Berkley Ripple Minnows


There are a vast array of v-tail type lures available, but the one I have been doing quite well on for the last few seasons is the Ripple Minnow from Berkley, not only do these have a great flexible body which helps in imparting delicate movements to the v-tail, but they also, as the name suggests have a rippled body, which may not seem that big of a deal at first, but acoustically in the water it makes all the difference when targeting shy biting zander.

The ripples while not looking like much, force water along the side of the body causing acoustic disturbances in the water. It is this audio noise that in some instances can attract predatory fish especially in coloured water.

Anglers generally have a love hate relationship with V-tail lures, some anglers swear by them and use nothing else, some refuse to use them as their lack of action (compared to paddle tails) is hardly noticed. Myself, I like them, but like everything they have their uses and there will be days when paddle tails will be better. There are certain circumstances where V-tails will outperform other shads; namely when fishing in very cold conditions when you don’t want too much movement; and when target fishing or “sharp shooting” as the cool kids say, using your fish finder to identify zander up in the water column, because of the length of the lure it makes them easier to identify on the screen without being too bulky for zander to take; They also work well in smaller sizes on drop shot rigs for perch.

You can rig them normal jig heads with a single hook and stinger arrangement, but I like to do it a bit differently and rig them on an appropriate sized Jig head with the aid of some super glue and then get rid of the main hook with some side cutters as this hook is not needed and it is often the case that big hooks can impede both the action and hooking potential.
The only hook I use on them is the stinger which is made from Prowla 30lb wire and a size 6 Owner treble. This is looped over the eye of the jig and then a split ring placed through the eye, this not only stops the stinger riding up the trace, but also makes changing lures easy.
I find rigging like this give a lot better hook ups then with rigs incorporating a large single hook, it makes the shad body more “bendy” for want of a better word which means when a zander takes it, the lure will fold in its mouth making hooking easier. Also with the stinger mounted like this it is free to detach from the lure body again adding to better hook ups. With larger lures you can put two treble hooks on the trace, but this is really only needed for v tails over 7 inch long.