At an early age, anglers learn quickly that being quiet is essential to catching fish. Being hushed by your elders was a part of the process, but as we grew older, we learned that it isn’t all noise that turns fish off; the proper noise can actually entice them into biting.
So while stomping your feet on the bottom of the boat may not put fish on the end of your line, lures that make the right noises can. Anglers learned years ago that the noises made by popping corks call fish in to investigate the ruckus, and once they arrive, they see the lure or live bait dangling below the cork, often resulting in a bite.
But popping corks don’t work in every situation, especially when anglers are trying to keep their lure on the bottom; soft-plastic lures like grubs and shrimp are best worked without a cork, so they lack the advantages that a popping cork can add. Or at least they used to.
Lures like Egret’s Rattling VuDu Shrimp have a built-in rattle chamber that adds sound. The dedicated chamber holds a weight and a rattle, meaning anglers don’t need to cut holes in the plastic to insert rattles that can slip out of place.
Anglers wanting the option to add rattling noises to grubs or any soft plastic lure also have a great option. Rockport Rattler jigheads have rattles built into the jighead itself. Anglers don’t have to worry about placing a rattle — which can be tough to do with slimy or wet hands — inside their lures.
Rockport Rattlers come in a variety of colors, weights and hook sizes that are good for catching everything from croaker to cobia. They work like any other jigs, and anglers can use them with any brand of soft plastics.
But just as popping corks aren’t good in all angling situations, neither are soft plastics. Anglers can round out their noise-making lure options by adding any number of topwater lures, crankbaits, or suspending lures.
Buzzbaits are one of the most under-used lures in saltwater, but they can be just as effective on speckled trout and redfish as they are for bass in freshwater. It’s tough to beat them as noise-producing lures.
The Bomber Badonk-A-Donk comes in topwater and suspending versions and can also be purchased with low-pitch or high-pitch rattles, giving anglers the option to make different sounds with lures that have the same shape, color, and action.
Popping lures are also good noise-makers. LIVETARGET’s Mullet Popper has a severely cupped face that spits out water, making a loud, gurgling sound each time the lure is popped.
The Rat-L-Trap is a time-tested rattling lure on which anglers have relied for years. Like the buzzbait, it is often overlooked by saltwater anglers, even though saltwater versions are produced. It’s tough to find another noise-making lure that can cover the entire water column on each retrieve.
Rattling lures have been responsible for catching untold numbers of fish. Anglers truly can’t go wrong by adding rattling lures to their tackle boxes, but they can also take things a step further with Livingston Lures, which makes a variety of freshwater and saltwater lures that do more than just rattle.
With a built-in chip that produces noise once the lure hits the water, Livingston crankbaits make noises that are recordings of live fish. Instead of rattles, these lures put out sounds that fish naturally make, like gill plates moving and swim bladders compressing — sounds gamefish key on when looking for a meal.
Most baits have to be moving to make noise, but Livingston’s offerings make them even when they are sitting still. So as long as the lure is in the water, it is working, even when the angler isn’t doing anything. They also make lures that produce just one sound, and other lures that can produce up to four different sounds which the angler can select.
Next time your fishing partner shushes you, just remember that noise is okay, as long as it’s the right noise.