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Minnow trap bait for large darters?

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#1 Robert Lamb

Robert Lamb
  • NANFA Member

Posted 19 December 2019 - 03:18 PM

This weekend I will be making a trip to the Tellico River and as it's a bit too cold for splashing around in the water I'm hoping to catch some new aquarium additions via trap. I am aware of the multiple endangered species present in the river and will only be keeping species that I know to be of LC (tangerines and redlines are my main target). As darters usually eat only live food I'm not sure if there is anything I could put in as bait that would work but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. My current idea is to wrap some earthworms in cheese cloth or something like it then mashing them so their "smell" would permeate into the water. I don't have a single clue whether or not this will work and any advice ya'll can give would be super appreciated

#2 minorhero

  • NANFA Guest
  • Maryland

Posted 19 December 2019 - 09:43 PM

I haven't had any luck catching darters in a trap. Seine has been what has worked for me. I do use a minnow trap though and what has worked best for me is a hot dog broken into chuncks. Hot dog sinks which is good because it makes it harder for fish to eat it from outside the trap.

#3 Doug_Dame

  • NANFA Member

Posted 20 December 2019 - 08:49 AM

Unless there's been a recent change in the TN fishing regulations, the law in TN is that the only fish you can take away from their home water alive are game fish.


You can seek and catch (non-endangered) darters, look at them, photograph them, feel them, etc. But if you want to take them home, they must be dead first. 


So regretfully the only advice I can give you is "Move to another state."


Or "become a(n underwater) fish photographer." 

Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida

#4 Robert Lamb

Robert Lamb
  • NANFA Member

Posted 20 December 2019 - 01:54 PM

Damn, I didn't realize the fish regs were so strict. I guess my best bet would be to buy some darters from a legit dealer then 😓

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