July 20, 2020
By Ned Kehde
A longtime member of the Finesse News Network told us about the Bruiser Baits’ McMinnow and suggested that we publish a gear guide about it. His comments motivated us to contact Steve Dial of Alva, Florida, who is the president of Bruiser Baits, and during two weeks in May, we exchanged a number of emails with Dial.
Dial informed us that Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, Florida, who competes on several Bassmaster and FLW tournament circuits, played an instrumental role in creating the McMinnow. Dial also provided us with several samples of the McMinnow to work with and examine.
Here is what else we discovered about it.
It is 3 ¼ inches long.
Its anterior and posterior sections are dramatically different.
The anterior section exhibits the motif of a typical soft-plastic stick-style bait.
It is 1 11/16 inches long.
The tip or head of this section has a diameter of five-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of one inch. It is cylinder shaped, and it is flat with a small indentation, which is where a Midwest finesse angler will insert the hook and bait keeper of a mushroom-style jig.
At three-quarters of an inch from the tip of the anterior section, the width of the torso is three-eighths of an inch, and it has a circumference of 1 1/4 inches.
Near the junction of the anterior and posterior sections, the torso has a width of about five-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of 1 1/8 inches. This area is 1 9/16 inches from the tip of the anterior section.
The epidermis of the anterior section is relatively smooth, but it is slightly embossed with minuscule ribs.
The epidermis of the posterior section is enhanced with seven pronounced ribs or segments, and they become progressively oval shaped and smaller as they approach its junction with the tail.
The first rib has a height of about five-sixteenths of an inch, a width of five-sixteenths of an inch, and a circumference of about 1 1/8 inches. At the fourth rib, the height is three-eighths of an inch, the width is one-quarter of an inch, and the circumference is seven-eighths of an inch.
The end of the posterior section is endowed with a flat and triangular-shaped tail. The folks at Bruiser Baits describe it as a flared tail. The base of the tail or triangle is three-eighths of an inch long. Each side of the triangle has a length of seven-sixteenths of an inch. This tail adds a new configuration to a soft-plastic stick-style bait. And from the antique perspective of some old-time Midwest finesse anglers, it will remind them of a miniature rendition of a Stingray Grub and an Ensley Reaper, which played a vital role in their finesse repertoires in the 1960s and 1970s. Because of its tail, the McMinnow can replicate the images of an array of small fishes, and at the same time, the rest of its torso can imitate the ways of a variety of aquatic creatures that largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass forage upon.
It is available in the following hues: Champlain Champagne, Green Pumpkin, Hot Monkey, Maple Leaf, Smoke Black Purple Flake, Watermelon Red, and Watermelon Red Gold Flake. Anglers can also contact Brusier Baits, and they will manufacture custom hues.
It is infused with a scent called Dr. Juice and a touch of salt.
According to our tests, it is not buoyant, but it is made with a “floating plastic.”
A Bruiser Baits’ press release recommends that anglers affix it to a mushroom-style jig, and they make one called the Ned Head, which was designed by Brandon McMillian. It can also be affixed to a drop-shot rig and neko rig. Dial says when it is affixed to a Ned Head jig and presented with a deadstick presentation, its torso and tail will be perpendicular to the bottom.
A package of eight costs $3.99.
- Here is a link to Bruiser Baits’ website: https://bruiserbaits.com/?s=McMinnow&post_type=product.
- Midwest finesse anglers will work with the McMinnow affixed to a small mushroom-style jig. Their jigs will range in size from as small as a 1/64 ounce to as large as a 3/32 ounce. And they will present it to their black bass quarries by employing all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. Here is a link to the Midwest Finesse column that explains how to execute those retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.
- In a June 16 email, Steve Dial told us that the saltwater anglers have discovered that the McMinnow imitates a shrimp, and it has become a popular and effective tool for them on inshore waterways to catch redfish, snook, lady fish, spotted seatrout, and snapper.