The original Rapala “Floating Minnow” was one of the first lures introduced to the fishing world by Rapala in 1936. Shortly thereafter, the company added jointed and sinking (Countdown) versions of the popular bait.
Constructed of balsa wood, the floating minnow series comes in seven different sizes and 22 possible color choices. The three sizes I use in most bass fishing situations fall in the middle of the size range, namely the F07 (1/8 oz. & 2.75”), F09 (3/16 oz. & 3.5”) and F11 (3/16 oz. & 4.28”) mostly in silver, gold and perch color patterns.
Though the F11 can be fished with standard spinning or light casting gear, I typically fish either the F07 or F09 on a 6 to 6.5’ medium-light spinning rod with matching rod and 6 or 8 lb test monofilament line.
Bass & Fish Catching Magic
Rapala’s original floating minnow is one of the “go-to” baits in my tackle collection and it should be in yours too!
Simply because the floating minnow’s basic action on a straight retrieve mimics a wounded baitfish and the slow rise and quiver action imparted when using a stop and go retrieve can be deadly on bass. It also works as a great topwater lure for those early morning outings when the lake surface is like a sheet of glass!
Years ago I also discovered a “secret” presentation technique putting bass in the boat when other presentations failed. Though not complicated, one subtle change in a normal surface presentation seems to excite neutral fish and entice them to rise to the surface and slurp the minnow right off the surface!
Still surface water conditions are a must and they are even better if in the afternoon under a bright, sunny summer day.
Enter – The Quivering Dead-Stick Minnow
This presentation method starts with either the F07 (one I use most often) or F09 (if larger forage is present) tied to the line with either an Improved Clinch or Palomar knot rather than the Rapala knot used on normal cast and retrieve presentations. The reason for the solid contact between the bait, line and rod will become apparent shortly.
After casting the floating minnow to the structure I am fishing, I let the minnow remain perfectly still until all rings from the initial impact have dissipated.
Next I start gently shaking the rod tip with slack in the line since I am not trying to move the lure towards me just impart vibrations causing it to quiver on the surface for several seconds. When done correctly, the minnow appears to be shaking feverishly on the surface like a struggling baitfish and bass (plus other fish in the area) can’t resist taking advantage of this easy morsel.
The quivering dead-stick minnow presentation is absolutely deadly on those summer days when the afternoon wind quits and fish are selectively feeding on small insects and baitfish off the surface.
Tale a look at the following video from the folks at Rapala to see the floating minnow in action with a little more insight on fishing methods…