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Thread: Mud Minnows as bait

  1. #1
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    Mud Minnows as bait

    When it comes to baiting with minnows, what's the best way to run the hook? I've tried a few different ways and I never seem to get anything. The few bites I do get take the bait off my hook 100% of the time. Even when I get no bites, I bring up an empty hook. I'm lucky to get a total of 5 minutes in the water with the bait intact.

    I'm pretty new when it comes to baiting with anything other than bloodworms, so any help would be appreciated.

    -=The Prynce

  2. #2
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    from the bottom lip up through the top of the cranium in that bone between their eyes. Use a good sharp circle hook for more hook ups and a better mortality rate of the fish if you throw him back.

  3. #3
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    I go up through the lips/hard head bone, but not too far up the head or you'll kill it. Make sure to let him eat it first.

  4. #4
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    use kahle hooks or aberdeen(crappie hooks, not very strong though) or any light wire hooks and simply hook it through the lips. if you unhook them they still swim away

  5. #5
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    What Smooth and outfishin and blue said - through the lips - that's how I do it. I used to try to do it through the tail, but they would rip or else you'd reel it in and have half of it bitten off.

    I always use a kahle hook with mud minnows.

    I guess I'm one of the few ones on here who's never used circle hooks in my life. I am planning on picking some up, because I think they might be good for light-biting black drum (those were hard as you-know-what to set the hook on back in June down at MI) and I'm really glad folks in this forum have told me "not to set the hook." Hehehehe

    What I would like to know is if you all prefer the "big" or the "small" mud minnows. Some bait shops make a distinction in the price. Does it really make that much of a difference on what you catch? To my knowledge, I've never tried the "big" ones. I say that because the ones Perry's had back in June were really really big.
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  6. #6
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    i prefer 3 1/2 inch long size. are you using mud minnows in the surf? bluefish do have a tendency to bite the minnow off from the tail. as for flounder just let the rod and bait sit there for a minute after feeling some nibbles before striking.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefish1928 View Post
    i prefer 3 1/2 inch long size. are you using mud minnows in the surf? bluefish do have a tendency to bite the minnow off from the tail. as for flounder just let the rod and bait sit there for a minute after feeling some nibbles before striking.
    Over the years, I haven't used mud minnows in the surf that often. I do use them occasionally on the pier if I have some around the pylons. I use them in the inlets (CG and Murrells), though, when I'm down there. I also use them in the lakes at Pirateland for catfish and flounder.

    This summer, I was able to keep them alive by putting the inside part of the minnow bucket there in the lake at the trailer and tying it off to the porch (what I've always done). Last year, the water in those lakes there was so blinking hot that it literally boiled them. Usually, mud minnows are very hardy; I have kept them for 4-5 days at a time.

    Hehehe I hate it when those blues bite the minnow off from the tail. I had posted a thread over in the Open Forum a couple of weeks ago because I saw a guy down there when I was a kid who had a way to prevent that (without using one of those finger mullet rigs).
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  8. #8
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    Are you putting them into a freshwater lake? That'd kill 'em for sure...

    But I like the smaller sized baitfish, 3-4" for mud minnows as well as finger mullet. But when I'm netting my own mullet I'll take whatever I can get.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaHoTep View Post
    Hehehe I hate it when those blues bite the minnow off from the tail. I had posted a thread over in the Open Forum a couple of weeks ago because I saw a guy down there when I was a kid who had a way to prevent that (without using one of those finger mullet rigs).
    What was it? I'd imagine a #6 or so treble stinger would solve the problem, but then when a flounder bites it'd probably gut hook him and it'd be right hard to get a treble out without killing him.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmoothLures View Post
    Are you putting them into a freshwater lake? That'd kill 'em for sure...

    But I like the smaller sized baitfish, 3-4" for mud minnows as well as finger mullet. But when I'm netting my own mullet I'll take whatever I can get.
    Yikes, no, those lakes are "brackish." You can catch a spot or mullet or flounder in one cast and a bream or largemouth on the next one. The mud minnows will live in there a few days. This year, I used more minnows than last year - was buying 4 doz at a time, but I still kept them in there a couple of days without problems.

    Last year, the water there was just that hot. It felt like hot dishwater - no kidding. I put them in there and within hours they boiled. We've had a place there on that little lake since 1979, and that's the only time that has ever happened.

    Well, 3-4 inches is about what I use, too. I also like baitfish on the small side. In June, Perry's was selling them as "Large" and "Small." The ones Perry's was selling as "Large" were like really big - bigger than the ones I had been used to.

    I just wondered if using the bigger ones made a difference.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmoothLures View Post
    What was it? I'd imagine a #6 or so treble stinger would solve the problem, but then when a flounder bites it'd probably gut hook him and it'd be right hard to get a treble out without killing him.
    http://www.pierandsurf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54846

    Yeah, what you say will work as long as there are finger mullet around, but there are times of the year when we used to have to buy them frozen.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by outfishin28 View Post
    from the bottom lip up through the top of the cranium in that bone between their eyes. Use a good sharp circle hook for more hook ups and a better mortality rate of the fish if you throw him back.
    So is the bone right between the eyes, above, or below them? Normally that's how I hook them but I think I'm missing the bone which would explain a lot.

    I typically use khale hooks (#4) and most of the minnows I fish with are probably right around or just shy of 2 inches. Not very big. Normally I'm going for flounder (in reality, I'm going for anything but PREFERABLY flounder) on a fish finder in inlets when I'm fishing minnows.
    Is there a key size to use when in certain conditions or certain fish?

    Thanks for all the info, guys!

    -=The Prynce

  13. #13
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    Bump the prynce
    A #4 Kayle and a #6 treble stinger in the tail. Stinger will bust up that bite the tail off crap. You will get to see what it was. Usually blues. It works good though.

  14. #14
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    i got tired of watching the guy next to me catching trout and all i got was an empty hook. he told me that i needed to change my hook. im now using #4 or #6 treble hooks..i havent had any problems removing the hooks from the small ones. most of the time, if they are too small they cannot get the whole treble in their mouth. i do take care when removing all hooks from fish that im not keeping.
    what i think about using a single hook is that the trouts mouth is so soft that they pull their lips off to get away which may cause more trauma to the fish than if the hook was removed properly.
    when hooking the minnow, i push the hook through the bottom of the minnow right around the area where the gills come to their closest point and bring the hook out around the forward portion of the head in front of the eyes. just aft of the tissue of the lips, the first hard part of the skull. this seems to keep them from being thrown off.
    seems like the blues bite the mud minnows in half which is fine with me because i'd rather not deal with them.
    a lot of places that sell bait will give us a frozen block of salted ice to keep the water cooler than the 100deg. heat we've been having.
    last week i had a bucket of minnows in the bed of my truck for two days, in the heat. i thought they were dead till i went to dump them out. i guess changing the water every few days keeps them alive a lot longer. ive had them keep for a week in a bucket with just one change of water. i do use an aerator.
    i would have a great catch yesterday had we had a net.

  15. #15
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    When the lakes are that hot, one trick I learned fishing freshwater with crappie minnows is when you're not using them, tie a brick to a floating minnow bucket and sink them to the bottom. It's a lot cooler and you can just pull it back up when you're ready to go fishing. Works great.

  16. #16
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    getting off topic, but i have heard that mud minnows work very well in tidal rivers as crappie bait.

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