Everybody Baits Differently!
I meet a lot of different people here at Beaverland Camp; First time fisher-people right through to pro anglers. And everyone has a different method of how to catch fish. I always ask all of our visitors what they are using, what rigs they have setup, and what has proven to catch fish. You see I am still learning how to fish in Northern Ontario. So any tips and tricks our guests may have, I soak it all in.
We have a beautiful river and lake system here at Beaverland. Every lake and river is different in their own way (working on a blog post all about the water systems...stay tuned).
Little Marten Lake
Big Marten Lake
Popular Live Baits
Earthworms: Not just for grade 9 science class experiments. Earthworms are my bait of choice for most fish in our water system. I'll rig them up in different ways to catch certain fish or to avoid others. We sell worms by the dozen at the Beaverland Store.
Minnows: Feed the grown up fish their babies. Minnows work great on Pickerel, Pike, Perch and Bass. Fact is most fishes main diet is other fish. Minnows are sometimes hard to find due to new MOE trapping regulations.
Leeches: I had a joke for leeches...it bloody sucked. Leeches can be found at most bait and tackle shops around the area. Personally I have never used leeches. Probably because of the 'leech' scene from Stand By Me. I could be missing out on something here, but not sure if the reward outweighs the risk!
Spinnerbaits: Bass and Pike will hammer these lures on a regular basis. Its a fun way to catch fish. You'll need a stiff'er rod for these lures as they tend to be heavier and create more drag than other cast and retrieve lures.
Crankbaits: They make crankbaits for all species of fish, transparency and depth of water. You can even get them in all different colours. This way you can colour match your lures to your rod, boat and footwear.
Fake Live Baits: Earthworms, minnows and leeches in plastic form. Some fisher-people swear by fake live baits. Its nice not having to put a new worm on after every bite. Probably one of my favorite types of baits as I like using jigs.
Topwater Baits: Casting a popper, fake frog or jitterbug into lilypads or under a fallen tree along the shoreline gets my heart racing. Having a Bass or Pike breach the water and attack the lure is amazing!
The water system is host to a plethora of fish species. So how do you catch these fish? What bait do you need to use? Do you use different baits for different fish? Do you need different baits for specific water conditions? Am I going to keep asking questions to fill my blog's word count? Lets dive into some of these questions.
Pickerel (Walleye): Probably the best tasting North American freshwater fish out there. There are all sorts of Pickerel lures on the market and I have tried a couple dozen with limited success. Setting up a Pickerel rig (Google search Walleye rig) with a worm or minnow will land these fish. With the right wind, water temps and rig setup, you can limit out fast.
Northern Pike (Freshwater River Croc's): Northern Pike are predator fish and they hunt and chase their meals. Fast moving baits like spinner baits grab their attention real fast. Minnows are also great baits to use. I've had Pike take my catch right off my hook as I retrieved it. You'll find Northern Pike around the Beaverland docks and in other areas where bait fish are hanging around.
Smallmouth Bass: Hook up a smallie and you are in for a good fight. They go after just about any lure. They are a spastic fish, watch your fingers when taking out the hook as they'll most likely freak the heck out.
Largemouth Bass: You won't find many Largemouth Bass in our water system...but they are out there. Topwater, crankbaits and spinnerbaits seem to do the trick.
Rock Bass: These fish are fun to catch and put up a moderate fight. You'll find a hook, worm and sinker off the dock works the best. Great fish for a young fisher-person to catch.
Lake Trout: These fish lurk in the deep shadows of the lakes...so you are not catching them from the docks. Crossing Little Marten Lake as the depth plunges on the fish finder, you'll see hundreds of fish stacked up 80' down. These are Lakers. You'll need a special rig (that you can easily make yourself) with a 2oz sinker, a spoon or roe bag works best. A stiff rod is needed to bring these heavyweights up.
Perch: My favorite cold water catch. Not only are these fish beautiful to the eye, they are a fantastic tasting fish. You can catch perch on just about any bait, live or artificial, as long as the size is geared to the size of the fish. The most common and probably most effective bait for early-season perch is a small minnow fished on a plain hook or a light jig head. If you catch a Perch during the warm months, I suggest throwing it back...they tend to be full of worms. If cleaned and cooked properly they are perfectly safe to eat, as long as you can get past 'eating worms'.
Catfish: Stinky, slimy and delicious. Just like my Grandma Murphy's cooking. Wait until sunset and fish from the docks at Beaverland with a hook and worm on the bottom of the river. You can catch them by the hundreds. Teach your kiddos how to take them off the hook as they have very sharp barbs on their dorsal and side fins. Getting poked by one of them can be painful.
Sunfish: I have no idea how a 4oz fish can feel like a 5lb Bass when you hook into them. Just like Rock Bass, a worm, hook and sinker is all you need. Perfect fun for the kiddos off the dock. Be prepared to go through 86 dozen worms.
Now of course there are many other ways to catch these fish, these are just my opinions and observations put into cleaver words.
What are some baits that you use? What will you never use again?
Keep your lines tight fisher-people!