Out of all the lures on the market, one particular lure keeps drawing me back. It doesn't necessarily catch the biggest fish, but it is just a great lure for a wide variety of applications and fish. This lure is the Worden's Rooster Tail.
Why do I think this lure is so good? This is partly because it was really the first lure that I got started fishing on and it produced a lot of great fish and paved the way for me and fishing. Before I fished from a kayak or a canoe I was a die hard creek fisherman...and I still am. There isn't any style of fishing that I can think of that is more enjoyable to me. Of course you'll must likely never catch a ten pound bass from a creek, but the adventure of walking through the water and trying to position yourself to make a great cast under some trees and bushes through flowing water is very exciting. I cannot even begin to imagine the number of fish I have caught on a Rooster Tail, and the variety of fish is pretty amazing too. Fishing out of a kayak now with a creek fishing mindset, I still use the Rooster Tail quite a bit, but no where near as much as I used to when basically all I used was a Rooster Tail. This is due to one new bait that has really changed my fishing level dramatically.
You will always read magazines talking about soft plastics and how great they are. I agree, but if I can be throwing a crankbait, spinnerbait, or some other retrieval lure I will be. The Rooster Tail used to be my only action type retrieval lure, but I slowly began to see the importance of fishing crankbaits and spinnerbaits and how much of an effect one can have when the other isn't working. There comes a time when retrieval lures don't work very well though, and this is where the soft plastics come into play. For me, I have recently been testing out the Rage Tail Space Monkey by Strike King. The Space Monkey is what you would consider a creature bait, but for the most part it is mimicking a crawfish with some extra appendages. My favorite colors to use are Green Pumpkin and Watermelon Red Flake. I think these work well in a variety of waters, but work best in good visibility to clear water conditions. The reason is because they are somewhat transparent and transparent lures are what you want in clearer water and not what you want in murky water. I usually match the Space Monkey up with a 3/16 oz. to a 1/4 oz. bullet sinker with a 2/0 hook, and of course I like the Texas Rig. Texas rigging a Space Monkey is extremely dangerous from what I have tested out so far. Being late winter in Texas right now, the bass are a little lethargic and you really need something appetizing and slow moving, like the Space Monkey. The past two times I have gone fishing I have caught around seven fish on the Space Monkey, with quite a few being above the two pound size mark.
The great thing about the Space Monkey is that it can be worked almost anywhere you want to. One of my favorite places to fish is the Brazos River below Possum Kingdom Lake. There are a ton of large boulders mixed with smaller rocks in the water with some occasional brush. The Space Monkey does a great job of exploring these unknown territories with great precision, as it hardly ever gets hung up on anything and really seems to get the Largemouth hungry. I believe that I will start fishing the Space Monkey more and more as time goes on, and I can't wait till spring and summer when I can start casting around lily pads and alligator grass to catch some big Texas Largemouth.
It might seem like the Space Monkey is the best Largemouth lure on the market, and in some ways I would agree. It is a relatively cheap setup, it is practically weedless, and it catches fish - a lot of fish. So why I have I started to move from the Rooster Tail to the Space Monkey? This is a tricky question, but the main answer is understanding the conditions and what type of day you are dealing with. If I am in shallow water, a creek, or in a flowing part of a river, I will probably be casting a Rooster Tail. It doesn't go very deep and can really catch fish in these types of conditions. However, if I am in a little slower water or around water with some structure in it, it is more probable that I will be fishing a Space Monkey. When it comes down to it, both lures are really great, but the Rooster Tail is a more aggressive lure suited for certain situations, where the Space Monkey has a slower presentation that catches fish when they are slow or in structure. The other fact of the matter is that the Space Monkey just seems to catch bigger fish overall. Although I have caught a few fish over five pounds on a Rooster Tail, most of the fish are just around a pound or so. Already the Space Monkey has provided several two plus pound fish and I imagine there could be a few five pounders in the mix as the year progresses.
Between the Rooster Tail and the Space Monkey there is a lot of success to be made. Of course, I will no doubt be fishing some of my favorite big bass lures like crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures, but these two lures certainly will have many more fish to catch in the future. I highly recommend both of these lures and suggest trying them out if you haven't already, and with a name like Space Monkey you are bound to explore some uncharted waters that will land some big bass.