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Salamanders for bait??

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I posted this in the WI forum, as that is most likely where I will be fishing, but thought I would post on here as well to see what kind of info I get. Anyone out there ever use those black and yellow salamanders for bait? A rather eccentric guy down the road who likes to collect various critters has about a dozen and said they work for bass fishing and also for northerns. I imagine they would squirm and swim quite well, but curious if this is legal for one, and if anyone has ever tried it?? Thanks!!

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Back in the early 80's , In' Fisherman had a few articles on using Waterdogs (pre- Salamander stage). They used them for Eyes, Pike, bass. I used them once, no luck with them.

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I don't know about WI, but I thought the Tiger Eye Salamander or whatever them yellow polka dot black salamders, I think are protected species or something in MN

I don't want to mess with them waterdogs/mudpuppies, they are way tooo slimey for me. Even when they be biting on your hook in the St Croix.

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I was going to say. The "Walleye water dogs" we use those sometimes around the alexandria lakes area and fish crush them. they are pretty soft so walleyes do a number on them. I've even fished in tournaments with them. I rarely use them but have in the past.

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I've tried them for the bass opener in WI before while pursuing Xtra large bass. Along with large shiners and crawlers.

Not one bass on a sally and only the smaller ones on the other baits. The walleyes that were spawning on the points would hit the sally and drag it off a ways and drop it. I could never get a hookset into one either, no matter how long I played the game with them.

I went back to my texas and carolina rigged Power Lizards and started catching the 5 and 6 pound bass in the same spots.

I'd stick with the plastics myself. I've hooked large northerns and some muskies the plastics too.

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Anyone have any insight on the best technique to rig them and fish them?

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I would think ne were on the back half of thier back or a back foot for a natural presentation.

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If rigging, jigging then through the lips. Sometimes they used a stinger (trailer hook). Slip bobbers, in the back.

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Salamanders may actively defend themselves once they are grasped by a predator. Besides various antipredator postures, S. salamandra adults are able to extrude heavy toxic skin secretions, e.g. the neurotoxic alkaloid Samandarin. This alkaloid causes strong muscle convulsions and high-blood pressure combined with hyperventilation in all vertebrates. The poison glands of the fire salamander are concentrated in certain areas of the body, especially around the head and the dorsal skin surface. The colored portions of the animal's skin usually coincide with these glands. Most of these secretions might be effective against bacterial and fungal infections of the epidermis, but some secretions could also be dangerous to human life.

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I think the kind sold in bait shops is supposed to be mudpuppies, as opposed to tiger or other varieties. They aren't a protected species.

I saw the articles in In-Fisherman a number of years ago too. As I recall, they said to make sure you get the immature ones as they haven't developed the bad tasting secretions on the skin of adults. Supposedly, the immature ones still have gills, but then mudpuppies always have gills. They aren't poisonous.

It's been 20 yrs or so, but I did use them a couple of times when fishing was really slow. I think I got bites and/or fish on every one, but I don't remember catching anything but northerns.

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/mudpuppy.html

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I think the ones I'm talking about are the plain old 'spotted salamander'. They're black and yellow, sometimes found under logs and debris and such in moist areas, and from what I can remember of catching them as a kid, they aren't poisonous.

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Spotted and Tiger sally's look alot alike. Tiger's are the most common in MN. I believe Tigers have spots on the belly, spotted have defined segments on the belly, no spots. I know true spotted sally's are pretty rare. I don't think using them for bait is the best idea. Plenty of good bait options out there.

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4-5" waterdogs rigged on jigs or on Lindy style rigs work well on walleye. Pencil weight rigging will also do well as will 3-way rigs.

Rig them as you would a Creak Chub or Redtail. Tip of the snoot, a hook large enough to get a good hook-set.

A great hook for them in weedy conditions is the Gamakatsu with the wide gap and weed guard. It holds them well and prevents them from getting off the hook. Again, use a larger hook with plenty of gap to do it's job.

FYI: Waterdogs have 5 toes on there back feet, Mudpuppys have 4. Mudpuppys remain in the gilled stage for life, waterdogs will change into Tiger Salamanders in time. Walleye prefer them in the gilled Waterdog stage.

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