Fishing With the Wounded Minnow Lure

Fishing With the Wounded Minnow Lure

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One of the most commonly used fishing lures is the classic "wounded minnow" lure. Its design allows it to resemble a minnow, or other small fish, that has been recently wounded and can barely swim. The effectiveness of this lure is evident in its length of past use and the continued production of the lure today.

The body of the lure is shaped much like a small fish. It is most commonly a shade of gray, and has the basic characteristics of a fish, such as eyes and a mouth. The front of lure is approximately two inches in circumference and gets slightly smaller toward the end. It is made up of a buoyant material that allows it to float close to the surface, where a wounded fish might reside. It is shaped much like a torpedo, and were it not for the large bill at the front of the lure, you might expect it to be very sleek gliding through the water.

The bill is located at the front of the lure underneath what would be the head. It resembles the bill of a hat and juts downward at a forty-five degree angle. The bill is almost always clear plastic to keep it from interfering with the overall "wounded minnow" look. When dragging the wounded minnow through water, it is the bill that drives the lure downward and slows it considerably.

Along the belly of the lure are two to three treble hooks. A treble hook is a hook comprised of three smaller hooks who's backs have been molded together. The result of this formation is a single shaft with three hooks coming out of it facing different directions. The treble hook is effective for hooking a fish regardless of what direction it strikes the lure.

To use the lure effectively, it is necessary to accurately portray what the name implies, a wounded minnow. A fish, like any other creature, is aware that wounded prey is much easier to catch and will find the temptation of an easy meal overwhelming. This means doing away with the standard method of casting a lure and immediately and steadily reeling it back in. To start fishing with a wounded minnow, find the shallow fishing spot you prefer and sit just close enough so that you can cast your lure into the area.

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After casting your line, let it sit in its landing spot for thirty seconds to a minute. It may seem like a long time, but the heavy lure can cause quite a noisy splash and briefly scare the fish away. You must give the fish time to return to the area before attempting to hang, or hook, one. After the ripples have subsided, it is time to reel it in. In order to act like a wounded fish, the minnow must be manipulated in the water abnormally, with sudden flounces and cumbersome movements. Start off by making a quick and assertive jerk on the rod which will pull the string and force the lure forward. This is where the bill comes into play. Instead of skimming across the surface, the lure will have drag induced upon it by the water not flowing around the bill efficiently, and the lure will dart down downward as it is jerked forward. Also during this motion, the faint sound of water disturbance alerts fish that something, possibly prey, is thrashing helplessly nearby. After this first jerk, wait a few seconds and jerk again, this time being less aggressive. The lure will again dart forward at a downward angle and float back close to the surface. Continue on in this pattern for about fifteen to twenty feet. By this time, the lure is probably out the "hot spot" for fishing and it is okay to steadily reel the lure back in to start over with another cast.

If, by skill or sheer chance, you do happen to hang a fish, it will usually strike from the front, or head, of the lure. The hook closest to the front of the lure is usually the one that gets hung in the fish's mouth. However, the blow from the fish hitting the lure is so severe that the opposite end of the lure will swing around and the remaining hooks will get hung in the side of the fish's head giving the lure and even stronger hold. This is good for bringing the fish up to the boat, but it can be a real pain when trying to separate the lure from the fish.

If while fishing with the wounded minnow, you keep in mind what it is you are trying to imitate, rather than trying to use a mechanical formula for reeling in, you are much more likely to bring home "the big one."
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