How To Hook A Minnow? This Techniques Is Not Hard To Achieve!

How To Hook A Minnow Tips From The Pros

How to Hook a Minnow

Minnows are small fish that are used as effective baits and lures. Fishers and anglers would use them to have the better catch. Different kinds of fishes belong to the Minnow family and since they are a popular choice as a bait/lure for species like crappie, brown trout, bluegill and bass, many want to know how to hook a minnow and how to use it as bait. When hooked the right way, you can have a successful catch. It will all depend on how you plan to hook it.


Minnows great fish-bait for all carnivorous fish.  How to hook a minnow.

Minnows great fish-bait for all carnivorous fish. How to hook a minnow.

Using Minnows as a Bait/Lure

Most anglers would not use minnows when fishing because they find it tricky and challenging. Unlike other baits that are easily and readily available, you will really have to exert more effort when you use minnows as bait fish. But what makes it a popular choice among other anglers is that even though it poses the challenge, it is still considered to be a great bait especially if you are looking for a natural bait/lure.

But with the use of correct techniques and the right ways of hooking the fish, you can definitely succeed. This article lists down the different tips and techniques to hook a minnow.

What Do Minnows Eat

What Do Minnows Eat

Hooking a Minnow

When hooking a minnow, you have to be careful since they are small fishes. Just one wrong move and you will lose them. Follow these different techniques to hook minnows.

Hook On Minnow's Lips

Hook it through its lips when casting and retrieving. The reason why you should do it this way is to allow the fish to swim freely even when you are starting to pull it through the water. Here are other tips that you should keep in mind:

  • There is another way to hook a minnow using a jig head.
  • When you hook the fish through the lips, thread it first from the lower to the upper lip.
  • Check the minnows after hooking them this way and replace them right away if you see signs that they a dying.
Blunt Nose Minnows

Blunt Nose Minnows

Hook On Minnow's Back

When you are still fishing, hook the fish on its back, behind the dorsal fin. With this will allow minnows to swim naturally even when they are rigged and to keep them in water. This method is also perfect even when you are ice-fishing.

Hook on the back of minnow.

Hook on the back of minnow.

Hook On Minnow's Tail

Another way to hook a minnow is on its tail. This method is suggested if you are fishing without bobber or weight. By hooking a minnow this way, the fish can swim freely since it is not pulling any weight.

How to Hook a Minnow

How to Hook a Minnow

Minnows that are hooked this way can survive longer. Since minnows are small fishes, it is best to use the unweighted line when fishing. Some anglers would use the so-called tail hold method using a light sinker.

Check out this video to see some effective techniques to hook a minnow.

Choosing the Right Hook

As with any fishing activity, choosing the right hook is important. So, how do you select the most suitable hook when fishing for minnows? The size would depend on the minnows. For instance, minnows with sizes less than 7.5 cm, size 4 or 6 are the best choice. For 10 to 12.5 cm minnows, you can go for larger sizes like 2 or 1/10. Take the time to assess which is the best hook you think would work for fishing minnows.

Tips for Tackle and Rigs

For tackle and rigs for minnow fishing, you need to do the following:

  • Rig a 3-way swivel or a barrel swivel ahead of the hook. The barrel swivel acts as a stop, or you can also use the three-way swivel as a dipsey sinker. Some may use the snap swivel as they are easier when it comes to changing hooks and lures. But the problem is that they will add more weight. We know that to catch minnows; you need to reduce weight as much as possible.
  • Use thinner line. It is best to use it in clear water. When you are fishing for minnows in lakes or in rivers where there is clear water, it is strongly recommended that you use lines of about 3 or 4 kg class.

Tips While Fishing Minnows

Anglers find it really challenging to fish minnows because they are small and they need extra care and attention not to mention that it can also be difficult to transport them. When fishing, here are important things that you need to keep in mind for the minnows to stay alive.

TIP 1: Have A Cool Temperature.

Minnows like cool water. For them to thrive, you need to maintain the cool temperature. You just need to make sure that the temperature is not higher than the water temperature of the area where you caught them.

The reason behind this is the fact that cool water has more oxygen than warm matter. It is also essential to keep them out of sunlight. Add ample amounts of ice. However, you should also be careful. Putting too much ice can shock minnows.

TIP 2: Make Sure That The Water Is Clean.

This applies not just when fishing minnows but as well as in catching other fishes. You have to ensure that the water is clean. Filter and replace the water in your bucket especially when you are keeping the minnows for a certain period. When you see that the water starts to get cloudy, replace it right away.

TIP 3: De-chlorinate The Water

We need to de-chlorinate the water by using a solution especially if you are using tap water to remove any chlorine in the water.

TIP 4: Use Portable Aerators

Using aerators are known to add oxygen in the bucket which can lengthen the lives of minnows. These aerators operate on batteries, but there are also some aerators that have adapters. You might want to consider using aerators since you can adjust the oxygen level. When choosing aerators, you need to find an aerator that runs smoothly and quietly.

Hooking minnows can be quite tricky and at the same time challenging. You need to get it done the right way if you want to hook minnows and use them as baits successfully. The good news is that once you have them and you can use them as baits, the rest will be a breeze.


Just follow these tips and eventually, you will get used to catching these small fishes and use them as baits. Believe me, and you won’t regret exerting effort as they are known to be one of the best natural baits that you can use. You can expect better catches and will surely reward you of some great catch.

Burbot Fish Caught with Jig and Minnow

Burbot Fish Caught with Jig and Minnow

Have you tried any of the techniques we have shared on this article? Share it with us!

Louella Trump

Hi there, I’m Louella Trump, an adventurous young lady who loves exploring our beautiful nature by traveling and fishing. I write so as to share my passion and experiences with fellow readers who enjoy fishing and traveling as one of their recreational activities. My primary objective in sharing my experiences while traveling and fishing is to basically inspire any like-minded person out there to stop at nothing and leave no stone unturned in ensuring that they explore their passion as much as they can.

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