How to Tie a Minnow Rig

How to Tie a Minnow Rig
Many anglers will attest to how well live minnows work as bait. From crappie to bass, live minnows often provide the extra edge that can entice a fish to strike when other baits or lures may not be effective. A simple and effective rig for presenting the minnow is easy for most anglers to set up. The rig allows the minnow to be hooked in different ways so a waiting fish will see a variety of presentations.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line
  • Circle octopus hook
  • Scissors
Step 1
Cut a 3-foot length of monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line from a filler spool to serve as a leader rig. Attach one end of the leader to the main line with a double uni knot. Overlap the end of the main and leader line for several inches and hold the lines in the middle where they cross.
Step 2
Turn the free end of the main line back, forming a loop alongside the double main line and leader. Wrap the main line around the double line four times and pull tight. Repeat the steps with the free end of the leader, pull tight and then pull the two knots tightly against each other. Trim excess from the free end of the lines.
Step 3
Attach a circle octopus hook to the free end of the leader with a Palomar knot. Tie the Palomar by feeding several inches of line through the hook eye. Turn the line back and through the eye, forming a double line and loop on opposite sides of the hook. Tie an overhand knot with the loop and double line, pull the loop around the hook bend, moisten and pull tight.
Step 4
Hold the hook in one hand and the minnow in the other. Insert the hook through the lower jaw of the minnow and out above the nose. Center the minnow on the bend of the hook.
Step 5
Insert the hook in the back or tail of the fish to change how the fish swims. Insert the hook just behind the dorsal fin, or in front of the tail fin, to allow a more natural swimming action.

Tips & Warnings

Attach a bobber float to the main line above the leader connection point and add a crimp-on weight several inches above the minnow to change how the minnow is presented in the water.

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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