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Black Bear

Anybody know how and where to catch leeches?

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Black Bear

I'm curious on the where/when and how they catch leeches for fishing...anybody know?

Thanks

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The Chemist

We used to have a little pond by my parents house that held a ton of them but I haven't tried in years. After a rain storm we would go done and pick them just like nightcrawlers except during the day. But you can also submerge a coffee can w/ holes in it, typically 3/4" in size and put liver or a rotten steak in the can.

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Guest

As stated by Chemist,this method does work.What I have done in the past is to set the cans out in the evening and check them in the morning,as this is what I was told to do.I usually go to small swamps or ponds and after a try or two,if it doesnt work,on to the next water hole.Good luck at finding cheap bait,as long as you dont burn up too much gas.

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slick814

Take a 2 lb. coffee can and punch a bunch of holes in it with a 16 penny nail or a philips screwdriver. Put a nice chunk of liver (or chicken parts or something that'll put some blood into the water) in the can, tie a rope to the lid & can, put another tie of some kind on the other side of the lid to make sure it doesn't pop off when you retrieve it. Find a small pond or swamp, toss the can with the liver in it in the evening. Go back the next morning, and if there's leeches in the water, you'll have leeches in the can.

It can be a great way to save a few bucks on bait if you find them. Did it all the time when we lived up north & were kids.. haven't done it here in the metro, though.

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Ryan Berger

I was just gonna come home and ask this same question,, looks like its time to go get some leeches for me!! now if I only knew anyone with a ton of coffee cans,,, has anybody ever made a trap out of sheet metal? I have a endless supply and was thinking up some ideas

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Gissert

Sheet metal, yes!

My brother made a great one out of stainless. It was a box about 8 inches square, with a lid attached with a piano hinge. The sides were made of a stainless grate, but if you just drilled a bunch of 3/8 or half inch holes in the sides, that'd work well also. The top, back and bottom were solid with no holes.

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pig_farmer

Take a thin aluminum sheet or thick aluminum foil

make a few 4" folds like a wallet.

When your folding it put a few pieces of meat in each fold.

Bloody is best-- deer meat works well

Tie a string to it and flip it in a cattail swamp/pond.

Pull it in fast the little guys are smarter than they get credit for.

Enjoy!

Pig Farmer

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bearriver

I use old tin from the local newspaper. They darn near give the stuff away. I fold the two outside edges in flat about 1" to get rid of the sharp edge. Then, fold the sheet of tin in a "W" pattern about 4 inches deep. Tie a string on it with a piece of foam for a float, stick a chunk of liver preferably (bloodier the better) in both sides of the "W", then clip the "W" closed with 2 paperclips on the top. Find a shallow bay on a pond with a muddy bottom with maybe some vegitation. Put the traps out in the evening and make sure you pull them before it gets to warm, I like to suck back a good cup of coffee at first light and check the traps.

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Black Bear

Thanks for all the comments...can I expect to catch good jumbo walleye leeches in the metro areas...we have lots of cattail sloughs and can I catch them now? or should I wait? Thanks again

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The Grebe

My nephew used to leech commercially and he used the same method as bearriver described. you can just brush off the leeches that are stuck to the metal.

I tried the can thing years ago, when I fancied myself going into trapping live bait as a sideline and you are going to cut your hands on the rim, or the burrs and with all the swamp funkiness and the tainted meat inside the can, infection comes pretty quick!

You have to open and close those cans, or the turtles and little fish clean you out. you have to get in there to get the leeches that won't slide out, thus the cuts.

I went out with my nephew a few times and leeching on a commercial level is in my opinion, some hard and stinky work! Glad I did'nt get into it big time.

Swamp gas, methane, or whatever the he11 the sulfuric smell is when you disturb the bottom with the push pole, rotten meat, buckets full of chicken guts, leeches, and all kinds of other stuff...nah, I'd just as soon buy a pound and go have some fun.

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efgh

Use a plain old gunny sack, get a double fist size piece of liver and put it in side the bag, tie the top shut with a piece of rope and throw the bag out where you know leeches are, they will work their way thru the burlap bag to get to the liver,pull the bag out of the water and dump the leeches and liver in a tub, pick up the leeches, all we ever did.

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riverrat56

I have never tried it before, reading this post thought i might, anyways, If you wan't to use the coffee can method, and worry about getting cut, use the folgers plastic cans, they are easier to put holes in, and the lids stay on better. Im gunna go make a few right now.

Do most sloughs contain leeches or do they need a certine type of water or depth? I have plenty of areas in mind but would like to narrow it down some.

Also what do you guys store your leeches in at home?

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The Grebe

It seemed like every swamp down here that I threw a leech trap into, I caught some. Alot of the more southerly swamps have smaller leeches and the further north you go the bigger they get?

Some of the ponds/swamps, seemed to have alot of bloodsuckers and silver stars in them and they will glom onto you in a second!

With the open can method, I would also catch alot of Dobson fly larvae and they are always trying to pinch you and it stings! There are all kinds of creepy crawlies in the swamp and I believe most are meat eaters!

It has been a long while since I did the leech trapping....they did'nt even have plastic coffee cans then and my boys were young, it used to be an adventure, a way to stay connected with the boys and do something together in the outdoors, something unique!

We would store the leeches the same way you store minnows, they are a little hardier and don't die as quickly. We never had alot at one time and a couple of 5 gal. buckets in the cool part of the garage seemed to suffice?

My nephews commercial operation utilized stock tanks and stainless dairy tanks, among other things like aerators and all kinds of junk.

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frabillfisher

how about the leeches with the orange kinda diamond on there back what are they called i've herd there no good for fishing, i catch them all the time in my minnow trap on a little duck slough

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river rat316

When we were at Lake Itasca checking out the headwaters my nephew caught a leech on a stick that was huge!!! That thing had to be over a foot long when it was fully extended and about 3/4-1 inch thick I wanted to take it with me to see if anything would bite on it but my wife would not let it in the car with her grin.gif

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The Grebe

Mille Lac used to have those monsters in it, but I hav'nt seen one for many years now...I do believe they are bloodsuckers and not leeches? When you pick them up, they are like and old rotten bananna and they just hang there. Same with the smaller bloodsuckers. Leeches are muscular, active, animated and full of energy.

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RussPanfishguy

Another Method is to use 2 to 4 inch diameter pvc. Take about 8 inches of pipe. Put a cap on one end of the pipe glued on. Put a sheet rock screw thru that end of the cap so you can put your liver at the bottom of the cap. Half way up the pipe drill some small holes in the pipe. The other end of the pipe use a threaded bushing. Then a reducer that is threaded. Put a piece of liver on it and throw it out. Another place to look for leaches is a small creek or river. By a culvert. I have more detailed types of these traps if some one would like.

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nitrotmaxx

is there anything else you can use besides liver?

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The Grebe

Chicken intrails, any kind of bloody meat, cut open a rough fish, a road kill, anything that has some fairly fresh body fluide/blood content. Change the bait when you feel it might be spoiled.

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