Several months ago I posted an article and video on the Whisker Seeker Tackle XL Rattler and the X3 “Big Bertha” Rattler catfish rigs and the success I’d had fishing with these rigs. You can check that video out here.
When I first teamed up with Whisker Seeker Tackle to build my Chad Ferguson Signature Series Catfish Rod they’d encouraged me several times to try their “Whisker Seeker Rattlers” but I was hesitant. I tried them a couple of times and put them away but eventually came back to seriously testing them for an extended period of time. During that testing I had some impressive results when fishing the rigs that rattle versus traditional catfish rigs like the santee rig or slip sinker rig.
I tested the noise producing catfish rigs fished side by side with catfish rigs that didn’t produce sound using the same catfish baits, the same techniques using an equal 50/50 split of rigs for extended periods of time. During that testing the same thing occurred each and every time I was on the water, the rigs that produced sound caught more catfish and bigger catfish every single time without fail.
This testing really opened my eyes and honestly, created more questions than it did provide answers which ended up with more testing that was still ongoing.
I’ve spent a significant amount of time during this testing targeting blue catfish though I’ve been experimenting with sound targeting channels and flatheads also the testing on blue catfish has been much more extensive. This testing while targeting blue catfish has been done targeting both trophy class catfish and numbers of “box fish” as well.
The Rattling Catfish Rig Dilemna
During this testing I’ve used a variety of techniques that include everything from anchoring in deep and shallow water to drift fishing, trolling and controlled drifting as well as fishing in still water and current or running water as well.
I ran into a dilemna when I was targeting trophy class blue catfish on structure controlled drifting as well as using a variety of other techniques.
While I often use floats on my catfish rigs (like the santee rig) there are often times where I don’t use floats or will fish with and without floats and let the fish tell me what they want. I was targeting big blue cats on structure controlled drifting and wanted to experiment with sound and rattling catfish rigs. I needed to suspend my catfish baits in the target zone where I was marking fish on my sonar, fishing vertically which made using rattling catfish rigs with floats like the Big Bertha Rattler impossible.
I tried several different things and even tried modifying the XL and X3 Rattlers but they simply didn’t work when trying to fish vertically.
This kept coming up and I was pushing for more ways to test my theories on sound and how it impacts catfish. When I was able to use the float rigs with the Whisker Seeker Rigs everything was great but when I needed to rig without a float I couldn’t come up with a good solution no matter how hard I tried.
This lead to me calling the boys over at Whisker Seeker Tackle with the “hey, I need you to build something for me” phone call. They love those phone calls (not really) and after some significant convincing they were on board with building a rattle.
The Goal: Integrate Sound and Vibration In ANY Catfish Rig
We started brainstorming and trying to come up with a way to integrate a sound producing device or “rattle” into any catfish rig regardless of how the rig was going to be used and with or without a float.
There were a lot of failures but we eventually found a good working solution and it was a hit from the very first time I used it. I fished, and rattled, and fished and tested (I know, it’s a very tough job) and continued to be impressed and intrigued with the results.
We did a little tweaking to the product to perfect it after some issues arose and finally got it right.
I’ve been waiting months for the finished product and it’s finally here and it’s called the Versa-Rattle.
Why Sound? Does It Matter To Catfish?
Catfish have a highly sophisticated sense of “hearing” and all in all supercharged senses. They have the ability to detect sound, smells and vibratuon that are far superior to most if not all other freshwater fish.
They’re use of these senses gives them some keene abilities that they take advantage of when feeding.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year talking to anglers about sound, vibration and catfish. Many of these anglers I would consider to be some of the best catfish anglers in the country.
There’s been a common theme in these conversations:
- They all believed that catfish are sensitive to sound and vibration and use these senses when feeding.
- They all believed that sound had some impact on catfish and how they respond or what they respond to.
- Most of them had made attempts to experiment with sound in their catfish rigs but had grown frustrated and stopped because of lack of good options.
- They all agreed that while we know a lot about catfish there’s more that we don’t know and we’ve barely begun to scratch the surface in how they respond to various baits, scents or environmental triggers.
Whisker Seeker Tackle Versa-Rattle Catfish Rig Rattles
I don’t know any better way to say it than what’s on the package (that’s probably because I wrote it).
Whisker Seeker Tackle Versa-Rattles add noise and vibration to any catfish rig you use. Works for all species and sizes of catfish. Add a Versa-Rattle to your favorite catfish rig in combination with your favorite catfish bait and let the noise and vibration draw catfish in.
In other words….
The Whisker Seeker Tackle Versa-Rattle slides onto your fishing line and when it’s in the water it produces sound.
- You can use the Versa-Rattle with any catfish bait.
- You can use it with any catfish rig.
- You can use it for any species or technique.
- You can use it with or without a float.
- You can place it anywhere on the catfish rig.
I’ve used the Versa-Rattles in just about every combination possible over the past year with every catfish rig imaginable and placed in different locations on the catfish rigs and they’ve all worked. I’ve come up with a few of my “favorites” that have now become my “go to” rigs when using the Versa-Rattles. I’ll be back with some more information and how I prefer to rig them in the weeks to come.
Versa-Rattles are sold in packages of 5 rattles and available in three colors, Fluorescent Orange, Fluorescent Yellow and Black.
Here’s The Versa-Rattle Video
Sounds Great, But ……
When I first started talking about the Whisker Seeker Tackle Big Bertha Rattlers I had some strange looks from people and a lot of questions.
I recognize that integrating sound into catfish rigs is somewhat cutting edge. Sure, there’s been some anglers doing so off and on and even some press in publications like In-Fisherman’s Catfish Insider but it’s by no means something that’s “main stream” among catfish anglers at this point..
I’ve said this many times before but it’s easy to get into a “rut” if you’re an experienced catfish angler. You learn what works and you spend your time doing that one thing or that handful of things that are proven and it’s hard to make yourself experiment and try new things.
It happened to me but some experimentation led me to understand that I needed to spend some more time exploring, experimenting and thinking outside the box.
What The Versa-Rattles Won’t Do
This isn’t a “magic bullet” and I’d never try to make you believe that’s what it is. If you don’t have the basic fundamentals in place it’s not likely to put catfish on the end of your line.
You’re going to slide a Versa-Rattle on your catfish rig and all of the sudden start catching catfish where you weren’t before.
If you’re using the right catfish baits and rigs and have the basic fundamentals of locating and catching catfish down that’s where the Versa-Rattle comes in. If you put it in front of fish and experiment with sound, you’ll likely see the difference.
In the testing I’ve done I’ve had days where the Versa-Rattles made a slight difference in catching more fish.
I’ve had days where it made a significant difference.
I’ve also had days where every single bit of activity was on the rods with rattles.
I’ve had days where the rigs with rattles produced the largest trophy class fish and significantly outperformed the rigs without rattles all day long.
I’ve seen enough evidence to know that sound has an impact on catfish as well as when and how they respond.
I’ve seen enough results to know that I’ll continue to integrate sound into my catfishing techniques and I’ll be using Versa-Rattles on my catfish rigs and continue to experiment with how catfish respond.
How To Rig The Versa-Rattle
Update: March 08, 2016
Whisker Seeker Tackle released the Gen 2 Versa-Rattle in late 2015 and have been shipping a newer updated model of the Versa-Rattle catfish rig rattles ever since then. These updated rattles were improved from the original rattles and are even better than ever (and much tougher than the first models that were available).
Since my first video on the Versa-Rattles I’ve had a lot of questions on how to rig the Versa-Rattle on catfish rigs. The name came from the flexibility of the product and how versatile it is because it truly can be used with any catfish rig in any scenario. There are no limits to how you can use these when rigging but since I’ve had so many questions I wanted to share some of my favorites ways to rig the Versa-Rattles.
In this video I walk you through my three favorite ways to rig using this product and some of the applications you can use these in including how to rig with a slip sinker rig, a santee rig and a modified rig using a ball chain swivel.
Versa Rattle 2 Catfish Rig Rattles [Update 05/11/17]
Here’s more details on the Versa Rattle 2….
The Versa-Rattle Is Available Now
Order the original Versa-Rattle catfish rig rattle and the Versa-Rattle 2’s at the link below.
I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve got questions or comments on the Versa-Rattle, feedback or success stories on catching catfish using the Versa-Rattle or using sound to catch catfish leave a comment below and let me know!