Fish will not eat dead ice fishing bait, so it vital to keep it alive. Minnow bait in ice fishing will go into shock and die once it hits the cold water. In order to keep them alive you will need some special equipment.
Gathering the Tools
It is vital to have a metal minnow bucket with a smaller container inside that can be lifted out. The bucket will keep the minnows insulated from the cold temperatures. A plastic kitty litter scoop with thin spaces will work as the minnow scoop, if necessary.
Packing for the Ice Fishing Trip
Pack the metal minnow bucket, the plastic minnow scoop, a water bottle and a watch for your ice fishing trip. Make sure the minnows you have are in a small amount of the water from the bait shop.
Preparing the Minnows
Once you have arrived at the fishing hole, place the bucket on the ice next to you. Fill the water bottle with water from the fishing hole. Put a large splash of the water into the minnow bucket to help the minnows get used to the water.
Keeping the Minnows Cold
At one hour intervals, remove a cup of minnow bucket water and replace it with the fishing hole water. If your watch has an alarm, use it to remind you.