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Cermele: Fun With Bait Collection

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April 02, 2009

Cermele: Fun With Bait Collection

By Joe Cermele

Last night around 10 p.m., I stepped out onto my front porch and immediately noticed a tell-tale sign of spring. Yesterday's evening rains soaked the dirt enough to cause hundreds of nightcrawlers to surface, thus thwarting death by drowning in drenched soil. Rare is the occasion that I fish with worms, and that's not because I'm anti-bait, I just don't find myself in many situations that call for them. The exception here is opening day of the trout season, or while wading for smallmouth midday in the summer.

But worms are just a good thing to have handy, and when they're covering the sidewalk, it's hard to pass up a free coffee can-full. So, wearing pajamas and flip-flops, I picked up enough last night to keep me stocked for the next month or two. I just couldn't help myself.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes bait-gathering can be just as fun, if not more fun, than catching fish with said bait? Crayfish are a total blast in small creeks, and you've got to love a bait that goes equally well with a beer and hot sauce as it does on a hook. I've had lots of trouble walking away from solid herring bites even though the intention was to chunk the herring for catfish. What can I say...sometimes quantity is more fun than quality. And six herring on a Sabiki Rig pull pretty hard. So what's your favorite bait to catch?

JC

Comments (34)

Top Rated
All Comments
from idahooutdoors wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Chasing night crawlers with the kids and flashlights the night before a fishing trip is a blast. Nothing like watching kids dive on worms.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I enjoy cast netting for baitfish off the beach. It proves to be fun and also a suprise at sometimes. One time I made a blind cast in waist deep water and ended up catching a stingray. It is a lot of fun. I also enjoy catching perch on the lake.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan the Man wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I fish for bluegill a lot, so i usually collect bait in this manner. It's better than paying for it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buck hunter 17 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Night crawlers i eather dig for them or i waite for it to rain out.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I have a spot for them in my garage refrigerator.
My wife won't let me keep 'em in the house refrigerator anymore, since I placed them in her emptied cottage cheese container.

A late night raid to feed her munchies, aloud scream, seconds later, almost convinced me I'd never see a night crawler, lake or my wife again.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I love catching them all. Crawlers, crayfish, hoppers and minnows. It is a sport within itself. As a small kid (early 70's) I'd travel far and wide to catch bait and sell it to the guys who fished the ponds and creek near my house. I made good money. My favorite crayfish trap was a huge roll of farm fence left in the river with a little bit of meat in the middle. The crayfish would get caught in the fence long enough for me to roll it to shore. My minnow seine has got to be 30 years old. Good times.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntersteve wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I'll catch creek chubs in the creek out behind my parent's house on an ultralight rod and a piece of worm, hook it on, walk over to our pond, and toss it to the bass. The creek chubs are fun, but sight-fishing to bass with one is even more fun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I stepped out one morning and my whole patio was covered with worms. I filled an entire trash can lid thick with them. My girlfriend was still in bed so I went in and showed her my good fortune. She didn't like it at all.

We were camping and fishing by a small but normally productive river in So.Mo. one night with nothing biting. Luckily my buddy caught some kind of shad so we cut it into small pieces and began catching crawdads. With a few beers in us we filled a playmate cooler to the top and boiled them babies up at 2 in the morning. Hit the spot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntersteve wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

*should be parents', not parent's

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Went on many a nightcrawler hunt when we were kids. Also seined for minnows and crawfish.

I've had a taste for crawfish for a month or so ... haven't seen them in the stores. I wonder if that cajun restaurant is still open. I miss those Louisiana evenings with a few pounds of crawfish and a beer dining over newspapers spread out on a picnic table. Shuck and suck. The simple things in life.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

When you take your kids fishing the golden rule is "roll with it" so when I'm out with my seven-year-old more often than not we end up spending more time and having more fun catching bait than the actual fishing. Which is just fine by me.
I simply consider it future fishing buddy training. I subscribe to the "keep them interested when they're young and you'll have a buddy for life" philosophy of introducing your child to fishing, and there isn't a better way of keeping them interested than wading the creek with a dip net.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I love to catch little perch, just to let them get annihilated by pike in a feeding frenzy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

me and my 3 kids throw cast nets for shrimp and that is more fun for me because i get to watch my kids learn and figure out the nets,and i get to spend time with them doing something we all can do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

worms they are fun to catch and fish

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from senkoman12 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

nightcrawlers and crawfish its about as fun as fishing its self

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Growing up in Florida we used to grunt worms up. Anyone here ever heard of that? Now days I just wait for a good rain and pick them up in my driveway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rick wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

hands down crayfish. You turn over nine rocks to find only heartbreak and then that tenth one, a cloud of dirt and a crayfish shooting out. You follow it from rock to rock...

plus there are the claws so the danger element is there. And there's always the chance you'll find a miniature lobster sized crawdad.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charley wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

The night before a fishing trip we go out nightcrawler hunting. It has turned into as much of a trip as thr fishing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wallofsam wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

The afternoon before my dad and I would go on a weekend fishing trip, my dad would soak the groung and then at 10:00p.m. we would get our flashlights and collect worms for our bait. What a blast! It's memories like these I hope my kids have about me!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwaynez wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I still remember the times my dad would send me out to the chicken coops and tell me to load up a bucket with worms for the next days fishing trip.

Crawfish trips were great as well, we would use dip nets and walk little water holes and creek beds to load up on crawfish.

Grasshoppers, we would go out at night into the tall weeds near our house, the big giant grasshoppers would all be sitting at the top of the weeds, all you had to do was stay quiet and move very slowly, you could pickup more than you could count. We filled bags full and would use what we wanted on the next days trip and freeze the rest for future trips.

We built bait boxes as kids to keep grasshoppers and other insects alive for future fishing trips.

Gathering bait for the trips was almost as much fun, if not more fun than the actual fishing trip.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Thats a small one!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hindel 312 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

my older brother taught me how to nightcrawlor"hunt".and me and one or two of my buddies go out and find dozens and dozens ofem for all types of fish

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

My grandma used to pick up worms on her morning walk for us grand kids to fish with.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I often collect bait like this even though i rarely use it,

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I love catching gills and shad for flathead, Gills on Ultralights, shad in a cheap cast net from Wally world.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Long Run Fishin... wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Until I mastered throwing a cast net for Menhaden/Bunker..I used to snag bunkers with a weighted or an unweighted treble hook 10/0...and if toothy Blues were around, nothing beats hooking up on one as you bring your bunker back to the boat. Many times there would be a quivering half eaten bunker...just dangling from my treble with the exposed hook just 1/4 of an inch away from the bite...Snagging and dropping to a Striper is still a blast....JC, Pajamas and flip flops...what? No pictures of this event?..

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from VT Outdoorsman wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Mackerel on christmas tree jigs....man they put up a fight.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jonbo wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

i love to throw a cast noet out in my pond. not only do i catch plenty of minnows for bait but i've also caught a couple of large-mouth and my friend caught a catfish. there is no telling what you will catch.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from woofbarkenarf wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Out here in AZ, it's difficult to find good nightcrawler grounds. It's mostly decomposed granite where I live(near the Mogollon Rim). When I take the kids out, we use small dipnets in the fast-moving water and turn over rocks in front of them.This is a great technique for getting hellgramites, and small crayfish.The Smallmouths, and the catfish, (and sometimes trout) cannot resist a fresh 'gramite drifted with little or no weight in the rivers around here. The kids seemed to be just as excited about gathering the bait as they were when reeling in a prize catch!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwaynez wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

woofbarkenarf

I could not agree more on the hellgramites, they are a killer catfish bait here in Texas, wading streams and turning over rocks for them is a fun adventure.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheEasternShore... wrote 5 years 1 week ago

crayfish easy. it looks like throwing a bait net might be cool

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joshua Brown wrote 5 years 4 days ago

If you are looking to catch night crawlers on a warm summer night and doesn't look like rain there is another way to make the monsters come out of the ground. When I was 12 I started my own night crawler bait store. In order to catch them and keep up with the damand I used to wait till dusk and go out and set the sprinkler in the lawn and turn it on for about an hr. Afer dark I would go to the same area and drench the lawn with the hose. A half hr later the night crawers would think it's raining and lay on the ground and I would just have to scoop them up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cAnyBux90 wrote 5 years 1 day ago

The most fun I have had when catching bait is usin sabiki rigs to catch small smelt and mackerel five at a time, on a small light action rod five of these put up one hell of a fight

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan Dufner wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

I remember when my mother first showed me how to catch crawlers. That's right my mother. I was about 6 years old and they were the hardest darn things to catch. I must have been walking around outside for hours. Everytime it rained i would wait until dark and run out with my flash light. my parents didn't mind, but the neighbors were a little freaked out at the flashlight outside their window at 10:30 at night.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan Dufner wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

i don't know if it's legal but i know you can rig a car battery and a couple probes to shock night crawlers from the ground.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from 2Poppa wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I have a spot for them in my garage refrigerator.
My wife won't let me keep 'em in the house refrigerator anymore, since I placed them in her emptied cottage cheese container.

A late night raid to feed her munchies, aloud scream, seconds later, almost convinced me I'd never see a night crawler, lake or my wife again.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I enjoy cast netting for baitfish off the beach. It proves to be fun and also a suprise at sometimes. One time I made a blind cast in waist deep water and ended up catching a stingray. It is a lot of fun. I also enjoy catching perch on the lake.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Long Run Fishin... wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Until I mastered throwing a cast net for Menhaden/Bunker..I used to snag bunkers with a weighted or an unweighted treble hook 10/0...and if toothy Blues were around, nothing beats hooking up on one as you bring your bunker back to the boat. Many times there would be a quivering half eaten bunker...just dangling from my treble with the exposed hook just 1/4 of an inch away from the bite...Snagging and dropping to a Striper is still a blast....JC, Pajamas and flip flops...what? No pictures of this event?..

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

worms they are fun to catch and fish

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahooutdoors wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Chasing night crawlers with the kids and flashlights the night before a fishing trip is a blast. Nothing like watching kids dive on worms.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buck hunter 17 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Night crawlers i eather dig for them or i waite for it to rain out.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dan the Man wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I fish for bluegill a lot, so i usually collect bait in this manner. It's better than paying for it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jonbo wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

i love to throw a cast noet out in my pond. not only do i catch plenty of minnows for bait but i've also caught a couple of large-mouth and my friend caught a catfish. there is no telling what you will catch.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan Dufner wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

I remember when my mother first showed me how to catch crawlers. That's right my mother. I was about 6 years old and they were the hardest darn things to catch. I must have been walking around outside for hours. Everytime it rained i would wait until dark and run out with my flash light. my parents didn't mind, but the neighbors were a little freaked out at the flashlight outside their window at 10:30 at night.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Thats a small one!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

When you take your kids fishing the golden rule is "roll with it" so when I'm out with my seven-year-old more often than not we end up spending more time and having more fun catching bait than the actual fishing. Which is just fine by me.
I simply consider it future fishing buddy training. I subscribe to the "keep them interested when they're young and you'll have a buddy for life" philosophy of introducing your child to fishing, and there isn't a better way of keeping them interested than wading the creek with a dip net.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rick wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

hands down crayfish. You turn over nine rocks to find only heartbreak and then that tenth one, a cloud of dirt and a crayfish shooting out. You follow it from rock to rock...

plus there are the claws so the danger element is there. And there's always the chance you'll find a miniature lobster sized crawdad.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Pernice th... wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I love catching gills and shad for flathead, Gills on Ultralights, shad in a cheap cast net from Wally world.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Went on many a nightcrawler hunt when we were kids. Also seined for minnows and crawfish.

I've had a taste for crawfish for a month or so ... haven't seen them in the stores. I wonder if that cajun restaurant is still open. I miss those Louisiana evenings with a few pounds of crawfish and a beer dining over newspapers spread out on a picnic table. Shuck and suck. The simple things in life.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I stepped out one morning and my whole patio was covered with worms. I filled an entire trash can lid thick with them. My girlfriend was still in bed so I went in and showed her my good fortune. She didn't like it at all.

We were camping and fishing by a small but normally productive river in So.Mo. one night with nothing biting. Luckily my buddy caught some kind of shad so we cut it into small pieces and began catching crawdads. With a few beers in us we filled a playmate cooler to the top and boiled them babies up at 2 in the morning. Hit the spot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charley wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

The night before a fishing trip we go out nightcrawler hunting. It has turned into as much of a trip as thr fishing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Growing up in Florida we used to grunt worms up. Anyone here ever heard of that? Now days I just wait for a good rain and pick them up in my driveway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheEasternShore... wrote 5 years 1 week ago

crayfish easy. it looks like throwing a bait net might be cool

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from woofbarkenarf wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Out here in AZ, it's difficult to find good nightcrawler grounds. It's mostly decomposed granite where I live(near the Mogollon Rim). When I take the kids out, we use small dipnets in the fast-moving water and turn over rocks in front of them.This is a great technique for getting hellgramites, and small crayfish.The Smallmouths, and the catfish, (and sometimes trout) cannot resist a fresh 'gramite drifted with little or no weight in the rivers around here. The kids seemed to be just as excited about gathering the bait as they were when reeling in a prize catch!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I love catching them all. Crawlers, crayfish, hoppers and minnows. It is a sport within itself. As a small kid (early 70's) I'd travel far and wide to catch bait and sell it to the guys who fished the ponds and creek near my house. I made good money. My favorite crayfish trap was a huge roll of farm fence left in the river with a little bit of meat in the middle. The crayfish would get caught in the fence long enough for me to roll it to shore. My minnow seine has got to be 30 years old. Good times.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwaynez wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I still remember the times my dad would send me out to the chicken coops and tell me to load up a bucket with worms for the next days fishing trip.

Crawfish trips were great as well, we would use dip nets and walk little water holes and creek beds to load up on crawfish.

Grasshoppers, we would go out at night into the tall weeds near our house, the big giant grasshoppers would all be sitting at the top of the weeds, all you had to do was stay quiet and move very slowly, you could pickup more than you could count. We filled bags full and would use what we wanted on the next days trip and freeze the rest for future trips.

We built bait boxes as kids to keep grasshoppers and other insects alive for future fishing trips.

Gathering bait for the trips was almost as much fun, if not more fun than the actual fishing trip.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwaynez wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

woofbarkenarf

I could not agree more on the hellgramites, they are a killer catfish bait here in Texas, wading streams and turning over rocks for them is a fun adventure.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I love to catch little perch, just to let them get annihilated by pike in a feeding frenzy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

My grandma used to pick up worms on her morning walk for us grand kids to fish with.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from senkoman12 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

nightcrawlers and crawfish its about as fun as fishing its self

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from VT Outdoorsman wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Mackerel on christmas tree jigs....man they put up a fight.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I often collect bait like this even though i rarely use it,

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntersteve wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I'll catch creek chubs in the creek out behind my parent's house on an ultralight rod and a piece of worm, hook it on, walk over to our pond, and toss it to the bass. The creek chubs are fun, but sight-fishing to bass with one is even more fun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huntersteve wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

*should be parents', not parent's

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wallofsam wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

The afternoon before my dad and I would go on a weekend fishing trip, my dad would soak the groung and then at 10:00p.m. we would get our flashlights and collect worms for our bait. What a blast! It's memories like these I hope my kids have about me!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

me and my 3 kids throw cast nets for shrimp and that is more fun for me because i get to watch my kids learn and figure out the nets,and i get to spend time with them doing something we all can do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hindel 312 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

my older brother taught me how to nightcrawlor"hunt".and me and one or two of my buddies go out and find dozens and dozens ofem for all types of fish

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joshua Brown wrote 5 years 4 days ago

If you are looking to catch night crawlers on a warm summer night and doesn't look like rain there is another way to make the monsters come out of the ground. When I was 12 I started my own night crawler bait store. In order to catch them and keep up with the damand I used to wait till dusk and go out and set the sprinkler in the lawn and turn it on for about an hr. Afer dark I would go to the same area and drench the lawn with the hose. A half hr later the night crawers would think it's raining and lay on the ground and I would just have to scoop them up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cAnyBux90 wrote 5 years 1 day ago

The most fun I have had when catching bait is usin sabiki rigs to catch small smelt and mackerel five at a time, on a small light action rod five of these put up one hell of a fight

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan Dufner wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

i don't know if it's legal but i know you can rig a car battery and a couple probes to shock night crawlers from the ground.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment