BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 42


The Luhr-Jensen Johnny Rattler is a relatively unknown lure still made today. It has the ability to trigger bites using su- per fast retrieves, and you can reel it at 100 mph without it diving or jumping out of the water. It also casts a mile. For those reasons, it is a great smallmouth and spotted bass lure. To my knowledge, no other topwater lure currently on the market has these special qualities. I was rst given a Johnny Rattler by a local tackle shop owner way back when, and I didn’t initially realize how effective it was until I was playing around with different topwaters on a lake by my house one day. Since then, it has been a fac- tor in several of my high nishes at the State Federation level, and has also accounted for key sh at several FLW Tour stops, including Beaver Lake, Champlain, Lake Norman, Cumberland, and Clarks Hill. I can remember Lake Cumber- land in particular, at an EverStart Championship, catching several smallmouth up to, and a few over, the 21-inch slot size. What I’ve found is when sh are following other topwater lure types without biting them, I can get those sh to commit by burn- ing the Johnny Rattler past them. I will also burn it across the water and just stop the retrieve half-way back to the boat. The bass will literally run into the bait when that happens. One modi cation I make to it at times is to add an inline feath- ered treble hook, either in front of or behind the lure for use as a sting- er. Because the retrieve is so fast, the treble will help to produce a


couple of extra hook-ups at times.

Pork trailers also date back to my early youth when I started exper- imenting with jigs. I rst read about pork in a magazine, and shortly after that, I purchased my rst bottle of Uncle Josh #11 trailers, the spotted green and white colored ones, from a Kmart in town. It was the only bottle left on the shelf. The next day, I went out on Lake LeBoeuf, a mile from my house in Pennsylvania, and caught the biggest bunch of sh of my life. That was my very rst outing using pork, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It has essentially made me the jig sherman that I am today. Other anglers overlook it now because there are so many dif- ferent soft plastics on the market and pork has the one obvious downside, which is hook-fouling caused when the trailer covers the jig hook during a bite. It doesn’t happen that often (maybe




January/February 2011