Mud minnows make excellent bait for flounders, trouts, redfish, and many more delicious fish! On top of that, they’re easy to find and store.
What I like the best about these fish is they don’t migrate. So, you’ll know exactly where to find them. In this blog, I’ll tell you all you need to know about how to catch mud minnows!
How To Catch Mud Minnows?
The most common method of catching a mud minnow is casting a net or using a minnow trap. I recommend using a minnow trap because it’s just less hassle and guarantees a better result. Minnow traps are designed so that the fish can enter the trap but fail to exit it.
How To Catch Mud Minnows In A Minnow Trap?
Using a minnow trap is the easiest way to catch mud minnow. Several designs are available, but the most common are circular or square containers made of wire mesh or monofilament with inward-facing, cone-shaped entrances at both ends.
To bait the minnows, you need to place some food inside the trap. The food’s odor will then travel downstream and tempt hungry minnows. And the design of the minnow trap is such that the fish can quickly enter it but cannot navigate out.
So, once the fish enters the trap, it can barely get out.
Here’s a link to a popular and pretty standard minnow trap from Frabill:
Now, I’ll teach you how to catch mud minnows for bait using a minnow trap step by step.
How To Set Up The Minnow Trap?
Step 1: Closing One End Of The Trap
These traps have funnel openings at each end. You have to close one end of the trap using pliers, strings, or plastic ties so that minnows can enter but can’t exit.
Step 2: Open The Trap
All torpedo-shaped minnow traps come with a hook and a loop on each side. When joined, they act like hinges. Undo the hooks and separate the trap into halves so you can add bait.
Step 3: Place The Food In The Trap
Place the food of your choice in the trap. I use peeler crabs most of the time and have a great success rate with them. Below, I have listed a whole bunch of food you can use as bait. Don’t forget to have a look.
You can wrap the food in porous fabric like pantyhose or cheesecloth, so it doesn’t float away.
And once you have placed the food, join the hooks and loops and connect the two sides of the trap.
Where To Put The Minnow Trap?
The moniker gives it away. Mud minnows are found in, well, mud! So, your best bets to place the minnow traps would be mudflats, marsh grass, shallow waters, and tidal creeks. Steer away from tidal areas.
Minnows are super hardy fish that thrive in many different environments, from brackish backwater to sandy coastal areas.
Since they’re so ubiquitous, you won’t have difficulty locating the perfect place to put the minnow trap.
How To Position The Minnow Trap?
If you place the minnow trap in non-tidal regions, position it so that about one-fourth to one-third of the trap is above the water surface. This way, the minnow’s position corresponds precisely with the depth at which these fish swim.
For tidal areas, your best bet would be to position the trap in the same way at lower tides since mud minnows are most active here.
How Often Should You Check The Minnow Trap?
On a good day, minnows get trapped easily and fast. So, you can check the trap once every half hour. Then, transfer the minnows into a bucket, add more bait food, and reset the trap if you need some more bait.
How To Keep The Catch?
Minnows are hardy fish. They can survive in a mere bucket for days. Just make sure you fill the bucket with water collected from where they were caught.
Place the minnows in an aerated bait bucket and perform water changes daily to ensure the best survival chances.
As for feeding, you can give them tropical fish food, bloodworms, tubifex, and blanched veggies.
Check out this in-depth article on what they can and cannot eat.
What Are The Best Baits For Mud Minnows?
Since mud minnows do not migrate, they’re not picky about the food they eat. Instead, they’ll just about eat anything they can find. So, here’s a list of food you can use as bait:
- Blue crab
- Dog food
- Cat food
- Fish carcass
- Chicken liver
9 out of 10 times, I use peeler crabs as bait. Although a tad bit expensive, they work like a charm!
How To Catch Mud Minnows Using Cast Netting?
Since mud minnows spend a considerable amount of time in shallow waters, cast netting works pretty well, too. Walk the water line near any regions they are known to frequent and keep an eye out for them.
And if you spot a mud minnow, throw a net over it. These fish live in schools. So, if you spot one, there’s a chance that there are more around.
Final Words: How To Catch Mud Minnows?
The most convenient way to catch mud minnows is using a minnow trap. These traps are inexpensive, effective, and readily available to buy.
Most minnow traps are shaped like a torpedo and come with two parts. The trap’s mechanism is such that the fish can enter it to eat the bait but cannot exit it.
As the name suggests, these fish can be found in muddy bottoms. They frequent marsh grass, shallow waters, and tidal creeks. So, you can place your traps in these places and wait for 30 minutes or so.
As for bait, they’re not picky eaters. So, you can practically use anything as bait. I use peeler crabs.