Raising Crickets For Fishing Bait
Crickets make great bait for catching a variety of fish including bass, trout, and all kinds of pan-fish such as Bluegill. Crickets can often lure fish that other types of baits do a poor job of attracting. If you love fishing, you may want to consider breeding and raising your own bait crickets. That way, instead of having to make trips to the bait shop all the time, you can have your own unlimited supply of live bait right at your fingertips. So how do you get started?
How to Catch Crickets:
I always recommend that reptile pet owners avoid catching wild crickets to use as feeders, since wild crickets can carry parasites. However, it’s different when you plan to use the crickets for recreational fishing. Even if you are going to eat the fish you catch, you will most likely be cooking the fish and killing any parasites in the process (especially since all fish already contain plenty of parasites). So as a fisher, you have two options: catch the breeder crickets yourself, or buy them from a pet store/ bait shop / wholesale suppler.
The best way to catch crickets is simply to find a wooded area or grassy area where you can hear the chirps. Protect your body with long pants, boots, and gloves to defend against ticks or poisonous plants. Go where you hear the chirps and lift up rocks, leaves, or any wood piles. Snatch up the crickets and place them into your container before they hop away. Make sure you have at least one male and one female. The females have an ovipositor that looks like a stinger coming out of the back of the abdomens.
Or, the easier way would be to just head to your local bait shop or pet store and purchase some brown crickets. You can even buy them in bulk online from various suppliers.
How to Breed Them:
Be sure to read Cricket Breeding Made Easy. Although it is primarily directed toward reptile owners, you’ll follow the same steps when it comes to housing and breeding the crickets. You just won’t have to worry as much about what you feed the crickets. You can keep them alive on almost anything from seeds to fresh fruit and veggies to fish flakes or cat food. The nutritional value of the crickets is not as important when raising them for fishing bait.
How to Fish With Them:
You’ll want to fish with crickets using a bobber or float and a #8 or #10 bait hook. A split shot 6 inches above the hook using the least amount of weight possible will help the cricket fall through the water more easily. If you want, you can run the hook through the wings so that the cricket stays alive.
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