How to Rig Minnows

How to Rig Minnows
Minnows are frequently used as live bait. These small fish are attractive to many larger types of fish and can be purchased from bait shops almost anywhere. Minnows are also much easier to rig than worms because they aren't slimy and require only one quick stabbing, rather than the sometimes tedious rigging nighcrawlers can demand. How you hook a minnow depends on how you plan to fish with it. There are three different ways to rig this small bait fish.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hook
  • Minnow
Step 1
Pull the minnow from the holding water and give it a few minutes without breathing before trying to hook it. This will exhaust it and make it easier to handle.
Step 2
Decide how you are going to fish with the minnow. It will determine how you hook the minnow based on whether you are trolling, using a float and sinker, or letting the fish swim freely.
Step 3
Hook through the top lip and down through the bottom lip if you plan to pull the minnow through the water while trolling in a boat.
Step 4
Hook the bait fish through the back just in front of its dorsal fin if you are using a float and sinker to fish with the minnow. Make sure the hook goes all the way through the minnow's body and is below the spine so that it won't be paralyzed.
Step 5
Let the minnow swim freely and use its natural motion to attract fish by hooking it through the tail fin. Be sure to rig the hook through part of the flesh near the tail, otherwise a fish might be able to tear the fin and pluck the minnow off your hook.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure minnows are legal to use in the waters you are fishing. Some bodies of water do not allow live bait, and some do not allow minnows or certain types of minnows.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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