Fish use many different senses to remain aware of predators, as well as hunt and forage for food, and as a result, thousands upon thousands of different baits have been created to appeal to fish in different ways. There are baits that utilize red flashing lights to attract curious fish while others implement strong scents that carry through the water. Another way of appealing to fish is using lures that create sound vibrations in the water. There are countless lures that accomplish this task, ranging from surface baits to bottom-dwelling lures, and today I’ll highlight a few that every angler should look into.
Starting at the water’s surface, anglers have a number of options at their disposal when it comes to making some noise. The obvious choice is a buzzbait, which is great for churning up a little wake and chirping along during the retrieve. However, if you want to cause a little more of a ruckus with one of these propellered beauties, I recommend picking up a few clacking models. Clacking buzzbaits are outfitted with a little piece of metal that works like a baseball card on the rear wheel of a bicycle. As the propeller rotates, it collides with this extra piece and creates more noise, which drives fish wild. Other great surface noisemakers include Strike King’s Rage series of surface baits, as well as poppers.
Diving a few more feet beneath the water brings us to rattling crankbaits, or more specifically, Rapala’s Clackin’ lures. First available in a lipless crankbait and now in a minnow model, these lures possess a hollow chamber in which sits a large ball bearing that creates a deep, resounding “clack” as the lure shakes through the water. Rapala is known for producing rattling lures, but where most rattling crankbaits possess several smaller rattles, the Clackin’ series’ single ball bearing makes a deeper sound that works better in some situations. I suggest picking up a few of both types, as only the fish will dictate which one works on a given day.
When working the bottom, rattling jigs work extremely well. The constant up-and-down motion of these lures causes their rattles to create subtle vibrations each time they collide with the bottom. Also, if you’re using worms or another bait that doesn’t come equipped with rattles already, there are rattles that you can purchase and attach to the hook shank that will get the job done.
Fish have a series of sensors that lie beneath their lateral lines—the line that is noticeable on many species by the color pattern along their sides—that pick up vibrations in the water. This is exactly what noisy lures appeal to. In dark conditions, noise is usually the only thing a fish will pick up on, and the more of it you make, the more attracted to your lure the fish will be. Try out a few different loud lures this season and see which ones work in different situations. Remember, the lake is not a library, so feel free to make some noise with whatever bait you choose.