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jwilli7122

minnow trapping

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I am thinking about trying to trap bait. interested particularly in minnows 3-7 inches long for walleyes and pike. Interested in chubs, shiners, bullheads (if legal?), suckers, and everything else that might be the right size. I am located in the metro area and have zero experience. Does anyone in the metro do it? are there any notable regulations for this? advice?

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I do a little trapping.
Its kind of fun.
For the kind of bait your after the best traps would be on that you make you own.
I belive the maximum size trap you can have is 15" diameter by 30" long.The opening can only be 1.5".The ones you can buy at the store are not worth it in my opinion.You also have to put your name and address or drivers license on the trap.
I have not trapped through the ice.Allthough I bet if you found the right spot or hole in a creek you would get a trap full.
Fishing for bait is a lot of fun too.Find that deep hole in your favorite creek and your in buisness.It would be one right afterthe other.

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thanks for the help dennis and ninetoe.
dennis- what advantages would a homemade trap give me for the bait im after? how should i build my trap in contrast to the ones they sell at the store?

so deep holes in cricks are great spots? anyhting to look for in lakes and ponds for big bait? i would assume just look for weeds and hope for the best.

anyone tried seine nets in cricks or rivers?

thanks a lot guys, and anyone who knows anything about this speak up- i appreciate all the help i can get.

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I got one of them frabill ones from the store and I dont like them that much. The funnel on both ends leave too much space in the middle for the "smart" minnows to swim back out. I know that b/c i have seen it.
I would like to make my own, but really dont know how or have the stuff to do it.

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Fish ON!

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I was in the wholesale bait buis for 10 yrs with my dad, dad was in it 35 so i should be able to answer some questions for you. we just trapped fathead minnows and bought most of our suckers we did dabble and raise a few.if you live in the metro area your chances of catching any suckers or chubs isnt very good.there are some creeks in the se part of the state that do have some and there are some creeks in the northern part of the state that do produce some also. as the guys mentioned above most of the traps you can buy at the stores arent much good. and ninetoe is right it is alot of work in the winter we used to run 100 to 200 traps in the winter. it isnt alot of fun. if you do set a trap through the ice you can cover your hole with a piece of plywood and cover the whole thing with snow that will make for alot less ice to cut when you come back. you would proably be best off just trying to catch some fatheads in a small pond or lake if you want to catch some minnows.99 percent of the suckers that are sold in the state are pond raised by bait dealers . you wont find wild suckers or chubs in a landlocked pond. you could sein some spottail shiners in this area in the spring they usually run around the end of april or the first part of may in this area. hope this helps some any more questions and i will be happy to help.

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THe manufactured traps are only 9"x18" i think.The opening is too small for the size bait your after.You can get fatheads and small shiners in them but wont get bigger baits.
I live in the southwest metro and have had some pretty good luck getting creek chubs and suckers in the size your after.It takes a little time to find the right holes to place your traps but there are plenty when you find them.
Minnehaha creek,right in town has lots of chubs and there are many places to access the creek as it runs through town.

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Believe it or not the DNR does regulate minnow trapping! smile.gif You can find these regs in the fishing regs. For instance you must have your name and address attached to the trap. You can only have traps that are certain dimentions and the openning cannot exceed a certain width. You must also check your traps every 72 hours. Most importantly , any holes you make in the ice must be clearly marked with red ribbon tape or pine boughs.If you have a bait license then your traps can be bigger and you are allowed to possess more bait.

I have trapped alot of lakes and ponds and found it to be alot of work. It is amazing how much ice will form in 12 hours when its cold and you have to chop through it. smile.gif It was always interesting to see what was in the traps though.

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" chaos , panic and disorder ... my work here is done. "
Upper Red Lake Area Association Member

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Dennis that suprizes me that there actually is a few creek chubs left in this area. dad said they used to sein some around this area years ago but that they gradually just started to disapeer.we used t get a few odd ones once in awhile seining shiners but never any amount. to the origial question of what type of trap to use.the bait guys use 3 or four basic types. the 'cloverleaf' ,square,round,and a B trap.the B style seems to work the best for suckers and chubs from what i heard.you can build your own trap in these styles but it would be hard to explain it over the computer. if you were looking at a B trap from the top it would look like a letter B.The premise behind the clover, square,and B trap is that the minnows follow the curved throats into the trap where with the little round or cylinder type traps you buy in the stores have just a small funnel to guide them in.

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thanks swamp- good to know. If anyone knows where to get a decent trap or seine net, let me know, im in the market. Im hesitant to try and build one as I have never even seen one.

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THere are lots of them around.If over harvest you can do some damage to the population in a hurry.I learned my lesson on a creek near my home.I gave it a year and they are back.I now hit several creeks and try not to trap/seine/or fish one section twice in a row.
THere are some streams that are chuck full of big chubs but darn it if they are not smarter than the seine.I can never get them in the seine,but cast out an ice ant and you can catch a dozen in a few minutes.

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DENNIS it can be a challenge seining stuff sometimes, usually about the time you get them herderd up a guy gets snagged up on a rock or something and they all escape.if your stuck with one of the over the counter seins its really tough. poor webbing if you can call it that and they arent hung very well either. jwilli7122 I only know of two places that made commercial grade traps and that was like 8 yrs ago. one was in willmar the other in siani s.d. and you would be looking at somewhere in the 60 to 100 dollar range. you can buy alot of bait for that. I could build you one but i dont have any hardware cloth left, got everything else though. i used to figure i had about 25 dollars in materials into each square trap but that was like 8yrs ago and it wouldnt be cheaper now.it does take quite awhile to put one together. I used to spend all day putting 8 or 10 together, thats after i had all the parts cut out. if yo are real interested let me know and you could come out and look at mine to get a idea what they look like.

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jwill, You go ahead and trap your minnows. My dad used to do it and 25yrs later I still remember the excitement as a kid pulling that net out of the water. To this day i can never remember buying fatheads that big and plump. He just found a little 10 acre slough and that baby was full every time we fished. Won't ever forget it. He just used one of those little coned shaped traps that you probably can get anywhere.

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jwilli7122 I wasnt tring to deter you from catching your bait i was just trying to maximize your odds.we used a variation of the cylinder type traps you can buy in the stores for years, as a matter of fact that was the only kind of trap my dad used for years,bigger though 18 by 36 compared to the smaller ones you can buy in the store.we just gradually started going away from them because they just didnt catch well anymore although they are better in the winter than the summer for some reason. there just isnt as much bait around as there was years ago one of the main reasons is the bait dealers have less places to trap than years ago. lots of people have moved onto these bait type lakes over the last 15 years and illegal stocking of fish has hurt alot. anyway i dont want to deter you .can you use one of those store store bought traps and still catch something? sure i just think your chances are greatly reduced. i might even have a few of the old cylinder traps laying around the old mans you could have.

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swampman- no i know youre not trying to deter me, thanks for all the great help. I am definitely interested in your old traps. Have you seen the frabill line of traps? They have cylinder and square traps. Besides what you say about other styles being better, my major concern is that the opening is only 1 inch on the frabills. what do you think of their seine nets?

frabill.com

i think this may be the kind of thing where i might benefit from getting a cheap or old used trap and getting a little experience. after i figure out how it works, hopefully i'll be able to refine a little bit or maybe step up to a nicer trap.

Dennis- thanks for the input on chub location, i've got some ideas now. I might have to try fishing for some minnows.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Awesome story! That's amazing your Dad can pull off trips like this at 69 yrs old! I can only hope to be in that kind of shape at that age.    Thanks for writing this up! 
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    • Without a doubt......NAP KILLZONE.  Shoot great and really drop the hammer when they connect with a deer.
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    • Sounds like a great trip and a really fun experience, congratulations! Thanks for all the pictures and sharing your story. I know that's a lot of work and it is much appreciated.
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