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Traps: Minnow traps make it easy for a lone angler to gather up bait. The traps, made of light wire or hardware cloth, guide the fish inside through entrance cones at either end of a cylinder. Once inside, the fish are unable to escape. Bait the trap with some bread, salted crackers or dry dog food, and then secure it to a dock or tree limb in shallow water overnight.
Seines: When you can’t wait overnight for your bait, a seine is the way to go. Minnow seines, however, are somewhat awkward for one person to manage; a partner makes the process much easier.
A seine is nothing more than a long, rectangular net with a pole on each end. One partner holds his end of the seine on shore while the other partner wades through the shallows holding the other, sweeping the seine in a wide arc to herd minnows toward the bank. Keep the lower edge of the seine against the bottom and the top out of the water to prevent minnows from escaping. Seining provides a quick and effective way to catch large numbers of small cyprinids along beaches and sandbars from late spring to early summer.