Sat 18 January 14


I’ve recently started to enjoy lure fishing again after a 25 year layoff, and I’ve been astonished by just how much plugs, spinners, poppers and everything else has moved on! Some things never change though, and the need to match the lure to the prey fish remains; I prefer to use something similar to the existing residents as I think it mimics whatever my predator is used to, so when I got hold of some ‘Clacking Minnows’, I was looking forward to trying them out.

Cudmore Fishery in Staffordshire has a dedicated predator lake, stuffed with prey fish to feed the intended quarry; pike run to around 25lbs, catfish to almost 70lbs and even the perch reach 5lbs, so there is plenty on offer. I’d had a few quick sessions with the lure rod earlier this year, but with water temperatures low, it wasn’t as productive as it could have been, with a few pike to 11lbs landed, and a monster perch lost!

I had one hour before a recent guiding session to give the new Rapala lures a quick spin (if you will pardon the pun!) so I chose a shallow bay with lots of cover. Although the water was fairly coloured, I knew the chosen swim presented a plethora of opportunity for pike to ambush some dinner from within copious weed beds, overhanging bushes and a fallen tree, so I gently lobbed the lure towards the water….

The ‘Clacking Minnow’ is a single body, slow sinking lure with twin trebles, the rear treble has a pronounced hook to help set the hook when approached from behind and is adorned with a small flash of feather to give added incentive. The lure is primarily designed to be used in depths of 3’-5’ with a relatively slow retrieve. The ‘clacking’ action is achieved by using a steel ball bearing situated within a rattle chamber to provide a distinctive sound as the lure moves through the water; this has the added benefit of producing a signature vibration which is a great help in coloured water. The angled frontal vane means that the lure moves down on the retrieve, and this imparts a fantastic action designed to imitate the pattern of a wounded or disorientated fish. Life like features also mean that this series of lures remain very effective; a holographic foil finish and 3D eye give extra realism which, combined with the internally generated vibration and unique action usually result in an immediate strike from any nearby predator!

And so it proved; within just two casts, a small pike of around 4lbs had attacked the lure with gusto resulting in a very positive strike. I continued for the remainder of the hour and added another couple of small pike all from the same area, but I have no doubt that had I stayed longer, then bigger fish would have moved in. As it was, an angler using bigger, brighter lures caught nothing, whilst the Rapala ‘Clacking Minnow’ was successful…..draw your own conclusion, but it definitely has a place in my lure box.

The ‘Clacking Minnow’ is available in three sizes and fifteen colours from all good stockists.


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