Captain Bruce Millar built his reputation for catching big striped bass for his clients aboard The Otter by decking numerous fish over 50 pounds using a classic striper technique—trolling tube-and-worm rigs. What makes Capt. Bruce’s striper-catching success most amazing is that he’s been catching trophy stripers without the one part of the tube-and-worm rig that all bass anglers know is indispensable – the seaworm.
In fact, Capt. Bruce hasn’t had a real seaworm on his boat in 6 years, because he’s figured out something far better — the Otter Tail.
As anyone who’s ever fished tube-and-worm rigs knows, seaworms are a pain. They’re expensive, they’re not always in stock when you need them, and they smell awful. To keep them alive, you have to keep them cold and damp (in other words, worms in your refrigerator!) and if a small bass, porgy, or cunner nips the worm off the end of your tube, you’ll end up fruitlessly trolling a bare tube past the noses of big bass without getting a sniff.
Capt. Bruce’s seaworm solution is the Otter Tail—a curly piece of proprietary material that swims with seductive ripple at the business end of the tube. It’s super soft, yet super strong, and holds up to multiple fish—even bluefish! It’s super scent absorbent and has a lifelike slimy feeling. Most importantly, it catches fish.
It took Capt. Bruce many years of trial and error testing to come up with the perfect material and cut that could replace a seaworm and survive on the hook longer than any live bait or plastic on the market. Now that he’s satisfied with the design, he’s excited to share it with the fishing community. He’s begun producing Otter Tails right in Connecticut, offering them in eight colors, three sizes, and three scents (squid, menhaden, and leech). All the colors have holographic glitter added to the material for extra attraction.
Otter Tails aren’t just for tube rigs—they can also be used to replace the pork rind trailer on a bucktail or diamond jig (unlike pork rind, Otter Tails will never dry out or rot), fished on a jighead for everything from porgies and sea bass to sunfish and crappies, and even added to a spinnerbait for largemouth bass.
Otter Tails can be customized—rig two at once, in contrasting colors, to create a mesmerizing twin-tail action, or trim them with scissors to get the perfect length for your bucktails. Capt. Bruce is convinced that as more anglers start fishing Otter Tails, they’ll discover new ways to fish them that he never thought of. The fresh and saltwater applications are limited only by one’s imagination!
Capt Bruce passionately believes in his products because his charter business depends on them to produce. All fish caught on his charter boat “The Otter” are caught exclusively on his Otter Lures. So far, says Capt. Bruce, hearing back from anglers who have had success fishing with Otter Tails has been the most rewarding part of his foray into the fishing tackle business, and he’s looking forward to seeing more anglers find success without seaworms.
Capt. Bruce is always working on new lures using his proprietary material, including the soon-to-be-released Tog Tails, which are impregnated with pure crab oil and will replace green crabs for jigging tautog. A 14-inch Otter Eel has successfully replaced live eels aboard The Otter and produced many big bass, especially at night.
You can check out the full line of Capt. Bruce’s lures on his website Otterlures.com, or see them in person at the Hartford Hunting and Fishing Show, Springfield Hunting and Fishing Show, and the RISAA Saltwater Show in Providence, Rhode Island. Otter lures can be purchased online or in Connecticut at River’s End Tackle in Old Saybrook, JandB Tackle in Niantic, and AandW Marine in New London. (Dealer inquiries welcome.)