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Rip_Some_Lip

Minnow question

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I was wondering if anyone feeds there left over minnows? During the winter when the fishing is slow, I keep minnows for along time sometimes. Do they eat fish food that you would give your goldfish? It may be a dumb question, but I figure bait is better for catching fish if they are healthy.

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No, they won't eat, or at least that is my experience. However, crappie and fathead minnows will live along time without food as long as the water is cool enough, I used to keep a tank in the basement. Suckers and shiners will last a while, but die off much faster.

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Minnows, as well as leeches, and most of the time nightcrawlers, will not eat in captivity. Why? I am not sure. I have been trapping all of them for ten years and tried to feed them many times. Just keep them in cool fresh water and they will be fine. Better yet, go fishing more often. I know, easy to say. I am in the same boat. No pun intended.

Matt

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Actually they will eat in captivity, fathead minnows anyway leaches also, I new some wholesalers who used to do it but in the winter you can keep minnows along time just by keeping them in fresh water and cold temps.

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How often do you change your minnows water when you are keeping them in cold water over the winter? Sometimes the tap water seems to kill them and then sometimes it doesn't seem to hurt them.

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in my experience, a change in water temp from old to new water kills minnows. we have a water softner and have to be sure theres no salt taste in the water after regenerating. also i have a bubbler to keep them healthy. usually i change the water when the small chuncks of gook starts floating and discoloring the water.

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I keep my minnows in a 20 gal aquarium in my shop. Stays cool and keep a filter running to provide clean water with plenty of oxygen. I have however been feeding them a little gold fish food, and when I drop the flakes into the water and watch the flakes fall, I can clearly see alot of the minnows eating the falling particles. I have been fishing almost every day since first ice and I don't like to run to the bait store too often, so I buy several scoops of minnows at a time, crappie, fathead, dozen suckers and dozen shiners, put them in the tank and when I want to go fishing at 5am, I don't have to worry about finding an open bait shop.

Very few of my minnows die in the tank. I keep 100-200 in there at a time. I loose maybee one a day. I fish northerns alot, so my shiners and suckers don't stay in the tank very long.

I don't know if all the minnows eat, but I know I watch several take the food each time I put it in the tank.

Good fishin
ANdy

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Well water works best. If not you can pick up some dechlorifier "hope i spelled that right" to take the chlorine out of city water where ever they sale fish tank stuff. Also a air pump to keep oxygen in the water helps a lot. I use a fish tank pump.

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All types of bait will eat in captivity if they are healthy and in a heathy environment.
I buy crawler by the flat (50 to 60 doz.) and keep them in a refrig. in my garage. I keep them in Buss worm bedding and feed them Buss worm food and they get fatter every day. I have had very few die on me.
I feed my crawlers for about 2 weeks before I start using a flat. When I start using a flat I start another flat, "fattening up".
Cliff

------------------
Cliff's Guide Service
CliffsGuideService-LakeVermilion.com
Lake Vermilion
Phone: (218) 753-2005

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Water temperature is vital when changing water on minnows to much of a change will 'shock' them and kill them or shorten there life at least, try to stay within 5-10 degrees diff.water softner salt shouldnt be a problem bait guys often add salt to the water especially in the summer. chlorine is bad though most bait shops with city water have to run there water through a filtration system to remove the chlorine.

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I've actually fed minnows dry oatmeal if I intend to keep them for a while. As others have posted, the biggest challenge is keeping the water quality. In the winter,if it's not too cold in my garage that they will freeze solid, I'll add a couple handsful of snow every day or so to freshen the water.

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The only minnows that I can feed are the ones I trap out of my local creek. I normally get creek chubs and some shiners. Once they get used to the surroundings of the tank they will eat like pigs. They will eat anything really from crackers to small minnows. These creek chubs are anywhere from 4" to 8" in length so they can take a small crappie minnow no problem.
But store boughten fish that I have kept in the tank normally haven't eaten anything.

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AKA PikeEye 300

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When I change water on my minnows at the cabin, I can use it out of the tap as it has no clorine. If I use city water, I will usually run hot water into a 5 gallon pail and set it in the garage to cool, and use it then. The clorine is driven out of hot water rather quickly.

I'm sure everyone is aware of the quick death a minnow suffers if you put him in your ice cold hole out of a relatively warm minnow bucket. I usually put a snowball or ball of ice shavings into my bucket when I hit the ice, it cools the water pretty quickly but not so fast as to kill the minnows.

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