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  • Bait

    Do you do any live bait fishing? (Figured it was a good time to ask -- I miss some of our fellows who don't chime in anymore, but at least we won't have to listen to any "purist" lectures about the sin of bait-fishing).

    When I do, it's usually crawdads, caught while I fish, for river smallmouths. I've found that hooking them through the base of the tail, going up through the bottom, allows the most natural movement for them. Only problem with that is keeping them from darting down and getting under the rocks.

    Best I've ever done with live bait in a trout stream was with mealworms. One hole I'd fished for half an hour, drifting redworms and casting a Phoebe, with no hits whatsoever. Switched to mealworms and immediately caught a good fish, then a couple more.

    In the ponds, I'll fish whatever worms, beetles, grubs I find in the woods under logs and rocks, under a bobber. If I'm fishing to eat, sometimes I'll clean a fish and use some guts for bait. One time I found a dead turkey near the pond. The crappie and pumpkinseeds loved those squirmy maggots.




  • #2
    I fish with live bait, cut bait, or artificials, depending on what the fish want. I don't much believe in catch and release, since I like eating fish, and the best fish to eat are the ones you catch yourself. I have, lately, been doing a little bit of catch and release, using bass from an old, established farm tank to stock other, non-stocked tanks on the place.
    Anything caught in salt water that is legal and fit to eat, goes in the ice chest. Most of my salt water fishing is done with live shrimp or mullet.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
      I fish with live bait, cut bait, or artificials, depending on what the fish want. I don't much believe in catch and release, since I like eating fish, and the best fish to eat are the ones you catch yourself. I have, lately, been doing a little bit of catch and release, using bass from an old, established farm tank to stock other, non-stocked tanks on the place.
      Anything caught in salt water that is legal and fit to eat, goes in the ice chest. Most of my salt water fishing is done with live shrimp or mullet.
      What kinds of fish do you catch in the saltwater? All I know about fishing the Gulf is what I see on Lone Star Law, plus one charter trip a long time ago where we caught some grouper and red snapper baitfishing over a reef. That was down in Florida, though.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MattM37 View Post

        What kinds of fish do you catch in the saltwater? All I know about fishing the Gulf is what I see on Lone Star Law, plus one charter trip a long time ago where we caught some grouper and red snapper baitfishing over a reef. That was down in Florida, though.
        I know, you asked '06. LOL!
        red fish, Spanish mackerel, grouper.
        Bays and closer in: sand trout, specs, flounder, black drum, sheeps head.
        That's just a few of the ones I'm familiar with.
        There is a plethora of game fish in the Gulf.

        Around Kodiak, in the Gulf of Alaska, it's Pacific cod, rock fish, salmon, halibut, ling cod.

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        • #5
          Duh! You asked about live bait.

          earth worms
          crickets
          meal worms
          minnows
          wasp maggots
          grass hoppers
          a hellgrammite (sp?) a time or two
          small perch
          crawfish
          AND... elbow macaroni! Quite successfully!
          Cut bait.
          Stink bait.
          Punch bait.
          Deer liver.
          Chicken liver.
          Frozen shrimp.

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          • #6
            From MattM37: "What kinds of fish do you catch in the saltwater?"

            Redfish, Speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead, sand trout, flounder, gafftop catfish, Spanish mackerel, inshore.
            If you get further out, there are King Mackerel, Dorados, red snapper, several other kinds of snapper, Lings, Wahoo, and even sharks. Blacktip sharks are highly edible! Most offshore party boats supply bait, and it is mostly cut fish or cut squid.
            * Edit- Forgot bluefish! they are a little oily if you don't remove the "red line" down the side, but an elderly man in Galveston, TX, showed me how to clean them years ago.
            Last edited by crm3006; 06-24-2021, 06:02 PM.

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            • #7
              For live baits I’ll go worms all sorts, gotta love a crayfish, fish eggs, creek chubs, minnow, or a small panfish.
              It all depends what I’m going after.

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              • #8
                My live bait choices are typical, nightcrawlers and minnows of some variety. Shiners or alewives for trout and fatheads for panfish. If it happens that I can get grubs before an outing I’ll gladly use them as well. Crayfish on occasion for bass but not usually.

                One time I was out without bait and having no luck at all with lures. I started flipping rocks and managed to get a hellgramite on a hook after the bugger pinched me. First drift I tied into a 16” brown. Good bait but creepy to deal with.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MattM37 View Post
                  Do you do any live bait fishing? (Figured it was a good time to ask -- I miss some of our fellows who don't chime in anymore, but at least we won't have to listen to any "purist" lectures about the sin of bait-fishing).

                  When I do, it's usually crawdads, caught while I fish, for river smallmouths. I've found that hooking them through the base of the tail, going up through the bottom, allows the most natural movement for them. Only problem with that is keeping them from darting down and getting under the rocks.

                  Best I've ever done with live bait in a trout stream was with mealworms. One hole I'd fished for half an hour, drifting redworms and casting a Phoebe, with no hits whatsoever. Switched to mealworms and immediately caught a good fish, then a couple more.

                  In the ponds, I'll fish whatever worms, beetles, grubs I find in the woods under logs and rocks, under a bobber. If I'm fishing to eat, sometimes I'll clean a fish and use some guts for bait. One time I found a dead turkey near the pond. The crappie and pumpkinseeds loved those squirmy maggots.


                  Went for smallmouth in Lake Erie with a guide. He put us on the fish and had crayfish for bait. Hooked through the top of back you could get 2 or 3 on one bait.

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                  • #10
                    In a lake in the Adirondacks I could count on trout every evening usually on dug worms. Used to take orders for trout and then go out and catch them in time for dinner.

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                    • #11
                      Invasive worms emerging after Texas rains. Whatever you do, don’t cut them in half.

                      https://news.yahoo.com/invasive-worm...235421481.html

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                      • #12
                        I've always used live bait when appropriate. Lately, I've been using blueback herring for striped bass and shrimp for just about everything in salt water. When I lived in Florida, I netted bait fish and used them for reef fishing and everything on reefs loved them.

                        I generally prefer casting and trolling artificial lures but for some species, you just can't ignore the value of live bait and chumming.

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                        • #13
                          I forgot to mention a couple of baits that I have used quite successfully on panfish, crappie and even bass. Grasshoppers, and wasp nests. Grasshoppers are easily gathered off barbed wire fences after sundown, with the aid of a weak or shaded light, and wasps nests can be knocked down the night before and gathered up use for bait the next morning, or even a couple of hours later.
                          Panfish and bass usually swarm these things like feeding candy to kids, and occasionally, the action will attract the attention of a channel cat.

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                          • #14
                            I'm busting bluegills with crickets right now and when I chase crappie I always have minnows even if I intend to use jigs. Not above using nightcrawlers/worms when my shoulders are too sore to throw lures. When I was a kid I used anything that crawled or swam for bait if I could catch it and they all caught fish. Now that my injuries and ailments are progressing I see bait only in my future. Won't bother me a bit, heck I might even cut and make me a cane pole. Enough growing around me close by.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
                              I forgot to mention a couple of baits that I have used quite successfully on panfish, crappie and even bass. Grasshoppers, and wasp nests. Grasshoppers are easily gathered off barbed wire fences after sundown, with the aid of a weak or shaded light, and wasps nests can be knocked down the night before and gathered up use for bait the next morning, or even a couple of hours later.
                              Panfish and bass usually swarm these things like feeding candy to kids, and occasionally, the action will attract the attention of a channel cat.
                              I have ample access to wasps nests, curious how you utilize them. Do you dig the larva out, chum or some combination?

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