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Cove

Tullibees. What the heck are they eating?

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Cove

Examined stomach of tullibee I caught Sunday and one recognizable shape was about an inch long worm like critter. Not look like angle worm...it had segments, like it was in the centapede family. Half digested so not sure. Fascinating to think of what kind of life going on 40 feet under the ice. And since Tullibees cruised several feet above the bottom, are they finding these things in the water column?

Most important, where can I find some bait that looks like them!

While you are thinking Tullibees, tell me what the best time of day is to fish for 'em.

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Ryan_V

we went out a couple weeks ago and got them during the day. we were out from about 10 am to 5 pm. we didn't limit out, but ended up with about 14 for 2 of us. I don't think there's a "hot bite" time for thses fish. I've only just started to fish them though, so im sure someone else will know more!!

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DTro

Mayfly Larvae

The other fish eat them too.

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Walleyehooker

Yes they are Mayfly larva.Tullibees stir up the bottom to get at them.This time of year Tullibees are active pretty much all day long.You could use fresh water shrimp for bait or even those tiny shrimp you get at the store.I usually use waxies and a small jig or spoon because they have a small mouth.

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BRULEDRIFTER

Examined stomach of tullibee I caught Sunday and one recognizable shape was about an inch long worm like critter. Not look like angle worm...it had segments, like it was in the centapede family.

Not a mayfly larvae at all. From your discription it sounds like it was probably a chironomid (midge) larvae. Google it and see if that was it.

These critters live in the muck on the bottom and rise prior to hatching. I would assume the tullibies are fanning the bottom looking for them along with the perch.

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walros

So are the tulibee's biting or not?

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ironman

Last weekend I caught a few of them and brought one really nice one home for the oven. When cleaning it I noticed that it had alot of different kinds of bugs in its stomach..and to my suprise a few snails. Sounds like they are feeding your just need to find em. I'll be up again in a couple weeks I hope the bite is still on..they are fun.

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HorseshoeChain

Tullibees do indeed eat the heck out of mayfly larvae, but I think Bruledrifter got the right one this time. They live on the bottom, and the perch are eating the same thing right now. They kind of look like what I've heard called "pill bugs" that you'll find under rocks or in some peoples basement. -the little gray things that are probably related to centipedes but they're shorter and wider, and their legs don't stick out to the side. They roll up in a ball if you touch them.

Mayfly larvae are bigger and longer. They swim with an undulating, leech-like motion. When they come out of the muck, everything gorges on them, especially walleyes, perch, and tullibees. I've cut open tulibees on the ice when the mayfly larvae are out, and the stomachs are packed tight with'em -sometimes their still alive and work great as bait!

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BRULEDRIFTER

Actually Horseshoe, you are thinking of the Isopod (aquatic sow bug)

images-2-1.jpg

Here is a pic of some other aquatic critters:

Mayflies

images-3.jpg

Chironomidae (Midges)

images-1-1.jpg

Amphipods (scuds)

images-3-1.jpg

And there's a little aquatic entomology lesson for ya! wink

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HorseshoeChain

Thanks man -I WAS thinking of the sow bug -I knew there was another name for the "pill bug"

I believe that's what I've seen in the fish lately.

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MuskieSlayer

And there's a little aquatic entomology lesson for ya! wink

It's refreshing to see the proper aquatic insect names being used here. Thanks.

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Cove

Thanks for all the comments, folks.

Bruledrifter, I believe you nailed it with the chironomid. I googled it and then you pasted some pictures. The second one from the bottom looked like what I was seeing. At the same time, there was a lot of other "muck" in the stomach, smaller stuff in various stages of digestion. There was that one chironomid which was pretty much intact.

I fished from 10 to 2 on Sunday 2/28 in 43 fow. Caught 5 tullibee on small jigs with waxies, red eurolarva, white eurolarva, and sometimes all 3 at the same time. From about 12:15 to 2 I could not get any of em to bite, even though still seeing them. I am going up around March 12-14 and also hope to have at em again. I was interested in the comment about baking them. That would be another thread. I only know about smoking them

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ironman

Here's how i bake em. glass pan, butter the bottom of pan. place fillets, on top add chopped garlic, melted butter, salt and pepper, lemon. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes...earlier or later depending on the size of the fillet. You are going to have to pick out some bones but its not that bad and tastes delicious. Dont over cook it or it turns to mush. Test with a fork the flesh should flake apart but still be firm. I'm hungry now.

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Cove

Ironman, thanks for the recipe. Sounds pretty basic, which is good. If it works seems like I could even grill em like I do with most other fish I catch. I don't mind the bones.

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fishing65

My hubbie and I went out and used a small gold hook and one waxie or larva no more. They were hitting that like crazy. Sometimes less is more .Used other stuff but they didn't want anything to do with it. Only one waxie or they seemed they were spooked. They seem to be out for the chase. Reel up little and those who are aggrsive will grab but they seem to b sucking on it and holding on to it.Not gonna say where we we where but I bet that 25ft or better would be best. They were about 4 to 6 ft off the bottom. Bite like crazy for us between 1 and 4:00. Perch seemed to b a pain in butt sometimes., but oh well. Keeps ya on your toes. Have fun and I hope this helps. Let me know if it helps. Good Luck

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Cove

Thanks for the post, Fishing65. Question: were you rigging the small gold hook with a simple split shot or using some type of attraction spoon? Would take forever for a small hook with a larva on to get down 25 feet, eh? (I have tried). I am going up again a week from now.

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fishing65

Wentout of terrys today. Was using a lindy flyerjig with a 3 to 4 inch drop hook tipped with a waxy or red larva to call them in. And pound the bottom. And used a second line with a gold tear drop and waxy. In the other hole. weather conditions seemed to push them to the bottom, more so than the past sunnier days last week. Nothing fancy, lil gold hook. finding them is harder. weather is taking a toll on the roads, and the perdtion of rain in the near future doesnt sound good. Terry had great roads, but the access is gettin pretty wet.

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KG243

Thanks for the update fishing65. Did you get your limit?

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fishing65

ya. but you need to weed threw the smaller ones but got a few 17inchers 14 and 12s. alot of 8inchers but they will smoke up just fine. looken forward to eating some. Had others tell us to cook them up like eyes or tring them in the oven.

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TRZ II

Don't fry a tullibee! it is not very edible and will stink up your house. they are good baked, and heavenly smoked. A buddy of mine was on the south end Mud yesterday out of RR and got a nice limit of 12+ inch fish.

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