Rate of Stall

Most anglers are familiar with the concept of "Rate of Fall". In case you're not, its a measurement of how quickly a bait sinks through the water column on its way to the bottom. But what is "Rate of Stall"? The first time I heard the term it came from Matt Peters in a discussion about how quickly baits move, in the words of Peters, "From East to West".

The idea is that most anglers pay a lot attention to how quickly baits sink and how that effects the fishing but very few pay attention to how quickly their baits are coming back to the boat. If a slow falling jig catches fish better than a fast falling jig on a given day it stands to reason that swim jigs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, etc... might also have different catch rates based on how quickly they move through the water.

Its easiest to visualize this concept with topwater baits. As an example:

 Let's say you're walking a super spook and catching fish non-stop. You return the next day but find the bite has completely disappeared. Its possible that the topwater bite has shut down completely but the odds are much higher that the "rate of stall" the fish are responding to has changed. Instead of giving up on the topwater bite you pull out a 1/2 oz buzzbait (faster) and a small popper (slower). By experimenting with baits that have different rates of stall you discover that the topwater bite with the buzzbait is actually better than the day before, you just had to choose a bait that was going faster.

The next time you're on the water be cognizant of the speed your baits are moving and make adjustments in retrieve speed, lure weight, etc... until you've fine-tuned the pattern to get every bite that you can. Good luck out there!