Mastering the Art of Catching and Fishing with Leeches

As the sun warmed the swamp, the wiggling leeches approached the surface, easy prey for the net. However, the chosen method, guided by the coin’s outcome, involved a less dignified approach. Wading bare-bottomed into the water, they became hosts to tiny parasites, tasked with removing them using a knife blade. Effective yet humbling, this method led to the discovery of a less traumatic leech procurement technique.

Crafting a Leech Trap

Leeches, attracting freshwater gamefish like walleye, posed a challenge to acquire. While wading bare-legged into leech-infested waters might yield results, it was inefficient. Additionally, bloodsucking species, unsuitable for bait, posed risks. Thus, the leech trap emerged as a simple yet effective solution, targeting scavenging species like the ribbon leech.

Constructed from everyday items like coffee cans or soda bottles, these traps provided a bait-laden refuge for leeches. Aluminum pie plates, folded into makeshift envelopes, proved particularly effective. Puncturing a hole for attachment, they offered an inexpensive and versatile trapping solution. Deployed in shallow ponds or along the warm edges of larger water bodies, baited traps enticed leeches overnight, ready for collection come dawn.

Mastering Leech Fishing Techniques

Leeches, esteemed as preferred bait among anglers, demanded finesse in presentation. Rigged with a small hook through the head and deployed with a slip bobber, they facilitated natural movement and enticed bites from walleye and trout. Alternatively, trolling leeches on rigs like Lindy Rigs or worm harnesses proved fruitful, especially when supplemented with downriggers or weighted bottom bouncers.

“Leeches make for great bait, but timing and technique are key,” advised professional angler Ross Robertson. Warm water proved essential for optimal leech performance, ensuring natural movement to entice fish. Whether trolling or jigging, maintaining a light line and hooking leeches through the sucker guaranteed a lively presentation.

Harnessing the Magic of Summer Leech Fishing

As summer progressed, leeches emerged as go-to bait, attracting even the most reluctant fish. Abundant and irresistible to predatory species, they offered a lifeline during peak fishing seasons. Overcoming stigmas associated with leeches as parasites revealed their true value as a reliable bait source. However, it was advisable to maintain modest attire during the gathering process.

Mastering the art of catching and fishing with leeches unlocked a world of angling opportunities. From crafting effective traps to employing strategic fishing techniques, leeches proved indispensable in a fisherman’s arsenal. Thus, embracing the challenge elevated angling adventures, allowing the magic of leech fishing to shine.

Image/Source: MeatEater

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