Pre spawn is upon us and local bass tournaments are the leading indicator of its arrival.

Heavy strings are hitting the scales all across the south. In the weeks before the largemouth bass head shallow to build nests and spawn, they are at their heaviest.

These egg-laden, overweight females will stage up feeding and preparing for the spawn to kick in. Drains or channels leading into a spawning flat will often house several of these big females in one small school. The bass angler that locates an area like this can experience the day of a lifetime and possibly a true giant bass.

There are many baits that will work well during the pre-spawn and each day is different. There is one bait that has caught bass since it was first released decades ago. The RattleTrap by Bill Lewis.

Of course, the RattleTrap is well known and has only gained in popularity since its introduction. The original Trap was so successful many manufacturers scrambled attempting to copy the bait. The Rattling Hot-Spot, the One Knocker or Rattlin’ Rapala were all designed and developed to be a variation of the original.

All these baits worked but the original is still chosen by more anglers.

Best color for the Trap? Whichever color you like is the answer. The Trap comes in more size and color combinations than can be imagined. I usually stick to a few basic colors. There are a couple of new colors this year that look like sure winners. The Orange Spot-681 and the Red Belly-682 will get tested in the near future.

The old faithful Red Crawfish-46R or Red Shad-SY8 will always be in my boat. Size does matter. Typically the half-ounce bait will get the majority of the work. This time of year many bass anglers will use the ¾ ounce models. These larger baits have a little different sound to their rattle and do tend to catch larger bass. Switch up and try different sizes, colors and retrieves to see what works best. Speaking of retrieves, DO NOT just cast and retrieve the bait. Actually this will catch fish but add a few tricks to your retrieve.

A favorite over hydrilla is a slow, steady, sweep and pump motion. On the up sweep of the rod the bait will rattle slightly harder and a short pause will allow the bait to sink back down to the grass. The majority of bites will come as the bait is allowed to fall. Sometimes the bite will be a subtle as a line twitch, this usually means the bass has inhaled the entire bait inside its mouth. “We like this.”

It also means a much better hook up.

Get a few of your favorite RattleTraps this weekend and see what you can rattle up.