Over the past several months an aggressive Rapala ad campaign touted “Evasive Action Coming,” so we knew something big was on the way from fishing’s equivalent to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Then, during this year’s Bassmaster Classic, the curtain was lifted, revealing a family of four new baits that feature a lip design unlike anything we’d ever seen.
Might as well have been an Everlasting Gobstopper. The anglers at the Classic went cuckoo like kids in a candy store with everyone trying to get a look, wondering when they’d get their first taste.
Mike Iaconelli reveals the Scatter Rap Crank
The name? The Scatter Rap, aptly named for its zig-zagging, hunting and deflective action, which mimics the flight response of wounded or spooked baitfish.
The Scatter Rap family is comprised of the Scatter Rap Crank , Scatter Rap Shad, Scatter Rap Minnow and Scatter Rap Countdown. This group is united by a unique lip design that’s drastically different than common round- and square-bill designs. From what we’re told, besides amazing action tolerances inherent in this new lip design, anglers will discover an unprecedented level of user-definable crankbait action, depending on the speed of retrieve.
Rapala pro, Ott Defoe dotes on the new Scatter Rap series
We talked with Bass Elite pro Ott DeFoe at the recent 2013 Bassmaster Classic and he gave NAFC a sneak peak at the baits, which he said were getting bit during pre-fishing on Grand Lake, Oklahoma.
He says the first time he saw the baits he was a bit skeptical and had a lot of questions, like how they were going to act in the water? But he became a quick convert with the first cast on Florida’s Bienville Plantation this past January.
“The fish were in shallow water over grass that made fishing most cranks impossible,” says DeFoe.
“But the Scatter Rap Crank stayed grass-free and behaved liked it was deflecting off cover, even though there wasn’t any. It drove the fish nuts. That’s when I learned that these baits were going to be very, very effective,” he explains.
He sees the baits as a new go-to tool for probing areas where most cranks would get their trebles gummed up, like over and around grasses and wood.
Pre-Bassmaster Classic DeFoe unveils his secret weapon
Knock On Wood
DeFoe—like a lot of other bass anglers across the globe—has long had a love affair with the tight wobble of Shad Raps, especially for cold-water bass. Only problem is, Shad Raps have never been very fishable around heavy wood and cover. For bass over rock and mid-basin depths, sure, but not in the gnarly alleys where square bills reign supreme.
The Scatter Rap Shad allows you to produce that hunting action without hitting anything by simply varying your retrieve speed from slow to fast.
“Now, with the advent of the Shatter Rap Shad and its wide lip, I can slither it through wood and it deflects like your wouldn’t believe. The bass just don’t know what to do. They’re not used to seeing a tight-wobbling bait in the wood,” he continues.
Featuring Rapala’s classic balsa minnow profile, the Rapala Scatter Rap Minnow perfectly imitates a baitfish fleeing from attack.
Over the course of the four days allotted for pre-fishing Oklahoma’s Grand Lake prior to the Classic, he probed shallow and deep water, catching a number of fish running the new Scatter Rap Shad and Scatter Rap Crank at the 6- to 8-foot running depth.
“I threw Dark Brown Crawdad, Demon, and Blue Back Herring colored Cranks and Shads during prefishing,” the Rapala pro explains. “But the fish I marked moved deeper by the time the tournament started, so I went back to my deeper baits.”
Still, he is convinced Scatter Raps are destined for some big wins in 2013, especially where shallow-water bites enter the picture.
“Anything you can do to eke out a little advantage here or there on Sabine River can be big,” he says. “I think the Scatter Raps are definitely going to get some abuse.”
Same goes for the upcoming BASS Elite event on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
“I cannot wait to put ‘em in front of green and brown bass at the same time. The smallies are going to tear ‘em apart,” he says.
Here is Al Lindner’s take on the new Scatter Rap Minnow
How To Scatter Rap
The two-turntables-and-microphone of DeFoe’s newest rap routine involves 8- to 12-pound fluoro, a 6.4:1 geared baitcasting reel and a medium-heavy action rod with a soft tip.
“I like fluoro for crankin’ because of its sensitivity and ability to get the bait to run deeper when needed,” he says.
Anglers should also note that he’ll up his line selection to 15-pound fluoro for fishing heavier cover without any fear of hurting the action of the new baits. But anglers also need to remember that with any of the Scatter Raps—speed is the number one variable in the fish-catching equation.
“Keep an eye on water temperature. As a general rule, slow down in cooler water and speed up as the water warms. A faster retrieve will give you a wider and more erratic sweep,” he explains.
Looking forward to upcoming spawn and post-spawn conditions throughout the country, he is excited to put more hours on the baits.
“Although I know the Crank and Shad are going to catch a lot of fish, I think the Scatter Rap Minnow has the makings of a champ, especially fished in clear water around structure,” he says in conclusion.
By simply varying your retrieve speed from slow to fast, you can get the Scatter Rap Countdown to kick out and hunt to the side.
As for the Scatter Rap Countdown, DeFoe urges anglers to think out of the box a little bit, and fish it like a bladebait or jig—rather than a jerkbait—especially in cold- or deep-water situations.
No matter how you slice it—whether it’s through wood, grass, or over rock, and open water—sounds like the Scatter Rap is poised to score big in 2013.
Rapala pro, Brandon Palainuk talks about the Scatter Rap Countdown