Author Topic: Alternative Baits  (Read 1305 times)

Offline Cool Cat

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Alternative Baits
« on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:29 AM »
Here's one for all ice fishermen.  Seems we have baitshops to get our bait, but what if there isn't a baitshop?  It can be difficult to fish without live bait but it's there if you know where to look.  One is what I was told is called blackeye susans.  If you see a field that has a lot of standing weeds, look to see if those weeds have a "bulb" up the length of the stalk.  The stalks on these weeks is about 3 feet long or longer.  The "bulb" is caused by a grub that's made it's home there.  Gather up as many bulbs as you can because not all of them will have a grub in them.  You might have to go through 200 to 300 to get a few dozen grubs.  Some guy up on Manitou years ago showed them to me and he was catching as many fish as I was.  They were smaller than the beemoths I had but they caught fish.  They were a white grub with a black spot where the head was.  Another is what we call spikes.  Spikes are nothing more that blowfly maggots.  Now I know it would be difficult to find these in the winter time and I don't know how you would go about finding them, but I just wanted you to know what they are.  I once told my son he should never be without bait and in the summer and warmer months, all you need to do is find a dead animal that's set out in the sun for a while.  There should be maggots all over the dead animal.  I found some of the biggest maggots in the plastic trash bin.  Another place to look are mud dauber nests.  When I lived in Missouri there were no baitshops open where I lived and my land lord had a big pond that froze over with some big gills.  I had to improvise and made a short ice fishing rod and used and axe to chop some holes in the ice.  Bait was my biggest problem.  I gathered the weed balls and only got a few grubs but in the barns there were mud dauber nests every where.  I didn't find much, but found enough bait to catch a few threw the ice.  Another place is paper wasp nests.  You won't find anything in them in the winter, but when they're active in the summer, they seem to be under almost every eave of the house.  Knock the nests down, carefully so you don't get stung, and the grubs inside the nests make excellent bait.  I look for wasp nests a lot in the summer months.  Sure, it's easy to just pop into your local bait shop and get all your bait there, but in case the shops are closed you can find bait to fish with.  One thing about those wasp nests, careful there aren't any larvae that have grown and almost hatching.  But the white grubs will catch fish.  Just thought I'd put out a little info for you guys n gals. 

Offline Hog Daddy

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:53 AM »
Hickory nut worms.....I hear they taste just like the nut (per a neighbor that used to eat them in front of my older brothers to gross them out, LOL.)  Those weed bulbs you mentioned were probably on goldenrod stems.  Collecting maggots off of dead animals..... for some reason I am having trouble with that one.

A hickory nut story for you though.... I had an uncle who lived in California and would come back to Indiana to visit in the Fall.  He always drove a fancy , spotless car and wore good clothes , etc ...you get the picture.  Anyhow, he decided to take some hickory nuts back to California with him, and went to a large "river nut" tree on our property and picked up a whole sack of them.  They were beautiful .   As you may know, the larvae actually bores out of the nut, so a perfectly good looking nut can later have a larvae boring out of them.  Well, what he didn't know is that for some reason that particular tree was bad for having hickory nut worms.  Anyhow, he gets halfway back across the country and stops at a motel.  When he opens the trunk of his spotless , fancy car,  what does he see but hickory nut worms crawling all over his trunk.   ;D 

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Offline bev

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #2 on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:55 AM »
that is cool I will have to try that. I also heard that ground grubs that moles like work well to but they are a little on the big side but it works

Offline Cool Cat

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #3 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:31 AM »
Hickory nut worms.....I hear they taste just like the nut (per a neighbor that used to eat them in front of my older brothers to gross them out, LOL.)  Those weed bulbs you mentioned were probably on goldenrod stems.  Collecting maggots off of dead animals..... for some reason I am having trouble with that one.

A hickory nut story for you though.... I had an uncle who lived in California and would come back to Indiana to visit in the Fall.  He always drove a fancy , spotless car and wore good clothes , etc ...you get the picture.  Anyhow, he decided to take some hickory nuts back to California with him, and went to a large "river nut" tree on our property and picked up a whole sack of them.  They were beautiful .   As you may know, the larvae actually bores out of the nut, so a perfectly good looking nut can later have a larvae boring out of them.  Well, what he didn't know is that for some reason that particular tree was bad for having hickory nut worms.  Anyhow, he gets halfway back across the country and stops at a motel.  When he opens the trunk of his spotless , fancy car,  what does he see but hickory nut worms crawling all over his trunk.   ;D 

HHD
If you use spikes, you're using maggots.  Just saying

Offline Dahouse

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #4 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:52 AM »
Mousies and Wigglers, but both hard to find in Indiana.

Offline Hog Daddy

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #5 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:54 AM »
If you use spikes, you're using maggots.  Just saying

yes, I use spikes.  Not sure if blue bottle fly maggots growing in manure piles is any different from those off a blow fly maggot crawling around a rotting animal carcass , or even if the collection process of one is any worse than the other... but I think I'll take the manure pile, lol.  We are a consumer society buying our goods from the super market, with out having to deal with the dirty process of how things are really processed to the point of our consumption. 

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Offline Hog Daddy

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #6 on: Jan 12, 2018, 07:03 AM »
wait a minute, I am confusing mousies.... drone fly larvae that grow in manure piles with the spikes that are blue bottle fly (blue blow fly) that feed off garbage, carcasses , etc.  My mistake. 

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Offline TeacherPreacher

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #7 on: Jan 12, 2018, 07:45 AM »
As a kid growing up in Hobart (Graduated 1957) there were two bait shops, Wisconsin St bridge and one at the end of 10th street right at the lake.
We use to get our own bait. Golden Rod grubs that were mentioned. Eggs laid by a wasp in Golded Rod stem, creates the Gall or bulb. If there is a tiny hole in the bulb, the grub has turned into a wasp and there will not be a grub inside. The bulb is pretty hard and hard to split. I always use a knife and  pair of pliers.
Corn Boers. If you can find corn stalks, cut the stalk lengthwise and there often will be a nice green worm, about a half to an inch long.
Blackeyed Susies - a small worm found in Black Eyed Susie Stalk. They grow wild lots of places.
Acorn Grubs_ Pick up a half pail full of acorns in fall, fill pail half full of dirt . In a few weeks the bottom of pail will have grubs.
Stick Bugs_    (Hard to find)Don't know what insect these turn into, might be some type of Caddis. They are found in clear, clean water streams. They don't make their own casing but crawl into a hollow weed or stick. About an inch long. Disturb weed and sticks on bottom of small stream or creek and they float or roll along bottom with current. Easier to find at night using a light. Dynamite bluegill and perch bait!!! Neighbor use to get his two sons and me to help him get them. Put them in coffee can in (sanitary tub)  with holes punched along top edge and let water trickle in can with bugs and sticks and mud from creek, water was well water. Would keep all winter.

Much easier to purchase bait!
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Offline Stickhick86

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #8 on: Jan 12, 2018, 07:49 AM »
When is the best time of year to harvest the golden rod larvae?
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Offline TeacherPreacher

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #9 on: Jan 12, 2018, 08:24 AM »
You can get Golden Rod grubs now as they don't hatch until spring.
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Offline walleyepac

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #10 on: Jan 12, 2018, 08:41 AM »
Here's one for all ice fishermen.  Seems we have baitshops to get our bait, but what if there isn't a baitshop?  It can be difficult to fish without live bait but it's there if you know where to look.  One is what I was told is called blackeye susans.  If you see a field that has a lot of standing weeds, look to see if those weeds have a "bulb" up the length of the stalk.  The stalks on these weeks is about 3 feet long or longer.  The "bulb" is caused by a grub that's made it's home there.  Gather up as many bulbs as you can because not all of them will have a grub in them.  You might have to go through 200 to 300 to get a few dozen grubs.  Some guy up on Manitou years ago showed them to me and he was catching as many fish as I was.  They were smaller than the beemoths I had but they caught fish.  They were a white grub with a black spot where the head was.  Another is what we call spikes.  Spikes are nothing more that blowfly maggots.  Now I know it would be difficult to find these in the winter time and I don't know how you would go about finding them, but I just wanted you to know what they are.  I once told my son he should never be without bait and in the summer and warmer months, all you need to do is find a dead animal that's set out in the sun for a while.  There should be maggots all over the dead animal.  I found some of the biggest maggots in the plastic trash bin.  Another place to look are mud dauber nests.  When I lived in Missouri there were no baitshops open where I lived and my land lord had a big pond that froze over with some big gills.  I had to improvise and made a short ice fishing rod and used and axe to chop some holes in the ice.  Bait was my biggest problem.  I gathered the weed balls and only got a few grubs but in the barns there were mud dauber nests every where.  I didn't find much, but found enough bait to catch a few threw the ice.  Another place is paper wasp nests.  You won't find anything in them in the winter, but when they're active in the summer, they seem to be under almost every eave of the house.  Knock the nests down, carefully so you don't get stung, and the grubs inside the nests make excellent bait.  I look for wasp nests a lot in the summer months.  Sure, it's easy to just pop into your local bait shop and get all your bait there, but in case the shops are closed you can find bait to fish with.  One thing about those wasp nests, careful there aren't any larvae that have grown and almost hatching.  But the white grubs will catch fish.  Just thought I'd put out a little info for you guys n gals.

The positive side to all of this,,??
Thank goodness there are baitshops!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Offline A- bomb

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #11 on: Jan 12, 2018, 09:55 AM »
little strips of bacon
bacon makes everything better
even the fish agree!!!

and little strips of chicken skin last forever and have an action no plastic can duplicate! like little strips of iron...don't mind the salmonella...
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Offline sonar2

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #12 on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:19 AM »
I have been using white bread pressed into a tight little ball  for tipping my jig  with great great results

Offline PoleJerker

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #13 on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:36 AM »
little strips of bacon
bacon makes everything better
even the fish agree!!!

Then you can have a snack if you get hungry. :roflmao:

Offline Ace in the Hole

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #14 on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:57 AM »
Years ago we got mousies from the tomato pulp pits they had at a local cannery at Plum Tree. Got them by the hands full before freeze up. Cannery closed long time ago so no more free bait. Another bait we got was a larva that spun a cocoon in cedars trees. They hung from the branches and you needed a pair of scissors to cut the top off got get them out.

Offline bev

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #15 on: Jan 12, 2018, 12:46 PM »
was those cocoons had a dia. of a dime and about 1"long?

Offline MC_angler

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #16 on: Jan 12, 2018, 01:20 PM »
Plastics and bricker bugs and equivalents... 90% of the time you don't need bait for panfish!

The other 10% of the time, you really really need it

Offline Cool Cat

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #17 on: Jan 12, 2018, 02:09 PM »
I just thought I'd give you guys some incite in case your bait shop was closed or didn't have the bait you wanted.  In my basement I have two worm beds with redworms.  I keep them fed with veggie scraps ( potato peelings, ends off celery, banana peels, apple cores, etc ) and they in turn give me fertilizer for my garden and when I want redworms, I just dig a few out.  And they reproduce like crazy.  Yes, I can just as easily go to the bait shop and get redworms, but I have a compost for my garden at the same time with the beds.  There may come a day when you want bait and you have to get your own.  Reading the replies on here gave me some new ideas and I hope some of you guys got some ideas too. 

Offline icingonspice

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #18 on: Jan 12, 2018, 02:15 PM »
Hey fellas you can order bait to your door from Knutsons online. Just had 500 colored maggots delivered yesterday!!!

Offline kevs

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #19 on: Jan 12, 2018, 09:10 PM »
Surprised no one mentioned Horseweed (Giant Ragweed) worms.

Offline SirCranksalot

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #20 on: Jan 12, 2018, 09:12 PM »
When I was a kid we caught small specks on bits of salt 'fatback' pork and bits of beef---either fresh or naval beef.
Keep yer stick on the ice!

Offline purduebass

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #21 on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:06 PM »
Great ideas.  Im glad we can just drop in a shop or order online.  Hope the day never comes when we HAVE to look for bait. 
BOILER UP!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Ace in the Hole

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #22 on: Jan 13, 2018, 12:00 AM »
Surprised no one mentioned Horseweed (Giant Ragweed) worms.
Forgot about the horseweed worms. 

Offline Ace in the Hole

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #23 on: Jan 13, 2018, 12:02 AM »
was those cocoons had a dia. of a dime and about 1"long?
Thats them. The cocoon was tough as heck, like spyder wire. You couldnt tear them open with your fingers, thats why we used scissors.
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Offline river_scum

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #24 on: Jan 13, 2018, 05:43 AM »
used to use those horseweed worms with gramps as a kid.  same as other weed mentioned, cut the bubble stalk and take that with ya.
we also collected catalpa tree worms and hickory worms from the tree sacks.

we picked maggots, that looked like beemoths, from the silage piles at my uncles dairy farm.

i could get critters from the creek that looked like shrimp.  wasnt sure what those were either, but they died off sometime in the 80s for some reason?

there were leaches in that creek also.  they werent the little ones either. these were bigger than crawlers!  they were green and had yellow stripe on the back. gramps called them horse leaches.  i leaned later the real name is ribbon leach.

slivers of liver are good but soft

i dont think crawdads were mentioned yet
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Offline Cool Cat

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #25 on: Jan 13, 2018, 06:34 AM »
Another one is hellgrammites, larvae of the Dobson Fly.  They're in fast flowing shallow water in smaller streams but I'm sure they're in larger bodies of water too as long as it's shallow and fast flowing.  They cling to bottom of rocks and it's easier if two people work together to collect them with a seine.  One guy holds the seine down stream a few feet of some larger flat rocks and the other guy lifts the rocks and scrapes the bottoms with his hands.  Almost all game fish love them.  We'd fish with them on fly rods, hook them in the collar, then cast them out in the current.  Nothing like trying to land a big smallmouth bass on a fly rod.  Or a 2 or 3 pound channel cat.  Most of the time I use an ultra light spinning rod these days.  And I have one that's loaded up with 2 lb. mono.  Now that's fun. 

Offline wallyspartan

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #26 on: Jan 13, 2018, 07:34 AM »
Caught a lot of panfish off bits of hot dog and Vienna sausage.  Sacrifice a couple bites of lunch to catch dinner.

Offline river_scum

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #27 on: Jan 13, 2018, 08:49 AM »
great thread idea you had here.  it made me think of another thread, but i didnt want to hijack, so to speak, your thread title. lol  how about a alternative ice "lure" thread. 

always have some v-sausages in my tackle bag for a snack.  i have chummed with and dipped my jig in the juice a time or two. gotta be the salt.
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Offline redjones

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #28 on: Jan 13, 2018, 11:50 AM »
Surprised no one has mentioned Crickets,we would set pieces of scrap wood in vacant lots when we were kids,when we needed bait we run our Cricket line but you had to be fast because they sure were.
Grasshoppers in the late summer were always a target for bait and could be caught pretty easy.
Leeches were caught by taking pieces of shag carpet and rubbing chicken liver blood on it rolling it in a circle and sticking it in the cattails ,worked pretty good sometimes.
Red worms were dug out of old pig manure,night crawlers were caught by the thousands in the spring-summer time,I sold them for 35 cents a doz. or 3 doz. for a dollar back then.
Catowba worms are great catfish bait but seems like they are just gone from the places I used to find them.
And of course we seined crawfish and minnows,if we could find soft-shell crawfish it was like hitting the lottery.


      Greg
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Offline river_scum

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Re: Alternative Baits
« Reply #29 on: Jan 13, 2018, 11:59 AM »
the catalpa worms are gone from where i picked them as a kid too.  i was told that they dont like the older trees. ?

yes! cricket how could we forget those! lol  we used watermelon rind under boards to attract them.
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