How to Catch Minnows

How to Catch Minnows
With the price of bait these days, a fine minnow seine is worth the investment. The practice takes two people, but it is safer to fish a stream with two people anyway so help shouldn't be far off. Try this method and you will give up the other ways of waiting all day for traps to fill up.


Difficulty: Moderate

Setting up a Minnow Seine

Things You’ll Need:
  • 4 by 8 foot minnow net
  • One 2-inch by 2-inch by 8-foot board
  • Staples
  • Hammer
  • Hand saw
  • Minnow bucket
  • Two people with waders or wading shoes
Step 1
Purchase a minnow seine from a fishing tackle dealer. They can be obtained in various sizes but the smaller types work better for this technique. The net or seine will have lead weights on the bottom and most have a row of floats on top.
Step 2
Cut the 2 by 2 board in half with the hand saw, making two pieces four feet long. The bottom of each stick can be cut at a slight angle to help push it into the stream bed if desired.
Step 3
Tie the short sides of the net or seine to the sticks at the top and bottom with strings that are attached to the net. Let the pointed ends of the sticks hang over the bottom of the seine about eight inches. If you want to make it permanent and a lot more user friendly, staple the sides with small fence staples about 6 inches apart.

Using the Seine Properly

Step 1
Go to a moving body of water like a river, stream, creek or even a small run. This method will take two people with waders, or in hot water wading shoes, to use the seine properly.
Step 2
Find a chute or area of channeled water like where the water flows between two rocks or natural objects in the stream. Have the netting person stand with the net upstream of them in this chute. At this point the netter will jamb the pointed ends of the net sticks into the stream bottom and let the net kind of bow back toward them. They will angle the sticks back toward the netter.
Step 3
Moving upstream of the netter, the driver will end up about 20 feet or so away. At this point the driver will slowly start moving toward the netter kicking his or her feet around on the bottom. When the driver gets to the net he or she bends down and picks up the bottom of the two sticks and helps the netter lift the net out of the water.
Step 4
Lift the net slowly but deliberately out of the water and there should be all kinds of creatures flopping around on the bottom. Carry the net to shore and lay it down flat. Pick up the minnows and put them in the minnow bucket.

Tips & Warnings

Don't be afraid to try other creatures coming out of the net. Crayfish and hellgrammites, for example, can be excellent bait.
Be careful when lifting the net out of the water. The author has found several snakes in the net but most of the time they are harmless water snakes.

Article Written By Dennis Seabright

Denny Seabright has been writing for since Nov. of 2008 with most articles being in the "How to" category. Graduating from James Wood High school in 1976 and going straight into the work force left little room for formal education but writing has always been dear to his heart.

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