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Where do you live and what do you want to catch?
That is what I was wondering also. You fishing for catfish, bluegill, small or large mouth bass, suckers, trout, crappie etc....

Catfish - It is hard to pass up chicken livers for of the "big three" catfish, which are channels, blues and flatheads, but the flat prefer live bait or cut bait over commercial baits. I have seen blues hit commercial bait, but they also like a good live or cut bait. Skip Jack is a prime blue catfish bait. A channel cat will eat almost anything. Other non-live bait is chicken breast, shrimp or many of the aftermarket commercial baits on the market.

Bluegill - They will hit almost anything. Bread balls works well and also you can take a piece of plastic worm, tear off a little piece and place it on the hook and have a field day. I know of a pond where the bluegill will hit a bare gold eagle claw hook.

Small & Large Mouth Bass - Any of the aftermarket lures will do the job on any given day. Top Water baits which are too many to list. Also soft plastics work well.

Trout - Just regular old corn will do the job on them most all the time. Go to the supermarket, get you a can of corn and have fun.

Crappie - they prefer live minnows, but there are many aftermarket jigs that will do the job.

It just depends on what you are fishing for. I have only hit the basics of what I have caught each species of fish on, but there are a whole lot more that can be obtained. Just remember, if fish are hungry enough, they will hit almost anything. I have hooked catfish on spinner baits before.

Hope this helps
 

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As Algo is asking it all depends on what you want to catch, are you after trout and salmon for the table or are you on about ctaching fish like catfish for sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As Algo is asking it all depends on what you want to catch, are you after trout and salmon for the table or are you on about ctaching fish like catfish for sport.

I was thinking fish for food when the usual bait is not available such as live worms and minows. Kind of like if you had to make your bait. I love my cast net but that's really only good for sandy bottoms. One snag in winter water and you've lost your net.
 

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I was thinking fish for food when the usual bait is not available such as live worms and minows. Kind of like if you had to make your bait. I love my cast net but that's really only good for sandy bottoms. One snag in winter water and you've lost your net.

What is the majority of species you will be seeking? That could really help narrow it down. Even if you will be seeking several species. Do you have access to a boat, or will you be bank fishing?
 

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A good ol can of biskets work, the kind that POP when u open them. U can add anything to the dough for flavor and color like blood, anise, fish guts, cheese sauce, liver, honey, garlic, parmeshan cheese, anything that stinks good. Iv'e caught Catfish on Gummy Worms.
 

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Lots of great suggestions so far.

Here are a couple of ideas for ground bait (bait that is introduced to an area of water over a few days that attracts and holds the fish), obviously these ideas are best in rivers, lakes and ponds.

This idea is best for the spring and summer...if you go shooting then tie the animal carcass onto a branch of a tree that overhangs the water. After a few days maggots along with bits of flesh will be dropping from the carcass, fish will be holding up in the area.

Dog and cat biscuits. Get a very large bucket and pour enough biscuits into it to fill it 2/3 full. Add boiling water so it just covers the biscuits, leave it to soak in and be absorbed by the biscuits. Now take a biscuit and drop it into water, hopefully you will have added enough water for it to sink. Go to your favourite fishing hole and using a long handled spoon or a fishing catapult put the biscuits into a tight area. Repeat this for 3 nights. Then finally fish the area that you have pre-baited, guaranteed success with just about any hook bait. You can add tinned pet food to the mix for added smelly attraction, in fact you can add just about anything you want!

Dog and cat biscuits (dry). Sit and watch an area for fish activity. Over a period of a few hours keep firing out biscuits every couple of minutes. Fish will start to take the biscuits off the surface, do not try to fish for them too soon! Allow them to become very confident and start to compete with one another.

Now hooking a biscuit is very difficult so here's a tip. Get an elastic band and depending on the size of the biscuits cut it so you have 1 inch long lengths of rubber. Super glue a biscuit onto the elastic, you should have enough spare elastic to be able to thread a hook onto it.

If you are using an ultra light rod you can probably cast the biscuit with no extra weight needed. If you don't have an ultra light rod or are fishing for larger fish then use a bubble float 1/2 filled with water to gain casting distance. Your bubble float should be set 3 feet from the hook bait so as not to spook the fish. Also, instead of casting on top of the fish, try allowing the float to drift up to them.

YB
 

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Here is my .02. for catfish blues and channels Hot Dogs, Ivory soap, Zote soap. For Flatheads use Bream( Bluegills ) and cut off the top dorsal fin. Makes them strugle and the flathead will see a easy mark. I have went to small 1/24 oz. jigs for crappies. Berkley's GULP in the 2 inch swimming minnow on a road runner head is another fine bait for them. But really need to know what type of fish that you are going after? A good rule I always use is to match the bait to what the fish are feeding on in the water you are fishing. This is the old Match the Hatch law and it will work every time.

The Wood Duck
 

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flies work good. buy a bunch now or maybe pick up an inexpensive fly tying kit.
flies and artificial grubs also work for ice fishing. You'll probably want some rapalas and jitterbugs also
 
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