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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Lure Review

A.C. Plugs Modernizes the AC Minnow (continued)

Retrieving: The AC Minnow floats right on top of the water until you begin your retrieve. It doesn’t take a whole lot to get this wakebait moving and even a slow retrieve causes the bait to rock side to side. On our first trip out we didn’t have much luck with the slow retrieve on the Delta, but when we sped up the bait to a steadier retrieve we started to draw strikes. I found that I would get proportionally more strikes the clearer and warmer the water was. I didn’t get any large fish or particularly violent surface strikes on the Delta and I hoped that Clear Lake would offer up some more excitement.

A Clear Lake bass snaps at the AC Minnow and hooks himself on the head

I believe there are two main fish attracting elements to the AC Minnow, the first is the obvious side to side action which creates a wake on the surface of the water. The second is a loud clicking sound that comes from the center of the bait every time the two sides make contact. On the previous versions of the AC Minnow we noticed that as the center began to wear the bait would lose that loud clicking sound, and as the lure lost the ability to create that high pitched clicking the frequency of strikes would also decrease. The new AC Minnow has multiple layers of clear coat around the entire bait, including the joint. This helps keep the lure clicking over a much longer period, and the clicks are actually louder than before, it actually sounds like two dominos slapping together as the lure snaps back and forth.

The joints are now covered in multiple layers of gloss and keep clicking longer

On Clear Lake I experimented with a number of retrieves including a fast burn, deadsticking, jerking, and the slow and steady retrieve. We found an area where there was no more than 8 feet of totally clear water, we could see the vegetation on the bottom reaching up to within three feet of the surface and backed the boat off the edge and proceeded to cast right over the weeds. I focused on the slow retrieve and a few clicks later had an explosion on the lure as a fish took the AC Minnow right down into the vegetation below. I hauled the fish out of the undergrowth and it started swimming against the boat, it felt big! When I finally turned the fish it flashed and I was surprised to see a three pound bass wearing the lure like a bonnet. In its fervor the fish must have snapped at the AC Minnow and stuck itself right on the top of its head, no wonder it had felt so big swimming away from me. Though not very large any splash hit is a lot of fun and I cast back over the weeds in the hope of picking up more. I didn’t have to wait long and the next fish that hit the AC Minnow was a healthy 7lb. Clear Lake donkey.

The fish dove right into the weeds the minute it was hooked

Durability: During our tests I noticed the uniformity between the updated AC Minnows has now vastly improved. Each of our test baits swam the same and the company is now going through great lengths to improve the consistency including using a tank to test each and every bait before they ship. Even with big bass on the line we didn’t have any hook bend problems thanks to the Owner trebles, we also noted that one of the problems with the older baits has now been fixed, in the previous versions occasionally the bills would break off when the lure landed in the water, the new lure has a thicker bill that is considerably more long-lasting. We did however notice one durability issue and that was on the top of one our test baits, on one cast when the lure hit the water the top gloss coat split. The split started as a hairline crack but eventually grew side enough that you could run your fingernail down the groove. Though the clear coat cracked the bait remained intact and continued to swim and perform normally.

During the test I lost one very nice fish which was only hooked on the rear treble, it left a scale as a going away present

Price & Applications: If we could only have one size it would be the 7” bait which is a good all round bait for multiple species, the 9” is designed to target the really big fish, and AC Plugs also has a small 5” version for fishing in rivers or targeting trout. There are a number of colors available including Rainbow, Shad, Ayu, Silver Shad, Chartreuse Shad, and Black and Purple. The 7” bait retails for $26.99 and the 9” retails for three dollars more. They are cheaper than most swimbaits and while there are countless new swimbaits out there the AC Minnow remains one of the proven lures that continues to land big fish.

A fish engulfs the AC Minnow, the new bait proved to be more durable and the extra durability helps the lure keep on clicking for maximum fish calling action




AC Plugs AC Minnow Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The AC Minnow is back and its better than ever. The new construction improves the lure's durability significantly as well as improves performance. 8
Performance One of the secrets about this bait is that the clicking of the two segments helps draw fish to strike when the lure is retrieved, the new AC Minnow's thick gloss layer keeps the lure clicking and the new foil finishes add realism to the bait and increase flash on the surface. 9
Price The AC Minnow retails for 27-30 dollars depending on size and is a reasonable price for a lure of this quality and proven performance 8
Features The AC Minnow doesn't feature radical design changes just upgrades from the original, though seemingly small upgrades the result is a modernized bait 7
Design (Ergonomics) The AC Minnow now comes with individual "QuickShot" storage boxes and the lure is as easy to fish as wakebaits come 8
Application There are a range of sizes and the AC Minnow is good for targeting Bass, Stripers, Musky, Pike, and Trophy trout 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Proven performance in a timeless design but with more realistic finishes L Observed hairline cracking on top of clear coat (though performance was not affected)
J Durability has been improved L Lot's of competition in the segment
J QuickShot storage box  
J Clicking joint continues to deliver over the long term  
J Reasonable price  


Conclusion: There are a lot of baits that come and go but the AC Minnow proves it has plenty of staying power and the company that first brought the lure to market has brought the bait back with a number of enhancements that may seem insignificant but prove to be highly effective. The AC Minnow is now more durable than it has ever been, comes armed with even deadlier components, and manages to hold on to that sweet fish calling clicking sound longer than before thanks to a fresh multi-layer gloss finish. Allan Cole knows how to catch big fish, and he certainly knows how to build quality baits. If you haven’t tried an AC Minnow or are new to the big bait game there is perhaps no easier wakebait to fish, and for just a little over 25 dollars each the AC Minnow is one wakebait you do not want to be without when the water is warm and clear.  


Looking for the new AC Minnow, check out the 7" and 9" at

Tackle Warehouse and the 9" at Monster Fishing Tackle










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