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Decent Minnows


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Back in the day, there was an Apco gas station in Litchfield. They had minnow tanks in a small building behind the main station. They would let you hand pick a dozen small 3" sucker minnows we would use for walleye fishing. The same went for picking out decent fathead minnows (females only). The old twin lakes resort bait shop located on the road right between Washington and Stella also let you do some hand picking.

Now-a-days, whether its in Hutch, Litch or Darwin, buy some bait and you get what they scoop. A bucket full of those lousey male, black headed, pimple faced fatheads (mainly in the spring time). Those 'bucks" are not worth the hook they might be placed on. The sucker tank usually is full of minnows just too large for my choice on walleyes.

The lake my cabin is on is near Darwin and has EMERALD SHINERS (the long skinny ones) in it. They hang around the rocks up against the shoreline. I trap my own using the basket trap and a hunk of angel food cake. It is hard to trap very many but its a bonus on the walleyes if I do.

I wonder why the bait dealers don't sell dace minnows or smaller sized suckers (3")? Hey ! how about some rainbow minnows? Maybe the distributors don't have those kinds of minnows ??? If I buy those fathead bucks, I be sure to bleach them out by putting them in a white 5 gallon pail for a day. They lose a bit of that black coloring on their heads.

Anyway, good luck on the lake this year (and also at the local bait shop) !

Faner

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Agreed. Where they find the "pizza faced" fatheads I don't know. Best bet is to suck it up and net your own....or by the basket trap method.

The bait vendors get whatever their vendor gives them. Plain and simple

I typically freeze the emeralds to make the trip in the winter to LOTW cheaper for the same amount of eye action as the pricey "live" ones.

There is no better bite than on the lake shiners from the lake being fished. Priceless.

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The old twin lakes resort bait shop located on the road right between Washington and Stella also let you do some hand picking.

I grew up at that place. Thanks for bring back the memories of Amel and his anchor tatoo on his left arm.

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Faner50 I've always found it's not the problem with the minnow's it's the person using them

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  • 2 months later...

grin

Geez, guess my big male fatheads working on Red Lake must have been a fluke.

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I trap my own using the basket trap and a hunk of angel food cake. It is hard to trap very many but its a bonus on the walleyes if I do.

Faner

There is your problem angel food cake. Use bread or buns that get a little hard and stale and your catch rate will go up. Any bread products work great, they like the starch.

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  • 11 months later...

Baked an angle food for the trap. Tossing it tomorrow just before we make a trip to Princeton to get what works...JUMBO leaches on that rock pile around 2 a.m.

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Why I don't take my own advice is beyond me. ...

I walk into the bait shop, ask for a couple dozen "Fats" and walk away to look at some spinner rigs. I pay the $8.00 for the minnows, get to the dock, look in the bucket. Its full of those MALE BLACK HEADED, pimple faced Fats. So, after I finish punishing myself by wacking my self in the noogs with a short piece of anchor chain, I go fishing. Not a bite.

Here's a quote from the Mpls Tribune in 2004 in the outdoor section...

"""The fatheads commonly found in bait shops will take walleyes from opening day to ice-over. An old secret that's not so well kept anymore is the advantage of choosing female fatheads over the darker male fatheads. I've experimented enough to believe walleyes prefer the female fatheads. Why? I haven't a clue."""...from Ron Shara

As a kid I grew to believe that was true. Years later what I thought was true ends up in print. Years later in 2010 I end up draging around a bucket of black headed males. Yup...I am just plain STUPID.

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Isn't it kind of tough for fatheads to spawn without the males there to. What do you suggest they hand pick them. If you have all these problems with fatheads you could use pike suckers leeches or anything else you want. It just bothers me having friends and family serving our country without complaining and your problem is fatheads. Give me a break.

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I've talked to guides from red lake, rainy lake, mille lacs and they all favor the female minnows over the bumpy nosed males. Seems to me that the people that make their living on the lakes would know better then anyone. I for one dont expect anyone to hand pick my minnows for me. I know some bait stores in the area that seem to only have the male minnows I just dont go there.

It just bothers me having friends and family serving our country without complaining and your problem is fatheads. Give me a break.

What does that have to do with anything?? If you wanna play that card maybe you should ask Faner50 if he ever served his country!!

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Hmmmm. Ok. Well I fought the NAM in 1968/69. I was in the Marine Corp, L company 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. My military M.O.S. was 0311 (Infantry). I served out of An Hoa combat base, central I corp area, Vietnam, Republic of.. My ribbons consist of a Purple Heart, 2 Presidential Unit Citations and a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

When I came home, I didn't get hand shakes, and yellow ribbons around trees, free guided hunts/fishing trips with the local experts who said "thanks for serving in Iraq," like I have seen on TV. So, based upon what you said, I think I deserve HUTCHINSON give me a ticker tape parade, to include 5 high school marching bands around the area, boy scouts, girl scouts, and all members of the local 4H, drum and bugle corps and marching members of the local national guard unit along with legislators, congressman and senators. I will be positioned on a beautiful float, with 2 hookers with giant mammary glands, a case of beer, and a bucket full of female fatheads personally picked out of a tank by YOU.

Good Luck to all fisherman

Corporal Faner 50, L Co,3/5

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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