Photo Credit Woodrow Rat Lures
TR I AE T O B NAAIT !
BY PETE ROBBINS
need a better mousetrap?
hen western pro Vu Au heads out
on the Cal Delta around the spawn
in search of big females, he carries
the usual weapons – a vibrating jig, a punch bait, the ever-trusty Senko. But once that
limit’s in the boat, he puts down the “Mickey Mouse”
gear and picks up a serious weapon…what appears
to be a full-sized swamp rat.
“I don’t know what it is about it, but for whatever
reason, when it’s slithering above, it produces angry
strikes,” he said. “I don’t think they’re trying to eat it.
They’re just smacking it.”
While his hard rat imitators will land 2- and 3-pounders, it’s a kicker he’s looking for and more often than not the rat will at least force big mama to give up her location.
“When the tide gets down, I try to find a lane and pitch it out there,” he said. “I don’t make a long bomb cast. That time of year, when it’s sunny, they tuck up underneath the mats. I’ll just creep it back to the boat.”
While hard-bodied rats have been a niche bait for generations, dating back at least to the Heddon Meadow Mouse, until the past decade or so, they