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Old 07-06-2001, 09:20 PM   #1
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Default Periwinkles

I went out to the Wilson late this morning and found one willing Steelhead that I coaxed into taking my jig. When I went to clean him I found his belly full of periwinkles. Not two or three but a dozen or more. Has anyone ever used a whole periwinkle for bait? I've yet to try it but I know several steelheaders that break open the shell and use the bare meat. Any other ideas of how to use these?


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Old 07-06-2001, 09:38 PM   #2
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My uncle back in Jersey who is a fly-fishing fanatic tied me a box of flies many years ago. One of them is a cased caddis which i've never used. This fly looks just like the real thing, i'd love to try it but it's more of an heirloom now than anything. I've caught lots of trout with whole cased caddis larvae in their bellies... Joe
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Old 07-06-2001, 10:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Periwinkles

Back when I a whippersnapper and used to terrorize the dolly vardens in the small creek down the road. About the only bait that compared was live grasshoppers.
I've discovered that for some reason that the periwinkles that make there shells out of gravel work better than the ones from sticks.
Don't have a clue why. Just seems to be that way for me.
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Old 07-06-2001, 11:34 PM   #4
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It's interesting that everyone seems to use the worms of the periwinkles for bait and not the outer parts too. At least for trout, there's a good basis for this. The pupa that live in the shells are often eaten by trout in their emerger stage as they rise to the surface to hatch into regular caddis flies. At this point, they've left their protective shell and are easy prey. Trout will eat the whole thing, sticks and stones and all, but prefer the simple, non spiny bite.

As for their utility as a steelhead bait, they might bring back remembered feeding instincts, but likely would be more effective because of the bright spot of color floating along in the drift (hey, sounds like a corkie). I hooked (but didn't land) what I'd guess was a big summer steelie when fishing for cutthroat when I was just the proverbial pup on the N. Santiam. The bait? Periwinkle worm.
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Old 07-06-2001, 11:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Periwinkles

A handful of periwinkles in a skillet, a little butter, garlic and wine...dinner is served! Hmmmmmm yummmmm [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

Think I'd opt for some nice fresh crawdad's or sand shrimp instead. Cracking open the little perwinkles has got to be a lot of work for this old.....I mean young fisherman.

Still interesting observation.

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Old 07-07-2001, 06:07 AM   #6
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Last summer while on the S.Santiam. My wife I were playing around with the trout because Mr. Steelhead wasnt in the mood to play. I was showing the wife how to cast a flyrod, I had tied on a #12 caddis emerger, It looks like a periwnkle. She was hooking trout every other cast when one of those trout turned out to be a fiesty summer steelhead. Needless to say an 8lb steelhead on a 5wt. flyrod with 6X tippet isnt a good combo.
Anyways, Im sure perwinkles (Cadis larvae) will work for summer runs. A couple threaded on a #4 or #6 hook should work great. I bet its something that no one else is using.
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Old 07-07-2001, 09:31 AM   #7
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Ive got a buddy who I used to fish with often up on the Salmon River on Mt.Hood back when it was open for summers. He would regularly fish with a tiny Caddis fly on a smallish fly rod, while I tossed my usual cokies and the like. The fly he used was so tiny all you would expect him to catch was trout, but he always caght not only steelies, but chinook as well. Its a crazy thing to see a big old nook chasing what appears to be a bare line becasue the fly is so small you cant see it in the water! Whats more, I saw a guy up there near Metsgers catch the biggest summer Ive ever seen on a similar fly, a little larger but still a caddis immitation. That fish was 20#, not 16# rounded up to 20#, but a true 20# fish. Ive never heard of anyone using them for bait, but the flys sure do work at least up there on the salmon years ago.
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Old 07-07-2001, 01:29 PM   #8
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Hey Paul, you and your wife were on the river playing around with trout "because Mr. Steelhead wasn't in the mood to play"? E-mail me - I got something that helps that problem we all have on occassion. ... BTW, Gary Till and his friend and I are still planning on drifting the S. Santiam next weekend. Let us know if you can drift your boat along with us too. Fun! - Steve
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Old 07-07-2001, 06:00 PM   #9
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A common bait on the midwest rivers is a maggot tipped jig. Head on out to your favorite road kill and get a batch... [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] I guess they are a lively tough bait. Makes my skin crawl when I see them wiggling in a mound. Probably not to bad fried [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
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Old 07-07-2001, 10:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Periwinkles

My grandparents taught us to break open the shell of the larger ones and pull out the cream colored body with a black head. We used them for trout fishing on the Miami river. He always said to make sure to put the hook through the head since it was the tough part. A few years ago my Molalla fishin' partner and I caught 3 summer steelhead and a springer on them. We'd hooked as many as possible on a 2/0 hook and drifted away. The only time we seemed to use them was when we ran out of bait. The springer I caught on them was because they were so large that I couldn't resist using them. That 'nook hammered them...but I think he might have hit anything. He chased my bait from about 30 feet away and all I had to do was wait until I saw him inhale my hook and wham! Springer on the BBQ. Low, clear water sight fishing is sooooo fun!
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Old 07-09-2001, 12:08 AM   #11
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Well, I'm mostly a salmon/steelhead guy, but I do occasionally hit trout. I used to fish for trout all the time in rivers before I turned 16 (once you're able to drive it's easier to hit those more remote locations that Dad isn't in the mood to go fish). Well, we always fished the Tilton River near Morton for trout (stocked and native). On the lower river you could hit steelhead, but we usually fished the upper river. We'd always have our supplies with us; some rooster tails, some pautzke balls of fires, and some nightcrawlers. But what was the most useful bait? Periwinkles. We would reach into the stream and pluck out some nice fat ones. We always had more success with the shells off then on. The fish seemed to gobble them up.

I remember while I was still married (oh God forbid I do that again) and went fishing with my father in law (who my ex touted as the God of fishing). We went to Riffe Lake with no luck. Lake was a little low (back when a little low was just a few bars low on boat launch). So we hit the Tilton by my suggestions. My father in law only threw rooster tails. HUGE god awful colored roostertails. He laughed his butt off when I dug up some river rocks and pulled out a few 'winkles. He stopped laughing when I pulled out a 19" rainbow out of a submerged log while he went fishless. I limited out with my 2 fish within 30 minutes. Had to sit on the bank the last few hours while they kept slinging their rooster tail assault on those poor fish. Finally he broke down and gave up. Never saw him use one, but I know he was thinking. Can you guess, he never invited me to go fishing with him again. And he never took up my offers to fish for steelhead/salmon. Oh well, my girlfriends Dad is MORE then willing to jump in the boat and go fishing. I went from only having my Dad as my fishing buddy (which, I don't complain at all) to have a boat load. Lucky me! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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