How To Keep Minnows Alive For Long Periods

March 28, 2017

One of the most excellent baits you can use for fishing is a live minnow. You need to keep your minnow alive since its movements attract more fish. But, they can be somewhat challenging to use. You should keep your minnows alive for a long time so that you could use them as baits. Moreover, it will require enough knowledge and skills to preserve them.

But, before you head to a near lake to start your fishing adventure, you need to obtain some supplies and equipment. Also, you must keep your minnows alive for extended periods of time to place them on your hook. When your minnows are still alive, it will ensure you that you will catch more fish. Doing so isn’t that hard and expensive.

In fact, you can even find some of your supplies to keep them alive at home. You also need to follow the steps on how to keep minnows alive and kicking for a long time.


Minnows as Baits

There are a lot of things you need to consider before keeping your baits like minnows alive and active. You do not necessarily just throw them into a bucket full of water. Minnows as baits can catch fishes at their best when they are in excellent condition. So, you do not allow them to starve and become stressed by their water temperature.

Other minnows like redtails, creek chubs, and shiners can be quite challenging to preserve. That is the reason why you rarely see them in a few bait shows. Shops often provide aeration just to keep them alive, and it is pretty expensive to maintain.

The biggest error you’ll make when you want to preserve them is placing them in an overly full bucket. Overcrowding the minnows will cause them to start dying out immediately.

How to Keep a Minnow Alive

Here are some essential steps you need to consider to keep your baits alive:

Prepping to Obtain Your Minnows

The first thing you have to do is to start deciding when to buy the baits. Minnows do not live long, especially when they are in a less favorable condition. So, you need to purchase these baits close to the period you plan to head fishing.

But, this could cause trouble. If your plan is to go fishing early in the morning, the bait shops are still close. Thus, it will not accommodate your plan of using minnows as baits early in the morning.

Moreover, if you keep your minnows in poor conditions, including applying overcrowding, then they may die in less than a day. So, to make them last longer, you need to take care of them properly.

Then, you need to obtain a container or a bucket to place the minnows. You may keep your baits in a foam camping cooler or other disposable containers. However, you can also choose a particular container made especially to maintain the minnow's safety and security.

Foam coolers are usually available at any grocery shops. You can obtain a specialized minnow container at a sporting goods store or a bait shop. These containers may come in different unique features such as the capacity to float the container in water. Some may even have aerators attached to them.

So, you need to prepare your minnow container. You need to fill it with the water from the creek or lake before you put in the minnows. The water in the tank must be cold enough as the fish tends to stay alive more at a cooler temperature.

Letting Your Minnows Adjust to the Container

To acclimate your baits, you need to put some creek, distilled, or lake water. You may put some of the water from the plastic bag of your minnows. It will allow them to adjust to the temperature and the water of the container.

Then, you need to place the closed plastic bag with the minnows in the bucket or the container. You do not just toss these baits into the bucket. Instead, you need to allot some time for the minnows to get used to the temperature and the type of water in the bucket. You need to shut the bag and place it in the cooler for around 15 minutes.

Additionally, you need to put the minnows in the container. After allowing a few moments for the minnow to adjust, you need to place them into the bucket. You need to let them swim freely to the container. The time of adaptation will enable them to adapt to their new environment instantly.

Keeping the Minnows Active

You do not need to overcrowd the tank of your baits. Filling the baits into the bucket will only cause the bait to die out sooner. What you do is you reduce the oxygen in the tank directly. Plus, it builds up too much heat in the surroundings.

You may also resort to putting an aerator in the bucket. The device will make sure that you put enough oxygen into the water. It will allow the baits not to use it up excessively and suffocate later on. It is very vital that you keep the fish active for one to two days if you do not want to change their container.

You may also place a small portion of hydrogen peroxide into the water if you cannot afford an aerator. You may just add a drop of three percent hydrogen peroxide into at least two to three gallons of water. The solution will assist in the build-up of oxygen in the water. Thus, you can replace the oxygen used up by your minnows.

Also, you need to keep your water temperature cool. So, what you need to do is to put some ice cubes into a container that is in the bucket. You will allow the water in the bucket to stay cold to keep the baits alive.

Keeping the Baits Lively While Fishing

What you have to do is to submerge the bucket into the creek or lake where you plan on fishing. You may do this by putting the container on the tip of the water. Also, you can allow the water to flow in and out of the bucket without getting rid of the baits. It will help the bait adapt to the standard water temperature of the minnow's habitat.

The next thing to do is to select a minnow and attach them to your hook. You may decide what strategy to use to catch the minnows. You may start researching on the ideal attachment of the minnow to the hook. Moreover, you have to base your decision on what method keeps the minnows alive.

Lastly, you need to prepare yourself to replace the baits. Once you have placed the minnows on a line, sooner or later they will die out. So, if it stops its motion in the water, it will be an ineffective bait. The best way to act on it is to replace the minnows on your hook after their death.


Minnows are all time favorite baits you can use to catch fishes. Preparing your line with minnows will also ensure that you will have a bountiful catch. In fact, you may allow yourself to catch catfish, bass, crappies, trout, perch, walleyes, etc.

However, what you need to remember is that you need to keep your minnows alive. It is a factor that will help you catch these varieties of fishes. When you follow the steps indicated above, we can assure you that all of your time and efforts will be worth it!

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About the Author


Hello, fishing world! My name is Bella. Yes, you got me right, I am a woman! But, I am a woman not only fond of cooking and shopping. I am a woman who shows interest in everything that covers topics regarding fishing. Don’t get me wrong! I believe that the world of fishing is not exclusively for men! In fact, I, myself enjoy fishing. That’s why I created this website.

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