Trapping Minnows

JohnPK

Well-Known Member
I set 2 traps for a good part of the summer in a creek that runs through my property. I used to use bread for the most part but have found that cat food (solid hard pieces...not the soft canned) works very well as it doesn't break up as fast. Under the regs, we are supposed to have our name on each trap and only one per fishing license. One time in the far far north I had a trap set in a small creek and ran into an mnr officer while driving to get my minnows from the trap and he asked if I had my name on it...😳 Well of course I do ! He never followed me to my trap, but now I always make sure I write on it with black magic marker my name.
 

jerk bait

Well-Known Member
It's crazy the amount of minnows and small fish I catch in the creek that runs through my property. I dont actually use them as bait but its interesting to see. Mostly catch red bellied dace, mud minnows, sticklebacks a.s this year I noticed alot of tiny dog fish ( bowfin). Even caught some crayfish in trap. I did know about the name thing but I am on my own property guess I wouldnt hurt
 

sterlingz

Well-Known Member
Depending on time of year there may not be any minnows in your creek, or that spot in particular. But generally minnows are found almost anywhere. I used to trap them in Kapuskasing for a living. Hardest job I ever had, but quite rewarding.

I remember trapping $10,000 of fatheads and emeralds over 3 days. Too bad most of that went to the owner!

Then you have other days where you cut 10km of trail into a promising lake... only to find loads of sticklebacks. Apparently there's a market for those now? Back then that wasn't the case.

Best trick I learned if you're trapping lots of minnows; use tranquilizer during transport. Not sure where you can get it though.
 

jerk bait

Well-Known Member
Depending on time of year there may not be any minnows in your creek, or that spot in particular. But generally minnows are found almost anywhere. I used to trap them in Kapuskasing for a living. Hardest job I ever had, but quite rewarding.

I remember trapping $10,000 of fatheads and emeralds over 3 days. Too bad most of that went to the owner!

Then you have other days where you cut 10km of trail into a promising lake... only to find loads of sticklebacks. Apparently there's a market for those now? Back then that wasn't the case.

Best trick I learned if you're trapping lots of minnows; use tranquilizer during transport. Not sure where you can get it though.
I put a couple of dace in my aquarium last year and they are still alive and well
The sticklebacks dont last too long but the crappie love them. The mud minnows are very hardy and apparently great walleye bait.
 

Puddle Jumper

Well-Known Member
Best minnow trap bait
Is hands down fresh KFC French fries
Minnows will follow the grease slick to the trap

Next best is cat and dog food dry pellets like others said

Only thing better would be fish pellets large enough to not go thru mesh...so if you know of a fish farm ...try to buy brood stock food
But really dog or cat food works good enough

2 weeks ago I averaged 3.5 dz per trap in first hour

Don't use bread if keeping bait alive
They for some reason die quicker than using dog food...
 

Extra Virgin

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the advice and input, we haven't had any luck yet this weekend and I got home past dusk today to check. Hopefully tomorrow will produce something. I did put in some cat food, and might put some of our pond pellets into a stocking or roe bag to keep them inside the trap.

Photo of mini me on our way back on Sunday or "skunk day" as he phrased it....
 

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can't miss

Well-Known Member
Yrs ago, I put in a large pond, about a acre, in a hopeless wet area. Mostly land locked except for spring melt. It is/has always supplied me with un-limited minnow's. Fat heads or flat heads, not sure of the correct name off the top of my head, amazing how they got there and populated? They had to have migrated there during the spring melt? Drainage here does connect to municipal drainage and river, but only for a short window in the spring and quite a few miles?
Long story, short. I use bread only for minnow trap, give it a good coating of salt and crumple into doe ball, there in it almost instantly. I've tried dog/cat kibble, various meats and trap fills up with crayfish?
 

Extra Virgin

Well-Known Member
Checked the trap tonight, ended up with five large common shiners almost the same size as the throwback perch I've been getting lately, told them to pass the word onto there emerald cousins to join the party (y). Put a smorgasbord in the trap to get them, chunked cat food tin, cat kibble, dinner roll & dough balled stale bread.
 

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Dmanwithnoname

Well-Known Member
Too much bait in the trap if you not checking the trap everyday will lead to mortality issues, little buggers will gorge themselves to death!
 

taper

Active Member
I trapped minnows for a local bait shop for a few years and agree withe puddle jumper stay away from bread, it will cause high mortality.
 

Woodsman

Well-Known Member
I just filled a 210L Rubbermaid tote 2/3 full of well water & a cheap aerator from Wal-Mart. I put a laundry mesh bag ontop to keep them from jumping out and my cats from going fishing.
My experience exactly.
But I used a old framed window screen.
And if you can keep it in the coolest place above freezing that helps.
 
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