July 30, 2020
We have recently noted that delicate soft-plastic minnows have become a rather regular tool in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers, and Berkley Fishing recently introduced us to their rendition of this phenomenon. It is called The Champ Minnow.
Hunter Cole of Columbia, South Carolina, who is Berkley’s media and public relations manager, helped us in our endeavor to publish a gear guide about The Champ Minnow for a Midwest Finesse column by sending us some samples to examine, work with, and describe.
Here is what we discovered about it:
Jordan Lee of Cullman, Alabama, played a major role in creating the Champ Minnow. He is also an ardent and talented tournament angler, who competed at the Bassmaster Classic and on the Major League Fishing circuit in 2019.
The Champ Minnow possesses an abstract profile of a variety of small fish, such as shiners, chubs, and daces. It is devoid of a dorsal fin, pelvic fin, and anal fin, but there is an abstract rendering of a pectoral fin imprinted on each side of its torso. Its tail, however, is more deeply forked than the tails of shiners, chubs, and daces.
It is 3 1/4 inches long.
Its head, body, and tail are solid, and there are no hook slots. These are features that Midwest finesse anglers adore.
The head and predorsal areas are a half of an inch long.
Its snout is flat and possesses two minor indentations.
It is endowed with two significant eyes that have a diameter of three-sixteenths of an inch.
At a half of an inch from the tip of its snout, the predorsal area, which is flat, has a width of five-sixteenths of an inch. The circumference of the predorsal area is 1 3/8 inches.
From the junction of the predorsal area and its torso to the junction of the torso and the caudal peduncle area, The Champ Minnow’s torso is 1 1/2 inches long.
The size of the torso diminishes in size significantly as it merges with the caudal peduncle.
At seven-eighths of an inch from the tip of its snout, the torso has a height of nine-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of 1 5/16 inches.
The dorsal area of the torso is flat, and its belly or ventral area is much thinner than the dorsal area. At seven-eighths of an inch from the tip of the snout, the flat dorsal has a width of five-sixteenths of an inch, and its ventral area has a width of about an eighth of an inch. At 1 3/4 inches from the tip of its snout, its flat dorsal has a width of a quarter of an inch, and the torso has a height of three-eighths of an inch and circumference of seven-eighths of an inch, and its ventral area has a width of slightly more than one-sixteenth of an inch.
Its isthmus, breast, and belly are similar to the shape of the ventral areas of a common shiner and a red shiner.
The Champ Minnow’s caudal peduncle section at the junction with the tail has a width of slightly less than one-eighth of an inch and a circumference of seven-sixteenths of an inch.
Some anatomists might describe its tail as a lunate tail, and some might call it a deeply forked tail. Anglers might say it has a V-shaped tail. The outside edge of the top of the fork or V is three-eighths of an inch long, and the length of its inside edge is seven-sixteenths of an inch. The dimensions of the bottom segment of the fork or V is the same as the top segment. The distance between the two tips of the fork or V is five-eighths of an inch.
From the tip of its snout to the tip of its forked tail, its epidermis is smooth.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Black Shad, Green Pumpkin, HD Baby Bass, HD Blacknose Shiner, HD Bluegill, HD Emerald Shiner, HD Fathead Minnow, HD Rainbow Shiner, HD Round Goby, HD Silver Shiner, Pearl White, and Smelt.
It is impregnated with Berkley’s poignant Powerbait scent.
It is not buoyant.
It is said that Lee designed The Champ Minnow for employing it on either a drop-shot rig or a jig. Lee also notes that it can be affixed to a scrounger-style jig.
Midwest finesse anglers, however, will discover that this dainty minnow-style bait fits and works well on a 1/32-ounce mushroom-style jig with a small hook, and when it is rigged that way, it can be presented to largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves. And when Midwest finesse anglers employ their swim-glide-and-shake presentation, The Champ Minnow with a 1/32-ounce jig will exhibit somewhat of a jerkbait motif. The 1/32-ounce jig will also accentuate the no-feel factor, which is a critical part of Midwest finesse presentations.
A package of 10 high-definition The Champ Minnows costs $6.99, and a package of 10 standard-definition The Champ Minnows cost $5.99.
- Here is a link to Berkley Fishing’s website: http://www.berkley-fishing.com/berkley-bait-soft-bait-berkley-powerbait/powerbait-the-champ-minnow/1509874.html.
- Here are links to two YouTube videos about The Champ Minnow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwhIJ91VQaA; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ePXsKDcvCk.
- Here is a link to a Midwest finesse column that explains how to execute the six Midwest finesse retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.