Shiners are one of the most common and popular baits to use to attract a lot of large fish. To attract such gamefish though, you will need to keep the shiners alive until your fishing trip! But they can’t live overnight if you don’t give them an adequate environment.
So how will you keep them alive and lively before you head on to the waters? Don’t worry, it won’t take too much time and requires things you may already have at home! Read on as I show you how to keep shiners alive overnight for your fishing trip.
How to Keep Shiners Alive Overnight
Shiners are a type of minnow, which can be a bit difficult to keep alive for the long-term. But it’s possible to do so if you need them alive for just a night.
If you caught or bought shiners to use for a fishing trip the next day, keeping them alive is crucial. This will attract more fish, who would rather consume something fresh over rotten or dead bait.
To keep them alive for at least one night, follow these helpful steps and tips:
1. Preparing the Shiners’ Container
Take note that shiners don’t live that long, especially when kept in poor conditions. Be sure that when you purchase or catch them, it should be close to the times you go fishing, which is the day before! Baitfish, when kept in poorer conditions, can stay alive for less than 24 hours.
Before you purchase or catch shiners, prepare the containers to place them in. Most anglers would keep shiners in foam camping coolers or any other disposable and insulated container.
There are also containers you can invest in specifically made for minnows, which are meant to keep them alive for longer with aerator attachments and floating properties. Whatever container you choose, it should be able to maintain a constant temperature to keep your shiners alive longer.
You can find any of these containers in grocery stores or specialty fishing stores.
Fill the chosen container with water from creeks or lakes, or distilled water. The water should be cold and fresh to keep them alive and comfortable. Do NOT use tap water, which can kill the shiners.
2. Acclimate Shiners
Now, it’s time to transfer the shiners to the container. Usually, they come in a closed plastic bag when bought, or if you caught them, they are placed in a small container. If so, do place them in a plastic bag with the same water to follow these steps.
Add some of the water in the container to the water your shiners are in. This will help them gradually adjust to water type and temperature.
Afterward, place the closed plastic bag with the shiners into the container. Do NOT dump them to the container right away, you need to give the shiners time to adjust to the containers’ water temperature. Leave them there for around 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, you can now add the shiners to the container, letting them swim freely. This will have them adapt to new surroundings better.
3. Keep the Shiners Lively
The shiners are now in their new (and temporary) shelter, so how can you keep them alive for the next few hours leading up to your fishing trip? Here are some tips to follow:
- Do NOT overcrowd your minnow tank and add too many of them in one time! When crowding the shiners, it causes them to die quicker as too many fish can deplete oxygen quickly while creating too much heat. A good rule of thumb is to place six dozen small minnows in an eight-quart container.
- Store the container in a cool and dark spot for shiners to thrive. This also prevents overheating, which causes shiners to die.
- If you can, place an aerator in the container to add oxygen inside so no shiners suffocate. This is important when keeping shiners alive for at least a day and can’t switch out their water often.
- For those who don’t have aerators, you can add one ounce of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in every three gallons of water in the container. This can help in forming oxygen and replace used-up oxygen. However, this may kill fish easily and if you want to be more careful, it’s better to simply add or replace the water with distilled water regularly.
- Keep your shiners’ waters cool by placing ice cubes in a small jug or container, then add it to the container with the shiners. Maintain a water temperature below 60 degrees F and do NOT add the ice directly to the water, which may have chemicals that kill fish.
4. Keep Shiners Alive When Fishing
Once you’re fishing, you still need to keep your shiners alive as you use them! Follow these tips when you’re ready to start fishing already:
- Immerse your cooler or bucket to the waters you fish in, which oxygenates the water and keeps shiners alive
- Attach the shiners to the hook properly to keep them alive while underwater to attack fish well. You can do so through their mouth or back so they move better underwater
- You may need to replace shiners when it stops moving in the water, as they die quickly after being hooked. Replace them right after they die for better chances of getting fish from lively bait
Do you want to learn more about how to keep shiners alive overnight? Check out this interesting video for more information:
Wrapping It Up
Fish are drawn to live bait and its movement, which is why keeping your shiners alive is a good fishing tactic. It will take a bit of work to keep them alive, but it’s worth the better chances of getting a bite! Fortunately, you won’t have to spend too much time and money on your bait.
I hope that this article on how to keep shiners alive helped you out! So don’t wait any longer and start following my helpful advice to keep your bait alive properly.