Cermele: Eat Your Bait

crabs

With summer approaching, I got to thinking about crabbing last night. It's actually one of my favorite kinds of "fishing," though there are no fish involved. I find the tug of a big blueclaw on a hand line as exciting as a largemouth blowing up on a Jitterbug. Blueclaws make a fine summer feast, but head down to Florida and they make a fine tarpon bait, too. A bucket of live ones will cost you.

I'm also a big fan of clamming and seining crayfish. Naturally, the crayfish could end up smallmouth bait or dinner. The clams go nice with drawn butter or on the hook of a striper rig. If you head to China Town here in New York City, you'll find all kinds of bait species, like spearing, ballyhoo, and butterfish, for sale in the fish market. I can get my head around a lot of these creatures as food. Sometimes bait is downright delicious (think calamari). But I can't fathom eating deep-fried leeches, which according to the clip below from "Dirty Jobs" is not terribly uncommon in the Upper Midwest.

So what kind of "bait" do you eat? And if leeches happen to be preferable to your palate, please tell me how they taste, because I won't go there.

JC