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Thread: How to catch minnows in a minnow trap? Iím not having much luck.

  1. #1
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    Default How to catch minnows in a minnow trap? Iím not having much luck.

    I live in Arkansas and there are some decent creeks and places that I think would have minnows. I have even seen them in places I set my trap. I have caught 3-4 at the most when I set my trap. Iíve used bread, crackers, corn flakes, cut up hotdogs, dry cat and dog food. I usually only catch small bream and tadpoles. Is it to cold to catch them this time of year? I figured mid May would be ideal but I cannot catch enough to fish with. Iíve tried setting the trap barley below the surface of the water and let it set on the bottom. Iím not sure what Iím doing wrong. Is there such thing as over baiting the trap? I notice when I set it in the water a lot bait particles drift out and have actually seen minnows feeding on the bait that flowed out of the trap. Itís aggravating to see the minnows eat the bait came out and wonít go in the trap. Iím using a cheap trap from Walmart that is shiny metal. Should I paint it? I see these guys on YouTube set their traps and have several dozen in a few hours. I leave mine out all afternoon and overnight and still only a few minnows and 2-3 small bream. I even put dry cat food in a plastic bag and crushed it and put small holes in the bag. Just to make sure they werenít just eating through the mesh. Iím about to give up but Iíve seen others catch plenty of minnows in those cheap traps so I know it can be done. If anyone has any tips or ideas I would love to hear them and they will be greatly appreciated. Please help
    I hate paying 3$ a dozen because I know the price of a pound of minnows at a fish farm cost 3$-5$ a pound. Itís just an hour drive to the closest fish farm and thatís one way so 2 hours round trip.

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    Last edited by Luckyloser; 05-11-2019 at 12:05 AM.
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    I’m guessing your only problem is you are trapping where there are few minnows or at least no small minnows.Try setting in holes above and below road culverts,or under small bridges with holes of water under them.As far as using cheap minnow traps from Walmart,I’ve caught copious amounts of minnows from those them right off the shelf.
    In a nutshell,dry dog food is about the best bait to use,bread balls work,but will break up faster than dog food.find some new places to trap ( holes rather than running creeks) and you should do better.
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    i Agree with taker. You are placing the trap in the wrong spot. Put the trap where there is some quiet water instead of in the current.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaker View Post
    I’m guessing your only problem is you are trapping where there are few minnows or at least no small minnows.Try setting in holes above and below road culverts,or under small bridges with holes of water under them.As far as using cheap minnow traps from Walmart,I’ve caught copious amounts of minnows from those them right off the shelf.
    In a nutshell,dry dog food is about the best bait to use,bread balls work,but will break up faster than dog food.find some new places to trap ( holes rather than running creeks) and you should do better.
    Do those traps work in ponds?


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    Sure they work in ponds,as long as there is a population of fish.Most of the time in ponds you will catch baby bluegill more than you will catch what I will call creek type minnows.If you are wanting to crappie fish with minnows you would be better off in creeks , remember toss your trap in pools in between shallow water.
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    Like real estate location location location
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    Is there a certain amount of time to leave the trap soak? I set it yesterday and Iím going to check it tomorrow. I used dry cat and dog food for bait. I put it in the bigger creek that the smaller creeks Iíve been trap feed into. Iím hoping their are more minnows in the bigger creek I set it on the bottom in a deep hole between 2 shallow spots. The water is running because all the rain but it was barely moving where I put the trap. Iíll post results. Iím determined to catch my own minnows. Only thing is Iím wondering if the minnows Iím after even live in these creeks in Arkansas. I see bunchís of the flatheaded minnows and they would work but Iíd really like to catch shinners


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    In my experience, if your in a good location,you can catch minnows very quickly.I personally have watched minnows that were left in a trap over an extended period eventually find the hole they came,they simply swam in and out after that.When I set my traps,I bait with dry dog food,pitch the trap in a calm pool and check it after an hour, if your in a good spot,you may catch all you need quickly.
    As far as types of minnows your catching,that depends on what species are in your waters.Do a google search or call your local fish and game,they should give you all the info you are after.

  9. #9
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    I had the same question and as usual the CDC guys came in with great suggestions. Thanks.

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    I figured out what I was doing wrong. I set the trap and checked it about 45 minutes to an hour later and there were several dozen in it. I watched them for a minute and watched several escape so I pulled the trap and got a bunch! It doesnít take long for them to find the food. I was leaving the trap our way to long.


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