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How to Bait a Hook (with Almost Anything)

If you’re lucky (and sporty), summer means going <a title="Fishing" href="http://www.atgstores.com/fishing_2395.html" target="_blank">fishing</a> – but you can’t fish without knowing how to bait a hook. Of course, there are workarounds. You can always have someone else bait your hook, but at some point you become so far removed from the process that you may as well be watching fishing on TV – and no one wants to be that guy. <strong>The Live Worm</strong> Let’s start with the Grand Poobah of all bait, the wild and wonderful earthworm. Yes, he is alive. Yes, he will wiggle. No, he will not want to go on the hook. Here’s how it works: 1. Use your dominant hand to guide the worm. 2. Start threading the worm about 3cm down from the thickest end. 3. Push the hook into the worm and run the hook lengthwise through it for 3cm or so. 4. Exit the hook, push the worm farther up and repeat. 5. Do this until you have about 3cm of the worm left to dangle off the hook. <strong>The Live Shrimp</strong> The difference between using a shrimp and a worm is that you want to maximize the natural paddling motion of the shrimp. To do this: 1. Use your dominant hand to guide the hook. 2. Thread the hook through the carapace – the hard shell behind the head – taking care not to go too deep so you avoid the major organs. 3. Cast immediately to get the most life out of the bait. <strong>The Live Minnow</strong> No lie: This is a challenge. Live minnows are fast, slippery and small, all of which makes them difficult to get on a hook. It may take you a few tries, but these tips will help: 1. Grasp the minnow in your dominant hand with your thumb and first three fingers. 2. Hook the minnow through its upper and lower lips, which is easiest, or through its back. 3. Cast immediately to get the most life out of the bait. <strong>The Rubber Lure</strong> This is an “any which way but loose” kind of situation, much like the live worm although easier to handle. The important part is to make sure you leave the fluttery end to flutter off the end of the hook. Otherwise, it’s the same as hooking a real worm. <strong>The Corn Ball</strong> Some fish prefer starchy foods as bait and so a ball of bread, corn, moistened corn flakes or other grain makes for good bait. The trick to getting these various balls to stay on your hook. The trick: 1. Use sticky, fresh dough as your binder for whatever kind of bait ball you’re making. 2. Form the ball around the end of your hook, pressing firmly so that the material stays put. <strong>The Meat &amp; Cheese</strong> Some classy fish like meat and cheeses. Baiting with meat and cheese depends on the cut, so to speak, but if you’re having trouble you can bundle a combo in a bit of cheesecloth, tie it off and hook the entire ball. We hope these tips help you keep the bait on the hook and put more fish in your frying pan.
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