Fishing Rip Rap: Trying To Cover All Possibilities.
Seems like everyone has a favorite way to fish rip rap, me included. Nearly ALL presentations will catch fish on a rip rap spread, as long as you fish it the correct way. What is that way??? Depends on what the fish tell you, but it can include a LOT of things to throw and use. Rip rap is basically chunk rock that is made out of calcium carbonate. It comes in MANY sizes and a variety of shapes. It basically protects the dam area from too much washing away from the base of the dam. NOT all lakes have a rip rap barrior, like concrete or just shoreline. Small, medium, large and X-large sizes exist for your presentation, so let’s look at some ways to fish it.
My favorite way to fish rip rap is with a crank bait. Medium diving to deep diving crank baits cover all the area you need to fish the rip rap. Shallow to deep, depending on what characteristics each rip rap bank has. Some have uneven turn arounds, where the trucks backed down to turn around and go the other way. But, not all banks have this kind of feature and just present an even (used loosely) bank to fish. WHY does rip rap hold so many fish? Good question, but I imagine it is due to the bait population that each rip rap bank holds. The banks are known as BAIT HOLDERS in some regions, because of the amount of bait fish that it holds. Not only bait fish, but craws, small bluegill, perch and minnows, just to name a few.
Pick a presentation you have confidence in, then fish the rip rap with that confidence bait OR try to get confidence in yourself and fish ALL presentations to catch more fish. I have fished rip rap banks with almost every presentation I know of, except the Neco Rig, because I haven’t fished a Neco Rig, but it would work perfectly on a rip rap bank. If at all possible, fish your confidence lures on the rip rap bank, because fish live there, somewhere at some depth. I have caught fish off of rip rap at the beginning of the casts and as the bait comes to the boat at the end of the casts. EVERYWHERE in between is a potential for a bite.
Some rip rap banks include some weeds and that makes EXZCZELLENT fishing opportunities. The more cover you get on the rip rap bank, the better the odds are that fish will be holding there. I know, you thought this article was going to be about presentation, but I am leaving that to you to figure out. C – O – N – F D – D – E – N- C – E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IS THE WAY TO FISH RIP RAP. I often use a little secret when I am fishing rip rap, you may have heard of the doo dad? A dressed treble hook put on the back of a crank bait is a deadly way to fish rip rap. It seems to get more violent strikes and sometimes, bigger fish using this little used hidden secret. This little tool also can be used on the back of a spinnerbait, too and often gets slammed by the bass, because I feel it is something they have never seen before. I am a BIG BELIEVER in trying to give a different presentation than most anglers, trying to increase the odds of my fishing success. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but that is up to the fish to tell me when and where to use this little secret. A friend of mine, Triton Mike Bucca started the doodad presentation more than 20 years ago and it is a secret worth knowing. Many times it is cashing a check vs. going home w/o having cashed a check. ANY TIME I CAN INCREASE THE ODDS OF GETTNG A BITE, I try to do whatever it takes. Does it work all the time? NOTHING works ALL the time, but with the records I have kept over the decades, it gives me confidence to add something different to the mixture to try to increase the odds in my favor.
Back to rip rap. Almost EVERY presentation will work to catch bass, if they are in the right mood, because they live and hang out by the rip rap dams. Sometimes, there is a wing wall on some of the dams that gives you another opportunity to fish the rip rap. These banks that have rip rap on them just flat hold fish, not all year long, but MOST of the time, that you can catch. They may hold the largest of concentrations of fish in the lake, but might not, too. They are fish highways that often get fished, but not too well, in my humble opinion. I have seen some fishermen fish it like Keven Van Dam, put the trolling motor on high and fish it that way. I prefer to slow down a little bit, but I am not comparing myself to KVD, just that he fishes a little too fast for my style of fishing. Of course, he is the KING of Tournament fishing, so pay more attention to him, than my feeble attempt to help. I try to make multiple casts on any particular item that may hold fish, like the afore mentioned turn arounds or collected debris or weeds. I try to cover them thoroughly to give the fish a chance to bite. Topwater fishing on the rip rap is a spectacular way to catch fish, when the time is right.
In other words, fish our strengths on the rip rap, your confidence presentations. Will they always get bit? Nope, not always, but often enough to keep trying, though. If the fish are holding steady and not moving around much, you might try a jig o r a drop shot pattern to catch them. Nothing is out of bounds or off limits when fishing rip rap. In other words, EVERYTHING is in play and it is up to you to figure it out. Sorry I cannot be more specific, but just like any other way of fishing, it is CONFIDENCE and Time On the Water that gives you the confidence that lets you know you can catch fish there. It is up to you to determine how you think they will bite and give them a presentation to enhance them to bite your lure and hang on. Wish I could be more specific, but sometimes, that is the way of it. If you have never fished rip rap, for whatever reason, go try it and see how it comes out. It might surprise you with the results that you get. I try rip rap several times a day, until I get the fish in the mood to bite. Give it a try and it might surprise you. Hope this helps. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.
I hope you are not disappointed in he lack of information, but I thought this would serve more people than giving specifics. Hope this helps. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.
Edited by Thad Rains (07/17/18 08:39 PM)
Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.