Paul Katsus is a recreational angler who uses minnows to catch for a variety of freshwater fish. Throughout every state in the U.S, minnows are natural year around fish bait. Ideally, Minnows can be extremely effective bait during those times when times of the year when there is a lack of naturally available fish foods. During such periods, it is hard to beat a minnow. But never underestimate the effectiveness of Minnows as bait any time of the year. If you ever watched the movement and flash of many lures you cannot help to realize that they are made to imitate a minnow.
Minnows are not the easiest live bait to fish with. The challenges of using minnows include; they can use up the oxygen in the water in their holding containers, when transporting them the water can slush around, catching them in the minnow bucket when you are ready to use them, and handling them to put on the hook. The good news is that all these minor handicaps can be easily overcome with the right equipment and techniques. Every fisherman has to determine for themselves, is it worth the effort to increase your chances of catching more fish.
Let’s look at some of the cures for the inconveniences of using Minnows. Battery operated pumps that can attach to your container can keep the baitfish aerated during transportation. In addition you can obtain slow release oxygen tablets that can help to replace the waters oxygen. Luckily, many places that sell minnows can offer plastic bags with oxygen pumped in and sealed. This negates the water slushing issue, as well the oxygen depletion challenge. For handling the minnows a small scoop net will help you quickly pick up the swimming baitfish from the container. Fisherman would be wise to keep a rag packed into their back pocket for wiping off their hands after attaching the minnow on a hook. For those fisherman on foot who want to cover lots of water, a strap on minnow bucket can be the key to success. It is important to remember it is necessary to keep regularly changing the water in the bucket. This action will acclimate the minnows to the water temperature, as well as, keeping them aerated.
Another issue fisherman encounter when using minnows is that when casting Minnows, the minnow will fling off the hook. To correct and lessen the occurrence of this problem, fishermen should use light rods that have a slow action. The term slow action refers to a rod that is flexible throughout its entire length; verses the opposite type of rod action which is a "fast" rod, which only flexes at the tip. The slow-action rod will allow a minnow to stay on the hook with its smoother casting action. Also, when field conditions and fish size allow, anglers should use light lines in the 2 to 6 pound test range combined with smaller hooks in a size 6 or 8 bait style hook. This combination of light line and small hooks allow the maximum amount of freedom for the minnows to swim freely, and offers the most fish catching natural action.
Paul Katsus is often asked “What is the best method of attaching a minnow on a hook?” Not one method will be best under all conditions but perhaps the most common method is to simply hook the minnow through its upper and lower lips. This technique will shorten the minnow’s life on the hook, as it interferes with the ability of the baitfish to draw water into its gills. Another popular method is to carefully hook the minnow through its back, in area in front of the dorsal fin. Anglers using this technique should be careful not to put the hook though the spine, but instead just under the dorsal fin. The advantage of this method is that it allow for a longer minnow life on the hook.
Paul Katsus will use minnows for lazy relaxing day of fishing. Unlike constant casting and retrieving of lures, after the cast - the work for the fisherman is over (except taking the fish off the hook).The minnow takes over the fisherman’s duties by darting around, and leaving a natural scent. This allows the fisherman to anticipate the bait being gobbled up and the resulting tugging on the line, while enjoying the great outdoors. To keep the Minnow in the prime fishing areas, use a split shot. The split shot will also help to keep the minnow in the “fish zone” if it decides to escape the area by going to the surface. The good thing is that the split shot will not affect the natural movement of the minnow and can be used to keep the minnow from getting into the current. When the minnow does get into the current the angler should reel it in and cast back into the more productive slack pools. Put quite simply, fishing with live minnows can be the most effective, yet simple, means of catching fish. A huge benefit of fishing with minnows is that you can catch a tremendous variety of fish when you are using this bait!