How to Bait Minnows

by Rona Aquino
Use minnows as bait to catch your favorite game fish.

Use minnows as bait to catch your favorite game fish.

Minnows are popular live baits for catching a variety of game fish species like walleye and bass. Different types of minnows such as golden shiner, bluntnose minnow, creek chub, emerald shiner and fathead minnow are used to entice fish. They are natural food to game fish, making them effective lures. To bait minnows, hook them in different ways depending on the types of fish you are pursuing, water conditions and personal preference.

Use minnows as live bait by hooking through both lips, starting with the bottom lip. This is an ideal way to bait minnows especially for troll fishing and cast and retrieve fishing method. Keep the hook pointed up to allow movement. This causes the appearance of the minnows swimming naturally, thereby attracting more game fish.

Hook the minnow through its back to make a float-and-sinker bait. Avoid the spine when pushing the hook through to keep the bait lively and moving freely. For even more movement, hook through the tail.

Thread the minnow onto the fishing hook to let the bait hold on longer. This is ideal for catching elusive game fish that may take a while to bite. Use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the bait just behind its gills until it opens its mouth. Slide the hook inside the mouth through the top of the minnow and behind its head.

About the Author

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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