Gone Outdoors

How to Use Minnow Traps for Fall Chub Suckers

by Thomas Ganio

When you want to go fishing, you need to have bait. The right bait can make all the difference when trying to catch fish such as bass, walleye, catfish and other large game fish. If you are a fishing enthusiast, you understand the part live bait, specifically minnows, play when going after big fish. Trapping fall chub suckers for bait is something you can accomplish using a plastic funnel, torpedo shaped or two two-liter bottles for traps.

Plastic Funnel Minnow Trap

Add white bread, cheese, a half dozen night crawlers or other baits that provide smells or movement to attract minnows to your trap. When you are not planning to retrieve the trap for several days, poke several holes in a tuna can and place the can inside the trap. This is a great way to keep bait in the trap and not let it be eaten or dissolved by the current.

Place the minnow trap into a deep hole; stick the trap as far as possible under a bank, tree root or rock. Position a funnel end straight back, where one open end is pointing toward a structure and the other is pointing outward. When minnows move from under the structure and smell the bait, the minnows will enter the trap.

Add a glow stick along with the bait of your choice inside your trap. Snap the glow stick, shake it and tie it together with your bait. Utilize a small string or plastic zip lock ties. Use string to suspend the glow stick and bait in the middle of the minnow trap.

Torpedo Shape Minnow Trap

Assemble a torpedo minnow trap by placing two cylinder pieces together to make one whole piece. Add heavy rocks inside the trap to weigh the trap down. Attach a four-foot string to the middle of the trap.

Place your trap in a shallow area in a creek, where a small current runs through debris such as wood, foliage and rocks. Try positioning the trap to where the smell of the bait washes downstream through the trap. This method will entice suckers to swim upstream and through the funnel opening.

Modify the trap slightly by closing one funnel's entry point. Accomplish this by using needle-nose pliers and apply a small amount of pressure to the ends. This will close the openings, making only one entrance and exit point to the trap.

Homemade Bottle Trap

Build a trap out of two plastic two-liter bottles, using a knife, nail, candle or blowtorch and four-foot string. Cut both bottles into halves. Place the neck end or top end inside the second bottle. Use the candle or blow torch to melt and bend the plastic bottles together. Heat a six-inch nail and jam six holes through the bottom.

Move around a stream or river looking for dark shaded areas that are close to shore. A good area is near a boat ramp, because it's where fishermen generally dump their bait after fishing. Fill the bottle with water and allow it to sink to the bottom. Tie the string to a rock or wood stake.

Attach a four-foot string, add bait and place it in the water. Fill the bottle with water and allow it to sink to the bottom. Tie the string to a rock or wood stake.

Leave the trap overnight. In the morning, pull the trap out of the water; you should have several minnows that were unable to escape.

Items you will need
  • White bread
  • Cheese
  • Half-dozen night crawlers
  • Can of tuna
  • 4-foot string
  • Two 2-liter bottles
  • Knife
  • A 6-inch nail
  • Blowtorch
  • Glow stick

About the Author

Thomas Ganio began writing in 2006 for the "Northern Virginia Daily," a community newspaper in Richmond, Va. As a freelance writer, he has also contributed to "The Maryland Springs Gazette" and the Parks and Recreation Department of Richmond County, Md. Ganio holds a Bachelor of Arts in social science and English from James Madison University.