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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read a lot of posts lately about guys (and gals), using minnows to hook into some nice trout. I don't have the slightest clue as to how you fish with minnows, including what hook to use, how to hook them, where to throw them, if you drop shot them or what??? Any and all help would be awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know! I was actually trying to bait him into responding, that way everyone can benefit. But, he just laid down a totally killer post on the fishing trip report section and a man can only be expected to do so much in a day. But I'm sure others know how to fish with minnows too.
 

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Okay these drawings are crud and old, but they show they illustrate the main theme of what I do.

First, you'll want to get a tiny treble hook. My go-to is a size 16. Just tie that on without any weights or swivels.



Then take your minnow (I like the redside shiners) and gently work its mouth open. This can be a bit tricky at first, but it gets easier. Now work each barb into the mouth and out of the eye on top...Under the jaw on bottom. Like this:


It's as simple as that.

When you cast, don't get your wrist into it or anything. You don't want it to flip off the hook (it will pretty easily), you just want a gentle, smooth toss. The best places to use this method are spots where you can expect large predatory fish to reside (Strawberry, Scofield, etc). You won't really need to cast out very far (15-20ft), especially if you fish areas with a steep drop-off. A lot of times, you can see the big ones looking for bait fish to munch on and you can just toss out a little ways in front of them.

After I cast (blind casting), I set my pole up and let it sit until I see line moving. I normally work some hardware with my other rod while I wait for action on the minnow rod. The line will start to pull out into the water or to the side. At that point, I'll pick up the rod and open the bale to allow more line. I usually let the line jump out for about 20-40 seconds, depending on how fast it's being pulled. What this does is allow the fish to swallow the minnow (hook). When I'm satisfied, I shut the bale and let the slack in the line straighten out. Once I feel the first hint of resistance I pull back firmly and quickly. This rips the hook out of the minnow's mouth and into the side of the fish. Works like a charm.

(It's not very good for C&R, since often times the fish will fight its throat into its mouth...That can't be good for it.)

This has gotten me more big fish (20+ inches) than any other method combined.

A lot of people rig differently with minnows to allow them more casting ability, so maybe they'll chime in, too. I can't seem to get this to work out for me and I usually like to eat the bigguns, so I just stick to what I know for now.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sweet, I'll have to give that a whirl. I've had problems in the past with the minnow flying of the hook and I gues i know why now. Man, I feel like I might actually land me a nice trout this weekend! Thanks again.
 

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LOAH knows his stuff, thats some good advice. I also like to tip a tube jig with those minnows then drop it down if im out in my toon/tube. That works pretty good as well. Good luck.
 

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That's an interesting way that LOAH rigs them. If you are planning on keeping the fish, then that way seems better than most I have seen. Seems like it would work great with redsides especially.
Redsides really work well, but as LOAH mentioned, they come off of the hook when casting (or getting hit) very easily. I personally like using chub minnows more than anything. They are quite tougher than the redsides, and you are able to use a normal bait hook. I usually just hook once, right behind the gill collar.
I fish from my tube more than anything, and I do something similar to LOAH does. I'll cast out a bait rod, but leave the bail open. I normally use a rubber band that's tied in a knot to hold the line. I throw jigs or hardware until the bait rod gets hit. When it gets hit, it slips off the knot on the rubber band, and I let the fish take line. The bait hook normally is in the corner of the mouth... not always of course. But it does help save some fish. Great way to fish for catfish, walleye, wipers, etc too.
I like to tip jigs with minnows or pieces of minnow too. Nothing better than a minnow tipped jig at the Berry thru the ice.
 

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The best way I found, and not have to worry about losing your minow is to:
1. Use your treble like LOAH does. then
2. cut off about 2-3 feet of leader. then
3. tie a half hitch on the other end.
4. buy a minnow needle, put it through their mouth and then exit by pelvic fins.
5. hook your half hitch on the notch in the needle and thread your minnow onto your line.
6. snap your half hitch onto your snap swivel.
7. put a half hitch on the tail.. (and no this won't break your leader when you get a hit, it comes undone I promise)
And now your fishing w/o the headache of getting robbed and you can cast that minnow as far as you possibly can.. When fish take a minnow, they'll take it head first. LOAH's way of doing it was all I use to do, but I think i like this way better. I'de get frustrated losing minnows. It sounds like a little more work which it is, but putting a new minnow on only takes a minute once you get it tied. Give it a try! YOu can buy minnow needles anywhere Wal-Mart, sportsmans, or cabelas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fishglyph,
You found my uncle Cleetus!!! We lost him on the last moonshine raid the guvment ran on us and we thought he was gone forever!!! Sweet Mary and Joseph, there'll be a hog killin' fo shoe now that Cleetus come home!!! Tap the keg, we got our uncle back. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Seriously, where in the sweet name of Hell did you find that? It really does look my Avatar's uncle. If you want to be Avatar buddies and use him, I'm totally cool with that, but I think there will be some pretty dissapointed forum members if hottie bow chick were to dissapear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
On a serious note, as posted in the fishing trip section, I used LOAH's minnow method to perfection out at Scofield! So try it everyone, it really does work. I will say that the rainbow that took it did swallow the crap out of it, and I'm glad I had a pair of long needle nose pliers, or that fish would be swimming with a treble hook in his gut right now. I'm not a big keeper of trout as I don't like 'em that much, so I may need a slightly modified version of the LOAH tactic.
 

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J-bass said:
On a serious note, as posted in the fishing trip section, I used LOAH's minnow method to perfection out at Scofield! So try it everyone, it really does work. I will say that the rainbow that took it did swallow the crap out of it, and I'm glad I had a pair of long needle nose pliers, or that fish would be swimming with a treble hook in his gut right now. I'm not a big keeper of trout as I don't like 'em that much, so I may need a slightly modified version of the LOAH tactic.
I'm really not trying to stir the pot.

If you had to use long needle nose pliers to get a treble out of the fish's gut, chances are, that fish isn't swimming anyway. The best thing to do, is cut the line and release it with the treble. (or keep the fish)

The only time I ever use bait when I am planning on releasing fish, is when I tip jigs with bait. Even when I use minnows as I described earlier in this thread, I plan on keep some fish for the frying pan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tuber, it was a very small treble hook and it wasn't actually in his gut yet. It was toward the back of his, for a lack of a better term, tongue. I carefully removed it, he wasn't even bleeding that much at all, and then let him go. He was fine, and he is fine, unless LOAH made it up there since then and nabbed him. If that's the case, then he's dinner fare, which I also have no problem with. When I said the hook would be in his gut, it was more the use of a clever phrase than and actual portrayal of the events that took place, so please forgive my creative license and forgive a poor fisher his embelishing ways. Good hell, you can't post a **** thing anymore without getting jumped about what you've done to the fish. This is reminding me of the Big Game section, and not in a good way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh, and for further reference, any post that starts with, "I'm not trying to stir the pot" is totally designed to stir the pot. You didn't really fool anybody with that.
 

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I know that I and fc2tuber got off to a really rough start, but I agree with him on this one if I fish minnows I cut the hook if I want to release it. For it it is just quicker, easier and gives the fish a better chance. I have had ones just hooked in the corner of the mouth and just removed the hooks as well. J-bass minnow world is fun and you are right be very carefull with your posts some a quick to critique you. I do think it is all in good spirits and will make us better fisherman.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Orvis, I am shocked that you of all people would jump on the "you killed that fish" bandwagon!!! I thought that you of all people would know just how fast a wagon of this nature can speed out of control. I am of course referencing the 10 page doosie you've created in the fishing trips section with your muddy tiger. But, you seem like a stand up guy and I'm just jerking your chain.
Guys, let me end this right now, because I don't want another ten page doosie. If I ever suspected for one moment that the health of the medium sized rainbow that I caught was ever in jeopardy, I would have grabbed that SOB, knocked him real good in the head, gutted his A and thrown him in a cooler to be eaten later. But he was fine, and more than likely swam right away to be caught again another day. Let's just end it with that. I even admitted that I didn't like the way the minnow was so damned swallowed, so I'm changing tactics. Not because the fish I caught was screwed, but I saw the potential of other fish being screwed if I continued in that manner. Scofield Reservoir is still plentiful with fishies, so just calm down everyone! You're ethical, I'm ethical, let's all go sit in a circle and sing Koom bye ah.
 

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J-bass you totally crack me up! I am cool with whatever someone wants to do with the fish, eat it or realease it just don't waste it. The minnow thing is a great technique but I realize I will be killing a few doing it but I will do everything in my control to help the fish survive. I plan on getting a net for next years stillwater fishing to help that and I do believe that will be better for the fish. But minnows work and I do plan on fishing them in the future and if I get a bleader than I will bring the fish home to the neighbors to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
orvis1 said:
I plan on getting a net for next years stillwater fishing to help that and I do believe that will be better for the fish.
Ya know, you've inspired me to get one of those fancy rubber nets myself. I've been meaning to get one for a long time, and I'm seriously going to pick one up. They really are supposed to be better for the fish than the older nylon rope nets, and they're better than just grabbing the fish with your hand. Also, nets make it easier to land the bigs ones so I need one anyway. (Not that I'm pulling in tons of monsters, but just in case.)
 

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I sent this reply once. For some reason it didn't post.

J-Bass- I really was not trying to stir the pot. When I say something, I mean it.
I took you literally when you typed that you were happy you had long needle nose pliers to get the treble out of a fish's gut. I'm just that kind of person. If you say the fish swam away, and was only hooked in the tongue, then great. I'll take your word for it, and call it good.
I know that some of the other members and I got off on the wrong foot. For that, I apologize. If you read some of my other posts you'll note that I have tried to be helpful and informative. I am not going to shy away from controversial posts, and if i read something I feel needs comments (positive or constructive) then I will give my .02. Take it for what it's worth. :D
 
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