Fish eat fish, and Lauri Rapala’s original balsa wood bait looks more like a fish than virtually any other lure on the market does, explaining in large measure why it’s been so popular for so long. Of course, the realistic wounded minnow action—along with the multiple ways to present the lure—have added considerably to it being the number one choice among countless trout anglers. It casts easily and trolls like a dream, and it can be fished on top, shallow or—with splitshot or on a three-way swivel—as deep as you need. Just select the size that best meets your target fish and pick from the many colour options. Hint: The rainbow trout, gold/black and silver/black patterns are all proven trout slayers.
Catch: Brook, brown, bull, lake and rainbow trout
Where: All sizes of lakes; large rivers, especially in tailwaters below dams
When: Most effective in summer through to fall
How: Cast and retrieve at a constant speed, with occasional twitches and pauses; troll as a shallow-running crankbait, or run it deep with splitshot, a three-way swivel, bottom-bouncer or downrigger