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tim420

Sunnies For Bait

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I was fishing with my 4 year old yesterday, and saw lunkers looming right off the drop eyeing sunnies.  I never spent much time bait fishing especially with sunnies for bass.  My son would catch a sunny, say here you go pop,  got you more bait.  Hooked the sunny through the lips with a wide gap worm hook, 4/0 , toss him back in wait a while then bam...line screaming...hookup.  Caught several 3,4 #'s, then i caught my biggest Jersey bass at just over 6 and 1/2 #.  It was sure fun.  I also noticed they bumbed the sunny, turned him around and ate them head first, as to not get spined.  Questions; Anyone else ever do this,  also I someone told me You cant do it according to law. ??

Thanks ;D

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maybe  ::) maybe not  ;D In places where a sunfish is a gamefish they kinda frown on people using it as bait.

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If I were you I would check the regulations first before doing it, in some states it 's illegal to use gamefish as bait.

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Check your regs, as others have advised. I've been told they're illegal to use in some states, but they're legal here in NY, at least the way I interpret the regs.

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I checked regs here in Rhode Island and it doesn't say either way.  Assuming that would make it legal here.  

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Here if it doesn't say, you usually pay. And that is about how they put it in the handbook. I don't normally use live bait to sport fish, but if there headed to the table that's anouther story. We can use perch down here. Their great catfish bait also.

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my grandpa loves to fish with them.

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I've been doing it for a few years now, it's a really exciting way to fish. I prefer to hook them in the head just behind the eyes, they'll try to grab it headfirst.

It's espeically fun to sight-fish like this, nothing beats the sight of seeing 2 or 3 4-5 lbers swirling around the bait trying to grab it.

The fish struggling on the hook triggers a kill instinct in them, if you miss them or they get off once, they will usually hit again anyway.

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almost anything goes in japan.  But you cant do it in oregon.  Ive had it happen to me once, i was fishing for sunnies on a fly rod, and POW a 3#er came out of the weeds and nabbed him, i got lucky since the fly was big and got the fly hooked in the top of the bass' mouth, and was able to land him, what athrill, then on a fly rod too!

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You guys should try bluegill swimbaits. they are legal every where

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In Texas theyre not considered a gamefish, never thought about using a Gill for bait!

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First I notice that big bass don't strike on live minnows because their main diet is sunfish and bluegills.  I started throwing lures that match these colors sonetime ago with great success.  Think about it a BPS Topnocker in color #25 matches a sunfish and its one of the best topwater baits I have ever used.  I also use norman thin "N" crankbaits with great success too the bluegill one is a producer too.  All the Thin "n"s I have tried so far work awesome too. I reel then slow and add a little twitch so the fish can't get a good look at them and hang on.                          BigBill

I have had big bass steal the sunfish off my hook too many times.  If you want some exceitment let one of your buddies fish for sunfish and as he reels it in toss a crankbait right behind the sunnie and make sure you set the hook quick.  As the sunfish is reeled in it gives off a distress signal that the bass can hear and that rings a dinnerbell to the bass so they come in quick for an easy meal.  I have watched the sunfish on their tails out of the water lately being chased by the big bass too.

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  When I was in North Dakota a LONG time ago, my Uncle showed me how to pop the eyes out of the sunfish we caught, throw 'em on a hook, and watch the Northern Pike swarm.

   I dont know if its a common practic eor not, Never seen it here in Kentucky, but it sure worked like a charm up there.   Caught almost 30 fish that day.

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Just curious what type of hook do you use to fish a gill for bass?

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