Kayak angling adventures where there might be some catching involved or fishing. In some cases the fish might throw the hook I this situation this is known as a 'Uff Da'. Another definition of this Scandinavian phrase is to express a surprise. So 'Uff Da' can be a statement for the surprise of landing your personal best fish.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Bass Fishing with the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap
Kwanza Henderson put the word out that he was going to
organize a Rat-L-Trap only Facebook tournament for largemouth bass, smallmouth
bass, and peacock bass. This tournament will be a ten fish stringer limit. You
can only use actual Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps not imitations but you can modify
your Bill Lewis lures. Most of the modifications are related to changing the
hooks from a treble hook to a single style hook. Thoughts of possibility even
downsizing to a single treble hook at the front or rear of the lure was a
Tournaments like this really push the confidence of anglers
by forcing you to get out of your comfort zone. So I decided to take the plunge
and participate in this tournament. First place winner would get 100% payback
and 2 dozen Rat-L-Traps. By the time the tournament started Kwanza had 14 participations
for this tournament. My plan was to fish a great private pond that occasionally
I have access to in Summerville that has a ton of huge largemouth bass using a ½
oz Rat-L-Trap in the shad coloration and a floating ½ oz Rat-L-Trap in a
similar color pattern.
The Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps have been around for a long time.
These lures have stood the test of time and have proven to be the most
effective lipless crankbaits ever made for bass. These lipless crankbaits have
proven themselves for pike, walleye, crappie, redfish, stripers and other types
of game fish. ‘Outdoor Life’ magazine has referred to the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap
as the “Most Influential Fishing Lure” of all time in their article about
fishing lures that are in the Fishing Lures Hall of Fame.
I would have these lures attached to the line of two Lews American
Hero Speed Stick rods with Tournament Baitcast Reels with 20 lb power pro
braid. I will also attach a monofilament 20 lb leader that will be attached to
the Rat-L-Traps. Lew’s American Hero series is a product that is a product to
honor our American veterans. Lew’s will be pledging a portion of profits from
the sales of every American Hero rod along with other select products in the
support and help in organized programs that benefit the mind, spirit, soul and body
of our veterans on their return to enjoying fishing.
My plan to fish this private pond is to follow the water depth
from the Raymarine Dragonfly. When the water depth is between shallow to 4 feet
I would be casting the floating Rat-L-Trap to keep the lure out of the weeds. When
the depth was above the 4 feet mark I would change to the regular Rat-L-Trap.
The concept would be in maintaining the lure at a consent water column in the
hopes that a huge bass or two and hopefully my ten bass stringer for the
tournament. On this particular day of fishing I managed to land twelve largemouth
bass ranging from 12” to the biggest at 19”. The ten fish stringer total
measurement was 181.5 inches.
The tournament rules allowed four fish upgrades. One fish
per week only but when week four arrived Kwanza added a twist for the last
week. The twist was an additional five fish upgrade along with the single fish
upgrade. This twist has the possibility of helping the other competitors to overtake
my ten fish total. So to ensure to hold my position I will have to attempt to catch
five fish to replace the smaller largemouth bass on my stringer. Making another
visit to the private pond and using the same plan as earlier. This time the fishing was not as great. I managed
to catch about a nine bass of which ranged between 13” to the biggest at 19.25
inches. Of which I could only use three of the fish caught to replace two 17
inchers and an 18 inch largemouth bass. This brought my total ten fish stringer
to 187 inches.
Tony Dean caught the BIGGEST fish of the tournament so Kwanza
sent Tony 5 Rat-L-Traps from his personal tackle box.
Photo by Tony Dean
Jean McElroy won a YakAttack Retractor for posing the best
selfie of the tournament. The photo made it feel like that you were there for
Photo by Jean McElroy
Top three finishers all caught ten fish limit:
Darrell Olson with 187 inches
Bill Sikora with 148.75 inches
Tony Dean with 129 inches
This was a great tournament that Kwanza Henderson organized
and ran. It was fun; it actually forced me to learn about fishing a lipless
crankbait. I just might have to try the Rat-L-Trap in saltwater inshore or out
at the Jetties this spring. I think that there were 66 bass caught for this
tournament for a total of 900 inches for an average bass length of nearly 14
I understand that Kwanza Henderson is already got something
in the works for a spring or summer tournament. I know that I will be on the
board for his next event. Thanks again Kwanza d for this tournament.