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Classic Fall Crankbait Patterns for Huge Fall Walleyes

Early Fall AND Big Walleyes

Twitch Baits Are a Viable Option

Candy Cranks - Getting Deep with Little Walleye Dandies

One-Two Punch: Wrangle ’Eyes with Shiners - Part 1

Wrangle ’Eyes with Shiners - Part 2

 

Classic Fall Crankbait Patterns for Huge Fall Walleyes

Jason

By Jason Mitchell
The fact that walleye fishing is good come fall is no secret. Realistically one of the best times of year for seeing solid patterns develops with great fishing. Big fish are often fairly easy to target with some consistency. Despite how good the fishing is late in the open water season, there are not that many people out fishing come fall on many major walleye fisheries. Just too many things to do outside like hunting and for many people, they have got their fishing fix for the season long before fall. The only people left on the water are the real diehards and their numbers are few.
Somewhere, there has to be a bite going on where the boat ramp is crowded and people are playing a game of bumper boats but compared to spring and summer, the fall is pretty relaxed and quiet on much of the water I fish. The lakes are so quiet that by and large some of the best bites happening are on well known community holes. Now obviously community spots are good spots otherwise the spot wouldn’t attract enough fish and boats to be considered a community spot but these locations can really shine during the fall.
Typically, a community spot is a well known spot that attracts attention. These spots are often big and prominent or are limited. Perhaps a big reef or bar that is a major staging area for fish or an incoming river or hole that can hold a good number of fish. Obvious structure typically attracts fish come fall. Bottle neck areas that funnel current along with any incoming current from rivers or creeks can also stack fish up. Most of these types of spots are no secret. Despite the fact that these locations are all known spots on most bodies of water, the pressure is light come fall and these spots just seem to get better. These types of locations are good when there are a lot of boats around but really heat up after everybody puts their boats in storage.
The biggest lesson I have learned over the years about fall fishing is to not out think myself. There is no worry about finding little wrinkles or patterns that are off the wall because you don’t typically have to factor angling pressure into the equation. Don’t worry about finding a secret spot where there are no boats, typically you can fish the most well known spots on a body of water and not have many boats around. What can hurt the ego during the fall is that many of these well known spots that everybody knows about often fish much better than the small off the wall spots that might be considered secret.
This is a big adjustment for some anglers to make. Many good anglers succeed through the season by staying one step ahead of the crowds and finding small spots that haven’t seen pressure. You really have to turn this switch off in the fall on many bodies of water. Fish the obvious and swallow your pride. The biggest fish each season come from many of these well known locations that are punched into just about everybody’s GPS and the time to fish them is right now when not many boats are left on the water.
There might be many reasons why community holes light up come fall besides the obvious lack of angling pressure. Fish often seem scattered early in the fall but as fall progresses to winter, fish seem to stack up in areas. Come mid to late fall, fish often seem to form large schools and at some point congregate into a pretty definite area. The spot has to typically be pretty big and obvious to hold a really large school of fish. Small spots are not capable of holding a gigantic school. The other thing that big spots do is stop or stall traveling fish. During the fall when the fish typically move a lot at some point, big spots intersect and stop more fish. Typically when fish put on a lot of miles traveling, they will get paler in color.
Incoming creeks, rivers and bottle neck areas that focuses current are also phenomenal places to target big fish during the fall. Typically as well, the fewer the locations like this on a body of water, the better the spot is and also the more well known the spot is.
On some fisheries, the game takes place after dark. Wading out on current seams and eddies next to incoming streams or causeways might be the hot pattern. Trolling stick baits along rip rap or across large reefs can also create top after dark patterns and usually these patterns fish best around a full moon. Day time patterns can run the gamut but typically range from big prominent points and reefs to current.
Across the board, I have caught most of my really big fish come fall by either trolling or casting some type of crankbait. Big fish eat crankbaits any time of the year but they seem to be even more productive during the fall. Crankbaits tend to trigger the bigger fish in a school and enable you to cover water to fish through a spot fast. There are many theories as to why, but bigger crankbaits and lures seem to become more productive during the fall. Larger lures like the number 6 size Salmo Hornet pull hard and displace more water than most crankbaits but they sure do become more effective late in the season. Short lining larger deep diving lures so they move more water is a top tactic for triggering fish in the fall. Other great fall lures include the Reef Runner Deep Rippers, Bomber Long A Deep Diver, Rapala Jointed Shad Rap and the Salmo Bullhead SDR. Suspending stick baits are also a deadly lure option when fishing after dark. Lures like the Rapala Husky Jerk or Salmo Suspending Sting catch several trophy walleyes each season.
Big baits on big fish, fishing classic community holes and spots is the theme come fall across many walleye fisheries. Not many secrets this time of the year, you just have to commit the time to be on the water. If you can bear the cold and face fishing community spots, you have a great chance of sticking some of the biggest walleyes each season.

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Early Fall AND Big Walleyes

Mike

By Mike Frisch
Lots of folks regard October and November as “trophy time” for big walleyes. It is true that big fish come aboard across Minnesota during this time, especially for anglers fishing deep water on some of our state’s large “classic” walleye lakes. Another lesser known, yet very effective pattern for big fish, also materializes in the fall. This one involves smaller, shallower lakes and often kicks in during early September and lasts into October.
This pattern involves fishing small, shallow lakes that some folks refer to as “prairie lakes.” Here in our part of western Minnesota, there are several lakes like this including Barrett, Pomme deTerre, Pelican, Red Rock and several others. These lakes have good populations of fish, including some real giants. Though catching a big one is never easy, an angler who puts his or her time in on these bodies of water will probably catch good numbers of fish, many eaters, but with some big fish probably mixed in as well.
Finding likely fish-holding areas is a key to any successful fishing pattern, and this one is no different. Though various areas will hold fish, I like to look for remaining green, living weeds in the fall. Living vegetation seems to congregate bait fish and bigger fish like walleyes, northern pike, and largemouth bass are usually not far away. In fact, a bonus to targeting weeds in the fall is that you never know what you will catch.
A good way to find weeds and fish is to cruise flats and their corresponding drop-offs “looking” with sonar for remaining weeds. A key spot is often one where still living weeds grow on a flat out to the flat’s edge before tumbling into deeper water. This spot will be even better if it involves an outside bend (a point) or an inside bend (a corner) as these irregularities are often hotspots.
Another way to find these spots and fish is to use a bottom bouncer and spinner combination baited with a lively night crawler and to work quickly along the edges of flats looking for good weeds and hopefully catching a fish or two that will indicate the presence of even more fish.
Once fish or areas with good weeds are found, it often pays to slow up and investigate further. For this style fishing, I prefer to work slowly with a slip-sinker live bait rig like a Roach Rig baited with a night crawler or minnow. Various minnows will work, but when targeting big fish, it is often worth the investment to spend a few extra bucks and purchase big (4- to 6-inch long) redtail chubs.
Walleyes, in particular big ones, often can’t resist a big redtail wiggling and squirming in their faces. Redtails are expensive and because I want them fresh and lively for a full day’s fishing, I store them in a Frabill Aqua-Life Bait Station which keeps them in top fish-catching condition.
Two other important considerations when targeting big fall walleyes involve fishing line and the reels used to fish that line on. If you have been fishing the same monofilament line on your reel all season, now is a good time to change it. Not only is fresh line more manageable, but you want to be sure you have fresh line should you tangle with the trophy of a lifetime. I use 7-lb Bionic Walleye Line in the camo color pattern for rig fishing in and along weedlines.
Another reminder is to check the drag setting on your spinning reel. More than one big walleye has been lost when it made a last minute dash away from the boat and an angler’s drag “locked” at the most inopportune time. Recently, I re-armed my spinning rods with Lew’s Speed Spin spinning reels. They have very smooth, adjustable drag systems and they’re very affordable as well.
If your goal is to test the strength of your fishing line and your reel’s drag on a big walleye this fall, consider heading to a small, shallow lake and employ some of the strategies just presented. You might just catch the walleye of a lifetime. Good luck on the water!
Mike Frisch is a western Minnesota fishing guide. Visit his website at www.fishinwithfrisch.com.

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Twitch Baits Are a Viable Option

Jerry

By Jerry Carlson

It had been a couple of tough days for our group on Rainy Lake. For some reason, we couldn’t seem to zero in on an early summer pattern that would provide consistent walleye action for our
anglers.

In an act of desperation, I suggested to a couple of people that we should try something different. I thought perhaps there might still be some northern hanging in the shallow bays and we could target these fish for a morning instead of stubborn walleye.
As we motored into a bay, I explained the concept we would be using to trigger our fish. We would be fishing suspending, shallow running jerk baits over the tops of the weeds. However, instead of a cast and retrieve approach, we would utilize a twitch and pause technique.
The success of our morning operation surprised even me. I had no idea the size and quantity of the fish we would find in just that one bay.
Since that Rainy Lake adventure from 15 years ago, I continue to be impressed with the fish catching ability of twitch baits. They aren’t a solution for every fishing outing, but they can be very productive in some situations.
The key to successfully catching fish with this type of approach is to understand the presentation. Predator fish love the chance to target an easy meal. That is what live bait fishing and bobber fishing is all about. Fish hit a struggling minnow because it is food that is too easy to pass up.
Twitch baits appeal to the instinct predator fish have of looking for an easy meal. With the twitch and stop retrieve, the lure is mimicking a struggling baitfish.
The twitch of the retrieve is created by a rod snap that will make the lure jump erratically. When done properly with a good bait, the lure will dart from side to side with each twitch.
As a general rule, I will make two to four twitches and then pause. The suspending lure will sit quietly in the water and not sink or rise to the surface. This is an important part of the appeal as many of the strikes come on the pause.
On a recent trip with a couple of angling friends, we targeted walleye using twitch baits. On a previous outing, these two companions had discovered walleye lounging in a weed bed in 6-10 feet of water. By working our lures over the weeds, we were able to bring the walleye up to engulf our baits.
I must admit, I am normally targeting bass and northern when working twitch baits. However, if walleye want to hit lures presented in this manner, I have no problem with that!
As a general rule, I do not use a steel leader with this presentation unless the northern are causing a serious bite off problem. I also believe mono works better than the super braids on many days.
As for the size and color, I like four to five inch suspending lures with dark tops and an orange stripe on their belly. Sometimes Clown is a good pattern. The Rapala Husky Jerk and the Salmo Sting are both good options.
The perfect lure for catching fish in all situations does not exist. For that reason, it makes sense to be familiar with a variety of presentations. Under the right conditions, twitch baits can lead to some pretty awesome action.
Visit Jerry's website at www.jerrycarlsonoutdoors.com

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Candy Cranks - Getting Deep with Little Walleye Dandies

Ted

By Ted Pilgrim with Tony Roach
Crappie candy. Bass bonbons. Smallmouth sweets. To ace fishing guide Tony Roach, they’re walleye wafers, and as far as he’s concerned, these snack-size crankbaits might as well be packaged inside shiny foil wrappers, sold in the candy aisle at the grocery store. For all the fish know, modern mini swimmers like the tasty Rapala Ultra Light Shad may in fact be covered in chocolate; run one of these little morsels past a piscatorial sniffer, and you’re putting the bait in grave danger of an imminent crunch.
Which is in large part why Roach and his clients typically sport such goofy grins during the hottest months of walleye season—this being a time when most anglers struggle mightily just to scratch a few fish. During weeklong stretches when others settle for scraps—a fish here and there—Roach is busy feeding his pet walleyes a steady diet of bite-size baits, routinely putting up 20 to 40 fish days. And although walleyes at this time feast heartily on a virtual freshwater smorgasbord, the reality is that as food becomes most abundant, predators often turn increasingly selective about the species and size of their prey.

Bite-Sized Baits
As Roach explains, by July and August, newly hatched yellow perch, ciscoes and even young of the year sunfish, crappies and bullheads still aren’t any bigger than your pinkie finger. Moreover, just because a given fishery generates massive schools of perch, sunfish, bullheads, shiners and other forage fish, it certainly doesn’t guarantee walleyes will key on them all. If a large school of baitfish doesn’t frequent the depths, water temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels preferred by walleyes, they likely won’t often be targeted as prey. On the other hand, if you can identify the forage that appears on your sonar screen in and among larger (walleye) arches, triggering strikes suddenly becomes greatly simplified.
Roach, who spends hundreds of hours on walleye (and forage) factories such as Mille Lacs, Minnesota, believes that the key to impressive summer catches goes beyond matching the hatch. Although this is a critical step, the other half of his success is all about depth control—placing the right baits within the precise levels at which walleyes hover. Put the two together, he says, and your livewell will operate at maximum occupancy all summer long.

“Tiny” Trolling
Once surface water temperatures reach 70-degrees, which can happen as early as June, Roach (and the walleyes) often evacuate structure in favor of deeper featureless flats or those flats associated with nearby hard-bottom edges. The time to troll has arrived, and although many anglers connect the tactic with boredom and complications, Roach knows better. “If I have to choose between 2 to 3 fish on structure and 20 to 30 trolling, it’s kind of no-brainer.”
Unfortunately, most trollers think they need to employ deep diving plugs or snap-on weight systems to achieve the proper depths of 10 to 35 feet. The problem here is that most deep diving plugs are the larger 4 to 6-inchers that don’t always match the sizes, shapes or species of forage preferred by walleyes. Most anglers assume that snack-size baits, such as the Rapala Ultra Light Shad or new #4 Shad Rap can’t reach those key depths; and even if they could, might not believe that walleyes and other fish actually prefer them to larger summer forage.
Using a simplified system of leadcore-line trolling, Roach can put any bait at any depth, and keep it in the face of walleyes for as long as he wants. What if you could run your favorite #7 Rapala Minnow (Rapala “Original” Minnow) at any depth—10 feet to 50? Impossible, you say? Nonsense. Nothing is so depth-precise as Roach’s simplified leadcore program. And few summertime tactics are as simple to execute, or as deadly.

Tackling Tiny
The deep diving program starts with a good trolling rod. St. Croix’s Eyecon series are elite yet affordable leadcore sticks built around a high-grade graphite-fiberglass blend. Eyecons employ special lightweight yet rock solid aluminum oxide guides with double-coated chrome frames, which guard against leadcore line wear. Their select graphite-glass blanks yield exceptional bite and “lure reading” attributes, key for detecting a fouled lure as well as signaling subtle bites. Another prime leadcore rod is Roach’s new signature series by Wright & McGill.
Arm each rod with a solid line-counter reel, such as a Shimano Tekota 500LC or Daiwa Sealine. In all cases, Roach loads combos first with mono backing, then fills the spool with up to 10 colors of 18-pound test Sufix 832 Lead Core, a smooth, fast-sinking line he calls “the most manageable leadcore you’ll ever use.” To the end of his leadcore, he adds a 6 to 10-foot leader of 10-pound-test Sufix Elite, a lure snap, and finally, one of his sacred mini baits. Lures such as a #4 Shad Rap or Ultra Light Shad, Roach says, contribute mere inches of running depth to his leadcore—a minor factor, but an occasionally critical one.
Roach continues his down-to-earth trolling dissertation: “Speed plus color equals depth,” he explains. “It’s that simple. Trolling at 2-mph gives you 7-feet of depth per color. So if I’m marking lots of arches at 21 feet, I might simply feed out 3 colors of leadcore. If I decide to speed up to 3-mph, the equation gets cut in half—or 3-feet of depth per color.”
On a typical day, with three other anglers in the boat, Roach begins by staggering four rods at four different depths, each placed in a rod holder. Outside rods run shallower than inside lines, and all of them attach to Church Tackle Walleye Boards for maximum horizontal spread. As sonar and bites begin revealing depths of active walleyes, Roach tweaks depths by adjusting leadcore lengths (colors) for each rod. Some days, the majority of strikes occur at 21 feet down over 35, while others, such as sunny calm conditions put walleyes within a foot of bottom, requiring extra colors for a precise, near-bottom presentation. With a simple calculation, anyone can put any lure at any depth at any time.
“See?” Roach quips. “Easy. And I can now run my favorite hatch-matching baits exactly where the walleyes want them. And that includes a classic lure like an original Rapala Minnow, or two of my hottest new favorites—the Ultra Light Shad and #4 Shad Rap. These bite-size baits swim with that masterpiece Rapala wiggle, and trigger bites from the most selective summer walleyes on the planet.”

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One-Two Punch: Wrangle ’Eyes with Shiners

Scott

By Scott Glorvigen
Part One - When & Where

In this two-part article I will discuss how one of the best early-season walleye bites coincides with the shiner spawn each year. Part one will concentrate on the all-important when and where; part two will explain the how, giving you the exact presentations to take full advantage of this phenomenal bite.
It’s sad but true: One of the greatest fallacies in walleye fishing—anglers’ reluctance to fish skinny water—prevents most guys from experiencing the walleye feeding frenzy that occurs in waist-deep waters each year.
But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Timing is key. Fish operate on a calendar, Mother Nature operates on a calendar—but when it to comes to spawning—fish relate to temperature more than any other factor.
I’ve learned to closely monitor water temperature from years of steelhead fishing. Walleye fishing is no different. Key temperatures signal movements that can mean extraordinary fishing. Start paying attention and the game becomes simple connect-the-dots.
Whether it’s a hand thermometer like I carry on steelhead rivers or the display on a Lowrance, keep a close eye. Over time you’ll notice that water temp is often as important—if not more so—than depth, which we’ve come to rely on so heavily as walleye anglers.
For example, I know that when the water reaches 53- to 55-degrees, a biological alarm clock sounds and spottail shiners migrate en masse to spawn in areas of downed bulrush stands and spotty grass on sand flats—and with them, pods of ravenous walleyes looking for an easy meal.
Although it can vary a bit with water clarity, I’ve found this typically occurs in the 3- to 5-foot range, areas outside the comfort zone of most walleye sticks. And in stained water waters you can find this bite even shallower.
Here’s the rationale. Bulrush stands—bent over by sheets of ice and wind—provide cover, retain heat and provide the ideal conditions for bug hatches that draw in forage fish. And it doesn’t take walleyes long to figure out the location of this early-season all-you-can-eat buffet.
But not all bulrush stands are buffet lines.
I look for smaller islands of bulrushes rather than the large expanses you’d ply for spring crappies or bass. Find a big flat that extends off the shoreline surrounded by deeper water and you’re in the zone. Choppy days are extra credit—the movement of warm water off the shore into these smaller bulrush stands can mean game on.

Stop, Look and Glisten
Next to not fishing shallow enough, one of the biggest fallacies in walleye fishing is the notion that you have to drift or troll to catch fish. Not true in shallow water. Make too much noise, get too close, and you’ll blow out the fish. And on these flats walleyes disperse quickly. The key is stealth; think spot and stalk hunting.
Don’t neglect a good pair or polarized glasses so you can locate dark spots of bulrushes and sand grass. I’m a big proponent of electronics, but the good Lord gave you a pair of legs and eyes, so stand up and scan where those fish might be. On calmer days with a little bit of sun you can see the shiners from a long way away, the sun glistening off their pearlescent scales.
Make sure to shut off your outboard and quietly engage your electric long before you reach any of these potential fish-holding spots. How close? You want to make the longest casts you can, typically 90-110 feet.
Wherever possible, position the wind at your back for Hail Mary casts. Since you’re looking for a windblown shore rather than an offshore wind, this isn’t difficult. The problem is making sure your boat doesn’t shift downwind, leaving you casting over the back of the boat.
A lot of guys will use the Spot Lock on their Minn Kota bow-mount trolling motor—and you can deploy your bow and stern anchors—but that takes up a lot of time as you move spot to spot.
That’s where the 8-foot Minn Kota Talon really shines. I can move in with the electric, punch the button on the Talon and then fan cast from the front of the boat until I need to move to another spot. This enables me to keep the boat nose down and make a lot longer casts with light jigs and light line. Moving takes seconds. Simply punch the button again to lift the Talon, engage the Terrova, slowly cruise to the next spot and deploy the Talon again. Hover, hold, cast and repeat.
Hey, if it takes stealing boat control tactics from the bass and inshore guys to catch more walleyes, count me in!
Now that we’ve covered the when and where, check out the how in part two of “One-Two Punch: Wrangle ‘Eyes with Shiners.”

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Wrangle ’Eyes with Shiners
(Part Two—The How)
By Scott Glorvigen

In part one of my article “One-Two Punch: Wrangle ‘Eyes with Shiners,” I talked about the when and where of catching walleyes in shallow waters during the shiner spawn. Now let’s get down to the how.

Wrangling
Marty and I call this shallow-water walleye technique “wrangling.” It’s simple finesse fishing: light line and jig heads tipped with shiners thrown a country mile.
A larger-spool spinning reel like the Daiwa Tierra 1500 and St. Croix rods, especially the 7-foot EYECON Finesse rod or the Avid 6’6” MLF, are primo wrangling gear. You gain distance with a large arbor reel that holds more line, and longer, faster action spinning rods do the same, plus increase sensitivity.
Now, if you’re one of those “I always use 6- or 8-pound test” guys, you’ll have to get outside your comfort zone. I can almost guarantee that you won’t be able to get the casting distance (or correct rate of fall) necessary to wrangle these spring pigs.
Years of trial and error have made it painfully clear that 4-pound test mono like Northland BIONIC Walleye Line or the new Northland Walleye BIONIC Braid in 8-pound (2-pound diameter) are absolutely essential to pitching these practically weightless baits the distance needed to catch spooky shallow-water walleyes.
Line color is also critical. Camo works well in places where there’s weed growth coming up; Steel Gray is almost invisible in clear water. For guys who do a lot of line watching, Line Indicator Camo is also the better choice.
Obviously, braid not only increases casting distance – you can also feel the slightest taps, whether it’s a taste-testing ‘eye or bumps on the bottom. I make sure to have rods rigged up with both.
Since braid doesn’t have any memory (and almost no stretch), I’ll use an 18- to 20-inch 4-pound diameter leader of fluoro or mono to prevent the jig from rolling back onto the line. I incorporate a small Aquateko InvisiSwivel to attach the leader to the braid, rather than a line-to-leader knot like the Double Uni, which makes switching out leader material a lot quicker. In natural lakes with healthy northern pike populations, it just makes sense.

Rate of Fall
When it comes to jig heads, there’s definitely a tool for every job. I fish a short-shank jig head like Northland’s stand-up Fireball jig, which orients the bait at a 45-degree angle higher off the bottom, making it easier for walleyes to see. On flats with sand grass growth, this can be key.
You also want the lightest jigs you can throw to reduce the rate of fall in the water. This gives walleyes a greater opportunity to feel, hear, locate and strike the bait. It’s especially critical in weed beds. Increase the drop time and walleyes have more time to move over, investigate, and hopefully, eat it. A heavier jig reduces this window of opportunity.
1/16-ounce jig heads are a good place to start.

The Color of Money
When it comes to jig head color, white, phosphorescent glow and anything pearlescent—especially in clear waters—are must-haves for wrangling.
In slightly stained waters I’ll fish chartreuse, lime green or two-tone colors like Northland’s Glow Watermelon, a combination of three colors: phosphorescent glow, chartreuse and orange – It’s my number one go-to color in any body of water. You can cover a lot of forage possibilities with that pattern. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of jig heads.

No Substitute For Meat
Because you’re competing with thousands of shiners during this bite, here’s a situation where matching the hatch is a must. While soft plastics have earned their stripes in walleye fishing, there’s simply no substitute for active and lively spottail shiners in this application.
And don’t worry about burning through bait. It’ll pay off in spades. As soon as the shiner starts losing its scales and that pearlescent flash, put on a new minnow. That flash is what triggers the bite. Without it, your bait becomes a wallflower at the dinner party.
And, since it’s a party, you’ve got to make your offering look as sexy as possible. And this is where most fishermen fail, even if they’ve done everything right up to this point. With short-shank jigs you run the hook through the mouth and out through the back of the skull. It keeps the bait on the jig a lot longer and increases the odds of catching more fish.
If I’m getting short strikes I’ll move to an Aberdeen-style jig head. In this case, hook the shiner by running the hook into the mouth, out through the bottom of the gills, rotate the shank and come out through the side under the dorsal fin. Hooked correctly, the minnow will swim on its side (mimicking a spawning shiner) when you work it back to the boat.
At the last resort I’ll go to a stinger hook and make sure the two barbs are up versus down.

Alive and Kicking
Given the reality of invasive species and state laws to prevent their spread, I carry well water with me in a couple two-gallon jugs in a cooler with ice blocks. Unless they’re on the end of my hook, my minnows never touch the lake (or river).
For years I’ve been buying two bags of minnows at a time. I keep one unopened in the bag with oxygenated water and ice it in the cooler. I open the second bag of shiners and empty it into the aerated and insulated 6-gallon Frabill Aqua-Life Bait Station, which keeps them cool. As needed, I use this bait throughout the day. Plus, I have the jugs of well water in the cooler to refresh the minnows without the fear of contamination. Then, depending on the bite, at the end of the day I might still have that unopened bag of minnows for the following day!
Keep in mind that the shiner spawn isn’t a singular event. It can happen over days, even weeks, and at several times throughout the day. Don’t disparage if you don’t dial in the bite right away. Spend the time and investigate clumps of downed bulrushes in shallow water—patience definitely pays off.

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