Tag Archives: bait

live bait regulations

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Anglers are reminded that it is illegal to import all forms of live aquatic bait into North Dakota. This includes minnows, suckers, leeches, waterdogs (salamanders) and frogs.

Anglers should buy bait from a licensed North Dakota retail bait vendor. Bait vendors can properly identify species and have taken steps to ensure all bait is clean of any aquatic nuisance species.

For more information, refer to the 2014-16 North Dakota Fishing Guide, available at license vendors or online at the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.



live wells making news in September

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Livewells don’t often generate their own news..especially in September, but they are. And for good reason. They are on the frontlines of slowing the spread of ANS in/around ND.

Livewells Must be Drained Oct. 1

An administrative rules hearing on Sept. 14 has cleared the way for a regulation that prohibits anglers from transporting fish, including bait, away from a water body in a livewell containing water.

Greg Power, fisheries chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said this regulation is intended to help reduce the spread of aquatic nuisance species throughout North Dakota.

“This means beginning Oct. 1, anglers are required to drain water in livewells and baitwells prior to leaving a water body,” Power said.

Anglers have been encouraged to abide by this since April 1, Power said, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise. “We have been stressing this since early spring, and have mentioned several times this will likely be instituted in October,” he said.

One suggestion anglers might want to adopt is to transport fish in or on ice. “Many will clean their fish right at a cleaning station, or will make other arrangements if a station isn’t immediately nearby,” Power said. “Placing fish on ice is the logical way for those who wait to clean their fish at a campsite or until they get home.”

Anglers understand the importance of taking preventive measures to help minimize the presence of ANS in North Dakota, Power said, and have been supportive in the department’s recommendations. “They understand this issue, and the importance of keeping our waters free of any unwanted species,” he said.

Detailed ANS information and prevention regulations can be found by accessing the Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov.

why buy bait?

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I’m a big fan of getting your own bait and there’s several different urban, in-town methods of providing your own fishing bait. There are all types of worms, but the following tips will help you get a bunch of them for fishing:

– Know where to look. Earthworms and larger "nightcrawlers" are found in rich soft soil. Smaller ringed manure worms are found in farm manure, around stables and barnyards. Worms are seldom found in hard or sandy soils.

– Look for worms after a rain. Worms come to the surface then. You can also easily pick them up early in the morning. Check on driveways, sidewalks and under rocks.

– Try at night in the spring or fall, and use a red plastic covering over your flashlight. Worms won’t see the red light. You can easily pick them up as they move on the surface.

– If it hasn’t rained for a while, try looking under old boards, bricks, logs or debris where the soil is still moist. Grab the worm as soon as you pick up the board, since they immediately try to go down a hole.

– Piles of compost, farm manure, leaves or mulch are also good spots to search for manure worms. Use a garden rake to sort through these piles to find worms.

– Once you have worms, keep them in a large container filled with soft earth or compost. An ideal way to keep a dozen or more worms is in a large coffee can. Use a can opener to remove both ends, and then use the snap-on plastic lids (you will need two) to hold the worms. Since worms tend to go deep, simply turn over the can and open the top lid to get worms when fishing.

– You can keep worms for weeks or longer in a large container of soft soil, mulch, compost or similar natural debris. Feed them with coffee grounds and vegetable scraps. Maintain a "worm bed" with a wood box from which they can’t escape, sunk in the ground and covered with a tight lid. Keep worms cool, covered and slightly moist and you will have worms any time you want to fish.

Crickets and Grasshoppers

Try the following methods to get these active insects and good bait.

– Look for grasshoppers early in the morning on summer days, where they can be picked off of weed stems before the sun warms them.

– You can find grasshoppers in fields and gardens from mid-spring through late-fall. Crickets are found around sheds, homes, fences, garages, sidewalks, under stones, or anyplace that has nooks and crannies where a cricket can hide. To keep them from escaping, be careful to surprise them with a cupped hand as soon as you see them.

– You can trap crickets by placing a slice of stale bread in a hidden location and checking it daily to catch and trap crickets. Try also putting bread in a jar placed on its side. Keep the lid next to the jar to trap crickets when you check it.

– Hold an old sheet as you and your kids run through a field to trap fleeing and flying insects, including grasshoppers.

– Store crickets or grasshoppers in a lidded coffee can. Be careful – they can and will try to jump out. To keep them alive, punch holes in the lid so that they can breath.

– To keep crickets and grasshoppers for weeks, feed them a few vegetable scraps, moistened to provide water.


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