How to Rig a Minnow for Fishing

How to Rig a Minnow for Fishing
Minnows--including common shiners, creek chubs, flathead minnows and bluntnose minnows--are effective baitfish for many fish species. Minnows fished beneath fishing floats, behind a moving boat or those fished through the ice on tip-ups will catch such fish as bass, pike, pickerel and crappie. Different ways exist to rig these minnows, with the specific rigging depending upon what type of fishing you do and how lively you want your minnow to appear.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Trolling Rig

Step 1
Hold the minnow securely in one hand, with its head facing away from your palm and toward your other hand.
Step 2
Look at the underside of the minnow's jaw and choose a central point under its bottom lip.
Step 3
Hook you minnow through the bottom lip, bringing the hook up through the lip and into and out the top of the upper lip. Bring the point all the way out the top lip so that the hook point faces upward, with the barb exposed so that the hook cannot slip back down through the lips. This method will not allow the minnow to live very long but it will look more natural in the water, as you troll it behind a moving boat.

Free Swimming Rig

Step 1
Hold the minnow by its body, with only its tail sticking out between your fingers and facing your other hand.
Step 2
Look at the minnow and choose a spot that is halfway between the minnow's tail fins and the fin on its back.
Step 3
Push the hook into the center of this spot. Bring the hook all the way through so that the barb prevents the minnow from slipping off the hook. Fish this type of minnow rig without weights or floats, allowing the minnow to swim freely in the water. The minnow will survive and swim longest when you hook it in this manner.

Under Floats or Tip-Ups

Step 1
Hold your minnow with its heads facing into your hand.
Step 2
Look at the dorsal fin of the minnow and locate a spot right behind it. Select the spot behind the fin about 1/3 of an inch down from the top of the minnow's back.
Step 3
Puncture the spot you chose on the minnow with the hook, bringing it all the way through so that the barb comes out the other side and the minnow is on the bend of the hook. By hooking the minnow in this manner, you miss its spine, allowing it to swim for a long time on your tip-up rig or beneath a fishing float, depending on its hardiness.
 

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