Targeting trophy-sized flathead on swimbaits and glidebaits has quickly become one of the most popular methods of fishing along the east coast of Australia. However, there are so many different types of jointed baits on the market, it can be almost overwhelming trying to pick one. I’ve taken the liberty of taking all that stress away from the decision, because if you’re targeting flathead, the Sea Drive Rattlin’ Bone is the only bait you need.
The rattling version of the ever-popular Sea Drive, the Rattlin’ Bone is the latest glidebait to hit the Australian market from fishing tackle juggernaut Evergreen.
The Sea Drive Rattlin Bone is a 140mm slow-sinking lipless jointbait that comes in 10 natural and bright colours. The slim-profiled Sea Drive has an extremely slow sink rate and comes equipped with Owner ST-46s trebles straight out of the packet – light enough to bury into the hard head of a flathead but strong enough that they won’t bend under heavy drag.
The Rattlin’ Bone boasts a fluid S or snaking action similar to that of a swimbait rather than a glidebait. However, by imparting erratic handle movements, twitches and pauses, you can vary your retrieve, getting the lure to glide and dart off to the side – enticing those finicky bites.
The Rattlin’ Bone also presents as a really light bait compared with other jointed lures on the market. The Sea Drive Rattlin’ Bone comes in at a measly 26.5 grams, 2 grams lighter than the original Sea Drive and extremely light for its size – even when compared with other Evergreen swimbaits such as the 150mm Bream Slide, which weighs 85 grams. The light weight means the lure is much more accessible for everyone to use, because you don’t need a heavy outfit to cast it. I felt comfortable casting the Rattlin’ Bone on a 4-8kg rod but I wouldn’t recommend using a lighter rod to cast it, unless you’re keen on snapping a rod tip.
The Sea Drive Rattlin’ Bone also presents at the reasonable price tag of $64.99. Is it the cheapest lure? No. Is it extremely effective and well made? Yes! Although this price point isn’t expensive in the realm of high-end Japanese lures, it isn’t affordable for many anglers. It is, however, a quality Japanese-made product that produces outstanding results.
When I was first asked to try these new Rattlin’ Bone baits, I had no doubt these lures would catch fish, given the fact the original Sea Drives have been so successful for me.
I had two baits to work with. The first didn’t last long and now lives in the mouth of a 90cm flathead somewhere. It still hurts me, so I won’t get into it.
The other bait, colour 722, the bright chartreuse, has been accounting for a lot of fish. Yes, because I’ve been fishing with it a lot, but also because it’s the same size as the mullet and garfish in the system that I’ve been fishing in.
The compact, slim design also means you have the opportunity of landing both small and large fish. Having accounted for several smaller fish between 35 and 60cm, along with 10 flathead over 70cm in the last month. It’s the perfect glidebait, as you can catch fish small enough for a feed and have a chance of landing a ‘metrey’ at the same time.
I’ve found the lure has been most effective when fished over shallow flats and along drop-offs. Multiple long pauses have been the key to getting the bites recently, regardless of the depth of water. Most bites have come while the lure was sinking, with a few when the lure was sitting dead-still on the bottom.
On a recent trip, the slow sink rate of the lure really came to the fore. My mate Nick and I were struggling to catch fish, using large hard-bodies and soft plastics and varying our retrieves frequently without much success. Realising something needed to change, I picked up the Chartreuse-coloured Sea Drive Rattlin’ Bone and began fanning casts across the shallow flat that we were fishing. Knowing the area had some big fish in it, I needed a lure that would sink really slowly and stay in the strike zone for longer.
These prolonged and frequent pauses soon saw a change in fortune, with a solid 81cm fish climbing all over the Rattlin’ Bone, right at the end of an extended pause. I can’t stress enough what a difference the slow sink rate of the Rattlin’ Bone makes to the success of this lure – in fact, it’s what makes it so effective in my opinion.
The Sea Drive Rattlin’ Bone has proven itself to me as a ‘go-to’ lure for flathead. The size of the lure, effortless action and slow sink is what really sets it apart from other lures. It’s the best small glidebait on the market for targeting flathead; it’s a market I’m invested in and I don’t know of anything more effective.
Words & Images: Sammy Leys