Bait Fish – How to Hook Minnows to Catch Walleye

If you are a walleye fisherman using baitfish as a live bait presentation is your best chance for success. There are many ways to rig bait fish for walleyes such as using a slip sinker rig with a plain hook, a slip sinker rig with a floater a slip bobber rig, a split shot rig, a jig and a minnow, a spinner rig with a slip sinker or bottom bouncer, a jigging spoon with a whole minnow, or spin rig with a minnow. The rigging method you select will depend on the size of the minnows you are using and the size of the walleyes you are targeting, and whether you are going to use your bait fish as a live bait presentation or fish them as strips of cutbait or dead bait.

Some of the most common live bait that anglers use to catch walleye on a regular basis are 2 1/2″ to 4 inch fathead minnows, bluntnose minnows,shiners,chubs,dace and madtoms. To hook bait fish for walleye fishing use hooks from a number 8 to a number 2 size with a short shank. Circle hooks make great bait fish hooks for walleyes.

Hooking Methods:

  • Hook your walleye minnows through the lips. Push the hook from the bottom up.
  • Hook your baitfish through the snout. Hooking through the snout will leave more of the hook exposed especially the barb tip, which is very important when you set the hook
  • Hook your bait fish out of the gill through the back. Push a long shank hook point through the mouth out the gills and through the back. This method will hold the baitfish securely but will usually kill it.
  • Hook your baitfishes through the nostrils. Slide the hook through the nostrils with the barb pointing to the side.
  • Hook your baitfish through the tail. If you are going to free-lining for walleye this is the best method for hooking.
  • Hook your bait fish through the back.Slide your hook through the back right behind the dorsal fin, make sure the hook back is pointing upward.

Well folks that concludes our article about bait fish We sincerely hope you use our fishing information on your next fishing trip Good Luck!