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Tips to keep minnows alive

July 14th 2014 00:16
When it comes to minnows, keeping them alive, even 24 hours, is, too often, a losing proposition.

On the other hand, there's no denying they're pretty expensive so, it's nothing to be ashamed of no matter how it turns out.

The biggest problem most anglers have is trying to keep too many minnows in too little water. The typical minnow bucket is good for maybe two or three dozen minnows and that's going from the bait shop to your favorite fishing hole. Chances are, no matter how big that bucket is, you only have enough water for two or three minnows--maybe a few more if the fish are really small but, you get the drift. So, if you're going to try and keep them overnight, the first thing to do is take them from the bucket and keep them in a larger container.


Another big problem is trying to keep minnows in water that is too warm. Granted, when it's the middle of summer and eggs are frying up and down the sidewalk, water straight from the tap may seem pretty cool but, it's still way too warm for long term minnow storage. Strive to make the minnow water as cool as possible. 45F or 7C is a good target but, that's impossible for some. Still, the cold keeps the water oxygenated and keeps algae and other nasties at bay. At least, go for 65F/18C or lower and you'll be better off!

Municipal water supplies are usually deadly for fish! Water softeners may or may not remove impurities so, you'll be better off with some of the commercial products on the market aimed at aquarium buffs. If you go that route, read labels carefully. Some water only has chlorine added to it. If that's the case, many people just let the water set idle for a day or two until the chlorine evaporates.


Some municipalities use something called chloramine which is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. Unfortunately, chloramine does not evaporate like regular chlorine so, it's still going to be deadly to fish even if you let it set in an empty tank for a week or more. Short of talking to the head of the water board, there's not much the average person can do because if you call city hall and start asking questions, they're probably not going to know or even care. Worse yet, you may get someone on the phone who wants to sound like a genius and tells you anything you want to hear!

The topic of chloramine brings up another dangerous chemical facing minnows--ammonia. Granted, nobody in their right mind is going to pour ammonia into their minnows but, remember chloramine is made from ammonia. On top of that, remember, although they're in water, fish gotta pee and that's ammonia. So...

If you've done all this and gotten by with living minnows, you'll face another task. You'll have to keep the water clean. With a small tank, frequent water changes will work. For larger tanks, that may not be practical. This is where you may want to invest in a filter. Again, something aimed at the aquarium crowd will usually fill the bill. Remember this, fish are pretty dirty so you need all the filter you can afford. Generally speaking, figure the size tank you have, double that number, and you'll know how much filter to get. For instance, if you have a 10 gallon tank, you should get a filter to handle 20 gallons. However, don't think you can escape the drudgery of changing water just because you have a filter! Remember, fish thrive in clean water. A filter will buy you a couple extra days but, changing water every week is the norm!

If your minnows are still alive, it's time to think about feeding them. Three words--Purina Fish Chow. That was a joke--I don't know if Purina makes fish food or not. However, someone makes fish pellets and those things seem to work. Another avenue is to use the little fish flakes like you feed aquarium fish. A third solution is to take dry dog or cat food, grind it up in a food processor, and feed that to the fish. Again, like aquarium fish, just a pinch of food and it should all be consumed in around five minutes.

Lets see--a filter, chemicals, fish food...maybe it's just easier to shell out a few bucks at the tackle shop?




Remember to take the hooks outta yer pocket before ya sit down!




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How to detect a bite when fishing

May 18th 2014 15:07
One of the most basic aspects of fishing, and yet, one that is hardly ever mentioned is knowing when you have a fish on your hook--a bite.


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River fishing in winter

December 23rd 2013 01:22
Despite the fact that the calendar says it's now Winter, the weather around here has been weird lately--cold--warm--then kind of cool.

When it gets cold for a few days, there's almost always a fool or two who decide to head to the river for some ice fishing.

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How one pro uses his spinnerbaits

December 5th 2013 19:17
Here's an article I found outlining the use of spinnerbaits.
spinnerbait


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Time to fish with chubs

October 3rd 2013 01:58
creek chub

This time of year, fishing may not be as easy as it was back in the Spring--especially if you're after something like catfish or musky. If lures and other baits fail to produce strikes, a creek chub may be just the ticket to trigger bites from big brutes.

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Fishing with meal worms

September 30th 2013 00:41
mealworms
Meal worms are great fishing bait. Trout, various pan fish and even largemouth bass will go for a meal worm. The only drawback to meal worms is their size, you’d better use a small hook, probably size 10 or smaller or you’ll find yourself tearing up the worm. That being said, meal worms are an ideal fishing bait because they attract a wide variety of fish and they are cheap to buy. Meal worms come in handy because they give you a different look when fishing live bait and since they don’t cost much, you can always have a supply on hand.

Meal worms are actually the larvae of darkling beetles. When beetle eggs hatch, the beetle begins life as a meal worm, eating decaying leaves or growing plants. You can get regular meal worms that are plain beetle larvae, or you can buy "super" meal worms that that are quite a bit bigger and rival earthworms. Better still, they can be purchased either live or "cooked!" Cooked worms are steamed in the can to maintain their juiciness and last indefinitely.

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How to fish with crickets

September 15th 2013 00:47
When pan fish are targeted, it's hard to beat the common cricket. Most species have flattened bodies, are either black or brown and have long antennae. Since they jump great distance for their size, and have similar body structures, some crickets are confused with grasshoppers. For the most part, crickets are harmless to humans.


African field crickets
African field crickets.
Crickets live under rocks and logs in meadows, pastures and along roadsides, wherever you have grass or weeds. Field crickets, with which most people are familiar, live in leaf litter, under or near logs or around damp places in gardens.

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Using a shiner

August 4th 2013 01:06
Golden shiners, or simply "shiners" are another popular minnow bait. Although shiners can reach lengths of 12" or 25 cm., most of them you see are going to be in the 3-5 inch range (7.5-12.5 cm.)

Golden shiner
Photo from http://www.fcps.edu.
Shiners are pretty little fish. The back is dark green or olive, and the belly is a silvery white. The sides are silver in smaller individuals, but larger shiners are more golden. Sometimes you see a faint dusky stripe along the sides but, sometimes, this stripe is difficult to see and their side looks fairly plain except for scales.

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Another fathead!

July 30th 2013 15:57
If you want to insult someone, call them a fathead. However, when it comes to angling, a fathead isn't necessarily a bad thing. One of the most common bait fishes in the U.S. is the common fathead.

Falling into the broad heading of "minnows," fatheads are usually a dull dull olive-grey and a lighter belly. Conversely, fatheads have also gained popularity as an aquarium fish in the form of the rosy-red.

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The craze of nooding continues!

July 24th 2013 01:14
I've said it before and I'll say it again, noodling is not my cup of tea.

Call it "hand fishing" if you want to but, poking my fingers into an underwater crevice just strikes me as as invitation to disaster!

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Hot weather means night fishing

July 16th 2013 22:27
night fishing
Although I'm usually not one to make small talk about the weather, there's no denying things have been pretty hot and sticky here in the Eastern US. High temperatures coupled with killer humidity make it hard to do things you need to do such as mowing the lawn, let alone getting out on the water!

It may come as a surprise to some but, fish don't like this kind of weather either! A lot of them are heading for deeper water and those you do see may not bite even if you hold the bait right under their noses! You may need to switch things up and try a little night fishing.

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Easy-to-make lures

April 6th 2013 14:38
Fly anglers don't have to break the bank if they want to try lure fishing. All they really need is to get a few gizmos called JIG SPINNER FORMS and they are good to go.

jig spinner
Available in different sizes and usually either gold or silver, jig spinner forms are, basically and blank spinner with a safety pinlike device at the end to hook on your fly.

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Easy catfish rig

February 21st 2013 16:29
Here's an easy to make catfish rig.


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Warm doesn't always mean warm

February 4th 2013 05:43
winter

Maybe this hasn't been the worst winter on record, it still leaves a lot to be desired--especially if you consider the last few days around here.

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Some hand made bobbers

January 31st 2013 00:36
A long time ago this blog tried to dispense a little insight to the wonderful world of bobbers.

Making a floating bite indicator isn't that hard. All you really need is a light material such as cork, balsa wood, or even Styrofoam. Making your project look cool is another story.

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How to use a bobber stop

January 28th 2013 04:34
A lot of people have the attitude that only beginners use a bobber or float for their fishing. In actuality, nothing can be further from the truth. Bobbers can be just the thing on a hot, summer day when you want to toss your line out and then lie back and doze in the shade.

A depth of two or three feet may produce decent fish during the summer but, try it when the snow flies and you'll waste your time because fish are going to be hanging out deeper in an effort to stay warm.

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It's an age old argument. Do fish feel pain?

The results have often depended upon who was doing the reporting. Pro-angling camps always reported NO. ASPCA folks usually said the opposite. Personally, I always like one comment I received the first time I dove into this debate--"We're at the top of the food chain."

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Bassin' in the cold

January 20th 2013 18:01
fishing

My son emailed this to me and I thought it may be of interest to a few people.

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Using fishing pliers

January 13th 2013 23:53
Sometimes you just can't remove the hook from a fish's mouth and you need a little help. In times like these, a pair of needle nose pliers come in real handy to give you a little added leverage.

fishing pliers
Pliers like this may be just the thing you need to remove a stubborn hook!

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So long world!!!

December 21st 2012 00:44
sunset

Sooo, here it is December 21.

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