How to Catch and Use Live Minnows as Bait

Live minnows are great bait for many types of fish you may be interested in. Catching your own can also help you to save some money at the bait shop. I think that getting the minnows is fun too and if you have kids that are going fishing they will enjoy it as well. There are two common methods that I use to catch my own minnows.
The first is with using a minnow trap. These traps are very simple to use and you can buy them anywhere that you will find fishing supplies. You can also get them online. The other method is to use a seining net. Most of these nets that you will find for sale are very large. This means that it will be a two person job to catch the minnows.

If you need lots of minnows I would recommend going this route. If you only need a dozen or so to use though then the screen out of an old window works well. You can also make your own seining screen of any size. Using 1×4 pieces of wood you can create a square about up to 3 feet wide and about 2 ? to 3 feet tall. Using this will be the same as a seining net. With one hand on each side, push it to the bottom and walk into the current.

Place them in a small river or stream. For best results you want to go to where the water is fast moving. The entrance on minnow traps should face so that the flow of the current allows the water to flow into it. There is the option of baiting the trap if you like but you don’t have to. Don’t check the trap too often though. You should allow it to remain in place for a couple of hours.

Some bait that I recommend is corn or salmon eggs. With a seining net you want to use a part of the stream or river that isn’t deeper than your knees. When you unroll the net it will have a pole on each side. That is where a person should stand. Then the net can be pushed to the bottom. The two people should be walking side by side with the net open and walk into the current.

Then the people should spin the poles horizontal so that the net will sag in the center. This is how the minnows will be caught. Slowly the net should be rolled up from both ends.

Proper storage of the minnows that your capture is very important. They need to remain healthy if you want them to be attractive to fish. You can get some expensive containers but there is no reason to. I find that a Styrofoam cooler works just as good and it is very cheap.

You can buy a small battery operated aerating pump too that allows the water to circulate. This will increase the content of the oxygen in the water. You can also use oxygen tablets that you just place on the bottom. Try to keep your minnows in a shady area too so that they remain cool.

When using the minnows for trolling you want to hook your minnow through the lips. This allows the minnow to glide through the water and it will appear very natural for the fish. For fishing off of the top of the water for instance with a bobber, you can hook your minnow with a small hook designed especially for them.

Hook the minnow through the back, about mid way down. Try not to hit the spine as you do so. If you get them in the spine then the minnow can’t be active and it will quickly die. This process allows the minnow to spin around and to present itself to the fish. Make sure the minnow is on a nice long leader. It should be from 12 to 18 inches.

If you plan to fish off the bottom of the water you can hook your minnow through the tail. Try not to go too far into it though or that can cause a great deal of damage to the minnow. Make sure that you have a leader here too that is from 12 to 18 inches. By doing so it makes sure the minnow has some line for playing and swimming around. Thus, it will have a nature appearance to fish.

Live minnows are easy and fun to catch. If you do a great deal of fishing they will cut down on your overall expenses. It will take a bit of time to get your process down but once you do it will become one of the effective ways to get minnows before you go fishing. It won’t take long though before you are very good at catching your own live minnows to use as bait.

One Response to “How to Catch and Use Live Minnows as Bait”

  1. […] How to Catch and Use Live Minnows as Bait Live minnows are great bait for many types of fish you may be interested in. Catching your own can also help you to save some money at the bait shop. I think that getting the minnows is fun too and if you have kids that are going fishing they will enjoy it as well. There […] […]

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