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Old 07-25-2011, 12:27 AM   #1
AMKrout333
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Default What's the best bait for sturgeon?

I am young but I have been fishing for sturgeon practically all my life just like my father and most of my family, but for as long as I have been fishing there are debates on what works best for sturgeon. I say and will always say that night crawlers are and will always be the ultimate bait and I have caught more sturgeon with just worms than with any other bait, but a grouchy old man I see quite often swears that it's got to stink to work best.

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

I know herring and anchovies work good. I have some shad that I am going to use this year but I have never tried it before. Some of my mentor fishermen tell me that it's works great for sturgeon. I caught them on worms too. I reeled in an 8 footer that bit our prawn torpedo when we were anchored and fishing for salmon. If it's there... they will eat it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

It kind of depends on when and where you are fishing and what size fish you are after. Night crawlers definitely work but there's not a fish in the world that won't eat a worm so you can run into problems with other fish stealing your bait before sturgeon find it. When I used to live in newberg and fish that section of the Willamette regularly I found roll mop herring to be my most productive bait but for some reason it doesn't work as well below the falls. Whole herring can work great during the annual plug cut herring run (springer season) but it rarely works well the rest of the year. It's nice to use squid if the fish are biting on it that day because you can often catch around a dozen sturgeon on one squid before you have to re-bait but it's rarely the most productive bait on a given day. Smelt can work very well for keeper size and large shaker size fish because the small shakers aren't as quick to eat it as they are with other baits. For oversize I find that chunks of shad or salmon bellies work best, I think a big reason for that is because the keeper and shaker size fish tend to not be too interested in them so your bait has a chance to sit long enough for the big boys to find it. For pure action sand shrimp is often the best bait but it doesn't stay on the hook too long and small shakers will eat it very readily so it's purely a crap shoot as to what size fish you are going to catch. By far my favorite bait (except when targeting oversize) is anchovies. They stay on the hook and weed out tiny shakers and trash fish better than shrimp and worms but decent size shaker and keeper size fish can't resist them. I've had many more epic days with anchovies than I've had with any other bait.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Dont forget, crawfish, Chicken hearts and livers. My fave is sandshrimp, I've even seen people use smoked oysters and clams. Just a question though to one of the previous posters, Salmon bellys I thought using any part of a game fish was illeagle to use as bait ? but i guess we use salmon heads for crab ???
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Fishing above a dam where the Sturgeon stay year around I think worms work good, but below where the Sturgeon can go back and forth from the ocean they would not be my bait of choice. I think you can still catch them with worms, but I think you would do better with other baits. No one bait is best you have to try different baits at different times.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

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Originally Posted by Sturgeonslayer69 View Post
Dont forget, crawfish, Chicken hearts and livers. My fave is sandshrimp, I've even seen people use smoked oysters and clams. Just a question though to one of the previous posters, Salmon bellys I thought using any part of a game fish was illeagle to use as bait ? but i guess we use salmon heads for crab ???
I believe you can use game fish parts for bait, I use the white skin of a Halibut belly for Halibut bait, works good and stays on your hook real well.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

I always take a few different baits and a few different scents
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Whole Smelt.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Smelt is my favorite sturgeon bait. And Sturgeonslayer salmon is not a game fish. Steelhead is but salmon is not.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

I don't care were I'm fishing sandshrimp wrapped with worms catches sturgeon when there not hungry so that's what I'm always fishing and catching on my 2 centz
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

where i fish squid is the ticket, i believe it all wat area ur fishing in.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

I think that it depends on where you are, and what is going on! In the Mid-Columbia this Spring, Salmon carcass chunks worked very well. Once the Shad started running, chunks of shad worked wonders. All that said I hooked a nice keeper below the John Day Dam on a wrapped Kwikfish, while fishing for Salmon. He's still out there, may a bit hesitant to take more swimming food......
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

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Originally Posted by Sturgeonslayer69 View Post
... Just a question though to one of the previous posters, Salmon bellys I thought using any part of a game fish was illeagle to use as bait ? but i guess we use salmon heads for crab ???
In Oregon you can use all or part of any dead fish as long as it's not a goldfish, there are no exclusions for game fish. "Dead fish, preserved fish, or parts of fish, shellfish and fish eggs may be used as bait. Goldfish may not be used as bait or in anglerís possession while angling." Shad are also considered a game fish in Oregon too BTW...
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:47 AM   #14
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Himalayan naked prairie weasel.... Tough to find, but the sturgeon go nuts for them. It's a sturgeon delicatesy.

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Old 07-25-2011, 11:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

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Originally Posted by Sturgeonslayer69 View Post
Dont forget, crawfish, Chicken hearts and livers. My fave is sandshrimp, I've even seen people use smoked oysters and clams. Just a question though to one of the previous posters, Salmon bellys I thought using any part of a game fish was illeagle to use as bait ? but i guess we use salmon heads for crab ???


salmon is classified as a food fish not game fish
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

As others have said above the time of year and area of water being fished will determine the best bait. They will all work to some degree, just some work better than others. Personally i like to use Squid, Sandshrimp and Worms or some combo of those the most. When there was Cowlitz River Smelt available those were deadly in the spring. Shad or Shad strips seem to be the ticket for OS fish, but i have not caught many keepers on that bait. Anchovy or Herring will also occasionally take fish... Seen more than one nice Sturgeon take a K16 wrapped with Herring.. haha.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Squid or herring with a squirt of clam nectar from McNary to Bonneville. Under Bonneville we use herring.

We also use the "big bait for big fish" theroy and use shad and large herring for oversize .
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

In my short experience fishing for sturgeon I have had the best luck using smelt or sand shrimp with worms. The problem I have with sand shrimp is that it does not last long in a fast current. Both times I have used shad I have caught an oversize, only one of these times I was actually targeting an oversize. I think the best thing is to bring 2 or 3 different types of bait and see what is working the best. In order, I would use smelt, sand shrimp(worms) and then squid. As for scent, a guide I know swears by garlic.


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Old 07-25-2011, 09:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

where is a good place to get some squid around the troutdale area???? thannks


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Old 07-25-2011, 09:27 PM   #20
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where is a good place to get some squid around the troutdale area???? thannks


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Old 07-25-2011, 09:32 PM   #21
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

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where is a good place to get some squid around the troutdale area???? thannks


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Old 07-26-2011, 06:35 AM   #22
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Salmon belly and Shad both work great where I fish
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:42 AM   #23
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steeliebill View Post
salmon is classified as a food fish not game fish

Except when Caught by Angling, according to ODFW anyway.


Game Fish Are defined as follows:
Trout, salmon when taken by angling, steelhead, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill,
crappie


, other sunfish, catfish, walleye, yellow perch, hybrid bass (white x striped cross), whitefish, sturgeon
and shad when taken by angling, mullet, grayling and striped bass.


Now as for the Best Sturgeon Bait, Sandshrimp. , but I also use squid, smelt, anchovey, nightcrawlers, and shad.
But if I had to pick only one bait to use, it would be Sandshrimp.

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Old 07-26-2011, 08:41 AM   #24
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

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Originally Posted by gonfishenagin View Post
Except when Caught by Angling, according to ODFW anyway.


Game Fish Are defined as follows:
Trout, salmon when taken by angling, steelhead, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill,

crappie


, other sunfish, catfish, walleye, yellow perch, hybrid bass (white x striped cross), whitefish, sturgeon
and shad when taken by angling, mullet, grayling and striped bass.


Now as for the Best Sturgeon Bait, Sandshrimp. , but I also use squid, smelt, anchovey, nightcrawlers, and shad.
But if I had to pick only one bait to use, it would be Sandshrimp.


ODFW and WDFW rule pamphlets are obviously different on this one, so does it boil down you which side you launch or fish from? The WDFW rules state that you may not use salmon, herring or halibut for anything other than human consumption or FISHING BAIT
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:58 AM   #25
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

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ODFW and WDFW rule pamphlets are obviously different on this one, so does it boil down you which side you launch or fish from? The WDFW rules state that you may not use salmon, herring or halibut for anything other than human consumption or FISHING BAIT
I suppose the game fish and food fish classification depends on which side you launch from but the end result of being allowed to use salmon bellies (or any part of a salmon for that matter) as bait is the same. For what ever reason some people just have it stuck in there head that salmon flesh can't be used as bait, even though they use salmon eggs all the time. It's almost like an urban legend. Some people will swear up and down that some mythical rule exists the prohibits the use certain salmon parts as bait even though they have never personally seen such a rule printed with their own eyes.

Last edited by builder; 07-26-2011 at 12:00 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:07 PM   #26
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

In the fishing regs it shows the parts of the fish not recommended to eat. The belly fat is one of these areas so using it for bait would be putting it to good use. I would never use any of the fillet for bait legal or not. That goes on the grill.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:20 PM   #27
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fresh smelt work best
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:25 PM   #28
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

as OREGON DAN was saying, use what is in the river at the time. when salmon are running- use salmon. when shad are in--- use shad and so on. when there isnt much running I about allways revert back to good old ROLL MOP and if you can find some put a little chunk of eel on the tip of your hook.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:29 PM   #29
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A full shad with the fins cut off and the biggest hook you can find. If you are looking for real size sturgeon at least....
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:39 PM   #30
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A full shad with the fins cut off and the biggest hook you can find. If you are looking for real size sturgeon at least....


Anything fishy and oily is dinomagnet.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:29 AM   #31
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I bring smelt, anchovies and squid when I go for sturgeon.

I will continue to refreeze them time after time until they are gone.

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Old 02-06-2014, 05:39 AM   #32
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Fresh smelt, sand shrimp, squid = fish on!
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:34 AM   #33
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Herring or squid stuffed with sand shrimp wrapped really tight so they will keep coming back if you miss the first bite.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:44 AM   #34
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Don't indulge terry he is only brining these threads up to sell his smelt!
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:25 AM   #35
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Dead sand shrimps and night crawlers...


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Old 02-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #36
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In my experience sturgeon are dumb and eat anything.. But my favorite bait is a herring with a small strip of rollmop wrapped on.. For some reason I catch more small fish on squid..
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:27 PM   #37
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:43 PM   #38
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Fresh cowlitz river smelt
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:19 PM   #39
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

In the winter spring fresh smelt, summer fresh anchovies the spring shad. whatever is in the water they will eat.

The best all around bait for Sturgeon fishing from my experience would be sandshrimp, followed by squid.

Have fun catching and releasing!
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:36 AM   #40
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

When we used to go for sturgeon,15 plus years ago, our go to bait was lamprey eel. Followed by sandshrimp, worms and then what was in the rivers at that time.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:37 AM   #41
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

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Smelt is my favorite sturgeon bait. And Sturgeonslayer salmon is not a game fish. Steelhead is but salmon is not.
in Washington no. but in Oregon they are the same.. (whatever that is)

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Old 02-11-2014, 07:45 PM   #42
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

# 1 fresh smelt dipped from the Cowlitz River and used the same day! Mouth of the Willamette in the punch bowel, a few years back before the gill nets and fur bags cut the population down ( 100 shakers and 28 keepers between 3 of us one day! ) Still the best bait just got to go where the fish are now, little bit harder to find them ( both fresh smelt and gator keepers or any of good size that is! Using frozen smelt, getting it smelly is a sure bet, as frozen smelt loose their sent or smell after freezing them unless you froze them in the river water you dipped them from! JMHO
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:37 PM   #43
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:04 AM   #44
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

My best days were using lampray or spawned out coho. Both baits provided multiple big keepers and one oversized, but that was around 12 years ago. My bait these days are sand shrimp or squid
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:37 AM   #45
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Chunks of kraken brined in unicorn tears.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:29 AM   #46
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# 1 fresh smelt dipped from the Cowlitz River and used the same day! Mouth of the Willamette in the punch bowel, a few years back before the gill nets and fur bags cut the population down ( 100 shakers and 28 keepers between 3 of us one day! ) Still the best bait just got to go where the fish are now, little bit harder to find them ( both fresh smelt and gator keepers or any of good size that is! Using frozen smelt, getting it smelly is a sure bet, as frozen smelt loose their sent or smell after freezing them unless you froze them in the river water you dipped them from! JMHO
I agree!!!!

If you've never experienced the "fresh Smelt bite" you wouldn't understand. TRUE triple digit days, for the boat, aren't unusual once you find them!!!
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:41 AM   #47
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Default Re: What's the best bait for sturgeon?

Way back when, you could use lamprey, we caught a keeper 5 ft.er, cleaned his gut, in it was a WHOLE EEL, partially decomposed. This was absolutely the best bait, it worked as soon as it hit the water, it was a shame when it was finally all gone.
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