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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.