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My little shared insight while eating my late lunch:

I'm a scientist by trade, and we all area scientists and engineers by hobbies. Even though we may not have PhDs, masters, and BS/BA degrees, we all have capacities to learn, observed, and formulates our approaches. However, with newer advancement and technologies, we're losing the basic/fundamental foundation of what's right and wrong when it comes to fishing.

Think about it for a moment. We went from the natural process of walking/running for days, to animal based transports to get to the same destinations within hours, to automotives that only take us minutes. Yet, what's the environmental impacts from our convenient?

Now, take that, and apply to fishing. We went from natural baits, to artificial lures ranging from natural materials to synthetic, now, we're going full synthetic, utilizing artificial enhancement attractants to boost the synthetic material's effectiveness. We are at the top of the food chain. What we use to catch sport fishes and release them back into the wild will create ripple effects from the lower food chains, back to us. Even when we're using synthetic materials to catch the targeted species for food sources, we're still liable in introducing fragments of the synthetic materials into the waters. As results, we're destroying our waters that house so much supporting biota for various living organisms.

An example, where I live, anglers are teaching their kids their poor habits of using more and more synthetic materials. The infamous one is the dissolving dough, which made primarily for trouts, mimicking pellets fed to the stocked trouts by the sport fisheries. Issue arise as glitters, petroleum distillates, and synthetic chemical compounds are being ingested, digested, and assimilated by the creatures that live in and on the waters. Everyone should check out articles of what happen when aquatic and migratory creatures consume synthetic materials over time. Not a pretty picture. Try to search on articles about the worldwide floating trash islands, and their impacts on the aquacultures. Take that, and apply it to your local favorite fishing spots.

Okay, enough rambling on my side. Your question to me probably be, "So? What do you want us to do?" Easy. Time to go back to the old mother nature's provision as live baits. Do you know that synthetic materials and attractants are nothing more then overly enhanced natural chemical compounds that already exist in nature, within your live baits? Here are somethings to think about:

1. Do you know that the chemical they used to preserve "live" worms in a jar is nothing more than extracted components of extracted juice of cooked shellfishes, and rotten fish bodies? The company simply cooked the materials up, distill the juice to make it clear, remove the foul odors, and add food coloring to create attractiveness for anglers to bewildered about as they foolishly purchase the jars of products.

2. Do you know that live baits are much more effective in catching fishes than dead/dried live baits in a jar/can/container? Why? Because the body fluid secreted by the punctured victims release pheromonal enzymes and proteins that's attract the predation species. Imagine a dying live bait like a hot piping 22 toppings pizza being dropped into the room full of hungry mouths.

3. Enhancement sprays in a jar/bottle can be reproduced at costs of pennies, a bit of your time you normally spend in front of the TV, and a bit of brain power we are serious under using.

4. Do you know that by using live baits, you're promoting the preference choices of live baits for future generations of the fishes, as you program the current generations to active pursue the the natural baits of choices without bias? If you're using synthetic, synthetic materials promotes awareness, thus, causing shier bites as you utilize and reutilize the synthetic materials. We end up having to create more realistic synthetic materials to fool the fishes. Why do that? Go with the original approach..use the real thing.

Ever wonder about something like this?

If you take a handful of nightcrawlers, put them in the blender, toss in a bit of flour to make a dough, add a bit of salt and sugar, you make one heck of a multispecies fishing pellet. If you don't like handling the stinky worms, how about Yap Cheese recipe for fishing?

Ever wonder if you raise your crickets to eat cabbage, rather than fruits, they stick to high heaven, yet, the fish prefer the ones eating cabbage over the ones eating fruits 3-to-1? If you eat cabbage, girls will pick the guys that don't eat cabbage over you 3-to-1? Garlic wise, girls will pick other guys that don't eat garlic 10-to-1, yet, fishes will seek after the stinky/foul smelling live baits more so. Hm..off topic there for a moment..

Take home message is, try to teach new generations of anglers, including reintroducing yourself, back to the original recipes of successes: live baits. Raise your own, and experiment with a the renewable resources that will provide you the edges to land you fishes every time.

Now..don't let the spoon master, Bill "Musky" Modica know about your fancy of live baits over his spooning methods. He might be able to reconvert you back to his heavy metal way of thinking. Lunch break over..time to get back to work.

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Replies to This Discussion

Live bait is proven roughly 3x more effective than its synthetic counterpart in my 3x3x:30 min. testing. Real spikes (grubs) defeated Gulp spikes fished on the same rig, same spot.
Leo great points! Besides wanting to catch 3x more fish, $25 worth of live bait feeds the fish- $25 worth of Synthetic plastics just confuses the fish. On venues where we run live bait leagues the fish are larger because the get protien and carbs instead of plastic. Did you know that jar baits used here are banned in U.K. Fisheries?! There is a Department of fisheries that won't stand for products being innested on commercial and live fisheries that harm the fish. Certain fisheries actually dictate bait mixes to have a certain amount of protien vs. grains!
The fishing you are talking of- I practice exclusively. No sprays, WD40, rubberized grubs - why not? I don't fish with things fish like to eject.
During my testing I noticed that fish eject and reject even "the best" jar bait. When compared to a moving grub with juices- in good condition with good movement, the artificial bait created more missed strikes as the baits were exiting the bluegill's mouths so quickly. The fish hung onto the live grub resulting in more hook-ups than the bait that says on the label "Outfishes All Other Baits 5x" whoops.
Fresh bait rules (.) if we are talking about:
1. Catching More and Larger Fish
2. Fish Health

I wouldn't use a jar bait even as a last resort- I would start digging well before it came to that. Nice post Leo.

I've made notation of all your finding in the previous tests of the 3:3:30. It got me pondering why I even care to test artificial baits. However, human curiosity got the best of me, so I had to try, going against all my nature that is.

Indeed, you are dead on about ejective-rejective reaction. The chemical compound in latex, vinyl, and petroleum distillate of any kind acts like a gag-reactive complex, something like a spoon, or better yet, an untreated condom/dish washing glove (sorry to be so graphic) shoved down into our throat. To mask the rejective compounds, salt, I mean lots an lots of salt crystals, and enhanced scent compounds are being used on top in massive concentration.

BUT, have anyone notice that you can use a whole tube of sunblock/sunscreen on your body, gently rinse your hand off in the water, and handle the synthetic materials, no matter the masking scent, the fishes will run away. However, take out a nightcrawler, handle it a while, letting the coelomic fluid scatter all over your hand, wash the hands if you want, the first worm you handled will be rejected by the fishes, but the second and the following will be met with hungry mouths? Natural proteins and pheromones massacre the synthetic's versions by a long mile.

Now, I'm pushing my synthetics aside, working jigs and lures with as much natural materials as possible (unfortunately the rubber legs and reflective flashabou are not natural but ejected via the biological waste stream more readily than petroleum based synthetics), but at the same time, bring live bait offerings to fatten these natural beauties up.

Dang Leo.....my lunch break consists of five minutes, with my lunch eaten while standing up, answering the phone and writing tickets!

Thanks for posting that....it's definitely food for thought.

One hour lunch break Tony..either talk useless with people who only care about how pretty they look, or discussing something with BBG family about the important of environmental affair to preserve the great things for the future. It's a slow day. Don't want to fall asleep, and don't want to drink any more coffee.

Very nice, Leo. If I had half your brains...

I love artificials, especially the tried and true forms like spinners, spoons and poppers. But I always have worms with me, too.
I will try adding some garlic to them.

How did I miss this excellent rant expressed  with intelligence and humor by Leo! Great points by Johnny Wilkins also in the comments section.

dead on leo!!  great advise!!   makes you stop and think !!

Can I use Flies?

Why not? Half of the traditional fly's make-up is practically made from recycled live animals. I worry more about the accumulative synthetic materials being ingested by food chains, and eventually, we're the ultimate consuming body that inherit it all.

I use live bait for panfish about 85% of the time, I catch a lot of it my self. I chose to make my floats out of natural materials as much as possible. If i do lose them they won't cause any harm or even be noticed like the styrofoam or plastic ones you see littering the water.
I grab all the ones I see littering the water and repurpose them.

Makes sense to me!

I'm old enough to remember when a fishing trip included catching night crawlers the night before the trip, or a stop to set a minnow trap or seine minnows on the way to the "fishin' hole".

I think the shift to artificial baits is for convenience (time saving in a fast paced world) only.

Now that I'm retired that time spent gathering bait can be fun, too.

The only problem is it's much harder to reach those night crawlers now!

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