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One Lure Challenge

by JJ
(Upstate SC)

One lure - single hook minnow plugs

One lure - single hook minnow plugs

I know that this is something one associates more with Tenkara, and to a lesser extent western fly fishing, but this year I am going to apply it to lure fishing. My lure of choice?.....Minnow lures (Plugs).

It seems that the idea of limiting oneself to a single lure is to strip away the excess and focus on the fishing itself. Personally, I enjoy some of the excesses. Especially lure experimentation. There is no question that spoons and inline spinners are effective trout lures, and I have fished both successfully on the same stretch of water. With many sizes and styles available, especially the spoons, it’s possible to find one that will be effective in most any circumstance.

Having said all of that, I favor minnow lures for a variety of reasons. First of all, I just enjoy fishing them the most, and isn’t that what it’s all about? Second, I have more confidence while fishing them. In my mind, minnow lures are essentially decoys. They look and move like fish. Whether trout are trying to eat them, or chase them away, I expect some sort of reaction. As long as I have made a good approach, that is. While also effective, spoons and spinners are really just hunks of metal that don’t actually look like anything in the river. Third, with a single barbless hook oriented up, in the rear position I seem to hang up less. Even with the 4.5 gram Duo Spearhead Ryuki that Chris sells, I can see and feel it ticking across the bottom, without getting hung up.....much. Fourth, I feel that my ability to use the rod to twitch the lure is more effective. The minnow shaped lure is essentially swimming in the current. I know that you can alter the presentation of spoons and spinners also, I just feel that the minnow lure reacts more naturally and consistently to rod input. Fifth, speaking of hanging up, I have found that I can gently twitch my minnow off of overhanging limbs easier than I can with spoons or spinners. It seems to have something to do with size to mass. The smaller more compact footprint of the spoons, especially, have a tendency to wrap several times, making a long distance retrieve harder, thus ruining the fishing in that bit of water. With the minnow lures, after an errant cast, I can slowly and gently flip it over the snag, and finish out the cast without taking a step. Sixth, topwater! To my knowledge there aren’t any floating spoons or spinners. I will always enjoy fishing the surface. Whether dry fly, popper, or some sort of frog or terrestrial, there’s nothing like seeing the take on top. Seventh, and last for now. The Japanese do it. How can one not pay attention to the most popular lure and method of trout fishing in a country that takes fishing as seriously as they do?

So, just to sum up. I won’t be limiting myself to only one size or style minnow lure. I still have that curiosity that needs tending, but if I am fishing this year, there will be a minnow lure of some sort attached to my line.

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Warning:

The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.