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Huey

How long do your live decoys last?

22 posts in this topic

Another newbie question for you:

How long do your live decoys last? Does anyone get them to survive for more than a weekend? Any tricks to keeping them alive between trips?

Mine survive the weekend fine, even when they get chewed on, but go belly up during the week. I put them in a 5 gallon bucket in the garage. I was thinking of getting some sort of aerator, but maybe it's best to start with a fresh decoy each weekend. What do you guys do?

BTW, thanks to evryone that has posted in this forum. It's been a lot of fun getting into spearing and I've gotten almost all of my info here from you guys.

Huey

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If you have a permanent you should just get a minnow bucket or make one and just leave it down the hole. Just tie a rope on there and make sure its down below the ice so it doesn't freeze in the ice. But you gotta be careful not to cut the rope when chopping the hole out. I imagine to could use a chain also. I like to try and keep the rope away from the edge of the hole so there is no chance of hitting the rope when chopping. I still have minnows from the second weekend of spearing.

Otherwise I would get an aerator. Another thing is I would make sure the water stays cold. If possible put them in the fridge.

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I've used an old cooler and an aquarium bubbler. Keep it in the garage where its cool and the minnows would last a long time. Just change water every few days or so.

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I just get a fresh one every few days. Anyone ever try anything else for a decoy? Like a cisco, tulipe, or huge shiners?

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I've thought of using big shiners but can't find any lately.

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perch....

I dont really keep it over a day long. I feel bad if it dies in the garage. So if i have it over two days, i let it go into the lake after im done spearing.

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Doesn't it get sorta expensive buying decoys all the time. There $2 a pop around here, what are you guys paying? I usually like to buy large suckers instead if there big enough but the local bait shop just has what I would consider medium suckers. About the shiners isn't it hard to keep them alive? I haven't really ever used them in winter but in the summer they are a pain in the butt from what I have experienced.

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i buy the ones that are in the middle of the pack. I dont like the monsters

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If you are serious about keeping your minnows and decoys get an old aquarium (29 gal preferred) and set it up in your basement. I have sucker minnows (and goldfish) that I keep in my outdoor pond during the summer. They winter over fine in a properly set up aquarium. Even a 10 gal works. Use lake water in your aquarium if you don’t want to wait for the water to balance.

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 Originally Posted By: Bass N Spear
perch....

I dont really keep it over a day long. I feel bad if it dies in the garage. So if i have it over two days, i let it go into the lake after im done spearing.

I hope that you know using perch is illegal...

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I was wondering about that to if he meant using live perch, or using a perch look alive decoy of some sort.

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I put the minnows in a 5 gallon bucket with an aquarium aerator and change water every 2 days. I have had the same 2 minnows for over 3 weeks now. In the same bucket I have 2 dozen fatheads and a scoop of crappie minnows. The key is keeping them cool without freezing them and changing water(out of the well).

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I am usually able to keep them alive in a bucket with an aerator, I have been able to keep them for over 2 weeks, but they tend to loose some color, they usually turn ghost white

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perch as in a perch decoy.

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Im not sure,but I think its ilegal to release live bait into the lake!

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y would i be, your helping them live

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Pikeslayer is correct. Per the 2007 MN Fishing Regulations on Page 67.

Nonnative invasive species pose a threat to Minnesota waters, native plants and animals, and water-based recreation, including fishing. A number of invasive species have already become established in Minnesota waters and could easily be spread—and new species could enter Minnesota—if citizens who use state waters don’t take the necessary steps to prevent their spread. Anglers, because they often move equipment, bait, and water from one waterbody to another, need to be particularly careful. The four easy steps anglers need to take to stop invasive hitchhikers and the invasive species laws they need to follow are listed on page 68.

And one of the things listed...

Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Never release live bait.

Aaron

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I use the same live decoy for days...and have some live for months.

After spearing, I sink the bait in the lake in a minnow bucket until the next time I use them.

Even the monster suckers can live a long time.

I also use a fish line harness on the minnow, that way the fish in not "punctured" in any way.

So, if I by sucker minnows direct from a minnow trapper near the alke I fish on and sucker minnows are in my lake...I can't release a sucker minnow into my lake? I guess if I have a sucker that has served me well, I will release it for the fish to eat. It is usually so tired and beat-up at this time that I think the big fish find it right away.... I would never release a nonnative fish.

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Sorry about heckling ya Bass-n-Spear,but you otta know better than that!Ya just cant get atached to them decoys no matter how long you have em! - J-M-O- I think its best to put them down the hole on a harness and wait with your camara for a nice shot of a pike stopping by for a snack!

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With the threat of things like VHS, live bait is becoming a big issue as of late. Whether it's a species that's native to the water or not. Unless things have changed, I don't believe they currently allow live bait to cross state lines either. This has even had an impact on fish stocking. Say someplace in WI buys their fish to be stocked from a dealer in MN, I don't believe they can do that anymore.

What if the bait that I buy has some sort of disease? Do I want to release that minnow into my favorite lake and spread the disease into that water? Seems extreme, but that's the direction things are going. Just like making sure all the water is emptied out of your livewell, there's talk of live bait traveling down this same path. If my understanding is correct, the talk is that you would have to buy fresh bait EVERY time you hit the water and dispose of your live bait (on shore) when you're done fishing for the day. I'm hopeful that it won't come to this. But with the way things are going....

Who knows, maybe in 50 years there won't be bait shops because live bait won't be allowed at all. Let's hope not!

Aaron

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Water from another lake can bring an invasive species. So can boats and weeds. I guess fish (bait) can to, but to a much lesser extent.

What happens if a fish eats your bait off the line and gets away? Or knocks it off your line?

Maybe someday we will have to resort to not using live bait at all and be banned to only fish on one lake. I certainly hope not.

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 Originally Posted By: Hammer Handle
What happens if a fish eats your bait off the line and gets away? Or knocks it off your line?

Great point and this question has been raised (among many others) where this topic is becoming a bigger issue all the time. I think the whole idea is to just control what we can most easily control without going overboard. Otherwise we better bring towels with and dry off the inside of our boats from waves splashing over the side, dry off our lures when they come out of the water, etc. Some of the talk has certainly seemed overboard to me. But VHS is definitely a serious matter that none of us want to face on our home waters.

Aaron

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