DoorGunner

They do love live bait.

21 posts in this topic

There is a private lake across the street from my girlfriends house that a long time ago was loaded with bass and bluegills. Every bass was stunted and scrawny We didn't know it was illegal then but about seventeen years ago me and my buddy dumped about a dozen pickerel and a mess of crappie and yellow perch in to see if they would take. Me and the girlfriend broke up after that and reconnected three years ago and last fall I was on her front porch and watched a guy who was fishing the only public area where the lake reached the road walk back to his truck with about seven crappie on a stringer. Got me interested. 

 

On New Years morning she was going for a long walk with her two girlfriends to start the new year and I headed across the street to her one girlfriends back yard with a short dock. Had two rods and a bunch of minnows and wanted to start my new year. Wasn't expecting much since this is the shallow end of the lake and the water is cold. Only problem with this end is there are many lily pads and their stalks are still visible just below the surface and covered in green slime. No way to fish artificial's and keep them clean. Difficult to fish bait and keep it clean. 

 

It seems our illegal stocking worked as the lake seems better balanced. the neighbor who fishes once in a while said he catches some big bass now and I had fun with the perch and pickerel. Had a good day on New Years with about a dozen of each and the past two days was even more fun. My girl had cataract surgery and I was the driver. The recent cold snap has made it difficult to find live minnows but there is one spot across the road from our dock in Wildwood. It's a ditch between the road and a parking lot that gets water only during the high tide. Put a bunker in it and tossed it in for about twenty minutes.

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Fished about an hour and a half each day and enjoyed every minute of it. And to think the lake was thick ice just five days ago with the brutal cold. totaled about thirty fish and twice had two rods hooked up at once. Had the float set at about a foot and a half to keep it clear of the real thick green slime. Just a little slice of heaven right across the street.

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Just a thought. I'm down here in Wildwood and if anyone needs any live bait just give me a call at 609-522-3017. This time of year I have pounds of live grass shrimp around the dock and an easy catch with my drop net and live minnows. Just give me a day or two and you can have them no charge. I know what a pain it is to fish the winter and trying to find live bait.  

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Pretty cool getting back to a place you once fished, right?

 

Very nice gesture wrt the live bait.  We have a nice little honey hole up here we've been cultivating with shiners and fatheads.  ;-)

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On 2/9/2019 at 8:11 PM, DoorGunner said:

Just a thought. I'm down here in Wildwood and if anyone needs any live bait just give me a call at 609-522-3017. This time of year I have pounds of live grass shrimp around the dock and an easy catch with my drop net and live minnows. Just give me a day or two and you can have them no charge. I know what a pain it is to fish the winter and trying to find live bait.  

Nice offer for the live bait. When I was a kid. I used to fish with live grass shrimp. Man I caught the largest small mouths and trout loved them..... 

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We always have grass shrimp around our dock but they are real thick during the winter months. We have a tide at the dock but the water moves in from two different directions, from the south and the west. Tide goes up and down but little current as the flow goes against each other. I believe the shrimp congregate here because there is food and they don't have to fight a strong current. Once we hit spring and the water begins to warm they thin out as they move out into the current. 

 

Once the water warms the grass shrimp begin to reproduce as the females load up with eggs. The dark mass under her body around her legs are the eggs. 

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Every female has about the same amount of eggs and there are countless female shrimp in our back bays. Grass shrimp are the food pump that feeds every fish in our waters. In May they drop their eggs in perfect timing for all the baby fish that were just spawned. If anything ever happens to the grass shrimp our waters are doomed. There is no other food source that has the ability to feed the entire system. I have been lucky enough to see grass shrimp drop their eggs twice and it is so cool to see. Shrimp like crabs have to shed their exoskeleton to grow and this is when the shrimp drop their eggs. I always had saltwater aquariums with local fish and lots of grass shrimp to keep them fed. One evening as I watched one of the female shrimp began swimming back and forth across the tank. This was different so I watched. After a few minutes she arched her back and snapped straight out a few times real fast and finally her outer shell split right up her entire length and she popped right out of it. As she did all the eggs released and they slowly drifted towards the bottom. As they did every egg popped open and about a hundred perfectly formed baby shrimp began swimming around. 

 

We often overlook this little critter but it is the most important resident of our waters. Just look in your cooler after a trip. Grass shrimp are sure to be in there that the fish you caught have regurgitated after being caught. Everything eats grass shrimp and they eat a lot of them.  

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DG,

 

Great breakdown on the grass shrimp. I remember my dad getting it for us. He is the live bait angler in the family. He would get them in marsh inlet piers with a umbrella net. He would get saw dust from his job. Then after he caught the shrimp he would throw them in the saw dust to keep them live for a few days to fish with them.

 

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2 hours ago, TheFishing Pole said:

DG

Any reason why you don't use grass shrimp for fresh water as opposed to the killies?

Two reasons. First I like the fact that I have a live minnow trying to swim around down there drawing attention plus it's a natural bait for the fish. Not many grass shrimp in fresh water. Plus depending on what I'm fishing for I can use some big minnows. When I go I have an assortment of sizes because sometimes they seem to want small and other times they want big. Grass shrimp are all the same size.

Second. I can put a pretty good cast on a minnow with no problem. Shrimp are very soft and a hard cast just sends them flying. 

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Spoke with my girlfriends neighbor yesterday then with the producer of our fishing show and got a yes from both. Hopefully next week I will head up with our camera guy and tape a show. Won't mention the name of the lake or show any landmarks and just call it any lake in South Jersey. Maybe give some people the idea that if you like to fish then there are options during the winter. Plus unlike saltwater, these fish can't do much migrating other than the north to the south end of the lake. Sad but most people down here just think saltwater and we have so many beautiful lakes. Just perfect for keeping your head into the game.

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We use grass shrimp quite a bit.  We don't have an issue keeping them on the hook.....but we aren't trying to sling them 50 yards in the wind.  Mostly pitching to closer targets.  Heavy, weighted floats help.

 

If you can catch alot if them, they are awesome chum.  Just toss a few here and there.  The fish will give themselves away flashing on the shrimp.

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