May 24, 2017

How To Catch Shiners – 101 Simple Tips

How To Catch Shiners

Have you ever tried fishing using live baits? Live-bait fishing is one of the easiest forms of fishing. The baits include shiners or pint-sized worms, etc. It is very efficient and has proven to be able to addict a person to the practice.

It is one of the oldest ways used to fool fish. You can choose to use a simple or one of the more complicated methods of using live baits for fishing, that have been adopted over the years. In this tutorial, I am going to focus on how to catch shiners.

What are shiners? It is a term used to refer to several species of small and silvery fish. You can either rear the fish in a tank or learn to catch them from the shallow end of banks. If you use the shiners from the bank to lure bass, they are more likely to behave and move in a way that the bass from the same waters is used to, unlike those from tanks.


Here is how you can catch the shiners from your local waters:

I. Find Them Using Traps

Find Them Using Traps

This method is both stress-free and efficient to you and your bait. The best place to set your trap is at the shallow end of the water. They are likely to be around trees, vegetation or the shaded areas of the docks.

Try to locate those shiners that are actively moving around and strategically place your trap. Keep away from thick vegetation as you won’t be able to spot them zipping around. However, you can draw them from the thick covers by dropping several large chunks of bread into the water.

Wait for the shiners to collect in your trap, you can use pieces of bread to lure them into it. Ensure that as you open the trap, it remains partially submerged in the water and then transfer them to storage as quickly as possible. It will guarantee their health and keep them stress-free.

II. Use A Cast Net

Use A Cast Net

Using a cast net to catch shiners is a job that you can do all by yourself. It can be done in deep or shallow waters. However, it requires a lot of finesse and practice for you to be able to operate it perfectly.

Look for actively moving shiners when fishing shallow waters or watch for bubbles or signs of the presence of shiners when in deep waters. Stay away from any object that may snag at your net and thus interfere with your fishing.

You could throw pieces of bread into the water to lure the fish out. Then, cast out your net in a way that it spreads out before landing on the water. Let the weights sink in the water before closing the net. Don’t let the net reach the water bed before closing it. It may tangle with objects at the bottom.

Hoist your net and transfer your catch in storage. You want to have them as healthy as possible when you are using them as bait.

III. Using Rod And Line

This method proves tiresome to both the fish and you. You will have to catch one shiner at a time whereas you could catch several in minutes using the other methods. If you love casting your fishing line and hook, then have a go at it.

Find the perfect shiner fishing spot and base yourself there, be it along the banks or in deep waters. You don’t want to wait for long or even spend the whole day catching misses. Put a small chunk of bread on your hook. Since shiners are pretty small, preferably use a small treble hook.

Wait until you feel a bite before reeling in your line. Once you get a bite, let the shiner hook itself by waiting for a few minutes. Reel in your fishing line gently until it becomes tight. Let your movement be gentle and smooth.

If you jerk your fishing rod roughly, you may end up losing the shiners before it is properly hooked. Grip firmly but gently at the shiners so that you don’t squeeze it.

IV. Using A Seine Net

If you want to have an involving experience with a friend or partner, then you can opt to catch the shiners with a seine net. You will all need to get into the water for it to be effective. Bring along more friends for efficiency.

Find a spot on the riverbed that is even and shallow, so that the water is always below your waist level. Keep away from areas with heavy current. A heavy flow could knock you down or even cause the fish to scatter.

Let each person hold either of the ends of the seine net and let it spread out between you. Keep the floats on the surface of the water and let the weights run along the bottom. Let one person stand close to the shore, a few feet from the banks.

He or she will act as a pivot as the other partner does a sweep of 1800 around the rotation person. Let the bottom of the seine net drag the riverbed. It prevents any fish from escape from underneath the net.

As the second person moves toward land, you will be trapping the shiners between the net and the banks of the water. If you have a third person with you, have them collect the caught shiners using a teardrop net.

If you are only two, come close to each other so that one person will be able to hold both ends of the net as the other collects the trapped fish.

Once you have caught shiners, you need to store them properly to keep them healthy until when you use them as bait. How then do you properly store shiners?

  • Place them in a flow-through bait bucket or an aerated cooler. You need to keep them comfortable so that they can recuperate and act like their usual self when you use them as bait. Ensure that the bucket is well-oxygenated, this helps to release their stress.
  • If you are planning to store them for an extended period, place them in an insulated tank that is also refrigerated. Ensure that the water temperature is always below 60o F. On a hot day, you can add ice to the cooler, that is, for the same day storage.


Knowing how to catch shiners will help you get them shiners for yourself other than buying them from the bait shop. It is a fun and exciting venture as you can find them and go fishing for bass on the same day or at a later date.

All you need is to store them properly once you have caught them. The shiners need to be oxygenated. The water should always remain at the optimal storage temperature of 60o F. Their storage container should be a flow-through bucket or a cooler that is aerated.

Once you remove the shiners from the water, immediately place them in storage so that they remain in a healthy condition. This way, they will react naturally once used as bait for bass.


I'm Brenda. I have a great love with fishing and the wonderful fish species. I created the website - Fall For Fishing - as an outlet for my love of Fishing and I hope that you may find some enjoyment learning from my Fishing articles.

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