If there is one bait minnow that bass like, it's trout. Soft finned, slender, and tasty, all bass inhale trout. Big trout swimbaits catch big bass in reservoirs where they are stocked. But trout are under very strict laws for fishing. In Maryland, you could only take two trout a day, and there are a whole bunch of laws regarding trout fishing (delayed harvest, no felt waders, etc). Trout also can only live in very cool and well oxygenated water, and free of pollution. If you live in a suburb, like I do in Howard County, you got to do some driving to find an area to catch trout. That's not mentioning that you can only catch 2 per day, if you can catch one at all.
Above: Bluegill aren't appealing to bass.
That why I use chub or creek minnows as bass bait. Thy are relatively soft finned, slender, and bass love them. I get much better catch rates on them, vs a live bluegill. Bluegill are disc shaped, spiny, and hard for a bass to swallow (bass can curl up longer fishes in their mouth, but not bluegill). In a choice between a bluegill vs a chub or creek minnow, a chub would always be chosen.
To catch a chub or a creek minnow, I prefer to use an ultralight rod with a tiny hook and bobber, and a BB split shot. Pic up some worms by flipping over a few rocks, and you are all set. Creek minnows are fast, and using dip nets to catch them would be hard. They also have the sense to avoid cast nests, and catching them by seine nets in the rocky, swift, shallow creeks would be impossible. Any creek minnow or chub that you catch would be fair game as bait, just don't catch the creek panfish.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.