How to Fish With Cocahoe Minnows

by James Clark
Many species of trout will lunge for a cocahoe on your hook.

Many species of trout will lunge for a cocahoe on your hook.

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Cocahoe minnows are a species of bait fish commonly used for catching trout. This minnow ranges from Northeastern Florida across the Gulf of Mexico and is a popular bait for speckled trout in Louisiana waters. Cocahoe minnows can live in fresh, salt or brackish water. Live cocahoe minnows work best for pursuing wily trout, which are more likely to attack an active meal than an artificial bait twitching in the water. As with all live bait, keep your cocahoes in a live minnow tank with an aerator pump to keep the water oxygenated.

Items you will need

  • Live bait tank
Step 1

Lift the strainer containing your live cocahoe minnows from the bait tank to drain the water quickly.

Step 2

Grab one cocahoe above the tail with your thumb and forefinger, taking care not to break or damage any of the minnow's fins.

Step 3

Insert the point of your hook through the top lip of the cocahoe and then through the bottom lip, and curve the hook downward so the barb points in the same direction as the head of the minnow.

Step 4

Release the line lock on your reel to drop the rigged bait into the water, or cast gently toward banks, submerged rocks and bushes, or trees fallen in the water. These areas offer cover for game fish, which lurk in the shadows until a meal passes by.

Step 5

Close the bail on a spinning reel or flip the spool lock on the side of a baitcasting reel to lock the line in preparation for retrieval. Reel in any slack in the fishing line, then let the cocahoe swim freely.

Step 6

Retrieve the minnow gently and cast to a new spot after a few minutes if you do not get a strike.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cast the cocahoe gently across the water. This helps prevent the hook from ripping through the lips of your expensive bait, sending the minnow cartwheeling into space.
  • Lip hooking the cocahoe works best for this bait fish when angling from a stationary position. Other types of rigging, such as through the body, are more likely to kill the minnow.
  • Do not troll with live cocahoe; this will kill them.

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