The Petit Minnow

Crappie Psychic’s little soft-plastic bait is perfect for crappie, speckled trout

Tim Hebert of Thibodaux has the most-sophisticated marine electronics on the market in his boat to pinpoint crappie, better known as sac-a-lait where he’s from.

The latest technology, the Garmin Panoptix LiveScope System, shows Hebert where the fish are located. He’s still got to catch them, however, and he’s doing that this year with the new Crappie Psychic Petit Minnow.

Capt. Clyde Folse of Raceland, who owns The Crappie Psychic, trotted out the new, 2 ½-inch, soft-plastic minnow-style bait with a distinct paddletail action this summer. It has been responsible for beaucoup sac-a-lait and speckled trout, as well as bream and bass.

The Petit Minnow has a paddetail; when fished on a light jighead, it is a great bait for targeting crappie.

Hebert and his tournament partner, Andre Smith of Schriever, have been catching enough sac-a-lait on the Petit Minnow to finish strong in crappie tournaments on Lake Fork and Ouachita River. Hebert also boasted a 1.72-pound sac-a-lait that bit a Petit Minnow to win the crappie division of the Krewe of Hercules Fishing Rodeo in mid-August on Lake Verret.

Speckled trout

Speckled trout are loving Petit Minnows, too, according to Capt. Mike Guidry of Cutoff. Guidry is hooked on the small, slender swimbait that packs a punch as it makes an impact on the freshwater and saltwater scene.

“Oh, yeah, the Petit Minnow is awesome. It’s just, even standing still, it has good action .… The tail, I don’t know how it does it, but it does. Just the slightest little movement” makes it wiggle, said Hebert, a machine-shop manager at Gulf Coast Manufacturing in Houma, “They have a good profile, and they have a lot of action.”

Hebert’s favorite color is chartreuse/black; the other five Petit Minnow colors are: chartreuse/pink, chartreuse, black/white, black/chartreuse, pink and blue/white. He fishes them on a red, 1/32-ounce jighead from Cajun Lures. In clear water, he ties it to 6-pound monofilament; in stained water, he uses 20-pound braid. In a recent tournament on the Ouachita River, he fished tight-lined them on 10-foot jigging poles.

The right colors

The Petit Minnow has caught plenty of speckled trout since the first prototype was introduced this past summer. Guidry, a 21-year veteran who runs Rippin’ Lip Guide Service, started catching fish on them in July.

One of the first trips with the soft plastic in hand was with Folse.

“I was doing some scouting. I said, ‘Why don’t you come scouting with me,’” said Guidry, who caught specks with Folse, mostly on blue/white and white Petit Minnows, but on ever color Folse brought along. Guidry has been catching on them ever since when the conditions warrant.

And when is that?

“A lot of times, I tell my customers to match what the trout are feeding on at the time. When trout are feeding on glass minnows, they annihilate that thing,” he said. “When you see glass minnows, or trout are spitting them up when you put them in the boat, tie some on.”

Most of the speckled trout he and others in his boat have caught are 1 to 1½ pounds.

“It’s mostly school trout,” he said.

How to fish it

Finding a suitable leadhead with a hook fit for a Petit Minnow eventually took him to 1/16- and 1/32-ounce crappie leadheads.

Although big slabs can get their mouths around big baits, the Petit Minnow is much closer to the size of the forage they’re often targeting.

“I looked for a hook that was kind of stout and didn’t bend easy, the same kind they use tube jigs with. I think Clyde’s coming out with a hook for that,” he said.

Considering the size of the Petit Minnow, Guidry goes with a cigar-shaped cork weighted on one end used for sac-a-lait fishing, rather than a popping cork. He fishes the soft plastic, sometimes tandem-rigged, about 1½ feet deep on 12-pound monofilament on a spinning rod. He believes 6- to 8-pound SpiderWire braid would be effective, too.

Water clarity doesn’t have to be great to use the Petit Minnow, he said.

“It wasn’t real clear when we went out the first time, kind of stained. It worked out well everywhere we went. It was really awesome,” he said.

For more information on the Petit Minnow, visit www.thecrappiepyschic.com or call 985-790-0862.

Don Shoopman
About Don Shoopman 83 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to Louisiana in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.

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