How to Preserve Minnows for Bait

Updated February 21, 2017

Anglers sometimes decide to preserve minnows they have caught or purchased for bait. Using dead minnows saves fishermen money. There also are species of fishlike channel catfish and lake trout--that feed on minnows, dead or alive. There also are waters that bar live, but not dead bait. In Utah, for example, it is illegal to fish with live bait. Anglers generally hook dead minnows through the eyes. This gives them a more realistic look when they are retrieved. When preserving minnows for later use, the goal is to keep them as close as possible to the state they were in when they were alive.

Use a glass or plastic container that can be sealed for storing and preserving your minnows.

Place the minnows in the container and add the scent or flavour of your choice. Many anglers use anise oil or garlic salt.

Add enough preservative to the container so the minnows are completely submerged.

Seal the container tight for at least two weeks. This will help to prevent the survival of any virus that is present in the bait. Store the bait out of direct sunlight or heat for best results, but you do not need to refrigerate it.

Things You'll Need

  • Mineral oil, isopropyl alcohol (at least 70 per cent solution) or ethyl alcohol (at least 70 per cent solution or 140 proof)
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About the Author

Anthony Smith began writing for Demand Studios in May of 2009 and has since written over 1400 articles for them. He also writes for "The College Baseball Newsletter." He attended the University of New Mexico, and has more than 25 years of experience in the business world.