Southern states like Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina have an abundance of lakes with a wide variety of fish species. As a result, they are popular destinations for anglers across the United States. Anglers can catch freshwater fish with both artificial and natural baits. One of the most popular and widely used live baits is shiners. What are shiners fish?

Where Do Shiners Live

Fish shiners tend to gather in large groups. The fish live in lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds. Shiners do not prefer fast-moving water; therefore, they congregate in pools to avoid swift currents.

To locate schools in ponds, search in grassy areas. The baitfish seek refuge along weedy shorelines.

What Are Shiners Good Bait For

When selecting a live bait to catch a wide range of fish, shiners are the best option. When it comes to what fish eat shiners, they include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, walleye, perch, striped bass, and trout. Depending on the size of the fish you are targeting, the bait should range between three and six inches.

When presenting the bait, it is best to be kept alive. The combination of the motion of the baitfish and the scent will lead to more strikes from freshwater gamefish. These baits can be fished under a float or with a weight on the bottom of the lake.

Are Shiners Edible

Yes, a shiner is edible. The Golden Shiner grows up to twelve inches in length and can be filleted and deep-fried. The flesh is white and flakey. Keep in mind that you will need a significant number of fish to cook a meal because of the small yield.

Are Shiners And Minnows The Same

Shiners are considered a minnow. There are many different types of small fish that fall under the term minnow. Despite some shiners growing to twelve inches, they are still classified in the minnow family.

Minnows make for excellent bait no matter the variety it is. For smaller fish such as perch, use small minnows, while largemouth bass can engulf this type of bait that exceed eight inches.

Can You Fish With Dead Shiners

Yes, you can fish with dead shiners fish. A dead shiner will not be as effective as a live shiner, but it will still draw bites. The fish should be rigged to look as life-like as possible. Keep the dead bait moving to replicate its motion as if it was alive.

How Do You Attract Shiner Fish

To attract shiner fish, follow this method to attract large quantities of bait.


Because shiner fish tend to be in schools, they can be lured to the surface by chumming the waters. Throw bread or dog food in shallow areas up to six feet deep. The shiners will bunch up into a feeding frenzy alongside the boat or shoreline.

How Do You Catch Shiners For Live Bait

Once the fish are chummed up, two options are available to catch shiners. The first is by rod and reel. Tie a hair hook on the end of an ultralight setup. Tip the hook with bread and repeat the process after each fish is hooked and placed in the boat.

A second option when it comes to how to catch shiners is to throw a cast net. With the fish in a tight ball resulting from chumming, throw the cast net over the school. Avoid missing because it will scatter the group. One throw may be enough for one day worth of fishing.

How Do You Keep The Live Bait From Dying

Whether you are fishing with shiners from a boat or land a live bait bucket or well is a necessity. On a boat, turn on the aerator and place the fish in the boat well as soon as they are caught. When fishing from land, bring a bucket and bubble pump. Remember to keep it out of the sun, so the water does not heat up. Don’t worry to much about what do shiners eat because you won’t need to feed them during the time span they are held in a bait bucket. However, the bait fish primarily consumes the smallest of crustaceans and plankton.

Time To Get In On The Action Of Fishing With Live Shiners

Be prepared for aggressive strikes from some of the most highly sought-after sportfish. Now you know what is shiner bait and that a live one is hard to pass up by hungry fish. If time does not allow, most live bait stores will sell live shiners to avoid the headache of finding and catching the bait. The key is to keep them alive for your best chance of catching trophy-sized bass, walleye, and catfish.