The Depose Broken-Back Minnow: An Enigmatic Fishing Lure
I initially wrote about these lures as part of the 25 best trout lures of all time, I have since decided to remove it from the list and replace it with a more popular lure.
Origins and Mysteries
The Depose broken-back minnow, a hand-painted hard plastic lure, emerged in the fishing market during the 1970s. While its exact origins remain shrouded in mystery, this French-made bait quickly gained popularity among anglers.
However, consistent availability proved to be a challenge for retailers, adding to the allure and scarcity of these lures.
Mixed Reviews and Personal Experience
Opinions among fishermen who have encountered the Depose broken-back minnow vary greatly. Some enthusiasts have experienced remarkable success using this lure, while others, like myself, struggled to unlock its potential.
Intrigued by its design, I purchased several of these articulated minnows when I first ventured into trout fishing. Their lifelike swimming motion, resembling that of a minnow or bully, captured my attention. The lure’s upward-facing bib effectively clung to the bottom, creating a realistic appearance and leaving behind a trail of sediments as it moved.
The Secret to Success: Fast Water and Natural Drift
Through conversations with successful users of the Depose broken-back minnow, I discovered the key to maximizing its effectiveness.
This lure thrives in fast-moving water. Instead of employing an active retrieval technique, the strategy is to cast it out and allow the current to do the work.
The lure’s design does not require a fast retrieve, and trolling with it is uncommon. To achieve the best results, one should let the Depose broken-back minnow drift naturally through the water column, capitalizing on its inherent motion and appeal.
Flaws That Diminished its Popularity
While the Depose broken-back minnow showcased impressive swimming action, several flaws contributed to its gradual disappearance from store shelves.
The lure’s bottom-hugging retrieves tended to attract and snag on rocks, logs, and weeds, resulting in many lost lures. Furthermore, the upward-facing bib, though providing stability, proved fragile and susceptible to damage upon collision with obstacles.
A single encounter with a rock or log could render the lure useless. Additionally, the lightweight nature of the Depose broken-back minnow limited its effectiveness to smaller bodies of water, imposing constraints on casting distance and overall utility.
Variations and Discontinued Availability
Several iterations of the Depose broken-back minnow were introduced, with Teal in New Zealand and Superflex in Australia offering their own unique interpretations of the design. Reports even surfaced about a larger version marketed by Pesco, although firsthand encounters with this particular variation have eluded me.
Surprisingly, advertisements for the Depose broken-back minnow were still observed in the United Kingdom as recently as 2010. However, during my recent travels to various tackle stores, these lures have been conspicuously absent from stock, indicating a decline in their popularity over time.
Beyond the Depose Broken-Back Minnow: French Eel Lure and Gracia Branding
Interestingly, the same company responsible for the Depose broken-back minnow also manufactured a French eel lure, which found its way to North America under the brand name Gracia, among others. Rumors circulated that this specific lure was exceptionally effective for targeting sea trout, adding to its allure and reputation.
Intriguing Remnants of an Angling Legacy
In conclusion, the Depose broken-back minnow remains an enigmatic fishing lure that has left a lasting impression on those who have encountered it.
Despite its flaws, it captivated the angling community with its lifelike swimming action and unique design. If any of you have had the opportunity to try out this lure, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences.
The story of the Depose broken-back minnow continues to fascinate, evoking memories of a bygone era of angling innovation.