The Ultimate BaitBy Dave Duwe - June 1, 2006
When I started guiding, years ago, I was an artificial bait guy; jigs, plastic worms, spinnerbaits, etc. Oh, I caught fish, sometimes a lot of them. My customers who only fished a couple of times a year had fun, however we could have caught double or triple the fish if we would have used the bait from the good earth.
In the lakes I fish most, like Lake Geneva and Delavan Lake, I have found that live bait is the only way to go. You can catch almost every fish that swims and I have (Exception: Lake Trout). The presentation is very basic and every angler can figure it out within a couple a minutes. With a basic presentation, one can concentrate on catching fish. I prefer the split shot rig. It is a single hook and split shot positioned about 18-24 inches above the hook. I use a small Kahle hook (size 12) and a 3/0 round split shot for shallow water. The key to the rig is the round shot, the removable split shot gets hung up on the weeds. The smaller hook enables you to catch a variety of fish from bluegills to walleyes, or even the occasional northern pike.
With my customers busy catching fish I can concentrate on my main job, the boat control and not trying to over think the multitudes of different presentations that would or could be working at that time.
The split shot rig can be electric motor trolled or drifted with similar success. Night crawler fishing is different than artificial fishing because you can't set the hook right away. You must let the fish eat it, it's a natural bait and doesn't involve tricking the fish or getting a reaction strike.
Put your pride aside and bring your fishing back to the basics, it might surprise you how many more fish you will catch using the nightcrawler; The Ultimate Bait.