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Author Topic: sunfish used as bait...  (Read 1098 times)

Fishermantim

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sunfish used as bait...
« on: Jul 10, 2020, 11:46 AM »
Where it is legal, do you/have you ever use sunfish as bait?

Here in MA, it is legal, so I will catch them in the 2-3" size and hook them like a shiner just under the dorsal fin under a float.

Since they are the normal forage for the larger predators they are quite effective.

The only down sides are: availability during the year, as they all eventually grow up and become too big for my use and legality to use them.
(MA allows them to be used, NH doesn't)

The up sides are: they survive better on the hook than shiners, are relatively easy to catch (either net or by hook) they are quite numerous because sunfish breed in large numbers and large groups, and best of all....they're FREE.

I don't use them every time I fish, but when I'm in the mood for live bait I know I can count on them being there.
"God is playing to an audience that's afraid to laugh" (George Burns from "Oh, GOD")

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!" - The Existential Blues

seamonkey84

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #1 on: Jul 10, 2020, 01:33 PM »
Not legal here in Maine, but I know someone that loves to use small sunfish and perch, catches the biggest bass.
"You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something." - Mitch Hedberg

PikeKing23

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #2 on: Jul 10, 2020, 02:17 PM »
I use them all the time, in all sizes.  I trap small ones before ice season along with the shiners and my buddies use them for most of the season.  I also use up to big eater bulls in open water for pike.  Med size is good for bass.  Bluegill seem to work better than the other species and pumpkinseed seem to be the least effective.

I think they are more effective in shallow weedy lakes where they are the primary forage.  I don't think they would work well for something like trout when alewives are present, just MHO.

Catch plenty of decent cats with them too.

filetandrelease

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #3 on: Jul 10, 2020, 02:24 PM »

 Legal here in NY but they count toward your limit same with perch

rgfixit

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #4 on: Jul 10, 2020, 02:57 PM »
Used them and small perch many times for bait. Largemouth and pike love them.

One pond I fish I take a heavy bait casting rig and an ultralight. Nothing better than feeding them what they're used to.

Rg
“You can observe a lot by watching.“

Yogi

fishogger

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #5 on: Jul 10, 2020, 03:47 PM »
they work great.  that's all I use for tip ups in winter.  keep a tank of 30-40, 3-4" gills at the ready. 
some fishermen tell lies,  this one doesnt need to

seamonkey84

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #6 on: Jul 10, 2020, 04:35 PM »
Legal here in NY but they count toward your limit same with perch
Limit on panfish lol. No one wants the ones here in Maine.
"You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something." - Mitch Hedberg

filetandrelease

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #7 on: Jul 10, 2020, 06:16 PM »
Limit on panfish lol. No one wants the ones here in Maine.
Lots of people across the country enjoy panfish,  Maine is 1 of the exception to the rule they are very tasty

seamonkey84

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #8 on: Jul 10, 2020, 07:57 PM »
Lots of people across the country enjoy panfish,  Maine is 1 of the exception to the rule they are very tasty
I would tend to agree, though I rarely eat fish. I’ll keep some as long as they aren’t full of the unsightly worms and cysts. Maybe it’s because we’re just proud of our native brook trout and landlocked salmon (Atlantics), but just about everyone thinks of sunfish and yellow perch as junk fish for kids to play with. White perch and crappie are often targeted though.
"You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something." - Mitch Hedberg

filetandrelease

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #9 on: Jul 10, 2020, 09:42 PM »
 Yes you do have a good
 We have a pretty good fishery here

fishogger

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Re: sunfish used as bait...
« Reply #10 on: Jul 11, 2020, 06:19 AM »
Limit on panfish lol. No one wants the ones here in Maine.


was like that in Minnesota when I started fishing it in the 70s.  they thought we were crazy filleting all those gills. lol
some fishermen tell lies,  this one doesnt need to

 



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