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Big Minnows

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#1 Guest_Burbot_*

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:45 PM

I recently read in The Freshwater Fishes of Manitoba, that there are common shiners, creek chubs, and another chub I can't remember, in my area. Apparently these minnows get really big (6 inches for the shiner, 10 inches to a foot for the chubs). I have never encountered these fish before and I have been in lakes and rivers and ponds with my net and pail since I could walk. Well, actually, two years ago when my friend and I were collecting some YOY pike and he netted up a 5 inch creek chub. Scared the heck out of us. We thought we had some nuclear waste mutant minnow. It ate all my other minnows, which freaked us out even more. I have recently learned that it must have been a creek chub.

Anyways i want to try and catch a few of these, and I would like to catch them on hook and line for fun. I have a few questions

Are either of the species schooling fish?
How would I go about catching one by rod?
What is their preferred habitat?

Dipnetting has never yielded a "big minnow" for me (besides the above story)so I might try a seine.

Thanks for any input. i love it when I learn of something new that lives down the stream from me. that's why i switched to natives. My fish experience was so limited to pike, perch, and walleye, that I never knew anything else could be fished for for most of my childhood.

#2 Guest_jblaylock_*

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:59 PM

Creek Chubs do get fairly big...for as far as minnows go. You'd be surprised where you can find big ones. I once dipnetted a 8+ inch creek chub out of a TINY creek and it seemed like there was barely enough water to cover it's back. As you found out, once they get larger, they get aggressive and eat other fish. So, they may not be the best tank mate for smaller shiners/minnows, but a big one may work with a sunfish stock.

If you are going to fish for them, I would use an ultralite and maybe small live bait (crickets, meal/wax worms, etc...) or if you want to use artificial, I would use small flies and such.

Creek chubs do school together and you'll likely find them in a deeper pool of slow moving water. Try to find a smaller creek, because they are know to be the one of the only fish present in a small, 1st order creek. If you can find a small creek and then find a deeper pool of water within that creek, I'd say your chances are fairly good to catch one.

#3 Guest_Newt_*

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:06 PM

A seine is your best bet. Usually those species will be present in numbers, but the big individuals will be a small part of the total population, so it's a good idea to learn the characteristics that separate them from the smaller minnow species present. Creek chubs can be found in most any part of any size stream. I usually see striped shiners, which are close cousins of common shiners, in runs of mid-sized streams. Your other big chub might be the hornyhead chub, I think they're found up there. I'm not familiar with its habits.

I have not angled for big minnows, but some folks in East Tennessee do. They call them "hornyheads" there and consider them a high quality food fish. I've heard of people catching them on worms or with a fly.

#4 Guest_panfisherteen_*

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:38 PM

ive caught them as big as 1' in length and many near 8-9", using a 1" piece of a plastic trout worm on a jighead really works for them, just fish small streams and you will get some, ive caught them in deep pools and in shallower water near the base of some riffles.

#5 Guest_FirstChAoS_*

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 05:57 PM

I caught some big creek chubs seining with mike and justin, but my record big minnow was a 16 inch fallfish i got while ice fishing.

#6 Guest_PhilipKukulski_*

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:09 PM

I agree with jblaylock and panfisherteen.

I have a fishing hole nearby - small stream, deep pool after a riffle. Bobber, size 8 hook, and a garden worm. I was surprised how easy they are to catch on hook and line. Much easier to get large Common Shiners or Creek Chubs this way than with a seine.

#7 Guest_schambers_*

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:39 PM

I caught a 7" creek chub over the weekend with my 4 foot seine.

#8 Guest_Burbot_*

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:24 PM

thanks for the replies, I am going to have to give this a try this week or something. would I suspend the baited hook off the bottom, or more in the upper half of the stream?

#9 Guest_andyavram_*

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 03:48 PM

You can also try chumming the water before you throw in your line. A crumpled up granola bar works well to whip them into a frenzy. The bigs one will bust out of the depths and nail the choice pieces.

I wonder if your other big minnow is a Fallfish.

#10 Guest_Newt_*

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 04:29 PM

Too far west for fallfish, I think.

#11 Guest_Burbot_*

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 04:49 PM

Too far west for fallfish, I think.

as far as I know...

Thanks for AA, and everyone else. I'm looking forward to catching some master angler minnows:)

#12 Guest_Clayton_*

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:46 AM

I've caught quite a few chubs on crank baits while bass fishing near deep pools and at the end of riffles. They are actually a fun fish to catch and put up an impressive fight for their size. Small hooks are probably a good bet though, since the ones I've caught have a tendency to bleed very heavily from even minor hook wounds.

#13 Guest_iturnrocks_*

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:29 AM

Ive kept creek chubs before, they do get quite large and are more of a threat to minnows than even my longear sunfish. That bass I told you about did clear out my creek chubs though.

Posted Image

The largest creek chubs I caught were in Iowa at 13 inches long. Usually in Kansas I only catch them about 10-11 inches long. The first time I ever caught one was in Missouri and I didnt even think minnow when I caught it, I assumed it must be a trout. They make good catfish bait too.

I have caught creek chubs on all kinds of artificials. The easiest for me is a piece of white rubber worm (grub) on a tiny hook with a small split shot about 18 inches above it. Usually best to cast upstream so your bait seems to be going along with the current. I really prefer using tiny crankbaits.

#14 Guest_jblaylock_*

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 01:04 PM

yummy :tongue:

#15 Guest_FirstChAoS_*

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 09:45 AM

I sort of wonder why the only creekchubs i ever got were seining in new york, technicaly they are found in local waters but the only chubs i catch fishing are fallfish. Do they seek different habitats in places where fallfish dominate?

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