May 19, 2016 Last Updated 11:53 am

* Black Minnow – How do you use yours?

The Black Minnow - How be be successful with this great bass lure!

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What a fish we conspire to catch!

What a fish we conspire to catch!

Black Minnow – How do you use yours?

It took a while for the BM to get a foothold in Ireland and the UK. Demand was very high in the early days; it exceeded supply.

Eventually more anglers got their hands on the little lure and most caught fish on them. There has always been questions as to the best way to fish a BM. I tend to fish them as I have seen the designer fish them. Let’s look at a couple of scenarios:

We assume you have set yourself up with a nicely balanced rod, reel and braid. Whether you use a leader is up to yourself. I tend to tie a leader/tippet (It doesn’t come inside the rings) of 20lb to my thin 20lb braid (0.13mm or thereabouts).

From the shore casting out or from the boat casting in:

This is the most common situation the BM user will find themselves in. I like to cast into the shore line and retrieve steadily imparting animation with the occasional flick. I like to feel the head touch down on the bottom. Casting outwards I like to feel the lead touch the bottom before working it back into the shore. Remember the supple nature of the BM body means that it takes very little movement to get the tail working. On retrieve the body gets a lovely little side to side wobble.

Again it is critical to get your weight of lure right. Too heavy and it will dig in and too light it will only work close to the surface.

Have a look at the video below:

This is a long version of another video that I uploaded in 2012. It gives an accurate reflection of what can happen when fishing with a BM. I am fishing from my little RIB but I would consider this to be shore angling in reverse! You will see that the fishing section has minimal editing so you can see the whole process from cast to retrieve to fight and release.

From the boat – Vertical Drifting:

This is where the BM shows great potential. There are many factors that need to be taken into account as you fish. The speed of drift will be the most important factor. Again we assume that you are using balanced tackle. Using the minimum weight possible to hold in contact with the bottom is the key to success in catching the bottom huggers, cod and bass tend to be bottom huggers.

While drifting, and here we assume that you have mastered that particular art, you need to keep your lure in the action area. Pollack and coalies with be up the water column a bit, cod and bass will tend to be close to the bottom. The lure is already moving and the BM only needs a little moving to get it working. We give the lure some extra movement with a flick of the wrist. This gives the lure an extra attractiveness but also helps avoid snagging.

In the areas where I fish for bass I am using 25g heads most often; rarely less. My line setup allows me contact bottom in all but the strongest tide. The odd time I need to increase to a 40g but even this is rare.

Have a look at the video below and you will get the idea of what vertical fishing entails. I like this particular video because it is unedited for start to finish. It is a three minute drift showing the animation required to attract bass, the fight and the eventual release. I’m not using a BM here but you get the drift (See what I did there  🙂 )

From the shore – Tide run areas

It is a matter of matching the tide run to the weight of lure. Too light and the lure will be swept from the action areas too quickly. Too heavy and you will tend to snag. A 25g is perfect for most tides in my area. If you need to increase to 40g you might find that your rod might get overcome by the weight of lure and if so you may have to increase your rod rating to a heavier rod. Cast as far up tide as you can. And let the tide work the lure down. Make sure you keep in contact with the lure. You should feel it touch the bottom. A flick of the rod tip will try keep it up out of the snaggiest ground.

In an overly hyped up angling world you get used to people using terms like “Game Changer” about angling equipment. How about: “I’m so excited about X”! What about “this is going to slay fish”…. It goes on and on. Much of the overhyped equipment ends up on the cutting room floor after a couple of years never to be hyped up again.

There was no hype surrounding the Black Minnow when it was launched. It was more of a word of mouth thing. The situation in Ireland and the UK was a strange one. A few anglers had a few lures. The rest couldn’t get some because there were none available. Fiiish had no idea that the lure was going to be so successful. They had hopes. All their hopes were exceeded as the French market sucked up all available lures. The French know their bass fishing.
As said in the previous article – Would I go bass fishing without the BM? Mais non!


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