Monday, June 27, 2011

Catching Bait for River Fishing

I'm back to the civilized world , where internet access and cell phone service aren't so sporadic. Here's a little video from my trip of my friend JigMax1 and I catching bait in the creek at his house :

All of the minnows we kept to use as bait are just regular creek chubs , although we did catch some colorful looking fish of several different species. We try not to use the pretty ones because we aren't sure what they are and we've caught a few that look kind of like native trout , which is possible since it is in the mountains of West Virginia at a relatively high altitude for the Appalachian Mountains.

The minnows were caught using minnow traps baited with cat food. There are several interesting things you can do to improve your catch rate in small creeks like this. Silver traps always seem to catch more minnows and black traps catch more crawfish. A few slices of onion in a trap helps sometimes , and also a few small strips of aluminum foil. Most important is to keep your traps in the right place. Deeper water close to a grassy bank or a downed tree can be very productive. Keeping the trap so the holes are in line with the flow of water is another important thing to keep in mind.

Other types of bait for river fishing can also be caught easily. In areas where the Dobsonfly is common , you can catch Hellgramites in abundance by seining in the river while someone turns rocks upstream from you or by turning rocks over on the bank to catch bigger ones that are making the switch to their flying form. The intermediate stage between Hellgrammite (or Grumpus/Grampas) is what I've always called a yellow Hellgrammite and it is a superb piece of bait. They are very fragile and only found under rocks unless a river has risen a few feet recently , as far as I know anyway.
Softshell Crawfish and Night Crawlers can both be caught at night using flashlights , with the former being caught at the river bank and the latter in your backyard. I might do a post later about them , red wigglers , spring lizards and catalpa worms. There are a ton of different things you can use , just make sure you are following the game and fish laws in your area.

I could go on and on about baits I've used , but I don't want to give too many secrets away. This post was just going to be about the video , and then I got started thinking about bait. Wow! Check out the video and take special note of the glob of worms at the very end. That ball of worms was my last cast of the weekend. The video might actually look better if you watch it on standard size on Youtube or open it up to full screen , I'm still learning.

Have a great week!


  1. Enjoyed the video and the music that went with it. Dang, I am ready to go fishing!

  2. Thanks a bunch Mel! I always appreciate your feedback , since you're an old pro at this blogging stuff :) When can we expect a fishing report from you?


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