View Full Version : trapping minnows

04-13-2006, 10:44 PM
does anyone have any tips on trapping minnows ? i havnt used these traps in 20 yrs .they are the wire cylinder type ,i thought i used to use bread or stale cornbread ,but i tried both and nothing !how about oatmeal anyone ever use it ?

carl milks
04-13-2006, 10:52 PM
Never used oatmeal, I've always used plain old stale whitebread. Sometimes it's hard to trap them in cold water/weather. Always had better luck later on in warmer water. Good luck.

04-13-2006, 11:09 PM
Have used bread or a chunk of fish.

I tried snares, but they don't work!

04-13-2006, 11:22 PM
I trap minnows all year long. Bread works as good as anything. When you checked your trap was the bread still in there ? One of the biggest misconceptions about minnow trapping is the amount of time that you have to leave the traps in the water. If a spot is loaded, I leave my trap in no longer than an hour. They will swim in and eat and then swim back out eventually. If the bread was still in the trap your in the wrong spot. Sometimes if your in a big hole it's just a matter of moving it next to a bush in the hole or other structure. If you set a trap at night, always leave your bread in one piece and if the water is moving, ball it up. Throw a bunch of crumbs downsream and sometimes it will draw fish upstream to your trap. Most people pass 5 -20 minnow holes a day on their way to work. Most see a little stream and think it's not worthy but try pulling over and looking on the downstream side of the Culvert and you'll find all kinds of treasures. :D

04-24-2006, 09:12 PM
I use dry fish flavored catfood. Works like a charm all year long.

04-24-2006, 11:17 PM
As I don't like to pay expensive minnies, I like to use bread and a little dog food in my traps. The dog food takes longer for the minnies to eat and keeps them in the traps much longer than the bread. I usually leave my traps out overnight and have gotten cleaned on just bread one too many times. I have also had good success with pretzles and little sacks made from all the crushed pretzles and salt from the bottom of a bag. I think the salt is a really good starter scent trail to get them moving up stream towards the trap.

relatively deep water + brush/cover = a filled trap

'eye spy

04-30-2006, 09:59 PM
I'm thinking that maybe i should get a minnow trap.

Grizzly Gary
04-30-2006, 10:01 PM
Nothing better than real live creek bait MOM! Au Natural!!!

04-30-2006, 10:05 PM
yeah Gary.. I'm thinking that I may hook up with a few more trout at camp that way...
and, who knows, maybe some other fish as well! There are smallies, rockbass and God knows what else in that creek!

05-09-2006, 08:30 AM
I have one live minnow trap I use on a regular basis. It's a two piece item that clips togeather for use. I use a small piece of hotdog in it; then set it into the lakes or streams edge. I have a chalk line attached as not to loose it to current or wave action. Within just a few minutes it holds a couple dozzen minnows... more if you wait longer. I havent bought a minnow in over twenty years now...Papa_d

Grizzly Gary
05-10-2006, 09:41 AM
Swanny had some real nice eyes he caught Sunday and got them on creek bait he trapped.

He and Greg also had some big Emeralds they got at Pages Sporting goods. Got a couple of those fish on them also. Good to have a mix if you ask me.

Grissly Gary

05-10-2006, 09:45 AM
ok...dumb question posted by me #2.......

What if you don't SEE minnows in the creek?

Should I assume that they are there, or not bother?

05-10-2006, 07:38 PM
Find a nice little hole in a small stream MOM. Bait it up and set it out, the scent will attract them if they are in the stream. I leave mine out overnight. Once in a while you might get a water snake in the trap. They usually feast on the minnows!!!! I just open the trap and let them go. I always use dry cat food,about half a cup. Works good.

05-10-2006, 08:56 PM
Thanks Walcat.

Well, I am not afraid of snakes.. but thank you for that heads up!
Hopefully I can get a trap before we start camping. I know that there
are chubs in the creek at camp! (snakes too!)

12-16-2006, 09:44 PM
I was making a mink set today in a dammed up creek. This pool was full of small fish. I was thinking it would be a good place for a fish trap. Or a mink set. :D I hope that mink goes fishing tonight.--------- rattrapper

Grizzly Gary
12-17-2006, 06:53 AM
Watch what you say Rattrapper. Lots of guys chasing bait cause of the bait ban. You may suddenly find a dozen minnow traps in your beaver ponds! :lol:

Grizzly Gary

Turkey Fan
12-17-2006, 07:16 AM
we used to keep our eye out for pockets of minnows while coon hunting.Then we would go back when they iced over and just dip them out with a big minnow scoop.Of course the location of these creeks is a highly gaurded secret :wink: Has any one here ever had there bait checked as to number or where they originated from?What would happen if you put in a trap and more than 50 went in before you could pull it.Does the fact that they're in your trap mean they are in your possesion?

Bryan Hoffner
12-17-2006, 10:35 AM
okay rattrapper Gary is right you have sparked my interests. what's a fair trade for the where abouts of this bait. I'm heading out now to do some bait scouting of my own and I always start with my couple friends that water trap for mink and rats like you. I can give you their #'s to prove I always pay up on the trade offs.

please please pretty please

12-17-2006, 05:39 PM
This is on private property in the stow, NY area that I am going to try and clean out the beaver on this Guys pond. They have made a heck of a mess. It looks like a bomb was dropped. But he shot a couple and they are skiddish. They little ones are swimming thru my conibears, So I will pull them and go strickly foothold.-------- I always look for a few mink and rat sets while I am working on a beaver pond. Do you look for minnow spots in NY also? ----------- rattrapper

12-17-2006, 06:16 PM
Any bait you net/trap may only be used in the body of water it came from. You cannot get bait from one body of water and use it in another. The possesion limit is 100 minnows. I would think that if you have more than that in your traps total, then yes, you would be in violation.

There is some excellent info from the NY DEC


12-17-2006, 06:30 PM
Can you trap minnows from a creek that flows eventually into Chautaqua Lake and use them in the lake?? ---- rattrapper

Turkey Fan
12-17-2006, 06:31 PM
Eyedoktr you mean in order to legaly catch minnows to use to say tip a jigging Rapala at Chatauqua through the ice I would have to trap this said minnow at Chatauqua?And if so how is this to be verified?

12-17-2006, 06:46 PM
rattrapper, good question but I would think that as long as it has uninterrupted flow to the lake, it would be o.k.

Turkey fan, yes. To be legal you would have to get them from Chautauqua. As far as how it would be verified, I don't know how they could. But...our responsibilities as sportsman include policing ourselves. I won't be surprised if shortly, anyone using minnows will have to produce either a dated receipt from a certified bait shop or have a certification card, also dated.

I have had absolutely no trouble buying bait locally. The price is the same as it was before the law. The bait store has a certificate posted that states that all the bait has been tested and is VHS free. This bait, I can use anywhere I want. At this time all they have are fatheads and small bass minnows. They will soon receive their first shipment of certified Niagara shiners (emeralds, icecicles, buckeyes).

12-17-2006, 07:03 PM
just some added info from the DEC

A summary of the emergency regulations that the Department has adopted is as follows:

Close confirmed VHS waters to the commercial harvest of bait fish. The list of confirmed waters includes Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, the St. Lawrence River, and Conesus Lake. Tributaries to these bodies of water have also been closed to the commercial harvest of bait fish.

All live fish destined for the waters of New York State are required to have a fish health inspection report by a qualified fish health inspector that certifies the fish as disease free. This includes all fish, including live fish for stocking and bait fish. Therefore, in order for a bait and tackle shop to sell bait fish, the bait and tackle shop must have a fish health inspection report by a qualified fish health inspector that certifies the bait fish as disease free. Once a fish health inspection report is obtained by a wholesaler for a "lot" of bait fish, it can be made available/transferred (a copy given) to a bait and tackle shop that receives fish covered by the report.

Bait fish purchased from a source (i.e. bait and tackle store) that has a fish health inspection report by a qualified fish health inspector that certifies the fish as disease free may be used as bait in any body of water in New York State where the use of bait fish is permitted.

Personally harvested bait fish can only be used from the body of water from which they were caught for the purposes of reducing the spreading of VHS.
The personal (non-commercial) possession limit of bait fish is 100 regardless of whether those fish were personally harvested or purchased at a bait and tackle store.

this was from a month ago. The list of lakes now, includes almost every lake in NY

Turkey Fan
12-17-2006, 07:15 PM
Thanks for the great info.It does sound like there are reasons behind all this

12-18-2006, 01:03 PM
Before setting a trap in NYS it would probably be wise to give the DEC a call because it is illegal to set a minnow trap in a designated trout stream. My buddy called the DEC and had an ECO respond to take care of an incidental beaver catch on Sat. While they were there they noticed some minnow traps in the water below the bridge he was at and they asked him to grab the traps for him as it was illegal to set them in a trout stream. They also were not tagged with the owners name and address as is also required. About the beaver catch, it was caught by the toe in a number 1 long spring set for a rat and the beaver wrapped the wire around a bush and got into the water and couldn't get out, subsequently drowning itself. He called the ECO as beaver has not yet open. The ECO couldn't believe the number 1 held him. A fluke catch I guess. My best fluke catch was a great horned owl in a 1 1/2 coil spring which was released unharmed. I believe I had caught a rabbit in the set a day before but it was nothing but fur when i checked it so I reset it thinking I may catch a fox or yote in it, and the next day I had the owl.

12-19-2006, 09:21 PM
Been there Done that. ----------- That is, my trapping partner been there Done that.-------- Same senario. ----- With the owl that is.------ rattrapper

12-20-2006, 12:10 PM
Add a little dog food in with your bread. Keeps the minnows in the trap after they finish off the bread.


12-20-2006, 12:40 PM
wait a minute.....dog food and bread?? that sounds like a decent sandwich for an old retired guy on a fixed income. :P

12-20-2006, 01:07 PM
Just bait the minnow thru the lips and tell the ECO that you just caught it. ------- :oops: --------- rattrapper

12-27-2006, 01:45 PM
Never had any luck with the cyllindrical trap, just got an umbrella net for Christmas, so I'll be giving that a go. That is, after the muzzleloader season, and if there is no ice yet.

Grizzly Gary
12-29-2006, 11:17 PM
Must have spoke to 10 different guys who are getting out their minnow traps in hopes of getting bait. Looks to me like there are gonna be minnow traps out the ying yang in every possible spot soon.

Grizzly Gary

12-30-2006, 08:01 PM
I always rip up pieces of aluminum foil and stick in there with some bread.