How to Rig a Live Minnow for Bass

Live minnows are a good choice of bait for bass. Bass are predators found in freshwater throughout most of North America and they feed on minnows in their natural environment. Creek chubs and fathead minnows are the hardiest species, but no minnow lasts long on a hook if you rig it incorrectly. The way to hook a live minnow for bass fishing varies, depending on the manner of fishing you're planning to use.

Push the hook through the lower lip of a minnow and carefully bring it out the upper lip when fishing for bass with a trolling method. This type of rig also works well when you constantly cast and retrieve the minnow.

Bring the hook through the chin of a minnow and guide the point out one if its nostrils. This way of hooking minnows keeps the bait on the hook longer. The minnow wil hold up well despite repeated casting of the rig.

Locate the nostrils of the minnow between its eyes and mouth, and guide the point of the hook through one nostril and out the other. This type of rig keeps the minnow on the hook longer and allows it to swim more naturally.

Hook a minnow behind its dorsal fin or in its upper back when fishing the minnow beneath a float. Grasp the minnow with its head pointed toward your palm. Choose a spot halfway between the dorsal fin and the tail. Hook the fish in the middle of this location, jabbing the hook in one side and pushing it through until it comes out the other.

Hold the minnow in your hand with just the tail exposed and push the hook into the meaty portion of its tail, when fishing for bass in places with a current. This rig allows the fish to look more natural as it swims in the water. Use this method when fishing the minnow without a weight or float.


  • Avoid hard, jerky casts when presenting your hooked minnows to prevent them from dislodging from the hook.


About the Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.