What Bait Do You Put in a Minnow Trap?

Most minnows are small in size, although some can grow much bigger. Being small, you only need to put a small amount of bait inside a minnow trap. The smell of the bait gets carried downstream, where hungry minnows will try to locate the source of food. Once inside, the fish can't find their way out.

For beginner trappers, the benefits of trapping may result in a hit-or-miss affair without enough knowledge. But understanding the type of bait to use to attract the minnows is a great start allowing you to catch the fish you need.

The best types of bait for your minnow trap

You won't need to look very far when it comes to minnow baits - you may already have these at home. These baits may include cat food, dog food, bacon, and hot dogs to name a few. As for positioning the bait, you can just let it drift within the trap.

Better still, you can suspend the bait right at the center of the trap. Place loose item baits like a cat or dog food inside a tiny mesh bag or a piece of old pantyhose. You can suspend bacon and similar bait at the center of the trap using pieces of string. But if your intent is to catch a bountiful lot, here are the best baits to use:


This is an ideal bait because it's readily available and very cheap. Although you can pour the crumbs easily into the trap's funnel, it's much better to open your trap and lay the crumbs at the bottom. This avoids the crumbs attaching to the funnel which allows the minnows to eat them and avoid getting trapped.


Making use of crushed salt-water mussels or clams as bait is great too. You won't have to put a lot. Just leave the trap for about fifteen minutes and you would already get a good catch.


Using freshly-caught minnows as bait to catch more minnows is very effective too. Just place some of the fish you've already caught inside the trap. This attracts other minnows if they see other fish already in the trap.

Placing the bait in your minnow trap

One reason why fishermen trap minnows is to use them as bait for bigger game fish. Fortunately, it isn't that hard to catch the fish with the right bait and positioning. You can find minnows along the shore around tree roots, rocks, and other hidden places. It's easy to draw them out with cheap bait.

Catching these cheap but beneficial fish requires baiting a fish trap placed in shallow waters along the shore. After this, it becomes a waiting game. Here are some steps for placing bait in your minnow trap:

>>> Best minnow traps

Close one of the ends of your trap

Most commercial traps available come in torpedo shapes that possess funnel openings on both ends. Try modifying the trap by closing one end using pliers and plastic ties or strings. That way, there will only be a single entrance and exit for the bait and the minnows.

Open your trap

Most commercial fish traps have sliding doors or latches that hook two sides of the trap together. Undo this latch to open the trap. This makes it easier to place the bait inside the trap.

Place the bait of your choice in the trap

Place a small amount of bait inside the trap. The odor of the bait will get carried downstream to attract hungry minnows searching for a meal. The trap's funnel serves as the entry point and once they enter, they can't find their way back out.

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