From the Beaches to the Abyss: Deep-Diving Minnow Plugs

John Gagne with a healthy back bay striped bass

The size of the target species has nothing to do with the anticipation and excitement an angler feels while watching a rod vibrating in the rod holder as the deep-diving plug at the end of the line kicks, flashes, and calls the attention of predatory fish.

From spring to fall, inshore to offshore, the deep-diving plug is a mainstay in the trolling fisherman’s spread.

spring striped bass

Spring Stripers

X-Rap Magnum 20 and 30

The first-arriving striped bass are hungry, but sparse baitfish school leave the bass spread over wide areas, making the troll the best way to find them. Deployed at 2- to 3-knot trolling speeds, the striper-sized Rapala X-Rap Magnums kick up sand in the 20- to 30-foot depths.

Rapala X-Rap Magnum 30
Rapala X-Rap Magnum 30

The tight kicking action and flashy colors bring bass in from a distance, while the bait’s 3D holographic eyes, textured translucent body, and internal holographic foil seal the deal when the striper gets close.


Summertime Bonito

X-Rap Magnum 10 and 15

Offshore-style trolling with inshore light tackle makes the summer bonito run a favorite for fisherman from New Jersey to Cape Cod, and with bonito numbers booming in recent seasons, the fishing this summer is shaping up to be better than ever.

Rapala X-Rap Magnum 10
Rapala X-Rap Magnum 10

While most inshore trolling is done at speeds slower than 3 knots, bonito need it fast. Captains have been known to push the throttle past 6 knots to outrun bluefish and cull out bonito and the small sizes X-Rap Magnum 10 and 15 handle those speeds in style. The baits stay down in the strike down at high speeds, and have become a new favorite of bonito trollers who once swore by old-school lures like Clark Spoons and Fas-Tracs.

Nantucket tuna fishing

Canyon Tuna

X-Rap 40

To pick a fight with the biggest bully in the canyons, you’ll have to sink (or more accurately, dive) to his level. The bigeye tuna has no problem crashing a spread on the surface, but in recent seasons, offshore captains discovered they hooked quite a few more bigeye by trolling a deep-diving swimmer like the X-Rap Magnum 40. The lure performs well at high trolling speed during the day, and under the slower speeds for trolling at night.

Rapala X-Rap Magnum 40
Rapala X-Rap Magnum 40

In addition to bigeye, yellowfin tuna and wahoo have a taste for deep-divers as well.

The full Rapala X-Rap Magnum Family has five models from the 4 3/8 inch XRMAG10, which reaches depths of 10 feet to the 7-inch, tuna-tempting XRMAG40, which swims up to 40 feet down.

33 on “From the Beaches to the Abyss: Deep-Diving Minnow Plugs

  1. john flanagan

    any recommendations for surfcasters in Connecticut and Rhode Island on what Rapala to use for Stripped Bass and Albacore, since the water is shallow and deep divers won’t do?

    1. John Silva

      Al Gags wip-it eel 6 inch in white. Easy to fish and produces!!

  2. Michael Kraynanski

    I would love this prize. I have tried plugs but cant get them to bite. this would beva godsend. thanks for the chance.

  3. Roman

    Try using a Rapala Original Floater. It runs about 3 feet at most. I use it in a shallow water and Spring Stripers love it. When Stripers and Blues are blitzing, this is another great lure too. It’s my go to lure. Love the black back.

  4. peter dalton

    I would love to receive this package, fishing with the grandchildren we lose a lot of plugs.

  5. W C Keple

    We use these ALL the time, Spring time for Blues & Stripers, Summer for EVERYTHING and Magnums for Stripers & Blues in the Fall. Many times the blues will try to take the lure out of the others mouths and then you get Doubled Up or Broken Off !!! The pliers work great and hold up to the tough fish. I would LOVE to win this contest.

  6. Ken Dorsett

    I love all the Rapala lures. They catch lots of fish. The shad rap is my favorite.

  7. Pat

    They’re not gona turn their nose on this one.Rapala the Striper « candy »

  8. Stewart Caldwell

    Have been using the X-Rap’s for many years . Bunker color is a big bass catching plug for sure .

  9. Bill Wyrebek

    I use multiple Rapala products for both fresh and saltwater species. My favorite has been using a deep-diving minnow while wading a sandy beach. I will reel in hard to make it dive into the sandy bottom then let it float up and repeat the process. It has produced catches of Fluke, stripers and an occasional bluefish.

  10. don devanny

    With over 50 years of fishing under my belt,my go never fail lures are all Rapala.

  11. Lodge Jic1

    Seems like a puff piece for Rapala Lures, I’ve had very good luck trolling their plugs including the Sliver when the sand launches are in.
    Also had good luck with Mann’s Stretch,the old Storm Deep Divers, and Luhr-Jensen J Plugs.

  12. Jettie L. Horton

    Fishing is in my blood. I’m almost 57 yrs. old. I’ve been fighting stage 4 cancer and can’t wait to get back out and fish all day. I would love to win and start my new fishing experiences out with new go to tackle.

  13. bob

    always catch northerns, walleye and bass on floating and suspending rapalas
    black and silver always in my arsenal

  14. Stephen A Anagnos

    These aren’t just lures. They’re works of art! Absolutely beautiful and they catch you fish!

  15. Frank s

    I have used the fresh water balsa rapala lures back in the 70’s and 80’s with great success. Would love to give these a test run this season.

  16. Eric Guerin

    I’ve been using Rapala Lures all my life, and they always work, just have to find the correct combination of color, type and size for the fishing situation you are in. It’s all a matter of testing.

  17. Phil A

    Have used Rapala lures inf salt and fresh water for many years with great success.

  18. Chic

    Have been using Rapala lures for over 40 years. Have caught plenty of Striped Bass on a variety of colors & sizes. If you don’t have one or more in your tackle box you are missing out.

  19. Breck James

    Blue & white Atom popper or Atom swimmer has never failed me yet

    1. Sean Corey

      I have been using Rapala Lures on Cape Cod my whole life and caught numerous species both fresh and saltwater with them. The X Rap has become my old stand by and often works on everything from Albies to Stripers when they are at their most finicky.

  20. John Donovan

    Been using Rapala’s since late 1950’s as a kid fishing on the St. Lawrence River.

  21. Mark

    I’ve been casting fresh water and salt water Rapala lures for years…excellent lures!!

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