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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Minnow mortality problem #13249407 08/16/19 01:34 AM
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603Country Online Content OP
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Doing a little crappie fishing on Navarro Mills Lake. Bought 2 dozen minnows yesterday and caught a nice bunch of crappie this morning. Needed more minnows, so I bought another 2 dozen, and in about 4 hours most were dead. So I went back and got 2 dozen more (free). And they aren’t looking too good. Looks like I’ll be fishing with a few live ones and a bunch of dead ones in the morning. I’ve never gone out for crappie with dead minnows before. What are my chances looking like? All the crappie this morning, except for one, were caught on minnows (live ones).

The bait shop said that their minnows were dying, but didn’t know why.

Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249416 08/16/19 01:48 AM
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Try rigging dead ones on a jig head like you would a plastic body or chop them up and tip your jigs with the pieces.

Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249470 08/16/19 03:02 AM
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Captain Cook Offline
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At first I thought it was the heat but if the store says they are having iasues with them dieing then I would suspect they have abwater issue. I bought one of those small insulated minnow buckets with a battery powered bubbler. Fished in the heat for 6 hours and only had 2 minnows left and they were going strong and the water was still cold. I was shocked that it worked so well. I've caught crappie with dead minnows but no where near as good as when they are live and healthy.


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Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249488 08/16/19 03:19 AM
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I have one of the bubblers as well. Mine is a really small one that I got at Bass Pro so that I could use it on my kayak as well as my bass boat. Left 3 dozen minnows in it overnight and the battery was still going the next morning and we only had a couple die. I did put a small amount of ice in the water before I went to bed and opened the lid just in case the battery died during the night..

That said, me and a friend caught a bunch of slabs last year at lake Fork tipping our jigs with minnows cut into 3 pieces.

Wayne


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Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249489 08/16/19 03:21 AM
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In this heat 100% agree on the air bubbler system for lively minnows (I have three kids that love to fish so go through a lot of minnows). Also with the heat the O2 content in the water is super low so have to watch how many minnows your keep in a standard flow troll or geezer bucket.

Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249497 08/16/19 03:36 AM
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Back when I had my center console and more room I had a nice insulated bait tank with an aerator that worked like a champ. At the moment I am fishin out of a 10ft Bass Buster so I don't have room to do much of anything other than catch fish. Lol [Linked Image]


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Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249519 08/16/19 04:11 AM
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It could be the heat, it’s probably also doesn’t help that bait shop minnows usually don’t keep well because they’ve been living in a bait tank for who knows how long. If you have the ability to catch your own minnows, they’ll fare better in this heat.


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Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249643 08/16/19 12:42 PM
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Here is another little tip I learned thru the years. Make sure your insulated minnow bucket has been cooled before you fill it. Fill it with cool clean water at the house before you leave the house. I'm on well water, so I don't have to worry about chlorine as well.
When you get to the bait store, take your insulated bait bucket and empty it, and have them fill it with the water from the minnow tank. The alkalinity from the tank and the water temp is just right. If your bucket has been sitting out in 100 degree temps and you dump the minnows in you will loose temp pretty quick. Minnows can't handle a sudden temp change. Turn the aerator on as soon as you put the minnows in. And always remember to have backup batteries for your aerator.

Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249686 08/16/19 01:22 PM
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Cool, aerated water is the main ingredient for keeping minnows alive. I use ice and an insulated bait cooler to maintain in the summer.

Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: Gamblinman] #13249723 08/16/19 01:44 PM
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As stated above...cool...cooler the better...and air...and you are good to go. Too much ice will shock the minnows, but you can get that water really cold and they will be just fine with air on them.


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Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13249796 08/16/19 02:49 PM
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I use a 30 Qt. bait cooler. I found a small plastic trash can that fits inside and holds 1-1/2 gallons of water. It goes inside the cooler and divides it. It will hold a 1/2 lb. minnows for days with a little maintenance. The other side of the cooler I put ice in, and throw my fish on the ice. Keeps my minnows and fish cool for a 1/2 day trip, which is all I need for these hot summer days. I use a 12V aerator on the boat, and a 110V aerator at the house. I keep a couple gallon jugs of unchlorinated water in the shop refrigerator to change the minnow water out.

If you can find a plastic can that fits inside your livewell, you can drill holes and place your minnows in the can and use your boats aerator to keep them alive and fresh. This works better in cooler weather.

Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: Duck_Jerky] #13249834 08/16/19 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Duck_Jerky
As stated above...cool...cooler the better...and air...and you are good to go. Too much ice will shock the minnows, but you can get that water really cold and they will be just fine with air on them.


This...just as he said...

Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13250009 08/16/19 05:57 PM
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Update. Last night I put about 18 minnows in a small bubbler type and 18 in one that you hang in the water. This morning all the bubbler minnows were dead but less that half of the others were dead. Next time I’ll add ice to the bubbler. Obviously something wrong with the minnows, likely due to the bait shop.

Crappie bit on the minnows, both dead and alive, but the catfish came after the dead ones hard. 5 catfish, 6 Crappie, and 2 white bass. I fished from 7 till 10, but nothing bit till about 9 or so. The crappie weren’t attacking the bait, and I lost 5 or 6 that weren’t well hooked. Frustrating.

Good idea about using the aerated live well to keep the minnows. I’ll probably do that.

Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13250133 08/16/19 07:58 PM
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Put on a small hand tied jig with a purple body and a yellow tail or a chartreuse body with a chartreuse tail.

Right before you start fishing dip the tails in Chartreuse Spike it. Let dry for 30 seconds and start fishing.

No minnows required.


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Re: Minnow mortality problem [Re: 603Country] #13250145 08/16/19 08:17 PM
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HOGON, I usually fish with a jig on one pole and minnows on the other until I’m sure what’s working best. Yesterday morning I caught all but one on minnows. Today the jig was purple with a yellow tail, and niblets. Caught nothing on it. I have not tried the chartreuse Spike It, but I’ll get some. I would rather fish with jigs, and a BiL, who is a 5 day a week crappie fisherman uses only jigs and niblets. He uses a spider rig. And, he is absolutely the best fried crappie cook I have ever been around.

Last time I was on Navarro Mills I was using jigs and niblets and catching a few. Then about five guys showed up in those fishing type inner tubes, and they were just catching crappie as fast as they could reel them in. All on minnows. So I went and got minnows, and caught a bunch. Nowadays, I go out with jigs and with minnows. Belt and suspenders, that’s me.

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