8 Things NOT To Do with Your Bait

You've heard and read a thousand times what to do with your baits. Cut them at an nth-degree angle, hook them this way, fish them that way. But do you know what not to do? Here are a few things I've learned the hard way.

[1] Don't soak ballyhoo in formaldehyde. Sure it toughens them, but I've seen too many rejected to ever do it again.

[2] Don't put leftover live eels in a fish tank. They can slither out, which can be frightening at 3 a.m.

[3] Don't gulp down live bullhead minnow as a joke. They carry parasites that can survive in humans.

[4] Don't leave a cooler of menhaden in your car or truck overnight. I did this once, just two days after taking possession of my new Rodeo. The cooler plug leaked, and six months later, my new truck still stinks to high heaven.

[5] Don't leave precut baits sitting on top of a cooler. Someone is sure to sit on them.

[6] Don't cut up or bait with bloodworms when you're wearing a shirt that you don't want to ruin. At least one out of a dozen is guaranteed to spurt like a Super Soaker.

[7] Don't mix fresh-caught live squid with any other bait. They're sure to release their ink, which stains just about everything.

[8] Don't eat raw menhaden. I did it once on a bet, and lost-I couldn't hold it down.