The Grass Minnow was the first of Ken’s small weedless swimbaits that followed the release of his 6” Weedless Trout. The Grass Minnow is a special bait because it has incredible realism and includes a special vortex tail that was engineered to match the signature that a minnow or small baitfish leaves behind in it’s trail. The tail kick is extremely subtle, but when you step back and think about how much thump a real minnow gives off when it swims, it occurs to you what Ken is doing with the Grass Minnow. The bottom line is the Grass Minnow gets eaten by big fish and little fish.
I’ve caught fish on the Grass Minnow on just about every grass lake I’ve thrown it: Pickwick, Guntersville, Okeechobee, Champlain, Seminole, and Dardanelle. Braid is key to my Grass Minnow approach. Just like with the 6” Weedless Trout or any other Weedless Huddleston bait, I use braided line to aid in my hookup ratio and ability to fish the bait around grass. Do you fish a frog on anything but braid? Exactly. You need zero stretch, the buoyancy of braid and the hook set ability of braided line to maximize your effectiveness with the Grass Minnow.
My hookset is a sweep set. I don’t jack the fish. I keep my rod at 11 to 12 o clock, and just keep a steady grind on the bait. Not too fast, not too slow. When I get bit, I drop my rod tip to 9 o clock and let the fish eat the bait. When my line tightens up or the rod begins to bow up at 9 o clock, that is when I sweep hard to the side (like a spinnerbait hookset) and reel like mad to get caught up and apply pressure to the fish. I love the G-Loomis 964 BBR for the Grass Minnow. I can make long whip casts and really get the bait out there. But the 964 BBR also is a relatively slow parabolic action rod and is perfect for braided line and grass fishing, and helps me get a hook into almost everything that bites my Grass Minnow. I have a 90% or better hookup ratio on the Grass Minnow. Most of my bites get in the boat, hands down.
Here is a whole YouTube video I did on Lake Okeechobee, fishing the Grass Minnow:
Here is another video that discusses my approach to Lake Champlain, but also includes a section on the Grass Minnow from the shallow grass largemouth fishery of Champlain:
Strengths: The Grass Minnow is rare in that it is incredibly real and provides fish who are chasing small bait around grass something they haven’t seen. Fish aren’t used to such subtle swimming baits that look and feel so real. The Grass Minnow gets a lot of bites and is a resilient bait, meaning you can catch many fish on the bait and glue it back together a few times before you need to retire it.
Ideal Conditions: Lakes with super shallow grass fishing, like Okeechobee, Seminole, and Guntersville are ideal for the Grass Minnow. Anywhere fish are busting on small bait. I throw the Grass Minnow in a lot of situations where other guys are throwing swim jigs and paddle tailed tubes.
Notes: Keep the wind at your back whenever possible. The Grass Minnow isn’t super heavy (5/8 ounce) and can be difficult to get casting distance or cross wind. Keep super glue onboard because if you get into the fish, you are going to be repairing baits because you’ll catch a bunch of fish, big and small and they tend to inhale the thing, plus braided line and lots of muck and grass can wreck your baits.