January 17, 2020

The Amazing Yo-Zuri Pin’s Minnow

Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks didn’t have fishermen in mind – at least not this fisherman. When you’ve been fishing for decades, you tend to think you’ve seen it all. Then someone designs a bait unlike any you’ve seen before, and a lure that fish will regret you discovered.

The Yo-Zuri Pin’s Minnow is just such a find. Or rather the Pin’s Minnow found me!

Compared to other well-known companies in the domestic fishing industry, Yo-Zuri is a relative newcomer to the U.S. market. Manufacturing quality fishing tackle in Japan for over 50 years, Yo-Zuri opened operations in the USA in 2003 and established headquarters at Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Pin’s Minnow is just one line of well over a dozen bait families produced by Yo-Zuri. It is available in 21 colors and three sizes. If you haven’t fished Pin’s Minnows and are a light tackle enthusiast like me, pursuing freshwater gamefish and panfish, you are in for a pleasant surprise!

Pins Minnow

Pictures and words do not do justice to the finishes on these lures. When you get one in your hand, even through the packaging, the holographic foil finish is enough to make your mouth water. Outside its packaging, the bait shouts quality. The stout lip looks and feels like it will last forever and the hooks feel like they could penetrate a rock. What you can’t see in the two larger sizes (2-3/4”, 3-1/2”) is a patented weight transfer system. Steel balls in the chamber of the bait shift to the rear in the casting motion, allowing distance and accuracy that belies its size. In still or moving water, Pin’s Minnows run true with an enticing tight wobble.

I now have over a dozen Pin’s Minnows in a variety of sizes and colors in my personal arsenal. I began with the 2-3/4”, 1/8 oz. Red Head to try on a float trip on the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania. I caught walleye and smallmouth bass. In this wide river the weight transfer system (which I didn’t even know was a feature at the time) enabled long casts. The lure looks so good in the water I expected to catch a fish on every cast. I knew I was onto something special because of how hard the fish hit the lure.

This past spring I purchased the 2”, 1/16 oz. Pin’s in several color patterns. I had a hunch about the Chartreuse Silver color. I tried it in a fairly large trout stream that was running high and fast after some spring rains. I lost count after ten trout and it became my favorite ultra-light lure for spin fishing.

In lakes and ponds, I used the same Chartreuse Silver for crappies and bluegills in the shallows and had a field day. With the variety of fishing I do, I’m only in my second season of experimenting with the different sizes and colors, but I concur with some of the following reviews found on the FishUSA website:

  • “There are many different jerk baits to use for trout. The Pin’s Minnow is in a class all by itself. In cold water, use with a slow, almost stopping retrieve. In warmer water, use the jerk method and rip it through the current and hold on!”
  • “Works well in cold water, Runs true for best action, Great for stop and go retrieves, Excellent action even in swift current, Glass Minnow color works wonders on brown trout.”
  • “These cast well and hold up well. I’ve bounced them off a few rocks and no issues. True trout catchers! Gold Flame and Hot Pink Trout are special.”

If you are at all like I was a couple years ago – unaware of the Pin’s Minnow, pick out a couple colors and sizes that match up with your tackle and quarry. With 21 colors to choose from, you are sure to find either an imitator or attractor color that match the forage in your waters.

Tie one on, cast it and hold on tight!

John Scherrer

John Scherrer

Erie, PA John is a freelance writer and a life-long Erie resident who has fished across North America. Fly fishing, light spinning tackle, and ice fishing are his preferred methods to fish his home waters of Lake Erie.

View all posts by John Scherrer →

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