Learn The Secrets About How To Fish With Minnows

Are you planning to fish using minnows for the first time?

If this is the first time, then you would definitely have to look at our list of how to fish with minnows.

Minnows could be considered as the most productive and abundant bait sources for fishing. Minnows could be sometimes difficult to catch if you are unknown about what you are doing.

However, there is even a right and wrong way to employ this fish while fishing. You would have to follow some basic rules regarding its storage or technique, and our list would act as an excellent guide for it.

If you are interested, just keep on reading


How To Take Care Of Minnows

Minnows would survive better in cold water or the standard temperature of water. This is because the oxygen level in more chilled water would be more than the warm waters.

  • You could add ice in the minnow bucket if there is any probability of the bucket to get much warmer.
  • If the water temperature of your fishing area differs sharply from the temperature of the water present in the bucket, then you would have to add the outside water to the minnow bucket. This would temper the water in the bucket.
  • However, there are such buckets which could be placed immersed in water. But, it could shock as well as kill the minnows if immersed before you temper the water. The water in which you will store the minnows would have to be clean.

Just like you care for the aquarium fishes, you would have to change the minnow bucket’s water to keep the fish for a longer time.

If the water in the bucket becomes cloudy, you would have to change the water immediately for removing the ammonia that excreted through the fish’s waste.

You could consider buying a portable aerator that would help in keeping the fish alive for a long time by adding oxygen to the bucket’s water.

A standard aerator would operate on battery, but some of them could consist of adapters for connecting to 12-volt batteries. You would be able to adjust the oxygen level in many aerators.

However, you would have to make sure that you are not overcrowding your minnow bucket as it could result in enhanced competition for oxygen as well as increased ammonia amount.

What You Will Need

Fishing Hook

You would require a hook of size 4 or 6 to operate best for minnows that are less than three inches. For 4 to 5 inches size minnows, hooks of sizes 2, 1/0 or 2/0 could be good options to use.

These are two products that could be worthy of purchase

Last update on 2018-02-27 PST - Details

Fishing Line

Fishing Lines of about 6 to 8-pound test would work great while fishing with minnows in clear lakes or rivers.

Well, you could consider these products for fishing with minnows:


Snap swivel could upset the swimming action of the minnows by adding added weight.

Fishing Swivels

You could rig with three-way swivel or barrel swivel few distances away from the hook. This would help you in fishing with split shot or sliding sinker.

Step-by-Step Instruction: How to Fish with Minnows

Step 1: Finding A Suitable Place

Trolling would be a good way to start fishing with minnows. You would have to drag a minnow along the water, and this will, in turn, attract a fish.

Hence, you would first have to find out a proper area to execute the process. The place would depend on the type of fish you want to catch.

fishing place

But, generally underwater ledges or drops, flat gravel areas would be good options. However, you would have to troll the minnow deeper as the sun rises higher.

Step 2: Putting The Hook

Now, you would have to prepare your bait minnow to place it under water. You would be setting the hook along the minnow's mouth.

This would help in stimulating the swimming of the fish while being in the water.You would be using a sinker of about 1 or 2oz on your line.

However, the sinker's size would depend upon the minnow's size.

Step 3: Casting The Line

At first, you would be bringing your boat to begin the trolling process in the area. You would have to stop the main motor thereby turning the motor of trolling.

It is the time when you would be casting your line. After the casting, the sinker would gradually drop down to the bottom of the water.

Step 4: Lifting The Target

hook minnows fish

You would be holding the fishing line while your boat draws it along the water. Well, there would be no imaginary action of cast and reel in this method.

You would just have to be attentive and wait till the tip of your rod jerks out unnaturally. This would indicate that your target has bitten the minnow you presented as bait.

Hence, it would be the time to reel in the line and bring your catch to your boat.

Pro Tips on How To Fish With Minnows

  • You would have to keep the bucket of minnow out of sunlight for keeping the water cold
  • If you add excessive ice at an instance, it could shock and kill the minnows by cooling the water much quickly
  • You would have to add some drops of de-chlorinated solution for removing the chlorine from water, especially if the water is from city tap
  • You would have to select an aerator that would operate very quietly, so that doesn’t disturb you while fishing
  • The minnow could be hooked through the tail for letting it move freely as much as possible
  • Non-weighted line would work perfect for casting to a particular target using minnow
  • Hooking the minnow along its back, at the back of dorsal fin would help to keep the sinker under the water. This technique would be recommended when you use the fish as bait on tip-up during ice fishing
  • Minnows hooked along the back would thrive long than the ones hooked along the lips. Moreover, the fish would become paralyze if the hook is pierced through the spine of the minnow
  • If you hook a minnow along the mouth, it will prevent the water to enter in its mouth, and this could result in the death of the fish
  • You would have to pierce the hook along the lower lips first and then the upper one. This would let the minnow in swimming upright.


Well, our list of how to fish with minnows contained all these valuable information which we thought would guide you significantly in your fishing trips using minnows.

Like we already mentioned that minnows are known to be the favorite baits for many big game species, but you would have to follow many right and wrong rules to get hold of them.

Starting from learning the proper way to hook the fish to placing it correctly under water, fishing with minnows could require little bit experience and knowledge.

We hope that our list would help you a lot in your fishing days thereby acting as a perfect guide. Well, if you have any suggestion, do let know in the comments.

Ted Thomas

Hi there, I'm Ted Thomas, an ardent adventure writer. I write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the great outdoors. By sharing my experiences camping, hunting and fishing, I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.

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