Open any outdoors magazine, and what have they been talking about: invasive species. In fact, it's one of the top priorities of Minnesota DNR this year. In our waters up north where most of us will fish, we have Eurasian milfoil, faucet snails, spiny water flees and zebra mussels. We know most of these came over in the ballasts of the big ships traveling the Great Lakes. The water was dumped in our waters and into our lakes. They then spread through the river system. People will use the lakes and rivers that are infested, leave water in their live wells or have weeds on their trailers, drop into another body of water, and bam that lake you just went into is infested. So now you have it in a nutshell: how these exotics all get transferred. We do not want these to spread.
As a guide here in the Northland this poses a real problem. Back in the day I could just keep our shiners or other minnows in my live well. I would then run an Aqua-life aerator hooked right up to my batteries in the boat, and I could keep those leftover minnows for the next day's use. Well, those days are gone. So how do you keep your minnows alive from day to day and not have to throw away minnows that cost you an arm and a leg every time you go out?
Frabill makes some good quality products to keep your bait alive. From insulated pails and coolers with aerators to just the aerators themselves. There are 2 things minnows need to live, cool water and oxygen. Here is what I have been doing.
After a day of fishing I transfer my minnows from my live well to an insulated 6 gallon Aqua-Life Bait Station. If the water is a bit warm I throw in some ice to cool it down. Some public landings have water from a well, which is the ideal scenario, but a lot of landings do not. So for those landings you have to dip lake water into your bucket, transfer your minnows, and when you get home have another cooler with a couple of aerators to transfer the minnows to. Then get rid of the infested water in the bait bucket. I fill up the bucket again with tap water when I am ready to go again in the morning. I know this all sounds like a pain in the butt, but with shiners at $15.00 a pint it does save some money.
I know us fisherman didn’t create this problem but now we have to deal with it and I hope this article helped you save a few bucks on your minnows.
Good luck fishing.
Walleye & Northern Pike - May 11, 2019
Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass - May 11, 2019
Muskie - June 1, 2019
2019 Fishing RegulationsMN DNR Fishing Regulation Handbook for 2019
Charlie Worrath talks early season walleye for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
Jason Boser appearing on an episode for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
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