Fishing – Trout Fishing Baits

Baits used to catch trout can be divided into four categories: Live, artificial, lures and flies. This article will address live and artificial baits only.

First the live ones. Any number of live baits come to mind: worms, crickets, grasshoppers, minnows, grubs and larvae will all work at the appropriate time. The hungrier the fish the more likely anything will work early in the spring when they are coming out of the quasi hibernation they endure for the winter. As the season warms up they will become more selective usually concentrating on baits that approximate what they normally would eat.

Presentation is key when using live baits. I often watched my grandfather use a number six single hook and literally pile worms (yes I said worms) on in such a fashion as to completely hide the hook. I would have sworn there was no way any self respecting trout could get the massive presentation into their mouths let alone even be interested in such an obvious display The fact is he always outfished the rest of us. Worms were his primary bait and for sixty years he had unparalleled success. When I started fishing with him I had to adhere to his philosophy which taught me a great deal about worms but not too much about catching fish. One thing I did learn: what works for me may not work for you so it is always best to have several back up plans.

One is artificial bait. This includes such things as Power Bait, Velveeta cheese, salmon eggs or imitation minnows. I am sure there are many more but these seem to be the best. Power bait is particularly effective especially when fishing small lakes or reservoirs where trout are stocked. It is a simple matter to cover the treble hook with the bait and cast it out. My son and I often compete to see who can get bait into the water the fastest. He holds the record at less than a minute after reaching the fishing site. Long before power bait came into vogue velveeta cheese was the bait of choice. If one could sprinkle it lightly with Anise see oil it became even more effective. I have had great success using salmon eggs on an appropriate sized hook when dealing with vegetation close to the bank. I just put a floater anywhere from three to six feet above the hook and allow the bait to float back into the vegetation where the fish eagerly attack.

According to the Food and Drug Administration and their guidelines to our food growers, there are probably quite a few insects in your ketchup, and other foods you eat. Tomato worms, flys, beetles, spiders and rat hair are just a few ‘added ingredients’ that you will consume. In fact, it’s guesstimated that the average American eats one to two pounds of bug parts each year, without even knowing it. Of course, there is a simple explanation for this: despite the worlds best pest control regulations and policies, there is no way our growers can keep all bugs out of our food. So the FDA allows a certain amount of bug parts and rat hair into our food supply.

Bug parts are a natural part of any harvest

When corn, wheat, vegetables and fruit are harvested, the bugs who happen to be in the field become a natural part of the process. Plus, insects and critters (like rats) find access to stored, harvested food and infest that, too. You can easily understand this if you’ve ever worked your own garden. Despite spraying with the right dose of Ortho, you still find earwigs in your lettuce, flys around your strawberries and tomato worms on your ‘maters’. It’s impossible to keep the little buggers out. So you can easily see how this problem would magnify for our food growers (who do an awesome job for us, by the way).

As far as controlling bug parts in our foods, our food growers and the FDA agree that more pesticides are not a valid option. They believe that it’s reasonable to accept more “natural contaminants’ rather than increase the amount of pesticides. And they’re right. Striving for a balanced bug control policy is their best responsible option, so that’s what they do. Which means you and I are gonna’ eat a couple pounds of bugs a year. Hey, it’s added protein, right?

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