How to Use Rooster Tails

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Rooster tails are very productive, fish-mimicking lures used to catch everything from largemouth bass lurking in southern farm ponds, to steelhead moving through cold rivers. In fact, virtually every predatory fish is susceptible to the rooster tail’s combination of a spinning metal blade, treble hook and a feathery skirt – called a hackle. You can fish rooster tails in a variety of methods, using most lightweight spinning rod and reel combos.

Choose Your Technique

  • Anglers employ a variety of retrieves and techniques when fishing rooster tails. Simply casting and retrieving a rooster tail works wonders in ponds and rivers, but you can also troll one behind your boat to cover more water. To a crappie or other minnow-eating monster, a rooster tail jigging and bouncing along the bottom looks like a deliciously wounded baitfish. Because the body of a rooster tail is weighted, you do not need to add sinkers to cast the lure effectively or get it down to your target depth.

Choose Your Color

  • Rooster tails come in a variety of colors; for your best chance at success, match the right color to the right conditions. For example, natural-looking colors, such as blue, silver, gold and white, work well in very clear water. Conversely, chartreuse, pink or red rooster tails often elicit the most strikes in muddy or stained water.

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  • Photo Credit Watcha/iStock/Getty Images
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