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.
 Don’t soak ballyhoo in formaldehyde. Sure it toughens them, but I’ve seen too many rejected to ever do it again.
 Don’t put leftover live eels in a fish tank. They can slither out, which can be frightening at 3 a.m.
 Don’t gulp down live bullhead minnow as a joke. They carry parasites that can survive in humans.
 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.
 Don’t leave precut baits sitting on top of a cooler. Someone is sure to sit on them.
 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.
 Don’t mix fresh-caught live squid with any other bait. They’re sure to release their ink, which stains just about everything.
 Don’t eat raw menhaden. I did it once on a bet, and lost-I couldn’t hold it down.