New Spin On Classic Lure
Field Testing Shows Rooster Tail Minnow Catches Multiple Species
By Scott Haugen
I dropped my rod tip toward the river and stripped out some line. I watched as my spinner quickly sank, sunlight bouncing off its bright, chrome body. Then I pulled the rod from side to side, eager to see the action of the blade.
It took little speed to set the blade in motion, and soon an impressive swath of light reflected to the sides of the spinner. As I prepared to pull the spinner from the water and make my first cast with it, a smallmouth bass shot out from behind a rock and followed the lure. I kept the spinner in the water, now drawing figure eights with it, like I’d done before to entice pike and coho salmon to bite. Soon more smallmouth followed it – then one hit.
The spinner I was using for the first time was the new Rooster Tail Minnow. By day’s end, I’d catch and release over 50 smallmouth, most having fallen to the Rooster Tail. The biggest smallie of the day was caught on this spinner, and just like that, I was eager to try this presentation elsewhere.
A GENERATIONAL LURE
The original Rooster Tail was crafted in the late 1940s and has established itself as one of the best all-around fish-catching spinners ever. I’ve caught a lot of fish in a lot of places over the years on that lure, and so after a summer and fall of fishing the Rooster Tail Minnow, I was even more impressed with the new product.
On my first smallmouth fishing experience with this spinner, river conditions were crystal clear. The same was true during summer fishing trips for rainbow trout in rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds. During these clear-water fishing trips, I was impressed by the interest fish showed in the highly reflective spinner. What impressed me more was how long the fish would follow the spinner and then attack it.
The details of the molded body – combined with the large eye – make for a very realistic, enticing simulation of a baitfish. Most of the time, when fish follow a spinner for any great distance, they pull away; it’s not so with the Rooster Tail Minnow. After following the lure and studying its details, fish hit this spinner more often than others I fished, including the original Rooster Tail.
CAUGHT ON FILM
Underwater video camera work helped me study the reaction of fish when they see this lure.
With the Rooster Tail Minnow’s intricate body details, there’s no doubt it was specifically designed to fish best in clear water. But as summer conditions led to algae blooms and moss growth, I was eager to try the new spinner in murkier environments.
The very first cast I made into an algae-infested pond resulted in a fat crappie. The next two casts also produced fine-sized crappie. In the course of an hour, I’d land bluegill and largemouth bass on the chartreuse-colored Rooster Tail Minnow.
As fall river conditions shifted from clear to turbid, I hit the water in search of rainbows and the spinner produced. Perhaps the most impressive display of effectiveness came last November. I fished a small lake that was shallow and muddy due to recent rains. In 18 inches of visibility, I hooked and landed a limit of five trout while standing on the bank – three on the silver/red Rooster Tail minnow, and two on the chartreuse one.
Even with the low visibility, the dime-bright body and spinner blade cast a halo of light that caught the attention of fish. Not only did this light-casting property impress me, the number of species that hit the lure did, too.
NEW LURE, NEW FISH
Having been an avid angler for 45 years, it never ceases to amaze me, the new innovations continually created to catch fish. The Rooster Tail Minnow is a fine example of ingenuity. I’m excited about this new lure, not only for my future fishing adventures but to see how it performs for fellow anglers around the country on multiple species.
As is the case with all fishing, when it comes to trying something new, give it a chance. Take your favorite standby lures but give the new stuff a chance to work before resorting to what you have confidence in. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the importance of trying new gear and thinking outside the box is key to becoming a better angler. CS
Editor’s note: For signed copies of Scott Haugen’s popular book, 300 Tips To More Salmon & Steelhead, send a check for $29.95 (free S&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489, or visit scotthaugen.com.