How To Rig Mud Minnows (For Redfish, Trout & Flounder)

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Mud minnows make great baits for trout, redfish, and flounder.

They’re hardy, easy to find in bait stores, and easy to find and cast net in the shallows

They’re popular baits, but as far as rigging them goes, most people are missing out on a big opportunity…

Mud minnows naturally swim on the bottom, so fishing them on something like a Carolina rig allows them to settle down and be comfortable…

But if you fish them under a bobber or cork and they can’t reach the bottom, they’ll make a lot of flash and commotion trying to swim down, which will attract more predator fish.

In the video below, we’ve got Capt. Jud Brock of Eastern Angling showing us his two favorite float rigs for mud minnows. Capt. Jud Brock (@judbrockfishing) is an experienced guide out of North Carolina and is also the host of the Eastern Current Fishing Podcast.

Since using these rigs, he’s caught way more fish on live bait than he did when he used to fish them on the bottom.

Learn how to tie these two rigs below.

How To Rig Live Mud Minnows [VIDEO]

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When you’re fishing with mud minnows, you want to fish them about 6-8″ above the bottom to keep them actively trying to swim down.

The best way to do this is with a float rig, and Capt. Brock recommends these two rigs for two different situations:

  • When fishing water 1-3 feet deep, he likes to use a clamping float rig
  • When fishing water deeper than 3 feet, he likes to use a slip float rig

Here’s what you’ll need for these rigs:

  • #2 Owner Mutu Light circle hooks
  • 8-25 lb leader (lighter leader for the slip float rig, heavier leader for the clamping float rig)
  • Split shots
  • Clamping float
  • Billy Boy Bobbers
  • Thill bobber stop

Let’s dive in to how to tie these two rigs.

How To Tie A Clamping Float Rig For Mud Minnows

If you’re fishing shallow water, the best rig is to use a clamping float rig.

Here’s how to tie this rig:

  1. Tie about 5′ of 15-25 lb leader to your braided line (Capt. Brock recommends a uni knot or the FG knot to connect these two)
  2. Tie a circle hook at the end of the leader
  3. Put a split shot about 3″ above the hook
  4. Put a clamping float about 3′ above the hook (this depends on depth… you want the bait to swim about 6-8″ off of the bottom)

As far as putting the fish on the hook, Capt. Brock recommends hooking the fish under the chin and out through the top of the mouth in front of the eyes.

How To Tie A Slip Float Rig For Mud Minnows

If you’re fishing in water from three to 12 feet, you’ll want to go with a slip float rig.

Capt. Brock especially likes this rig for fishing deep creek or river bends.

This rig is great because you can easily adjust the depth that you want your bait to be and you can cast it really far.

Here’s how to tie this rig:

  1. Tie about 12′ of 8-15 lb leader to your braided line (again, Capt. Brock recommends a uni knot or the FG knot to connect these two)
  2. Cinch on a bobber stop
  3. Slip on a bead under the bobber stop (these should come with your bobber stops)
  4. Slide on the bobber under the bead (weighted side down)
  5. Tie on a circle hook
  6. Add a split shot 4-5″ above the hook

To adjust the depth of your bait, just slide the bobber stop up or down the leader.

And like for the clamping float rig, Capt. Brock recommends hooking the fish under the chin and out through the top of the mouth in front of the eyes.

Conclusion

best way to rig mud minnows

Mud minnows make great baits for redfish, trout, and flounder, and the best way to rig them is about 6-8″ off of the bottom so that they attract fish as they struggle to swim down.

To do this, use a float rig.

If you’re fishing in shallow water three feet deep or less, use a clamping float rig, but if you’re fishing deeper water, use a slip float rig.

Have any questions about tying these two rigs?

Or have any other ways you recommend rigging mud minnows?

Let us know in the comments below.

And if you’re in North Carolina and want to book a trip with Capt. Brock, check out his website at EasternAngling.com.

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Mark Artz
6 months ago

Great video.

GREGORY CARTER
9 months ago

Great info, I really enjoy all the tips. I can’t wait to apply them. I know a lot of guys are using the floating bait bucket when using minnows. It was a (PIA) for me hauling it in and getting wet. I would freeze a couple water bottle place them in the bottom of a small cooler, lay cardboard or something rigid on top of bottles, lay a wet rag on top of that then put minnows on the rag. Worked great hope this helps.

Sonny Reeves
1 year ago

Used these in Jekyll Island Georgia and north florida coast to great effect. Catch mud minnows in tidal creeks, bait minnow trap with hot dog, tide change it will fill up. Keep mud minnows in a bucket and forgot some, 3 days later they are still catching fish. Reds and flounder love them. No one in SWFL uses them that we have found. The slam shady on a jig comes close. Which color and rig would be your choice to match mud minnows?

Ricardo Rivas
1 year ago

I have used mudminnows almost exclusively for flounder .Yesterday I made a run, 10 miles out .
We had caught mullet hoping for snapper but we also caught mud minnows about 3-4 in.. We tried them and were hooking a snapper every time sad part they were undersize but what fun till fog ran us in early . I was hooking thru belly unbelieveable I know .Sometimes fish would hit and miss, minnow would still be alive.
Just thought you all would enjoy hearing this .

J.T. Carricato
2 years ago

Awesome post. Thank you Capt!

Tips I am planning to use on my next outing.

I Kayak fish a lot, Can you recommend an artificial bait to float fish with, Gulp or other scented bait?

John Kujawski
2 years ago

Are mud minnows and killies the same thing. Up north they are used for fluke fishing. Are they sold in Fla tackle shops? thx

Dave Frymier
2 years ago

I have also been surprised to not see this slip technique used more for inshore salt water. If you have some fly line backing lying around, you can use it to tie the stoppers – just use one side of a double Uni and pull it down.

Will Wilson
2 years ago

Great video. Most anglers here are aiming for true artificial action, but we love to expose new fisherpeople to the sport, and live bait is much easier. We have used rattling corks for a long time, but I love this concept for flexibility. I see the Thrill stoppers available, but have not been able to find the weighted slip cork. Any suggestions on brands?

Jonathan Getz
2 years ago
Reply to  Will Wilson

Here’s one I’ve used with a good how-to video. Maybe slightly larger than you would want t o use inshore, but the same concept applies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJo3CTWCLm8&t=63s&authuser=0

Steven Carter
2 years ago

Glad to see Jud on the site! Great video…thanks!

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