How to Catch Big Fish With the Banjo Minnow

How to Catch Big Fish With the Banjo Minnow
The Banjo minnow is a method of rigging a 3-inch to 4-inch plastic worm using a no-crimp bait-keep that you attach to the bend of a Kahle, or similar type, hook. A rubber band is stretched from the hook eye to the barb, making the rig weedless. The primary goal of the Banjo minnow is to imitate better the natural movement of a live baitfish. Learning how and where to fish the minnow can often lead to catching large fish.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Medium-heavy rod with matched reel and line
Step 1
Tie a length of fluorocarbon leader onto the end of your main fishing line. Fluorocarbon is almost invisible in water and will allow the Banjo minnow to be presented as a live baitfish without fish seeing a fishing line. Large fish typically mean older fish. Older fish are often wise to the world because they may have seen many lines and lures and be easily discouraged.
Step 2
Attach the Banjo minnow rig to the fluorocarbon leader with a Palomar knot. The Palomar employs a double line through the eye of the hook. This is important to prevent the loss of strength in the line when tying a knot. Tie the Palomar by forming a loop in the line 6 inches to 7 inches from the free end of the line. Feed the loop through the eye of the Banjo minnow hook so that the loop is on one side and the double line on the other. Tie and over hand knot with the loop and double line. Adjust the length of the loop and pull it down around the end of the minnow. Moisten the knot and pull tight.
Step 3
Identify areas in a river, lake or pond that big fish could inhabit. Avoid focusing on areas where a large fish cannot hold or find enough food to eat. Large bass, for example, hold along large structure, including stumps, rocks and logs. Large blue catfish can often be found in deep river bends and pools along bluffs or cliffs.
Step 4
Cast the Banjo minnow into the water and work the lure to imitate a live baitfish. Allow the minnow to sink initially or free fall. This method alone can often trigger an aggressive territorial response by large fish. Retrieve the minnow with a darting motion. Pull the rod tip, stop and allow the minnow to free fall. This motion imitates an injured minnow and easy prey for large fish.
Step 5
Maintain a tight line while fishing. Stay alert for taps or pulling on the line signifying a strike. Allow a large fish to initially strike and turn. Raise your rod tip and reel down on the line to set the hook. Maintain pressure on the line as the fish begins to fight. Raise the rod tip to guide a big fish toward you and then reel in line as it gets closer. Continue to work the fish toward you rather than using force that can result in a break off.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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