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Finesse News Network's Gear Guide: Gene Larew Lures' Long John Minnow

Finesse News Network's Gear Guide: Gene Larew Lures' Long John Minnow

The boot-tail grub has a long lineage in some finesse fishing circles.

One of the first ones was Charlie Brewer's Slider Company's Slider Grub. Nowadays, it is available in one-, one and half-, two-, three- and four-inch sizes.  And across many decades, the late Charlie Brewer of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, and a goodly number of his finesse disciples have inveigled untold numbers of black bass and other species on a Slider Grub affixed to one of Brewer's jigs.

Another longtime boot-tail-grub devotee is Rich Zaleski of Stevenson, Connecticut. For many years, Zaleski has touted the effectiveness of a jig affixed to a Mister Twister Sassy Grub — especially the Sassy Grub in a smoke hue.  According to Zaleski, the boot-tail grub is a dandy cool-water option at the various waterways that he fishes in the Northeastern states, but he has found that a curly-tail grub is a better warm-water option than a boot-tail grub. Zaleski defines cool water as water that is cooler than 60 degrees.

Beside the Sassy Grub, Zaleski has been known to employ the boot-tail grub made by Lunker City Fishing Specialties.

Zaleski's  presentation of a boot-tail grub and jig is accomplished by slowly crawling it along the bottom, emulating some kind of invertebrate rather than swimming it and emulating a bait fish. There are also many instances when he deadsticks it. The jig he employs dons a wire weed guard because he probes a lot of snag-infested lairs.

(By the way, Zaleski's sterling discourse on finesse fishing for black bass entitled "A Generation of Finessin' Bass" was published in the July issue of In-Fisherman magazine.)

Until about five years, when Casey Kidder of Topeka, Kansas, introduced several Midwest finesse anglers to the effectiveness of a boot-tail grub, it had never been part of our repertoire. Unlike Zaleski, Kidder found that the largemouth and smallmouth bass in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas could be bewitched with a four-inch boot-tail grub during warm- and cool-water times — even in the extremely hot- and cold-water times. Like Zaleski, Kidder's  presentation of his boot-tail grub simulated the behavior of various invertebrates.

On January 21, 2008, Gary Dollahon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, introduced me to the manifold virtues of Gene Larew Lures' Long John Minnow, which we used on a jig to finesse fish for blue catfish in the cold, clear and deep waters of Tenkiller Lake, Oklahoma. Since then, the 3 ½-inch  Long John Minnow has played a role in our Midwest finesse tactics for alluring the largemouth and smallmouth bass that abide in the flatland reservoirs that stipple the landscape of northeastern Kansas.

A Junebug and watermelon pepper Long John Minnows. These two favorite colors of the Midwest finesse anglers.

Recently Gene Larew Lures announced that they have added 10 new colors to their Long John Minnow portfolio. They are Blue Thunder, Crystal, Purple Mist, Outlaw Special, Threadfin Shad, Albino Shad, Monkey Milk, Shimmer Shad, Screamer and Blue Ice.  Temperate bass anglers across the Midwest should find these new colors alluring to their quarries.

It is now available in 23 colors. A package of 10 cost $4.03.

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