While some diehard anglers catch their own shad, wild shiners, or goldfish, but most people must rely on the local bait shop. That’s where Ken Covington comes in. 

Covington and his family have been raising minnows, shiners and goldfish for several generations now and they supply bait shops all around Mississippi and Alabama. 

“We sell a lot of crappie minnows early in the year, and, after things heat up, they want some larger minnows to use for bass or catfish,” Covington said. “We have the jumbo shiners and goldfish for anglers who want to catch lunker bass. And we have some fishermen who fish for monster bass up at Neshoba County Lake on the big shiners too. They’ll let those shiners swim back up under those pads, and they’re catching huge bass.” 

After the spawn is over the lunkers move out to their summertime haunts, and will hardly touch an artificial lure. That’s when big minnows, shad or bream come into play. 

“If you want to catch a monster bass most of the year then you need to feed them a big meal of natural shad, shiners or bream,” Covington said. “They will hit those when they won’t hit anything else. Minnows will catch a fish or they’ll die trying.”