They say a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work. But why settle for a mediocre day of fishing when knowing a few tricks of the trade could be the difference between plain old hotdogs or a feast of catfish for all on your next float trip? The trick to catching bluegill, catfish or trout is using the right bait or lures. Here are some trade secrets.
Whether plastic or live, more fish, especially bluegill, are caught on worms than any other bait even though worms aren’t a natural part of a fish’s diet. Plastic worms are available in a variety of colors, lengths, and styles and rigged Texas or Carolina style. The best way to fish with a plastic worm is by slowly hopping or dragging through the water. Just about everybody who fishes started out using worms like wigglers and night crawlers. If you’re using live bait, just thread them on a hook and drop or cast your line. It’s best to keep live worms cool while you’re fishing. Keeping them in the container will make them last longer. Between fishing trips the best place to store them is in your refrigerator provided somebody else doesn’t mistake them for leftovers!
Another effective bait for catching bluegill is crickets. Like worms, crickets are available almost all year-round and last longer when kept cool and out of the sun. Placing a piece of potato or apple in the container helps with maintaining moisture. To catch a bluegill, hook a cricket through the mid-section and drop a line.
If you’re looking to catch some trout then pick up some salmon or power eggs at your local bait and tackle. Use eggs one at a time or clustered on a treble hook in moving water or trolling behind a boat.
Floating down Missouri’s rivers and streams is the ideal way to catch trout. Drift rigs work well too. Be sure to keep the egg just off the bottom above vegetation and debris. Another good way to catch trout is with tiny jigs. You’ll need a fly rod or spinning outfit for casting 1/60 ounce or smaller jigs. Like salmon or power eggs, jigs can be suspended from a float or you can let them sink. Others have more luck catching trout with flies. This small lure can be used to imitate the insect as it is made from a small hook, hair, feathers and thread. Using a fly rod to cast this small lure, many find the best method is what’s called “Match the Hatch.” This means observing what fish are hitting at or below the surface and have your fly mimic that insect. You can also try different patterns, casting the fly in different locations, waiting a few seconds and casting again to give the appearance of insects landing on the water’s surface.
If you want catfish on your dinner’s menu, nothing attracts catfish more than stinkbait. And just as its name implies it really does stink! There are many brands of stinkbait at local bait and tackle shops. Some of your friends may even have some secret home recipes. But it doesn’t matter whether it’s homemade or store bought as long as you hang on when you put some on a hook and cast it into a catfish hole.
Using the right bait and lures makes a mediocre day of fishing a thing of the past. With the right bait and lures your next float trip could be a successful fishing trip too.