Author Topic: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?  (Read 1534 times)

Offline Iceassin

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Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« on: Sep 25, 2018, 05:56 PM »
Ok, so I've culled immensely the amount of equipment I will be taking on the ice. Just tired of bringing the stuff that I know I won't and don't use. I only fish for pannies with an occasional  tip up or 2, which brings me to this: When I do run tip ups ( for northerns ) I have a fairly good set up...but I want to bring less...including the number of minnows I bring. My plan is to bring 1 minnow for each tip up. So, here are  the questions:

1) Suckers or shiners...or combo? Suckers usually attract the bigger ones, while shiners entice the most bites...but not always.

2) Should they die, what is the best way to use them?

This all may sound a little "silly" but you don't know if you don't ask. Thanks for the input.

"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice."
 

Offline HWeber

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #1 on: Sep 25, 2018, 06:04 PM »
If legal in your state,  dead smelt makes for no minnow bucket and they work great. If my choices are suckers or shiners big suckers seem to work well dead or alive

Offline Seamonkey84

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #2 on: Sep 25, 2018, 06:05 PM »
( I usually end up putting the ones I didn't use in the lake when I leave.)

Just about every state has regulations against release bait, as that’s a way invasive species are introduced.
As for your question, for ease of transport, go with dead suckers if your setting for pike. A few frozen or preserved suckers or shiners in a baggy are a lot lighter and less messy than a bucket with some water in it.

Offline RyanW

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #3 on: Sep 25, 2018, 06:07 PM »
Seems like a lot to go through for only bringing one minnow per trap. Why not lessen the load even farther and just catch the bait for the tip-ups? I wouldn’t run tipups if I only brought a single minnow for each trap.

As for them dying, just rig them up as you normally would. I use shiners for my tipups and if you get healthy minnows, they shouldn’t die on you. The biggest thing that kills them is lack of oxygen. Scoop some snow/ice into your minnow bucket and it will help them last longer by introducing fresh oxygen into the water.
“When the fish are biting, it really doesn’t matter what you’re using. When the fish aren’t biting, it really doesn’t matter what you’re using” - Uncle Dave

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #4 on: Sep 26, 2018, 08:02 AM »
Excellent point on releasing bait into the lake/river. Here in WI is it illegal. Some folks dump 'em on the ice for the gulls or eagles but that's always seemed messy and disrespectful of the resource. Additionally, on the wrong day you could catch a ticket for littering and have to pick up the garbage.

All my live bait goes home with me to fight another day. Anything that dies goes promptly into a zippy of Kosher or canning salt. Could even be rock salt, just not iodized. Now I've got nice salty (nothin' wrong with that) toughened up minnow heads for tipping or whole dead bait for pike.

I'd carry more than 1 live per tippy. What if you catch fish. Who only wants to catch just one? If you're totin' three how many more could you fit easily in that container? 6? 8? If you get on fish it would be fun to have (more) fun.

Suckers vs. shiners? Pike = suckers if I can get 'em, walleyes = north WI suckers, south WI shiners, bass = shiners. Really want some quality bait? Find someone that stocks chubs or as noted above, catch your own.
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Offline Seamonkey84

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #5 on: Sep 26, 2018, 08:40 AM »
Seems like a lot to go through for only bringing one minnow per trap. Why not lessen the load even farther and just catch the bait for the tip-ups? I wouldn’t run tipups if I only brought a single minnow for each trap.


Yea, I’d bring a few dead bait, then catch some when your out. Depending on what’s legal bait in your state/waters. Whenever I switch down to small jigs (and sometimes on spoons) in the shallows, I almost always end up catching some chubs or big Goldens




Offline 52isntbigenough

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 24, 2018, 08:17 AM »
I like my bait live. Only place I've run dead smelt was up in LOTWs for pike, it works extremely well, but live bait got me a personal best up there. Here in NE WI, I run nothing but live suckers for Walleyes in winter.

Offline Iceassin

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 24, 2018, 12:47 PM »
Seems like a lot to go through for only bringing one minnow per trap. Why not lessen the load even farther and just catch the bait for the tip-ups? I wouldn’t run tipups if I only brought a single minnow for each trap.

As for them dying, just rig them up as you normally would. I use shiners for my tipups and if you get healthy minnows, they shouldn’t die on you. The biggest thing that kills them is lack of oxygen. Scoop some snow/ice into your minnow bucket and it will help them last longer by introducing fresh oxygen into the water.

As I said in my original post...pannies and pike are the only fish I really target, with 90% of my efforts  on the gills, etc. But I have put a tip-up or two out "just because". This season, it's going to be one or the other when I go out. Just a whole lot less to haul; more focus on the ones I target. So, if I'm running tip-ups on a particular outing, I don't really want to bring any more minnows than I think I will need. Seeings I can run 3 lines here in Michigan, my thought is to bring 4. I'll have the one extra if there is the need. If a pike happens to "hit" one, I'll have the one live one left and could then use the dead one as a back up. Ideally, I won't have to bring any back home...limited space to keep them and unsure of when I will run flags again. Just trying to conserve and be practical. (never been accused of being "a man of few words")  ;D
"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice."
 

Offline Ramp 23

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #8 on: Nov 29, 2018, 07:17 PM »
Just another thought to add. Dead bait works great on windlass tip ups

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #9 on: Nov 30, 2018, 05:15 AM »
Just another thought to add. Dead bait works great on windlass tip ups

Absolutely!
To fish or not to fish? That's a stupid question!




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Offline Icer for life

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 30, 2018, 05:49 AM »
I travel light and like yourself - gill fisherman w/ a tip up out on the side.  I catch a gill, the gill goes on my tip up.  End of the day, if there are not any pike hits, the gill goes home and is filleted for dinner. 

No extra baggage and no waste.

FYI - I may not get tons of action, but when a Northern hits, it is almost always a big one.


Offline Iceassin

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 30, 2018, 07:00 AM »
I travel light and like yourself - gill fisherman w/ a tip up out on the side.  I catch a gill, the gill goes on my tip up.  End of the day, if there are not any pike hits, the gill goes home and is filleted for dinner. 

No extra baggage and no waste.

FYI - I may not get tons of action, but when a Northern hits, it is almost always a big one.

 :thumbsup:
"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice."
 

Offline a_virden

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #12 on: Dec 26, 2018, 08:33 PM »
If I wasn't focused on pike I would just bring a dozen or so dead suckers.  They take little room and are light weight.  Good Luck!

Offline Kevin23

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #13 on: Dec 26, 2018, 09:11 PM »
I buy shiners when I'm on the pike and taking someone with that wants to catch them, they definitely get a lot of flags. Otherwise, I just use bluegills and crappies that I catch.. cheaper and the pike dont care, thats what they are eating anyways. If you do have to use dead bait, just slice the belly open and poke the air bladder. You can leave the guts hanging, just more scent/movement in the water... and be sure to hook them so they hang nose down or level.

Offline 9huskies

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 13, 2019, 09:00 AM »
Live baitfish are illegal in the pond that I fish most. That pond has brook trout and yellow perch with healthy populations of smelt and shiners for forage. I catch plenty of perch and trout with dead bait on tipups. It doesn't seem to matter if I use smelts or shiners. When I fish other places that allow live bait I sometimes use dead bait. It depends what I have on hand. I find myself catching as any fish as the people who use live bait. One thing I do different than most ice fishermen with dead bait is I sew on a treble hook like I do for trolling in open water. 

Offline Coachkwj

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Re: Suckers or shiners...dead or alive?
« Reply #15 on: Jan 19, 2019, 04:45 PM »
Excellent point on releasing bait into the lake/river. Here in WI is it illegal. Some folks dump 'em on the ice for the gulls or eagles but that's always seemed messy and disrespectful of the resource. Additionally, on the wrong day you could catch a ticket for littering and have to pick up the garbage.

All my live bait goes home with me to fight another day. Anything that dies goes promptly into a zippy of Kosher or canning salt. Could even be rock salt, just not iodized. Now I've got nice salty (nothin' wrong with that) toughened up minnow heads for tipping or whole dead bait for pike.

I'd carry more than 1 live per tippy. What if you catch fish. Who only wants to catch just one? If you're totin' three how many more could you fit easily in that container? 6? 8? If you get on fish it would be fun to have (more) fun.

Suckers vs. shiners? Pike = suckers if I can get 'em, walleyes = north WI suckers, south WI shiners, bass = shiners. Really want some quality bait? Find someone that stocks chubs or as noted above, catch your own.
Do you think sea salt would work for storing the dead bait? Why not iodized?
P.S. Always done better on large roaches than suckers for Pike. Illinois Pike probably pay too much in taxes and don't care.
Don't fall in. Unless it's a big one.

 



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