Four Red-Fin Presentations

It isn’t hard to see the versatility of a Cotton Cordell Red-Fin. Simply consider that same lure is commonly used for reservoir stripers, coastal speckled trout and redfish, Great Lakes walleyes, and largemouth and smallmouth bass in rivers and lakes all over the country. As diverse as a Red-Fin is in the places it can be fished and the species it can be effectively used to catch, this classic minnow lure might be even more diverse in the ways it can be presented.

Waking – A Red-Fin is probably most broadly known for its wake-bait capabilities. To execute waking, simply cast the lure and then reel it back slowly and steadily with the rod held high. The lure will swim with a wide slow kick right at the surface and push out a big V-shaped wake. When the water is fairly calm and big baitfish like blueback herring or gizzard shad are cruising close to the top, this approach will draw crushing strikes from largemouths, striped bass and more.

Swimming – When fish won’t quite come to the top or wave action hinders waking, using the same basic approach but speeding the retrieve just enough to make a Red-Fin dive can be highly effective. Excepting one deep model (which is really a whole different animal) Red-Fins stay shallow even when they dive, never going more than a few feet beneath the surface. The wobble is fairly wide and sends out a lot of flash.

Jerking – For aggressive fish, you can trigger more strikes with the same Red-Fin by working the lure with repeated jerks or snaps of the rod tip. With this presentation, you move the lure much more with the rod than with the reel. The result is that the lure darts erratically to trigger strikes and flashes even more. This presentation tends to work really well for saltwater species.

Trolling – Finally don’t forget about trolling, which keeps a lure swimming and in the strike zone all of the time. For fish seeking food high in the water column, Red-Fins can be trolled on a “flat lines.” However, walleye fishermen commonly use lead-core line, downriggers or divers to run Red-Fins at specific depths. Keys to trolling success (beyond trolling where the fish ae) include pulling lures at the right depth and pulling them at the right speed.

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