My problem is there are so many minnows, it’s difficult to get them to hit anything artificial. Any suggestions as to what might stir some interest.
Lures in my opinion force fish prone to strike at that moment small lures that quivers & glide or dart
within their comfort zone. I would rather believe that than the idea that fish think
a lure represents something it normally eats. The proof are in the amount of soft plastic lures in many shapes with many actions that fish strike after watching them for a long time - at least by human standards. Your example:
I like to fish for gills with poppers. I can usually catch them until I am tired of bringing them in
A popper doesn't look like anything and the only thing that causes a surface pop is a fish slapping the surface for insects. Definitely a fun lure when the surface strike is on.
But for me, I find fish most of the time hit lures from near the surface to mid depth, the key being smaller, lighter and slower
. Lures 3" or smaller rigged on light ball head jigs. 1/16, 1/24, 3/32 oz jigs pretty much cover all depths yet allow a slooow retrieve. Lure design choices are great, but if I had only one to choose from it would be a Crappie Magnet grub.
Note color variety.
Magnet used with Beetle Spin:
Spike tail grubs are also productive:
Feather jigs work though not as well as plastics where I fish:
Stubby tail grubs are one of my favorites :
I used to rely on curly tail grubs but found other body and tail designs that do better. Ditto for Sassy Shads.
As I said, most fish species attack plastics presented the right way even when not
feeding - which is a great majority of the time. There's just something about that foreign object
that gets under their scales.