The Forgotten Swimmer…
With so many finnish swimmers to choose from, it seems every season the preference changes amongst surfcasters. For the longest time, bombers ruled the plastic swimmer scene, and before them it was the famed Rebel which caught the former world record striped bass (78.8 lbs.) from an Atlantic City jetty.
I own so many swimmers, but the Rapala Max Rap 17 holds permanent spot in my plug bag. There’s something different about this swimmer that seems to set it apart. To the novice eye, all swimmers look the same, but to fanatics like myself there are distinct differences amongst the various swimmers.
The max rap has a very slender profile and specs out at 1 ounce and 6.5 inches. The internals include a casting weight that allow you to achieve respectable distance for a lure so light. But getting back to the point … the one thing that truly sets this lure apart from others is the moderate rolling wobble on a slow retrieve. It’s not the tight wiggle that you have on the sp minnow, or the thumping wobble of an x rap. The action is actually very subtle, but at certain times can be the only lure the fish will want.
On a midsummer night, with warm temps and calm water, I fished this deep sandy terrain near the outskirts of the big city. Earlier in the day pelicans were dive bombing for sardines and whales were scooping tons of baitfish one quick gulp after another. Anglers were also peppered along the coast working poppers with conviction trying to get a striper to erupt as they walked the dog along the troughs and cuts. I decided to fish way after dark past midnight on a solo mission. I was excited because I was the only fool on the water. I went fishless for about 30 minutes and then switched up to a Rapala Max Rap 17. As the lure stealthily swam through the hole it was greeted by the maw of a giant striper. After landing this brute, I decided to test some other lures I never tried before, but none would induce a strike on that given night. Soon I gave them up quick and put the max rap back on and within minutes I land another beautiful fish.
The action and profile of the max rap were exactly what the fish wanted on that evening. Since then, I’ve always kept at least one in my bag. Every swimmer is different. The Rapala Max Rap 17 definitely has a seductive action that is unique unto itself. These lures are still built, but can only be found online. Cost is about average—but the shipping might be expensive. Regardless, these lures are fish catching machines.
Up to about 2009 I had absolutely no confidence in topwater lures. I viewed topwater as a technique to employ only when fish were busting in massive numbers. Never would it be my first choice out the bag until I stumbled upon a (read more)
This article is based on my personal experiences in using the SS little neck in surf fishing for striped bass. I would say 90% of my striper surf striper hookups were enticed by the (read more)