There are times when catching fish becomes very important. Even more so than just the thrill of getting a trout to rise up to a well-placed Wooly Bugger Fly or the sudden explosion in the water as a bass attacks an artificial frog that you are dragging though a patch of lily pads.

These are the times when you would like some fresh fish for dinner or when you want to save your pride from getting skunked that day.

Another important time to be sure that you catch fish is when you take a child fishing. To keep a youngster’s attention and to develop a love for the sport of angling, they need to be successful at fishing and have fun while they are doing it.

Catching a fish and having a photo of their accomplishment to keep forever will satisfy these requirements.

For the past several months I have visited some very interesting and unique bait shops and writing about the different types of baits, products, and the service that these dedicated owners provide for their clients.

The one product that each bait shop had in common was the fact that each and every one of them had aerated tanks full of minnows.

When catching fish becomes difficult because of factors such as water temperature, weather, water levels or clarity of the water, then the choice of live bait may be the only answer for a successful and fun day of fishing.

Fishing with lively minnows can make a world of difference in getting a bite. It is believed that fishing with live bait still produces over 50 percent of freshwater game fish caught in lieu of all the artificial lures, soft plastic, and flies sold on the market today.

Most live baits are purchased at local bait shops and one of the most popular live baits is the minnow. These bait shop owners have the local knowledge on what fish are biting and what they are biting on. Let them help you in making the right selection for a successful day of fishing.

The action of a struggling minnow on a hook with a natural scent will draw attention of nearby fish, even enticing neutral or negative mood fish to a reactionary strike.

To most anglers the word minnow means a small fish used for bait. There are over 250 species of minnows in North America. The most commonly used and commercially sold minnows are fatheads, chubs, and shiners.



Fatheads are the most popular and the hardiest of the baitfish and are commonly used as forage for game fish.


Fathead minnows are fairly easy to keep alive in a minnow bucket. They can last for a couple of days by leaving them outside in cooler weather.

Their maximum length seldom exceeds three inches in size thus making them one of the best bait fish available for a variety of game and pan fish. Their smaller size makes them an attractive bait for crappie, sunfish, perch and rock bass.

Larger fathead minnows in the 2.5- to 3-inch size will get the attention of smallmouth and largemouth bass and even a passing walleye.

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