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SteveD

Cat Tip of the Day: Thread a Bait

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Last year I began experimenting with different techniques for rigging baits. I do a lot of drifting and trolling for channel cats and I wanted to try different ways to present drifted baits to see if I could improve my catch rates. I bought a video on drifting for channel cats on Santee Cooper Reservoir and the guide there was using a method that was very effective for him and his clients. He was using white perch for bait and they were about 5 to 6 inches long. He would thread a complete perch on his leader so that the line passed completely through the bait and when done the hook was located near the tail of the fish. When he drifted his bait it was going through the water in a natural head first position and the hook rode near the tail of the bait. He claimed that as the bait drifted through the water it would emit a scent trail that the channel cats would pick up and then they would track from behind the fish following the scent trail. In most cases the cats would take the bait from behind and he wanted his hook positioned so that the first thing the cat encountered was the hook.

His technique for hooking up his bait was to run the hook through the mouth and out the side of the fish. He would then just take the hook and reenter the bait through the same hole and just move down the fish going in and out of the fish in each new hole. He was very careful not to hook his leader as he reentered the bait at each hole so that he didn’t tangle the leader. When he reached the tail of the bait he would then just pull the leader tight at the mouth of the fish and snug the hook up into the bait near the tail being careful that the hook was free and not imbedded into the bait. Here is a picture of how that looked when done:

HandThread4.jpg

I used this bait presentation technique last year when drifting and then I started to use it when presenting bait using a standard slip rig presentation. I found this to be a very effective way of presenting bait with a slip rig. I was using bullheads, suckers or creek chubs and my hookup rates were excellent. When using bullheads it got a little tricky because their sharp spines were difficult to work around as I threaded the leader through the fish. One day I was in Walmart and saw a crochet hook and my idea light immediately lit up. I bought a couple of different size crochet hooks and the next time I was out I gave it a try and bingo – quick and easy bait thread tool. Just take the crochet hook and inset it down the mouth of the bait and out the butt hole. Here is a picture

Thread1.jpg

Then hook the leader loop on the end of the crochet hook. Here is a picture

Thread2.jpg

Then pull the crochet hook up and out of the mouth of the bait. Snug up the leader so the hook rides up into the bait and you are ready to go. Here is a picture of the final product:

Thread3.jpg

What is nice about this bait rigging technique is that you seldom lose a bait.. You won’t cast it off and if a fish hits and misses you can count on the bait still being there so wait a little bit and he will be back. I’ve used live bait doing this and the bait stays alive for some time so you still get the vibration and noise you are looking for besides the scent trail from the bait rigging. From the photos so you can see the rigging technique – it is pretty simple and easy. Give it a try this summer and see if it works for you.

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Definetly going toy give it a try this year. i seem to have a problem with catfish hitting the bait and leaving cause they feel the hook. I usually just hook through the head and most the time they get my bait and i miss the fish.

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Kind of reminds me of the old strip ons we used to use for trolling for northerns and walleyes when I was a kid, I still have some around somewhere but haven't used them in years.

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I will now be on the lookout for a pontoon on the St. Croix with a guy listening to the Twins game while crocheting a doily, waiting for hs clicker to go off! laugh

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I will now be on the lookout for a pontoon on the St. Croix with a guy listening to the Twins game while crocheting a doily, waiting for hs clicker to go off! laugh

I don't do doilys or is it doilies - whatever - I don't do those things. I will doily a crotchet hook up a baits bung if it will catch a cat though - that I will do.

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Surreal Deal you did get me to thinking that maybe crotchet would be a good way to pass the time while I'm waiting on a flathead to eat one of my bullheads. You will be the recipient of my first doily or would you rather have a scarf? Camo pattern or Blaze Orange?

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You will be the recipient of my first doily or would you rather have a scarf? Camo pattern or Blaze Orange?

I always wanted one of those crochet beer can hats that were so popular in the '70's. laugh

packerpabsthat.jpg

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Kind of reminds me of the old strip ons we used to use for trolling for northerns and walleyes when I was a kid, I still have some around somewhere but haven't used them in years.

I have been trying to find Strip-On's for a number of years now without success. I used them as a kid, and would love to take a couple to the coast for salt water presentation. Any one know a store that actually carries them still? I live close to the Twin Cities. Thank you.

the FishLocker!

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I have been trying to find Strip-On's for a number of years now without success. I used them as a kid, and would love to take a couple to the coast for salt water presentation. Any one know a store that actually carries them still? I live close to the Twin Cities. Thank you.

the FishLocker!

http://www.planerboard.com/pages/prescottspinners.html

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Here's the bait rig I've used for 50 years that makes threading your leader through the baitfish easy. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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