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Bait ?


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Its gonna be awhile yet before things get busy but go with crawlers early...especially if your bringing the kids. At least you'll have a better chance at something..even if its a water pig.

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It depends on if you are fishing Channels or Flatheads. A large chunk of cut up sucker or goldeye or whatever is indigenous to the water you are fishing. Also liver is good sometimes. Some people will take chicken liver and a chunk of cheese that has gotten too hard and put them in a blender with a little olive oil and chop them up and make a sort of paste bait out of them. You can add some flour to the mix to thicken the paste.

Another old trick I learned years ago was to take a window screen that was very fine. Pour blood (I use chicken blood) onto the screen. (Make sure the screen is too fine for the blood to leak through_ Let the blood coagulate and dry for a hour or so. Then take a very sharp knife and cut the dried blood into thin strips. Keep the strips in a cool whip or cottage cheese container in the refrigerator.

When you are in the boat take along a cooler and keep the blood strips on ice. When you want to fish wrap a strip around the hook shank and tie if off with a piece of thread.

The blood will dissolve after about 10-15 minutes but it will call catfish like you would not believe. This works anytime during the year. Spring, Summer and Fall. I have never tried it during the ice season though but I should think it would work then too if any of you fish cats through the ice.

For Flatheads I like a large to decoy size sucker minnow. If you can catch one that is the best otherwise a bait shop sucker will have to do. Just still fish the sucker like you would any other minnow-float presentation. (A cigar type float like a Thill is a good bet)

In the day time, I find that Flatheads are in the brush piles and you have to float the minnow right into their faces. The Float will keep the bait above most of the snags.

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 Originally Posted By: mrklean
Question, i didnt think it was legal to use bull heads or other fish you catch as bait??? Someone help me out on this

Without getting into a big drawn out discussion about this (because there are many fine details), a bullhead is legal for bait if it is under 7" in length.

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 Originally Posted By: walleyeslayer18
When you use live bull heads, do you cut off the spines or do you just leave them?

Amazingly, the biggest flat I got last year was on a neutered bully. Since then, I have gave up on this idea. If a flat wants it, they will take it no matter what.

Now, let start the hooking a bullhead question?

Up from the bottom of the mouth, down from the inside of the mouth or dorsal?

This time of year, I agree with Drak30. A ball of crawlers is going to get you a channel. That or a fathead or pike minnow.

Good luck

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In the colder water when the cats arent feeding heavily I will hook them around the lip or back dorsel, but in the hot feeding action times I hook them from the tail, those little buggers stay really lively then!

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 Originally Posted By: crazyice
Has anyone tried using a harness where you don't actually hook the bait, but rather tie it to the hook? If so, what kind of luck have you had using this?

It is called a Bridle Rig and here is a picture of it. I've only read about the technique but it does look interesting. It is a saltwater technique used with large baits. Normally a string or a rubber band is passed through the eye socks with a needle and then tied to the hook. The advantage of this system is supposed to be a better hook up - with the hook not embedded into any bait the chance of the hook set going back into the bait is eliminated.


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 Originally Posted By: crazyice
That is similar to what I was thinking, but I was thinking more of where you tie the shank of the hook to the body of the bait. Any thoughts on that method verses the one mentioned above?

What you are talking about is a technique call Back Bridling.

This method can be applied to kite fishing, still-drifting, slow-trolling, casting with baits such as goggle eyes, blue runners, speedos, tinker mackerel and large herring. Remember, the more water resistance on the bait, the farther forward the hook should be placed.

1. Slip one end of a No.8 rubber band over the hook, the other end over the rigging needle with large live baits such as speedos and tinker mackerel, use two rubber bands.

2. Pass the rigging needle and rubber band(s) through the bait's back or head. As a general rule, the faster the drift or trolling speed, the farther forward the hook should be placed.

3. Twist the rubber band by rolling the rigging needle between your thumb and forefinger to remove slack. Slip the rubber band over the hook and remove the rigging needle. The hook should sit snugly against the baits back.

NOTE: With small baits it is very important to twist the rubber band enough times to remove any slack. Otherwise the band may slip off the hook while fishing.

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It was just a thought, that I thought would maybe help keep a bullhead a little more active rather than running the hook threw them. If I was the one getting hooked I would think that I would be a little hesitant to move around too much, where if I was just "strapped" to something, I might struggle a little more. I may experiment with this come this spring. Maybe when we are on the 'ssippi when I can fish two rods, try one of each method and see which bait is more active.

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Its worth a shot and since I've never tried a technique like that, guess my opinion is just that, an opinion.

When it comes to cattin' though, flats or channels, I still say keep it simple. Its all about location.

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