Swim Signature: Huddleston Deluxe Grass Minnow

The Grass Minnow has proven itself to me in the grass.  Shallow grass lakes of the South East.  As I spend more time in the Arkansas Ozarks, I am broadening my application of the Grass Minnow.   The warm and cold water creeks and rivers that feed the Ozarks are full of smallmouth and largemouth, and trout.   So, it’s not the heavy grass fishing, but it is more a finesse approach, but still a real swimbait approach.  I’m fishing the Grass Minnow much like I currently fish the 3″ Big Hammer.  Yes, a spinning rod.   Wet wading, aloha colored swimming trunks, oversized sunglasses, big hat and Buff covering my face, walking or floating a few miles of river here and there.   Getting some exercise and just trying to do it all. The Shimano Cumara 7’2″ Rod + 15 pound Power Pro Braid + 3 feet of Yamamoto Sugoi 10# floro are working really well for me which is crazy to have a bait that fishes well on 50 # braid and GLoomis 964 BBR (Okeechobee style) and now I’m fishing it on a spinning rod.  The Huddleston Vortex continues!    The Grass Minnow is just an extremely real looking and swimming bait, and I’m realizing cannot be pigeon holed into being just a grass bait by any stretch.

How many zillions of minnows are there in our lakes and rivers?  Little narrow looking fishes with forked tails. Fish tend to bite the Grass Minnow. With the right equipment and hookset, you’ll land your bites.

The Grass Minnow is a pretty sophisticated little candy morsel of a swimbait.  The bait is flat sided, has a unique swallow tailed vortex tail, yet the belly and shoulders are full and bulbous, so the bait has the classic Huddleston water displacement and push that we’ve gotten hooked on with his 8″ Trout.   Sometimes people discuss what is the definition of a swimbait, and where you draw lines, etc.  Sophistication trumps size in this case.  The Huddleston Deluxe Grass Minnow is a swimbait you need to learn.  I now have a heavy grass assault (ie, Okeechobee), sparse grass assault (ie, Champlain) and river fish (Ozark) application for this bait.   You have to be good to really understand, fully leverage, and fish this bait properly.  It’s fairly easy to swim, yet if you want to slow down, pause, dead stick and finesse fish with it, it does that too very well.  In shallow rivers, I’m finding it an alternative to the little tube where you can sorta hop/drag/swim it, and skip it under trees and into shade pockets which tends to be where fishes live in shallow low water Arkansas.

The Grass Minnow fishes well on the drop and can be dragged/hopped, like the 3″ Big Hammer, except its  ROF 5 vs ROF 30 respectively (approx). The Grass Minnow is very neutral buoyant and falls nice and slow and graceful. It has a hollow midsection, used as part of the weedless design, that also gives the bait an internal bladder. The bait falls and orients nose down and just drags nicely over hard bottom. It’s not just an excellent grass bait.

So, here’s the hookset with a spinning rod:   Tighten up your drag, so line doesn’t come off when you set the hook.  Point your rod tip at the fish when you get a bite and reel down until you feel tension of the fish at the reel and once you make really good contact with the reel>line>fish, put the rod into the mix and lift up hard with the rod and drive the hook home and maintain a good strong constant pressure as you move the fish and rod a few feet to really pin the fish.  Reel hard and heavy get maximum pressure as you swing the rod to set.   I could probably get away with a slightly heavier spinning rod than I’m using, perhaps the MH vs. the M model.  I am surprised how well it is fishing for me and hooking fish.  I am pretty converting a bunch of my stuff over to braid + leader setups, it just works great for me and my style of fishing.    This is another instance where braid provides something that couldn’t be done with mono or floro (fish a weedless Huddleston bait on a spinning rod, and still be able to hook fish).

Grass is where you find it. Weedless baits sometimes fish really well without weeds. Just like some non-weedless baits fish really well in weeds. A softbait without a top hook sticking out, treble hook hanging or sticking out,  or trap rig of any kind.  Just a clean real bait, sans hook.  It looks really good in the water and fishes super clean.

Yes, that is a spinning rod. The Grass Minnow fishes amazingly well with the spinning rod. Braided line gives me the hookset I need, and the floro leader helps me get bit in uber clear skinny water. But boy, they eat it. Weedless swimbaits fish really nicely in all waters, but around current, where your bait can tumble/ deadstick and hop and stroll, that’s where not having a hook or any exposed hardware really pays off and gives ’em a different look, keeps your bait free from muck, and is a much more refined approach, especially in clean water.  Stay tuned, this whole spinning rod swimbait thing is still being tested, but appears to be excellent.

Music: 

“First Light”

Bobby Vega & Chris Rossbach

Usage Courtesy:  Body Deep Music

2 Responses »

  1. Just a note I suppose. I’ve been fishing the Grass Minnows on modified umbrella rigs up in Vermont. With a heavy rod and heavy braid. And, I’ve had some trouble bending the hooks out.

    • Jody, the heavy rod and heavy braid absolutely can bend out hooks on the Grass Minnows. I try to balance my rod and line so I’m not so over gunned that I bend out my terminal tackle, but you are correct that too much rod and braid can bend out the hooks. Try a spinning rod! hahahahhaha. Okay, just kidding.

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