Minnow Fishing Tips for Trout

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The Rod for "Minnowing"

To begin with, your rod should not be less than twelve feet and fairly stiffly built. One of the best times to fish the minnow is just after a flood, and if the rod is at all supple you have little command of your bait in the strong water. The point of your rod in spinning should always be kept below the elbow, and a good wrinkle is to keep your rod top below the surface when fishing in a strong water.The natural minnow, which is unquestionably the best lure, has many different kinds of tackle to fish same. I strongly recommend, however, a tackle after the style of the Archer spinner, which spins well; but I have personally somewhat altered the hooks to increase its hooking powers, as the two main objects in spinning are to get the bait to spin well, and at the same time have the hooks so arranged that a fish can scarcely seize the bait without being hooked. To make certain of a good spin on the bait have two swivels on your trace. These remarks apply to fishing in heavy waters. Cummins (Bishop Auckland) sells a good quill minnow, which kills well in clear water.

In Heavy Waters

Choose a nice stream with the water flowing about five miles an hour; throw the minnow across stream, drawing it down and across in short jerks; turn the rod top and bring the minnow up stream in a similar way. You will often find that the trout takes it at the turn, so do not strike too quickly or too severely, as fish are often lost in this way. See to spin over every yard of water in a good stream, as trout may be lurking in any portion of it. A lead will be required in heavy waters.

In Clear Water

Another way in clear water is to fish the rough streams where nothing but conditioned fish will be found. Use as much line as the length of your rod, take the bait in your left hand, bend your rod top towards you and cast with your right hand up and across stream, drawing it down and across stream in sharp jerks. Trout will be found behind big stones. Also fish it down a long rough stream, letting your line out yard by yard until you get a long length of line out.

The Drop Minnow

Drop minnow fishing is another form of angling which is very deadly and can be practised in awkward corners, in deep water or where it is overhung with trees which it would be an impossibility to spin over. There are different ways of baiting in this mode of procedure. Personally I use a single hook leaded round the shank, and tied to a length of gut which is looped. The way to bait is to hold the minnow in the left hand between thumb and forefinger, take the baiting needle passed through the loop of gut in the right hand and push through the minnow's mouth, coming out at the tail, draw the tackle through the hook which is left out at the mouth and attach your trace by a hook-swivel.

Use a short line to commence with, not more than a couple of yards, slipping the minnow gently into the water — taking care to keep out of sight — and work it up and down, gradually getting down into the deeper water, and should a trout be about he is certain to seize. When you feel him give him time to turn the minnow in his mouth and gorge it, then strike pretty firmly, and you are almost sure to secure a good fish.


This excerpt is taken from "All about Trout Fishing" , which contains comprehensive guide including night, dry-fly, artifcial fly and minnow fishing techniques. Please visit our shop at AET Publishing to view our range of books.


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