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How To/Pro-Tips

Catching Bluegill from the Bottom

Bluegill are bottom feeders, most of the time anyway. Sure, there are times in the warm-weather months that bluegill will rise to smack hapless flying insects on the surface, but they spend far more time near the bottom. If you want your kids to catch more of them teach them to fish with slip corks that will keep their baits near the bottom.

Circle Hooks

Circle hooks have long been the rage for bait fishermen in saltwater. Now they're catching on inland, too. There's one major difference, though. Standard hooks require a forceful set, but circle hooks do not. Just start reeling and the hook's unique design will hang it in the corner of your fish's mouth. The results are fewer gut-hooked fish and better releases.

Leftovers Don't Lie

Have you ever asked an angler if they caught any fish and then found out they fibbed when the answer was 'no'. If you want to find out if people are catching fish on public water you don't have to rely on fishermen or dock operators who might tell less than the truth for totally different reasons. Go look in the barrels at the fish cleaning stations. Leftovers don't lie.

Homemade Blood Bait

Catfishermen can make their own blood bait. Here's how. Find a farmer or small slaughterhouse that will gather beef blood for you. When you get a bucket or two pour it into shallow cake pans and refrigerate (you might want to consider something away from the kitchen). Then every few days pour the clear liquid off the top. What's eventually left will form a gel that can be cubed into bait-sized pieces and frozen for later use. And channel catfish love it.

Catfish Targeting

Here's a general way to target different species of catfish. Channels will eat almost anything from prepared commercial baits to live or rotten natural ones. Blues will take a live bait, but are more likely to be caught on fresh pieces of cut bait. Flatheads like fish and prefer them alive. Is it any wonder most think they taste the best?

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