There are hundreds of lures anglers use to catch bass, most of them work sometimes, some of them work most of the time. Many of the best lures have been around for a long time, and they still work well today. The Johnson Silver Minnow is one of those time-tested lures. This lure is not popular with many bass anglers, but it should be. It’s one of my favorites and one of the most productive bass lures there is.
There are two main reasons the Silver Minnow catches so many bass. First, it has a great natural action mimicking a minnow swimming through the water. Second, it has lots of flash to attract bass from a distance. Both things anglers want to have to catch more bass.
The Silver Minnow was given a patent in 1923. The original version was silver. The lure is now available in several color patterns. It also comes in several sizes. My favorites are a solid silver, and the red and white striped. I like the 2 ½ inch and the 3 ¾ inch versions. I also like to use a 4-inch twister tail trailer in black, white or purple.
I have been fishing over 50 years for many species of fish, and have used the Silver Minnow for most of those years. I forgot about it for a while because there are just so many choices and cool looking lures. However, the coolest looking lures are not always the most successful lures. Once I started using it again, I realized it’s a lure I need to use regularly and haven’t looked back.
Last summer when we went to the lake the first weekend in June, I got in my kayak and went to catch bass. I paddled to one of my favorite spots and grabbed my rod with the Silver Minnow on it. I always go out with 4 rods, I have them rigged with a Silver Minnow, a storm Wild-Eye swim bait, a plastic worm, and a spinner bait. I start with the Silver Minnow, because I can cover a lot of water and fish it anywhere regardless of cover.
I started in some lily pads next to a dock. On my first cast I caught a three-pound bass. The second cast I caught a 5-pound pike who hit it so hard it nearly ripped the rod out of my hands. The 4th cast I caught a 4-pound bass. All three fish were caught in the same place in a matter of five or six minutes. There are days when I don’t use any other search lures. If bass are active and aggressive, I can’t beat the Silver Minnow.
This lure is so easy to fish. Simply cast it out and reel it in. It provides all the needed action on its own. It can be fished slow or with a medium retrieve speed. The larger Silver Minnow has a wider wobble which works great in warmer water; the smaller versions are better in colder water and have a tighter wobble. I have found a slow retrieve works best most the time.
The Silver Minnow can be fished anywhere. This is where the Silver Minnow shines. Fish it on open flats or thick weeds. Should it catch a weed, snap the rod tip to rip it lose and keep fishing. Thick weeds are where many bass hang out, and to catch them anglers should fish in the thick of them. The Silver Minnow is extremely weedless around flooded timber and it won’t get hung up.
The Silver Minnow is up there as one of the best bass lures I’ve fished. It’s also a great pike lure, and I even catch walleye occasionally. Anglers after a mixed bag should add the Silver Minnow to their arsenal.
Most bass fisherman use spinner baits as their fast casting bait to quickly cover a lot of water. I was one of them for a while until I rediscovered the Silver Minnow. There is nothing wrong with spinner baits, but give the Silver Minnow a try, it might provide a pleasant surprise. The Silver Minnow is a time-tested lure, catching bass for close to 100 years, and in my opinion it’s still one of the best bass lures there is.