Can't beat live grasshoppers for bait on pond, stream

Outdoors

August 04, 2011|By Hayward Putnam

Late summer fishing and hot weather require a different approach. This is time of the year for slowly fished live bait. My choice for ponds and stream fishing is the live grasshopper. Hooked through the collar just behind the head with the point of the hook facing rear the bait will float naturally.

To fish the bait under the surface, add a small split shot about 6 inches above the bait. Let the bait slowly bounce along the bottom in the current. When the fish takes the bait give the fish time to inhale the bait fully before you set the hook.

Of course all you fly anglers will have great success with grasshopper-like flies. I like to fish them along deep runs where weeds and grass overhang the bank. In these areas many insects fall into the water so fish are likely to feed on them.

In larger bodies of water it is hard to beat minnows which are a natural food for bigger fish. Of course the bigger the minnows the bigger the catch. It is important to scale the minnow size to the fish you hope to catch.

For instance if you are fishing for crappies I suggest minnows of 2 inches or smaller. When fishing for larger game fish the size increases. Fishing for stripers or big catfish in the Susquehanna I use either small white perch of bluegills of 3 inches or less.

In most cases my minnows are rigged with a float. First I place a split shot above the minnow to keep it down and a float at the depth I wish to fish.

Of course as bait sizes go up so must the size of the float. It must be big enough that the bait can't pull it under. This is an easy or lazy way to fish and have lots of fun.

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