By Eric sharp 

 Thursday October 1998
A must for anglers: Try it and you'll get stuck on Bait Stick
By Eric Sharp
When I write about a new product, I normally don't write about it again for a long time unless there's some substantive change. I'm going to break that rule today and write again about Bait Stick, a new way to glue baits to hooks that was in this column a few weeks ago. I've heard from a batch of people who've tried it and raved about it, and I have experimented with it myself even more, and it just seems to get better with each new use. It's just too good not to give it a try.Live ants have proved to be an absolutely wonderful bait for sunfish.Available almost anywhere, they're so abundant that once you locate some nests you'll have a summer-long supply. Ideally you'll find some old logs or a dying tree that's home to a colony of carpenter ants - which bluegills apparently think are fish candy. I put a couple of hundred ants into a straight-sided, clear plastic container about four inches in diameter and three deep. Using a No. 10 bait hook, I smeared a blob of Bait Stick the size of a pinhead along the bend of the hook, dipped it into the container, and pulled out four or five at a time. Jearald Dudley, Bait Stick's angler's inventor, usually tries to touch his glue-covered hook to each ant's abdomen. I just kind of globbed them on any way I could.It was probably the ant's nonstop squirming that made them out-fish worms by about four to one when fished deep (about 15 feet) for bluegills. I suspect sunfish have superb close range vision (just watch one in clear water as it eyeballs a bait from an inch away). They also feed on very small insects and crustaceans. So little things that we might not notice, like the fluttering abdominal gills of a mayfly larva or wriggling legs on an ant, probably have a significant impact on helping the fish to decide whether or not this is food, especially in the dim light several yards deep in a lake.The biggest drawback to Bait Stick is its stickiness. There's a tendency to use too much and, if you're a natural-born slob like me, get it
all over your hands (it's the consistency of pine resin). Dudley keeps some mineral spirits in a little bottle to clean up. Slobs will probably be just as happy with my technique - rub on a little sand or dirt and it balls up and rolls off. One man called to complain that I had unveiled his secret weapon. For a couple of years he has glued three of four maggots to his hook with Baitstick and limited out on trout in 30-50 feet of water while people trolling cowbells and using other midsummer techniques got skunked. So I tried fishing maggots with Bait Stick on a slip bobber about 40 feet deep in a trout lake near Grayling. The results weren't spectacular, three 10-13 inch Brookies in two hours. But six other anglers in four boats on the same lake, all fishing worms or corn, caught one 12-incher between them in the same time.Another situation where Bait Stick and  next page

 

 

 

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