Shiner Minnow Shortage; Too Much Ice

By KBJR News 1

May 10, 2013 Updated May 10, 2013 at 8:30 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - If you're an angler and you're out shopping for live bait this weekend, you may notice a shortage of a variety of creatures, primarily the walleye favorite...shiner minnows.

With ice covering on most lakes, minnows and leaches aren't accessible to the bait gatherers.

"Shiners," as the popular minnows are commonly called, usually live in larger lakes where several inches of ice still covers the surface...and many leech ponds are also still ice–covered.

Making up for that shortage bait shops are offering chub minnows, which they say they have in abundance.

One Duluth bait and tackle business owner says chubs live in smaller lakes where the ice is out and so trappers have had easy access.

"The better bait, usually when the water is this cold anyway are the chubs. It's a smaller bait than a shiner and when the water is this cold, the walleyes aren't going to be that hungry and the small bait is going to work just fine," John Chalstrom, the owner of Chalstrom's Bait and Tackle, said.

If you are able to scoop up some shiner minnows, John Chalstrom of Chalstrom's Bait says they will cost the same now as they will when they're in abundance later in the season.

Chalstrom also says if you've waited until the last minute to get your fishing license expect to have a wait.

Despite the cold weather he says a lot of people of still buying fishing licenses.

Justin Reis, NNC.