Minnow Bucket 101 + Best Bait Buckets and Coolers Reviewed

There’s nothing like a cold bucket of minnows to get your fishing trip started off right. And when it comes to minnow bucket, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. But which one is the best? That’s where I come in. 

I’ve compiled a list of the best minnow buckets on the market, based on my own personal experiences and the experiences of other anglers. So whether you’re looking for a simple bait bucket to transport your bait or a more sophisticated minnow cooler with aeration and storage features, I’ve got you covered. 

You may like to read: Best Bait for Crappie Fishing

10 Best Minnow Bucket List

10 Best Minnow Bucket Review

Frabill Flow-Troll Magnum Minnow Bucket

Frabill Flow-Troll Magnum Minnow Bucket, 10-Quart, White/Yellow (451200)

Weight: 1.65 Pounds
Capacity: 10 Quarts

If you’re in the market for a minnow bucket, the Frabill Flow-Troll Magnum Minnow Bucket should definitely be at the top of your list. Frabill is a trusted brand by anglers since 1938, and this bucket has been saltwater and freshwater tested to ensure it can withstand anything you throw at it.

The extra-large size means you can fit more bait in it, and the self-closing lid helps to keep everything nice and fresh. The locking door is conveniently situated on top of the bucket, so you don’t have to worry about losing any of your bait.

Pros: This minnow bucket is made with the same quality materials as Frabill’s standard livewells, so you can be confident in its performance. It is also simple to use and easy to clean, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to fuss with complicated equipment. Best of all, it is very affordably priced, making it a great option for budget-conscious fishermen.

Cons: The Frabill Flow-Troll Magnum Minnow Bucket has some cons that include its thinness and lack of durability. Handle this bucket with care as some parts like the latch may break easily. Another con is that it only comes in one color – yellow. Some people may prefer a different color or more than one color option.

Bottomline: The Frabill Flow-Troll Magnum Minnow Bucket is a good product for the price. It is larger than other minnow buckets on the market, making it a good choice for those who need to store more bait. The quality of the bucket is also good, although some users find it to be a little bit thin. The self-closing lid is a nice feature, and the bucket is affordably priced. Overall, the Frabill Flow-Troll Magnum Minnow Bucket is a good choice for those in the market for a new minnow bucket.

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ENGEL Live Bait Cooler with 2 speed Aerator Pump

Engel 30 Quart Portable Insulated Live Bait Fishing Dry Box 48 Can Hard Airtight Cooler with Water Speed Aerator Pump and Removable Pull Net, White

Weight: 5-10 lbs
Capacity: 7.5-30 Qts.

The Engel Live Bait Cooler with 2-Speed Aerator Pump is a high-quality minnow bucket that is perfect for serious fishermen. The injection-molded PP copolymer construction is extremely durable and the high-grade molded polystyrene foam insulation keeps bait alive and healthy.

The 2-speed pump maximizes aeration and battery life, and the included pull net makes it easy to access the bait. The flexible silicone hose and weighted air stone create bubbling action, and the marine-grade watertight stainless steel latches ensure that the cooler stays shut even in rough conditions. The 5-year warranty is a testament to the quality of this cooler, and it is sure to provide years of trouble-free service.

Pros: The Engel Live BaitBucket is a premium must-have minnow bucket for any fisherman. The 2-speed pump ensures that your bait stays alive and fresh, while the latched lid and handle make it easy to move from one spot to another. The sturdy construction means that you can sit on top of the bucket without worry, and the net makes it easy to get to the remaining baits at the bottom.

Cons: Some users have complained that the air pump doesn’t seal properly, making it difficult to keep bait alive. Additionally, the aerator is quite loud, so it’s not ideal for fishing trips where stealth is key. Finally, the screws of the pump are not galvanized so expect some rusting after several use.

Bottomline: The ENGEL Live BaitBucket is a top quality minnow bucket that is definitely worth its high price tag. It comes with a durable, sturdy construction and a 5 year warranty, making it a great investment for any fisherman. Overall, the ENGEL Live BaitBucket is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality minnow bucket.

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Frabill 8-Quart Wade Bucket

Frabill 8-Quart Wade Bucket

Weight: 2.95 lbs
Capacity: 8 Quarts

The Frabill 8-Quart Wade Bucket is a great choice for those looking for an old-school minnow bucket. This bucket is constructed from tough galvanized steel and features a two-piece design with a bait strainer.

The removable inner bucket allows for non-stop aeration, and the large, easy-to-open access lid makes it easy to get to your bait. This bucket also has a convenient carrying handle, making it easy to transport to and from the dock.

Pros: The floating bucket design is perfect for freshwater fishing, and the classic traditional look will never go out of style.

Cons: While it’s advertised as being made from galvanized steel, which should resist rusting, many users have found that it quickly develops rust spots when used in salt water. So if you’re planning on doing any fishing in saltier waters, you’ll likely be better off with a different bucket.

Bottomline: The Frabill 8-Quart Galvanized Steel Minnow Bucket is a reliable and sturdy choice for those looking for a simple bucket to use while fishing. Its galvanized steel construction ensures that it can withstand drops and bumps without sustaining significant damage. However, its lack of durability when exposed to saltwater means that it is not the best choice for those who fish in saltwater environments.

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Marine Metal Products Cool Bubbles Minnow Bucket

Marine Metal Products CB - 211 Cool Bubbles 8 - qt. Plastic Bucket & Pump Kit

Weight: 2.95 lbs
8 Quarts

If you’re an avid angler, then you know that having a good minnow bucket is essential. And when it comes to minnow buckets, the Marine Metal Products Cool Bubbles Minnow Bucket is one of the best on the market. In fact, this minnow bucket is produced by Marine Metal Product, a company with 50 years of experience in manufacturing aerators for fishing.

This bucket contains extra thick styrofoam lining, which helps to keep your bait cooler for longer. It also features a pump that runs for up to 40 hours on two alkaline D batteries, making it perfect for extended fishing trips. Plus, the pump is designed for both fresh and saltwater use, so you can use it no matter where you’re fishing.

Whether you’re crappie fishing or ice fishing, the Marine Metal Products Cool Bubbles Minnow Bucket is a great choice.

Pros: The Marine Metal Products Cool Bubbles Minnow Bucket has a detachable aerator that is suitable to other Cool Bubbles livewells. In addition, the batteries last for days, so you don’t have to worry about them running out of power. The oxygenation is also greatly engineered, which means that your minnows will stay healthy and lively.

Cons: Quite pricey for its size.

Bottomline: If you’re in the market for a top-quality minnow bucket, the Marine Metal Products Cool Bubbles Minnow Bucket is a great option. It’s well-made from durable plastic and does an excellent job of keeping bait cool and aerated. The only downside is the price tag. But if you can afford it, the Cool Bubbles Minnow Bucket is definitely worth the investment.

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PLUSINNO Fishing Bucket, Foldable Fishing Bait Bucket

  Fishing Bucket, Foldable Fishing Bait Bucket, Multifunctional Portable Folding Fishing Minnow Bucket Fish Live Bait Container, Outdoor Camping EVA Fishing Bag for Kids and Adult

Weight: 1.1 lbs – 1.56 lbs
Capacity: 12 Quarts

The PLUSINNO Minnow Bucket is a great way to keep your minnows alive and fresh. The bucket is made from waterproof EVA materials, so it is impact-proof and water-tight. It also has a zippered net lid, which helps to keep the minnows in and the water out.

The bucket is available in two sizes (3, and 6gallons) and three colors (red, blue, and orange). I would recommend the 3-gallon size for up to 12 minnows. This bucket is a great way to keep your bait fresh and your catch healthy.

Pros: Foldable, space-saving and affordable

Cons: For its very affordable price, the PLUSINNO minnow bucket has some definite drawbacks. First, users find that it is flimsy to carry. The handle is not very sturdy and the bucket itself feels like it could easily tip over. Second, the actual 3-gallon size is quite small for its size.

Bottomline: The PLUSINNO Minnow Bucket is a great, affordable option for those looking for a portable and space-saving bait bucket. The material is waterproof, but don’t expect too much for its cheap price. The bucket is also foldable, making it even more convenient to take with you on your fishing trips. Overall, the PLUSINNO Minnow Bucket is a great choice for those looking for an affordable and convenient bait bucket option.

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Minnow Bucket Buyer’s Guide

With so many different minnow buckets on the market, how do you choose the right one for your needs? That’s where this buyer’s guide comes in.

I’ll tell you everything you need to know about minnow buckets, from what they are to what features to look for when choosing one. I’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about minnow bucket care and maintenance. So whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or a beginner just getting started, this guide will help you find the perfect minnow bucket for your next fishing adventure.

What is a Minnow?

What is a Minnow - Minnow Bucket Guide

A minnow is a small freshwater fish that is often used as bait by anglers. Minnows are attracted to baitfish, making them a useful tool for catching larger fish.

While there are many different species of minnows, they all have certain characteristics in common, including a slender body, large eyes, and fins that are set far back on the body.

Minnows can be found in most freshwater habitats, from ponds and lakes to streams and rivers. In addition to being used as bait, minnows are also often kept in minnow buckets as pets.

Why is minnow a good bait?

Minnows are a popular bait choice for many anglers because they are relatively easy to obtain and can be very effective at attracting fish. One reason for their popularity is that minnows imitate the small fry that many adult fish feed on.

In addition, minnows are often easy to keep alive in a bait bucket, making them a convenient option for long fishing trips. Minnows can also be used as live bait, which can be particularly effective in coaxing finicky fish to bite.

What is a Minnow Bucket

A minnow bucket is a small container used to catch and transport live baitfish. It is typically outfitted with a wire mesh screen that allows water to flow in and out, keeping the baitfish alive and healthy. 

Minnow buckets are an essential tool for fishermen, as they provide a convenient way to store baitfish and keep them fresh for long periods of time. In addition, minnow buckets can also be used to transport other types of aquatic creatures, such as crayfish or frogs. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner just getting started, a minnow bucket is a must-have item for your tackle box.

How Does a Minnow Bucket Work?

Minnow buckets are designed to keep minnows alive and healthy. They have a perforated bottom that allows water to circulate, keeping the minnows oxygenated. The top of the bucket is usually screened to keep the minnows from jumping out.

Some minnow buckets also have an aerator attached to the side, which helps to ensure that the water stays fresh. When used properly, minnow buckets can help keep your bait alive and kicking all day long.

Best Minnow Bucket Features


Many people don’t realize the important role insulation plays in keeping minnows alive. Without insulation, minnows can easily overheat or freeze to death. In fact, even a small change in temperature can be harmful to minnows.

That’s why it’s so important to have a good insulation system in place for your minnow bucket. Good insulation can also help to reduce water evaporation and keep oxygen levels high.

Most minnow buckets in this list contain an insulating form that is good enough to keep the water at a consistent temperature. I prefer to use premium bait coolers with thicker and commercial-grade foam insulation. The only downside is they will be a bit heavy and expensive and not suitable for casual fishing.

Locking Lid

One of the best features to look for when buying a minnow bucket is a locking lid or latch. A locking lid will help to keep the water in the bucket from getting too dirty or polluted. It also helps to prevent other animals, such as birds or cats, from getting into the bucket and contaminating the water. And, if you’re using live bait, a locking lid will help to keep the bait from escaping.


A minnow bucket aerator is a device that helps to oxygenate the water in a minnow bucket, providing a better environment for the bait fish. The aerator works by circulating the water in the bucket, which helps to keep the water clean and free of ammonia buildup.

While bait buckets with aerators may be the most expensive option, it’s also the most convenient. You won’t have to worry about constantly changing the water or feeding the minnows.

FAQs about Minnow Buckets

How long will minnows live in a minnow bucket?

In my experience, if the bucket is properly aerated and the water is kept clean, minnows can live for several days up to a week. However, if the water becomes stagnant or polluted, they will likely die within 24 hours.

In addition, minnows are sensitive to changes in temperature, so the water must be kept at a consistent level to prevent them from going into shock.

How many minnows can you add inside a minnow bucket?

A small 3-gallon minnow bucket might only be able to fit a dozen or so minnows, while a large 7-gallon minnow bucket could hold up to 2 dozens.

How do you use a Frabill bait bucket?

Just like any brand of minnow bucket, Frabill bait buckets are easy to use. Just make sure to choose a bucket that is large enough to accommodate all of your minnows. The size of the bucket will determine how long the minnows can stay alive without being fed.

Next, fill the bucket with clean, fresh water. You’ll want to add an aerator or bubbler to the bucket to ensure that the water stays oxygenated. By following these tips, you can use a minnow bucket to keep your bait alive and healthy all day or night long.

Will hydrogen peroxide help keep minnows alive?

Many anglers use water treatments like hydrogen peroxide to help keep their minnows healthy and oxygenated. To use hydrogen peroxide, simply add a few drops to the minnow bucket. The oxygen bubbles will help to keep the water circulated and the minnows alive for longer. In addition, hydrogen peroxide will also help to prevent the growth of bacteria in the water.

Do you still need to add ice in a minnow bucket?

Minnows thrive better in cold water, so adding ice can actually help them survive longer. Of course, you don’t want to add too much ice, or your minnows will start to freeze. Just a few cubes should be enough to keep them happy and healthy.

Enjoy Your New Minnow Bucket

There are a lot of minnow bucket products on the market, but which one is the best? It really depends on what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for something new, the Frabill Flow-Troll Magnum is a great option. But if you want something premium, the ENGEL Live Bait Cooler with 2 speed Aerator Pump and Marine Metal Products Cool Bubbles Minnow Bucket are both excellent choices.

If you want a classic steel bucket, the Frabill 8-Quart Wade Bucket is a great option. And if you want a foldable fishing bait bucket, the PLUSINNO Fishing Bucket is the way to go.

So there you have it, the best minnow buckets on the market. Choose wisely!