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Eric Sharp   cont.,

live critters whipped artificial's by orders of magnitude was fishing grasshoppers and crickets for stream trout. Using a fly rod, I glued a very fine-wire, English-made dry fly hook to a hopper's abdomen with a blob of Bait Stick the size of a match head. I also used dry-fly floatant to dress the last three feet of the leader and make it float. That often resulted in the hopper drifting just beneath the surface - until I greased the hopper, too. It was like giving a bug a life vest, and hoppers so treaded floated in some amazingly rough water. Throughout a long day on two rivers, from about 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., live hoppers and crickets out fished artificial's by three to one.And even that statistic doesn't tell the whole truth. From about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the ratio was more than 10 -1, and the biggest fish all hit live insects. The trick to casting live hoppers was to slow down the cats to prevent serious whiplash injury. Finally, I wondered about how Bait Stick could be used to catch what has become my favorite gamefish, the big carp that cruises the clear shallows along the shorelines of the northern Great Lakes. I decided to try wigglers - the larvae of the giant Hexegenia limbata mayfly - and glued three or four at a time to a N0. 8 bait holder hook so the wigglers pretty much covered the metal. Using six-pound line (with a single BB shot six inches above the hook). I fished this rig two feet under a three-inch European bobber, spotting small schools of cruising carp while they were still 50-75 yards away and casting so that the bait was in the water at least five seconds before their path intercepted it. The results were remarkable. Using streamer flies or jibs on a spinning rod, my hookup rate on pods of cruising fish is usually about one out of 10. Using Bait Stick and maggots, on this afternoon I got a hookup five out of seven tries. It was really neat, because I could see one or more fish from each school spot the wigglers, turn aside and inhale the bait. Twice , carp raced each other to be the first to this dainty morsel. 

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