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Minnows for sale are typically these thin, streamlined lures are meant to imitate a variety of smaller, forage baitfish that are indigenous to our lakes. These include threadfin shad, pond smelt, shiner minnows, mosquitofish, sculpin, chubs, and daces.

Minnow-shaped plugs are also designed and colored to replicate small brown or rainbow trout – a favorite morsel for bigger brown and rainbows.

Imitation minnows are usually plastic or balsa wood. The plastic models are somewhat less expensive than their wooden counterparts. They are also more durable, and are painted in a wider array of shades and patterns.

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However it is easier to impart more dynamic and erratic action into a balsa bait than one made from plastic. The wooden lure has greater buoyancy and seems to swim with a little better action. Still, it is without question, best to carry an assortment of both plastic and balsa minnows, especially if you are looking for that trout of a lifetime to hand in your den!

Fishing with Minnows

Minnow baits come in either floating or sinking models. The sinking versions of minnows for sale, most commonly the CD or countdown balsa series made by Rapala, are weighted to sink immediately after hitting the water.

These baits are proportionally heavier than the same size in a floating model. They are very suitable for free casting from the bank or from a boat. Many recreational anglers often overlook this technique. They assume that since the Rapala sinks, it must be designed for trolling.

Trouters who specialize in walking the shoreline should always carry some of these countdown Rapalas. You can make long casts with 4 to 6 pound test mono and cover a lot of lake with this popular plug. The #7, #9, and #11 models are best for lake fishing. You might also consider scaling down to a #5 or #7 for working deep pools in larger rivers or for high country lakes.

When you think of floating minnows for sale, probably either the Rebel or Rapala models come to mind. Rebel manufactures an extensive line-up of plastic floating minnows ranging in freshwater sizes from 1 ½ inches long up to 7 inches. Many of these models are made with small diving lips which will take the lure down just a few feet.

Other Rebel versions are built with long spoonbills which allows this type of floating plug to dive fairly deep. Rapala, on the other hand, markets its freshwater floaters in shallow running models from 2 inches to 4 3/8 inches in length.

Unlike those used, in say, largemouth or striped bass fishing, floating minnows used in trout angling are rarely ever thrown as top-water surface baits. Rather, floats are used as deadly trolling lures, especially on big trout.


The floating minnows for sale generate considerably more lateral action when trolled as compared to sinking models. The secret here is to troll moderately faster than you would with a banana plug. It’s amazing at how these floating minnows can sometimes be trolled at a modest speed without results. The minute the pace is picked up and the trolling speed is increased a vicious strike results.

It is recommended that you experiment somewhat with regard to both trolling speeds and retrieves in using the floating Rebels or Rapalas. Minnows for sale are also not limited to the two.

Don’t be too intimidated about trying a fast grind. However, if you go too fast, the bait will start to plane or water ski to the surface. After some practice increasing the troll or retrieve you will develop a feel for just how fast you can pull different floaters.

A compromise between the more dynamic floating minnows for sale and the less active sinkers of these minnows for sale is to use a jointed model. Rebel sells them in both shallow and deep diving versions while Rapala stays with a shallow style.

Two other manufacturers also market some tiny plastic jointed minnows for sale that are not tossed as much as they should be.

Heavier lines dampen the action considerably. So scale down to get better action from these baits. With premium monofilament, a good drag system and a decent sized landing net, you’ll be surprised at how big a trout you can take on the lighter line.

The way you tie the line to these minnow style plugs can also be critical for the proper swimming action. With plastic baits, the only thing that is essential is not to add a snap swivel to the existing split ring. This will really kill the action. Instead, tie directly to the ring.

With the Rapala minnows for sale, a popular choice of minnows for sale, use either a loop knot or tie a clinch knot lower on the lure’s metal line. Few anglers pick up on this little tip. The manufacturer notes that it will maximize the action on the Rapala if it is tied in this manner.

If you feel more comfortable with a snap to connect the line to the eyelet that is alright – but just use a snap and not a snap-swivel combination.

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