Ice Fishing 102: The case of the humble minnow head
Whether it’s on vertical jigging spoons or another jig, you can’t go wrong adding a minnow head.
Always pinch off the head a bit behind the gill plate. This imparts more scent and flesh that hangs down and tempts predator fish. The jagged skin also moves and creates more flash than a clean cut. Place your vertical jigging spoon or jig into the minnow’s mouth and have the hook exit in front of the eyes (stays on longer), then pinch off the head.
With that minnow head, you’re adding scent and flash, even movement. That’s a real factor! It’s enough to get a fish interested, even from far away.
And don’t stop at just a minnow head. There’s nothing wrong with sometimes putting a whole minnow on one tine of a treble hook, then just a minnow head on the other. And what about those minnow tails?
I definitely use those tails on a jighead. They give off a lot of scent, even though you may have less flesh hanging out, but there’s still lots of movement.
During a tougher bite, change those minnow heads constantly. I give them five minutes max. The scent factor is that important.
Finally, if using a bobber or dead-stick system, use two minnows on a single hook. It gives a larger profile, almost like two struggling minnows battling each other.
It’s the difference between neutral and aggressive. And at times gamefish demand aggressive.