Live bait question.

Discussion in 'Bass Discussions' started by Walter Adkins, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. I was out yesterday fishing the Big Darby. When I headed back to the car I came across a guy that was bass fishing with live bait. I watched him catch a nice smallmouth and let it go. He was not keeping any of the fish he caught just having some fun.

    How do you fill about bass fishing with live bait?
  2. I fill fine about fishing for bass with livebait? Ever use softcrawls for smallies? And the next time you're out fishing a farm pond, tadpoles and small frogs can be hard to beat sometimes.

  3. I think that it is cheating. No moral or ethical objections, I just think that it reveals a lack of skill.

    Fortunately, I am so skilled at the art of bass fishing that I would never have to resort to live bait.
  4. I decided that after last year of not catching many fish, I was going give live bait a shot this year. So far in the last few weeks, I have caught more fish than I did all of last year (not counting catfish). Most of my bass have been smaller. But I really havn't ventured to larger waters yet. Most of my pond access is public, so the pressure is little high. I also have found out that I have under estimated the fun in pursuing gills and crappie. :D

    I definatly have had more fun this year with a bobber, and nightcrawlers/wax worms/minnows than spending trip after trip being skunked last year. If you like to cover more water, my favorite bass bait is a nightcrawler, with a small sinker about 12'' up the line. It is just a little hard to cast far without it tearing off the hook.

    Catslammer out.
  5. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    I dont think there is anything wrong with live bait.I am also in favor of catch and release.
  6. I don't see nothing wrong with it. I've caught a few three to five pound bass out of ponds while crappie fishing with minnows. I would rather use artificials but sometimes I want to simply catch fish. I would love to give smallies a shot with soft craws!
  7. Though I prefer to use artificial bait, there are times when live bait produces better and that is what I'll use. I can recall a smallmouth trip with Lundy when I stayed with artificial until he landed his fourth bass on golden shiners. I switched to live bait and proceeded to catch fish.
  8. I dont have a problem with it but I hardly ever use live bait just because its easier to just grab my vest with all my stuff in it and not have to stop and get live bait. Seems like some people dont like to use live bait for bass but its ok for crappie, why is that? Is it just that they think its too easy to catch bass with live bait and want more of a challenge?
  9. I too hardly ever use live bait because getting live bait can be a hassle and expensive. But I agree with Mr. Brich in that I'll use whatever they are hitting. I fish to have fun which means catching fish so whatever means necessary as far as bait goes.

    What type of bait was the guy fishing with Walter?
  10. I see no problem with use of live bait. Does it make it easier to catch bass? In most cases I believe so. But what is the harm in catching a lot of fish. The key thing that I think any fisherman needs to be aware of when practicing C&R (on any species) is to reduce the risk of deep hooking and killing fish. If done properly and you can accomplish a successful realease of the fish then no harm is done.

    I think that many people have the impression that it is "cheating" simply because they have read and watched a lot of tournament fishing. It is cheating if you are competing against others and the guidelines state that you can not use live bait. But if done for one's own enjoyment it is not cheating.
  11. Good point about deep hooking fish. I would suggest circle hooks when using live bait for bass.
  12. If you think that professional bass tournament fisherman would never use live bait (outside of tournaments), then you're missing out. Most tournaments have few restrictions on pre-tournament fishing techniques. Some bass anglers use bait either to find fish so they can catch them with artificials or they use it to chum an area to hold fish. Is that unethical? The rules don't prevent it. Besides, you still have to hope the weather does't trump your chum. If the shad move out, if the crayfish get scarce, etc. then you can bet you don't have enough minnows to keep 'em there.

    After all, what is it about fishing that draws us back? It's about catching fish!

    Now what compels us to fish tournaments? It's about showing our superior prowess in catching fish within the limits of the rules. If the rules allowed live bait, some anglers would use it and some would not. Just look at walleye/saugeye tournaments. Sometimes live bait is just not as efficient as artificial. What it comes down to is that the B.A.S.S. movement of the 1970's painted an illusion that good fisherman don't need or even use live bait, nets, and so on.

    If bass fishermen (or any purist for that matter) are so ethical and knowledgeable, then they shouldn't use depthfinders, GPS, graphite rods, trollilng motors, rain gear, sun screen, bug repellant, or polarized sunglasses. In fact, maybe the catfish "noodlers"/"grabblers" are the epitome of a true fisherman :p Can you say "Git 'R Dun!"?
  13. Nickadams

    Nickadams goenfurshen

    I think you have part of it right, but I think the point BASS made by not allowing live bait is that they want (in a tounrament setting) for the action of the bait to be produced by the fisherman not the bait. It goes along with not allowing trolling in a tournament. When you use live bait the bait produces it's own action and when you troll the angler has no contol except maybe for depth.
    I don't think there is anything wrong with using live bait for recreational fishing. You still have to do all the work finding the fish, which I have found to be the hardest part :eek:
  14. sold 7 doz 3 inch chubs last week just for bass fishing
  15. The guy I saw was using minnows.
    I prefer lures because there is more of a challenge. I also like being able to put on the vest and go. I have used live bait on the rivers and ponds in WV. Through a mud eel out anywhere and everything from bluegills to sauger will take it. The trouble with mud eels is getting them. In the rivers of WV and VA put on a mad tom and the small mouths will hit it until there is just a peace of skin left.
    I will still stick with my lures though.
  16. I have no problem w/ using live bait for bass. Circle hooks are an excellent preventative measure against gut hooking, as well as not letting a fish run w/ your bait for a long time before the hookset. As far as ethics go, I think fishing for bass on their beds is far more unethical than fishing bait. If BASS fisherman are so concerned about keeping it sporty, I fail to see how dropping a plastic worm on a fish defending its bed is anymore of a challenge.
  17. Sorry... didn't see the previous thread on bed fishing. Didn't mean to reopen that can of worms, pardon the pun.
  18. When I go to farm ponds nothing outproduces live creek chubs anywhere from 3-10 inches.
  19. IMO if you have to make the catching harder you need to move on to more challenging fish not methods. I care about catching fish not how I did it. I guess some guys get bored and invent ways to make catching a 12" bass interesting again. Same goes for trout fishing and fisherman. This is not to say that at times artificials or different techniques may be more or less efficient than natural bait. When the time arrives that I start creating ways to make the fishing "harder" I will fish for something else. Most record class trophies are caught on natural baits for a reason. I agree with Toboso about the bed rippers worrying about live bait being hypocritical. Same goes for the types that will kiss a 12" bass but will wantonly slaughter trophy specimens of "meat" species (sunfish, crappies, walleyes). Trophy fish of any species deserve extra respect and all species are equally valuable. Overall, my fishing interests have evolved as I have satisfied myself personal trophies or numbers with different species. Currently I am on a mad quest for a 2lb. sunfish and trust me I don't care how I catch it or what with. :)
  20. There are some redears in Portage lakes (East Res) that may put you close to your 2# quest. Good luck.