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Stinkbaits. These are concoctions that you make at home and use for catfish and carp. The most simple stinkbait is a doughball, which in a pinch can be made by mixing up some flour and water. Some fishermen have elevated stinkbait-making into an art form, mixing cornmeal with substances such as anise, garlic, animal blood, and cheese (all proven carp- and catfish-attracting scents) to come up with the perfect bait.

To make your own, try mixing together any or all of the above ingredients, adding water slowly until it reaches a consistency that allows you to form a small, tight ball with it. When fishing, mold some of it completely around a hook, add a sinker to your line, cast out, and let it rest on the bottom. Eventually the scent will disperse in the water, and if a fish is hungry, it will follow that scent to the bait.

Stinkbaits are also commercially prepared, and are one of many preserved baits you can purchase at a tackle shop, which is covered next.

Baits in a Bottle

There are two types of preserved baits: those that consist of once-living organisms, and those that don't.

Preserved minnows can be purchased at many tackle shops. They come frozen, preserved in jars, or freeze-dried. While these are nowhere near as good as live or fresh minnows, they do catch those species that eat minnows, and they're certainly easier to handle and store, as they are already dead. You should hook preserved minnows through the lips, add some weight to your line, and retrieve them slowly after casting them out. Leeches and mealworms also come preserved, and should be fished in the same manner as fresh ones.

Salmon eggs are popular baits for trout. They are usually sold in small jars and come plain (a pale yellow), tinted (fluorescent orange and red are two popular colors), and/or scented (cheese or anise, for example). Salmon eggs should be fished on, obviously enough, a salmon-egg hook, which is a short-shanked, gold-colored hook no larger than the egg itself. In moving water, add a split shot to your line and cast up- and across-stream, letting the egg drift with the current close to the bottom. In still water, use a bobber or let the egg sit on the bottom.

Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

This is a great collection of delicious fish and shell fish recipes that you will love.

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