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Live Bait Good or Bad

Posted by editor on December 20, 2015




I can remember going into a local bait store and asking my father what was this basket looking thing. It looked pretty cool, he said its a minnow trap. Even though I was little kid I always had an entrepreneurial mind. The thought came to me that I could trap my own minnows and sale them. Well, that dream quickly faded . Once I found out that a good place to put them was in a creek, my passion died. I know snakes are in the water and other things like leeches and we don't like each other. But there are some people that are not paranoid of things like that and put out minnow traps.


Also, growing up in New Jersey we were an hour or so from the Atlantic Ocean. So every now and then we would go surf or pier fishing for flounder, bluefish, rockfish aka striper and weakfish aka sea trout. This is where the casting net was introduced to me. My father and I would go night fishing from the pier and see some guys casting a huge net for bait called Bunker aka Menhaden. Later on in life I discovered catfishermen use the same type of net to catch shad. 


It's no question that catching your own bait and then catching fish on it is very rewarding but there might be a problem. The problem starts when you take that live bait and remove it from it's location and transport it to another body of water in or out of state. You might say whats the big deal?

In the last couple of years the fishing industry has undergone some major changes. Changes that involve new regulations and changes that cost a lot of money. The introduction of invasive species such as zebra mussels, silver carp, bighead carp, northern snakehead and much more there has been negative changes to some bodies of water and peoples way of life. These invaders were introduced to our lakes, rivers, streams by a person. Not saying it was done on purpose but it happened and it's costing the United States billions of dollars every year. People might say a billion dollars is a lot of money, they should have fixed the problem by now. The good thing is they have slowed the rapped growth of these problems but the problems still remains due to people not obeying rules, regulations or just not informed of the severity of transporting wild bait fish. I'm for live bait and I think it will be around for a long time.

The silver head carp looks similar to a gizzard shad when it's young. At a quick glance you could get them confused. The photo below shows how they resemble. 

nobait_002.jpgPhoto Credit: http://mdc.mo.gov/your-property/problem-plants-and-animals/invasive-animals/asian-carp-control