It’s no secret that we dwell in a world of click on now and have it in your doorstep tomorrow. Whereas that may be tremendous handy, it additionally doesn’t work for every thing relating to the outside. In the identical method {that a} small old-school sort out, fly, or bait store simply at all times appears to have what you’ll be able to’t discover wherever else, typically anglers must take issues into their very own arms. One such merchandise is a minnow cart.

I assume the primary query is, what the heck is a minnow cart, and why do I would like one? Whereas I do not know why they’re referred to as minnow carts since they aren’t a cart and are sort of arduous to maneuver. I do know they’ve been round longer than me and are very profitable at holding giant quantities of minnows and holding them a lot more healthy than that small bait container or bucket we’ve all used sooner or later.

I made my first minnow cart a few years in the past to carry minnows all winter lengthy when fishing off of an island on the Nice Lakes the place you couldn’t catch or purchase minnows. When you need to hold one batch of minnows all winter lengthy so as to have bait, you higher have one thing higher than a bucket with an aerator. My islander buddy is known for saying, the one factor locked on the island within the winter is the minnow carts.

Whereas there are a lot of methods to make a minnow cart, listed below are the steps I took to make a minnow cart to maintain my minnows wholesome all winter lengthy.

Usually, you may get a used plastic 50-gallon drum for little to nothing. Simply ensure that the earlier proprietor didn’t have one thing like oil in it, or it’s not definitely worth the effort to wash up. Massive automotive washes could be a good place to search for a free one, because the cleaning soap they use is delivered in them.

Drill as many holes as you’ll be able to at a dimension no bigger than the minnows you’re hoping to comprise. The old-school carts used sections of wire or mesh display to permit for water and “minnow poop” to circulate via the cart. Whereas drilling the holes takes for much longer upfront than sections of screens, it’s rather more sturdy and can present extra circulate and finally hold minnows higher long run. Earlier than you get to drill glad, ensure that to go away two sections 1½-inch extensive with out holes, as seen within the image.

Use a jigsaw or one thing just like lower the highest off fully. This will even assist you to sand the within of the barrel the place the vent holes could have induced tough spots that might harm the minnows from rubbing on it.

the stand

Subsequent you need to make a stand for the underside out of handled lumber. This may assist you to each retailer it within the low season and hold it off of the lake backside so that you get higher circulate and the “nasties” can sink out simpler. Both screw or bolt the bottom to the underside of the drum.

Make a body out of handled 2x4s that can match the highest of the drum as intently as doable, with arms protruding off each side as pictured. It’s necessary to make this very sturdy since it will act as handles for carrying and be used when deploying and eradicating it from the water. As soon as constructed, bolt the body to the highest of the drum, utilizing stainless {hardware} and enormous fender washers to forestall it from pulling via.

the top

A prime must be made to go over the just-built body. I wished to make this cart final for some time and barely overbuilt it so it will probably stand up to the climate and put on and tear of placing it out and in of the water, so all plywood used was ¾-inch.

Use a bit of cardboard to make a template for the odd form you’ll want to chop out. The template will assist you to save quite a lot of wooden and probably use scrap items. As soon as match to the opening, safe it with screws to the body.

Earlier than shifting on, it may be time to place a bead of silicone on any hole you might have from the wooden prime to the barrel to ensure minnows haven’t any place to flee.

After you safe the highest, you’ve principally made a pleasant basis for what would be the prime field. On the primary few minnow carts, I made the error of creating the field too small. Slightly it was accessing the bait, cleansing it out, or coping with the ice within the winter, larger made every thing higher. The added peak made it simpler to get at with much less bending over in my dock state of affairs.

Once more ¾-inch plywood was used for sturdiness and ease in making the field itself. As soon as constructed, safe it to the highest, ideally with pocket holes or utilizing some sort of angle brackets.

the box

Make the time to slap a number of coats of paint on the field or any untreated lumber in order that it gained’t take in as a lot water and final just a little longer. Add some hinges and a latch to the highest field so you’ll be able to lock it, and also you’re nearly residence.

Drilling just a few giant holes on the tip of the lengthy 2×4 arms will assist you to place ropes via them to safe them to one thing as soon as it’s within the water.

Lastly, you want to discover an outdated truck tire to assist it float upright. Most automotive tire tubes gained’t be giant sufficient to go across the drum. In the event you’re native tire or auto retailer doesn’t have a tube giant sufficient, you may get one with just a few clicks on the pc.

Whereas I’m positive you’re already judging me for my carpentry expertise, I’ll remind you I’m not Norm Abrams, however a fishing information who wanted a technique to hold minnows alive all winter, and that’s what this minnow cart will do.

In the event you determine to make your personal minnow cart, tell us the way you tweaked it to make it even higher.

finished product

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