by Tim Huffman

Spring is a time of many cold fronts and heavy rains. This means muddy water. Most pros recommend three things when the water turns muddy. One is a bigger profile bait. Another is a strong color like orange, yellow, and black. The third is noise.
Mike Parrott, national champion, says, “I use all sizes of the Rockport Rattler jig heads depending upon the situation. When tightlining, I like a ¼-ounce. The big size doesn’t bother the fish at all. I use to be skeptical about noise making a difference, but I’ve proven many times the sound can make a difference. Tightlining the big, heavy head tipped with a minnow works great. The minnow wiggles causing the head to rattle.”
Parrott says, “I go lighter when vertical jigging and include a plastic body. At Lake Fork, Texas, the Rockport Rattler heads made the difference in not catching fish to catching many, many fish. The noise made a tremendous difference.”
Dan Dannenmueller, two-time national angler of the year, says, “Rattles might work any time but seem to work best in muddy water when a little sound helps crappie find the bait. For me they perform the best when fishing thick cover, deep inside it. The rattle draws the fish to the bait even before they can see it.
“I prefer the Bobby Garland Crappie Rattles because of their sound and versatility. They are glass rattles that can be inserted into most plastic bodies. The Crappie Rattles make a clacking sound that represents a shad noise, perfect for attracting crappie.”
Parrott and Dannenmueller agree that a rattle noise isn’t a secret, magic solution. However, there are times when the rattles make a huge difference in the number of bites and therefore the weight in the livewell at the end of the day.
Contact info:,