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JBMasterAngler

Minnow Preference

25 posts in this topic

I'm just curious what kinds of minnows everyone uses out there. Not including crappie minnows, what are your preferences between fatheads, rainbow chubs, golden or silver or emerald shiners, sucker minnows, madtoms, or any other type of minnow. Add what you fish for with them, how and where you fish them, what season, etc. I'm just curious what everyone is doing out there.

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Fatheads. I like them for two reasons. The size. They are a bit smaller than shiners, (usually) and seem to work better when they are more finicky. I can find small and medium fatheads quite often. So I have a better choice. Also, they last a long time. Other minnows die quicker and I don't have to keep going to the bait store for more minnows. I think the size of the bait is more important then the type. But I do think you should use the type of minnows the lake has if you can.

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I always hear that fatheads are easy to keep alive. I haven't been able to keep them alive for more than a couple hours...EVER!!! I can keep crappie minnows, chubs, and shiners alive for months, but them fatheads die on me way too soon.

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I have found those little silver round oxeygen tabs work great. One of them keeps minnows alive for two days in small container. I am not just talking about crappie minnows. I have found they keep shinners and fat head mixed alive for 1 1/2 to 2 days. When I get home I take out tab and change water (leaves grey flakes) and hook up to a small aquarium pump with tube bubbler at end (stays at bottom). Shinners are hard to keep more than a week. fatheads with a water change now and then you can get down to the last one or untill they start turning clear. They need to eat. I do not know what to feed them. reg. fish food dirty's water up fast.

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keep them very cold put snow in with them and change the water every day they will stay alive all season and catch fish or die trying

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I don't prefer snow, it makes the water dirty...slush from the lake works MUCH better, and it has lot's of oxygen in it.

As far as food goes...I go to the pet store and get those white vacation tablets that sink to the bottom. They keep the water clean and last forever.

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I exclusively use big suckers for walleyes on Mille Lacs. Sometimes a big shiner. It pays off because the result is a 25 inch+ fish. I catch all my eater walleyes jigging with whole fatheads or their heads tipped on a spoon or jig. Sometimes I will use small shiner heads or the whole shiner if it is small enough.

GoggleEye

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I tend to believe a bigger minnow (shiner or chub) increases your chances of not only catching bigger fish, but more species of fish. I rarely ever catch northerns or even muskies on fatheads, but do very well with them on bigger baits.

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Good point GoggleEye. I have even heard of guys haveing large perch hit smaller suckers this year. I allways like to throw down a large sucker (even during the day time for perch). It seems to have a good decoy effect. brings fish in area and then they bite on other rigs. Once and a while the bubber with the big sucker goes down and then mind goes crazy. Good tips on this page.

Had to edit. This time of year do not try what I sid above. Its hard to convince DNR you are tring to decoy in perch.

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To me I don't really believe in the "Bigger Bait" Bigger Fish scenario. I mean it could work sometimes but I believe that sometimes it could work and other times not.

Caught my 31' walleye 2 weeks ago on the head of a fathead minnow on a small buckshot spoon.

I say do what works for you. cool.gif

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PikeBay, that's true in alot of cases. I've caught some big bass and walleye on little baits that were intended for sunnies or perch...however, your never gonna catch me using crappie minnows under a tip up for pike or trout.

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Quote:

however, your never gonna catch me using crappie minnows under a tip up for pike or trout.


Well of course not. I like shiners on my Tip-ups. wink.gif

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I usually use rainbow chubs. But I've done well with shiners too

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I dont ever touch Mille lacs without at least 6 medium suckers.I had a hot hole a couple weeks ago and decided to put a tip-up in it so I put a sucker on and dropped it down, watching it fall on the vex I saw a fish fire off the bottom and crush the sucker without even setting the flag.The fish measured 25.5 and I dont believe it would have hit anything else because I think the fish had seen the spoons so many times already.Sometimes all it takes is something different and not alot of people use suckers.

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Deerwoody I agree, last month I was on forest lake and I put a rainbow chub on a tip up, because they are so rare around here I don't believe anyone else in the area (and there were alot of people) were using them. I didn't have my bait down long enough for me to stand up and turn around before my flag went up. I did well with the pike that day because I was using a minnow they weren't used to seeing.

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Deerwoody, can't agree more with ya! Mille Lacs is one of those lakes where the "bigger bait, bigger fish" theory holds so true. Some lakes is doesn't work, but Mille Lacs is one of those lakes where I won't even go on the ice if I can't find suckers or shiners at least 7 to 9 inches in length.

JBMasterAngler- I agree too. I trap my own minnows when I can and if I get a bunch of oddball minnows that you would not see in a lake for forage, those are the ones that produce fish. Usually big fish too if they are of descent size. My eyes just light up when I pull my traps and they are loaded full of all kinds of minnows!

GoggleEye

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You ever use mudminnows? They're cool looking fish, I used to catch them in streams all the time when I was a kid, never thought to use them as bait. What about sticklebacks? I get them with my crappie minnows from time to time, I usually just throw them in the lake.

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Mudminnows are good bait. They're as tough as they come and I have had success on northerns with them. Sticklebacks have a bad reputation but I have had good luck with them on crappies, perch and small walleyes. Its interesting to note though that sticklebacks are not listed as a "minnow" in the 2007 fishing regs so I don't think we can legally use them as bait. Another side note is that you mentioned you throw them into the lake because you don't use them. It's unlikely that you have hurt anything by doing this, but it's something we have to avoid. The regulations say not to do it, and it's because they don't want species introduced by fishermen.

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Fish500, as true as that is, sticklebacks are native to pretty much all the lake and river systems in minnesota, so it's highly unlikely I'm affecting the ecosystem by throwing them in the lakes. Otherwise my minnows never go to waste for I save them after every trip...very cost efficiant too.

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Yes sticklebacks are common, but most of us probably don't know which lakes already have them. This is called bucket biology. In reality, fisherman have no idea what the effects of releasing minnows into a lake will be. I agree that most of the time it's probably not a big deal, but why take the risk?

It's a good general rule of thumb (not to mention the law) that we don't release any fish into lakes that they did not come out of. I hope you realize I'm not specifically talking about you, but rather the general principal of it. When fishermen have minnows that won't be used for fishing, they should just discard them similar to how they would fish cleanings or something like that.

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So what do you guys think about Silver Shiners vs. Golden Shiners? I have a buddy that will drive 30 miles out of his way to get golden shiners. I always seem to prefer to use rainbows. He is allways telling me how many more fish I will catch with golden shiners. Any thoughts?

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The only bait store I've ever been to that sold both silver and gold shiners is frankie dusenka's in chisago city. I've only used golden shiners and emerald shiners, I honestly couldn't tell you the difference between a golden and silver. But yeah, if I see a bait store with rainbows I buy them even if I don't need minnows.

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The old holiday by Lundeens in onamia had both silver and golden shinners. Silver are more grey/silver. goldies have a hint of gold flake in their scales. They look alot alike. They have rainbows as well. Also if your over by blaine, Vadeo's bait should have all types of minnows. It all depends on their venders and what they catch them selves. Anyone had any luck on gold crappie minnows/rosies barbs.

albinocrappies I also have heard them called. I have not had any differnt luck with them. they sure cost more.

P.S.

I have never noticed a differnce in useing either silver or gold shinners. I always comes down to what they have in stock. If they have golden shiners, I would buy them first.

I would not drive 30 miles out fo my way to get them.

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Yeah, I have used mud minnows on several occasions. I think they work pretty good, but not any better than say a fathead, shiner, or chub. Usually where I trap, I get a variety of mainly chubs, suckers, shiners, and the mighty stickelback! I actually don't like the stickelbacks though, I usually just throw them back into the stream. I have never had much luck with them, it seems the fish will eat a fathead or crappie minnow before the stickelbacks.

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ShackBash, you say you don't notice a difference when you use the regular crappie minnows and the rosie's (except for the price)...have you ever used green nightcrawlers? They cost like 50 cents more, but I swear they attract fish better than regular nightcrawlers. Anyone else have an opinion on green nightcrawlers?

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