tip them with minnow heads, but I always use mine bare, and will almost always outperform others with me who insist on tipping them.
I also use a very small barrel swivel about 18 to 24 inches above the lure, to keep the line from twisting due to lure movement.
I love the tiny jigging Rap's for St. clair perch - more than anything else. The only modification I make is to remove the little treble and replace it with a #6 single red bleeder hook from Gamakatsu (sp?). I then tip it solely with an anise ball.
The treble works great also, but it's tough to hook the ball with it, and when the perch are really going strong, I can unhook the single from the fish a lot quicker than I can the treble. Moreover, I think the red hook attracts them.
How exactly do you fish them? I've had a couple in my box for a while, but never really knew how to fish them. Do you jig them, just let them rest in the zone where the fish might be, or am I missing it totally? How about Swedish pimples, will perch react to them? I have a couple that came with a red attractor attached to them, any luck with those?
BGS, I use an Aqua View 100% of the time while ice fishing, so I've been able to visualize how these perch react to the jigging Rapala. I've learned more in two seasons using an underwater camera than the 20 years preceding it.
When I see nothing on the camera, I jig the bait in a fairly aggressive manner (maybe 8-12" lifts) which essentially causes the bait to swim in a circle. By the way, always use a quality in-line ball bearing swivel or you're going to have a mess at the end of the day. I theorize that this attracts the fish. I have NEVER had a perch actually strike the bait when I've been jigging like this. When I see fish on the monitor, I simply hold the bait in the zone and "shake" the rod to give the bait a trembling motion. The perch will come in and suck in the anise ball on the bottom. If I've caught 1000 perch on this bait, all but maybe 2-3 have been hooked on the single egg hook.
Strangely enough, when I'm jigging for walleye, it's the opposite. Most often the walleye will hit the bait as it falls - they don't seem to respond well to the trembling thing.
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