How To Catch Mud Minnows In A Minnow Trap (Best Baits & Spots)


Using a minnow trap is one of the easiest ways to catch mud minnows.

You can catch a lot in a short time, you don’t have to worry about throwing a cast net, and the trap itself is cheap and readily available in most stores.

In this video, you’ll learn exactly how to catch tons of mud minnows in a minnow trap, including:

  • What materials you’ll need
  • What bait to put in it if you want to catch dozens of mud minnows
  • And where to put your trap to catch them quickly

Check it out below!

How To Catch Mud Minnows [VIDEO]

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Here’s what you’ll need to catch mud minnows in a minnow trap:

  • Minnow trap (I used a Frabill trap)
  • Rope
  • Bait

Best Bait For Mud Minnows

As far as bait goes, mud minnows aren’t picky!

They don’t migrate, so they have no choice but to eat whatever is in their area.

I used blue crab in this video, but here are a few other options:

  • Shrimp
  • Fish carcasses
  • Dog or cat food
  • Vienna sausage
  • Bacon
  • Really, anything smelly!

Where To Put Your Minnow Trap

Mud minnows are called that name for a reason… they like mud!

You can find them on mud flats or in muddy creeks, as well as grass flats.

They’re really hardy and can be found from sandy coastal areas to brackish backwater areas.

In this video, I found a bridge over a muddy creek that I could see minnows in and dropped it down in there.

I waited for 20 minutes and had enough minnows for a full day of fishing!


redfish on mud minnows

Redfish, black drum, trout, and flounder all love eating mud minnows.

And to catch a full day’s worth of mud minnows, all you need to do is put a minnow trap baited with something smelly in a tidal creek, mud flat, or grass flat.

Have any questions about catching mud minnows?

Or have any other ways of catching them?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to catch more mud minnows, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Mario Relvini
10 days ago

That’s cool Austin. Half the fun for me is catching bait! Good bait usually equals good fishing!

Austin Moon
10 days ago
Reply to  Mario Relvini

Thank you, Mario!! It is fun doing this!! If you leave the trap for some time there is no telling what you may catch, ive came back to traps full of shrimp and other small baitfish!! I couldn’t agree more, some good fresh local bait is always a good way to find some good quality fish!!

Michael Mets
10 days ago

I put my trap in the grass w/ mud bottom off the dock in SC. In this location there are no creeks or channels and the structure is grass, dock pilings and other debris.

All I catch are tiny mud minnows that are too small to hook. Occasionally there’s a bigger one in there.

Any suggestions on where to find larger mud minnows?

Thanks for the help.

Austin Moon
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Mets

Thanks for the comment, Michael!! I have actually had the same issue. I have a few locations where I have caught them in the past really close to my home but tend to catch smaller ones with occasional good size Mud Minnows! I had to drive a good ways to find this location where I caught them in this video. From what I have noticed, the spots where I catch my bigger Minnows and find a larger population of them is in small holes that are just slightly deeper than the surrounding areas and are close to current but not in it, these can even be areas that will hold water on a low tide while the surrounding water is dried up! Often times I find these areas fairly easy access right off the side of the road. All of my most productive areas for big Mud Minnows are small overpasses with culverts that connect the water underneath, oftentimes there will be holes on both sides of these overpasses right where the water comes in and out of the culverts! The area that I got my mud minnows in this video was just that, a small overpass with a slightly deeper hole (2-4 feet) on both sides with current flow, but very little!! I noticed that all the smaller Minnows stayed in the really shallow water that was just a few inches deep but the bigger ones stayed down deep in the hole, it seemed as if the minnows ran in schools by size group!

Michael Mets
9 days ago
Reply to  Austin Moon

Excellent explanation! Thank you for the help Austin.

10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Mets

This year has been exceptionally difficult to find mud minnows in SC. I used to drop in a tidal creek in Mount Pleasant and have a full trap in 5 minutes. Now I barely catch any. Hopefully when the temperature increases I’ll have better results.

Jerry Craft
10 days ago

Great video, I’ve had less luck with dog and cat food. But have had good success with shrimp. I consider it a good trade 1-2 shrimp for a dozen to 18 mud minnows!

Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  Jerry Craft

Thank you, Jerry I appreciate that!! Yea I haven’t used dig food or cat food much myself, I think I just have more confidence in actual saltwater baits. I would have to agree, that is a very fair trade off!! haha

Billy Bice
10 days ago

I always put my traps in an area that is a pool at low tide. The minnows are trapped in the pool and come to the bait because there is no way for them to leave. Put the trap out before low tide but be sure the pool has enough water to keep the trap submerged throughout the low tide.

Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  Billy Bice

Thanks for the comment Billy!! I couldn’t agree more spots like that seem to be the most productive because all the minnows are in a small area!!!!

J Long
10 days ago

I have the exact same trap. That Blue crab appeared dead. Are you able to catch blue crab in your area now? Or… did you get the bait somewhere else (bait shop)? What is your 2nd, 3rd etc., go to bait for the mud minnows? Next question: Given the conditions, how are mud minnows best caught and then fished? A couple of SC fellas have already posted their challenges. Is it just the nasty environmental conditions we’ve had? From my reading on the insider club, I’d type, “yes.” What do you or any of the other coaches think?

Last edited 10 days ago by J Long
Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  J Long

Thanks for the comment J Long!! Yea that Blue Crab was dead, I bought it while I was at the bait shop while I was already there. But we can catch Blue Crab here, I may do a video in the future on how to set a Blue Crab trap! Id say my second bait would probably be fish carcass, only because it makes the most sense to use the carcass rather than just scrapping it, and my third would probably be Shrimp. They seem to work really well. Other than that, it would be tough to put them in any order because I just haven’t used the other baits enough. To fish the mud minnows, id follow the two video linked below.
Im not to sure what may be going on with the Mud Minnows in SC to be completely honest. Sounds like there could be something going on, but I haven’t talked about Mud Minnows much with anyone from SC.

6 days ago
Reply to  Austin Moon

When I lived In New Jersey we caught them all day long everywhere. They will stay lively all day just layed on a cloth over ice. Haven’t seen Any since I moved to Punta Gorda.

Art Heiter
9 days ago

Excellent presentation Austin… Nice work!

Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  Art Heiter

Thanks so much Art!! I really appreciate that!!

Dave Frymier
9 days ago

I often catch small crabs (about the size of the opening) as well as the killifish. These crabs are great for everything from reds to sheepshead.

Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  Dave Frymier

Thanks for the comment Dave!! That would be excellent bait!! I love it when I catch more than just minnows to give me some options!!

C. Lance Weaver
9 days ago

Well Done Austin!

Austin Moon
9 days ago

Thank you Lance!! I really appreciate the kind comment!!

9 days ago

Nice video

Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  Pablo

Thank you Pablo, I really appreciate you taking the time to make this nice comment!

Kevin Turner
9 days ago

What do you do with them after you catch them? I’ve never fished with live bait, and don’t have a live well. Will they survive for a while in a bucket with water?

Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Turner

Thanks for the comment, Kevin!! Mud Minnows can be an awesome bait, Ill post some links below on how to use Mud Minnows as bait. Mud Minnows are really tough and will outlive most live baits. They will probably stay alive for a good while in a bucket, but I would recommend to get a small bubbler for the bucket just to be safe and make sure they live as long as possible!

9 days ago

I have used minnow traps many times and, from experience, if u take the claws of the crab, u will catch a lot more minnows.

Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  Kenny

Thanks for the tip Kenny ill have to do that from now on!! I never thought about that but it makes a lot of sense!!

9 days ago

Are mud minnows in flats (gulf harbors,fl) I have pinfish traps that work great..?? Tks

Austin Moon
9 days ago
Reply to  GARY YODER

Thanks for the comment Gary!! Absolutely Mud Minnows should be in your area!! I took a look at google earth and found an area that may hold them and could be worth checking out!! Right off the side of green key rd there is a small overpass (doesnt look like an overpass) with a culvert running underneath the road. On the north side of the overpass where the culvert drains there is a deeper hole, and it looks to be a perfect place to look for Mud Minnows!! Ive never used a pinfish trap for them but it could work, you just want to make sure that the entry hole isn’t too big because you will lose a lot of minnows if they can swim out easily!

9 days ago
Reply to  Austin Moon

I’m at 6215 bayside dr new port Richey..I’ll get trap like u used..but was saying i love pinfish trap as always have them in live well! Thank you excited to learn new stuff!! Salt strong the best

Bill Russell
7 days ago

Hello really enjoyed the video on mud minnows. As an inside member i would like to ask if you could give me any locations to catch the minnows in the Sebastian, Florida area. Thank you bill

Austin Moon
7 days ago
Reply to  Bill Russell

Thank you Bill, I really appreciate that!! id be glad to help! The first location I noticed is at Dale Wimbrow Park Boat Ramp. On the opposite side of the peninsula from the boat ramp looks like an ideal area to look for them!! Another location is Sebastian inlet state park, if you can access any of those lakes on the east side of coconut point there is a good chance there will be some in there, especially if you can access any of the culverts or areas where the water runs underneath the dirt road, like the one you will see if your entering the dirt road from A1A heading towards coconut point! There is another location just like this off the side of Birds Impoundment trail right by Melba island. I hope this helps Bill!!

Jeffrey Wilson
4 days ago

Great job Austin! I love the on location video and the camera inside the trap was awesome. After my 2021 artificials only challenge I’m going to try this

Austin Moon
4 days ago
Reply to  Jeffrey Wilson

Thank you, Jeff!! I really appreciate that man!! I love that your doing artificial only its going to make you much much better with artificial!!

Stephen Rothman
4 days ago

Could you catch mud minnows in a mud bottom residential canal about 1 mile from a creek? The water is brackish and tidal. How does using these as bait compare to other baits like shrimp or white bait? Can you keep them alive in the trap overnight? Shrimp don’t survive overnight in my canal so you can’t go out before the bait shops open in the morning if you want to use live shrimp. Are there likely to be other fish mixed in that are juveniles of species that you are not supposed to keep? What’s the easiest identifier of the mud minnows?


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