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WallyGator12000

strange minnows

Question

WallyGator12000

Okay, this just might be the weirdest post you have ever read, but...

Does anyone know what kind of minnow you sometimes find in among other crappie minnows? It has a much more pointed snout/head than a crappie minnow, and on its back and stomach it has 5-7 spines rather than fins. Also it's side fins fan out much more than a crappie minnow's. I have heard rumors that these minnows actually attack and kill other crappie minnows, and that they are an exotic. Does anyone know if this is true? Also, do the fish not really care about them, or are they inferior to a crappie minnow? I know, weird post, but I can't believe that I am the only one who has found one of these guys...thanks

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irvingdog

It's a stickleback. Therer are lots of opinions flying around about them.

"Fish won't touch them".

"Fish love them".

"I use them, but cut off the dorsal spine".

When I get them, they wind up on the ice. Just because..........

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Surface Tension

Stickleback is right. Whenever I fillet fish I'll check the stomach contents. A Stickleback in the bucket is like a red M&M. wink.gif

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Ed Carlson

Likely what you discovered was a Brook Stickleback, an indigenous species common on many watersheds. They are a hardy and durable species of native Stickleback. They are known to be protective of their nesting areas but do not form any danger to other species large or small.

Fish, birds, amphibians, and shoreline foraging mammals dislike them far less then fisherman do. They are a key forage on many systems here in the USA and Canada.

As with any live bait you buy and transport you should take steps to not allow them to cross into new watersheds to protect other indigenous species and habitats.

culea.gif

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trollingforeyes

One of my buddies said that he puts them on his wife's line when he baits her hook. She has never outfished him since! grin.gif

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JP Z

I know of many anglers (myself included) who actually like STickles. At least for springtime Crappies they are great. Of course I save them until my minnows are pretty much gone. But sticklebacks are great minnows. As they are much more "durable" than a standard crappie minnow. I can catch 4-5 Crappies on 1 minnow and it generally is still kicking. But of course this is only my experience.

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Dano2

hmmm, so the fish actually do bite on them eh? I was told the same rumour that they wont. Just the other day, I found acouple in my bucket and tossed em. They look like tiny little northerns.

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Ed Carlson

Folks say walleye do not eat bullheads or catfish too. Nevertheless, I have seen many a big walleye burp up a bullhead or cat in the net.

Fish eat what they can catch or what is readily available. Walleye eat everything that enters their environment. Walleye are eating machines if they are in the mood to chow down. Catfish are the same way, dead or alive, they will eat whatever they can choke down. I had one chubby 23" catfish that had gobbled down a Muskrat...ya a Muskrat!

Different stages a fish evolves through often changes what they will eat. As a fish grown it will eat bigger stuff because it can. They still eat what they used to eat but new forage options get introduced to the diet because they have the ability to prey on them, so they readily chow it down.

I guess my point is don't underestimate a fish's drive to eat and survive.

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Minnetonka

I have caught many a fish on sticklebacks. perch, crappies and walleyes. I only use them when my supply of the other minnows is just about done. I have a degree in fisheries biology and can tell you the sticklebacks are completely native to the midwest and do no harm to other fish.

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CatManLee

Well, I learned something new today! I have always chucked em' out of the bucket when I have found them. (I was also told "fish won't eat them". It just goes to show, no matter how much you know about fishing, there is always something you don't know. Next time I'll try one.

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