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Shane Z

Trapping Leeches

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Shane Z

Just thinkin about getting into trapping leeches this year. I was wondering who has trapped And what type of trap you find most productive?

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pushbutton

The trap that you get to before they all get back out smile Tried it last year for the first time and a coffee can treated me just fine for more leeches than I could use and give away. My 2c would be to worry more about finding a pond with them and more importantly how to keep them alive after. Good Luck!

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Archerysniper

The guy I know use's burlap bags tied shut but you have to get their early before they all swim back out,can't remember what he baited with.

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bogwalker

Metal leech trapping envelope (google) and beef liver.

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magnum mike

The can trick works and if you crumple a black garbage bag in the can with the bait, they tend to stay in the trap a bit longer. Liver works but if you can add some bones, that gave the best results for me.

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laportian

Most of the commercial guys use "tins", which are actually aluminum press plates from printing places. They are bent into W's and kidney chunks are placed in each fold then are either paper clipped or rubber banded together so it is fairly snug. I have trapped on and off throughout the years. I made about a thousand traps last year but never found a pond that I could move in on near me. I will take some pics of my traps and post them this evening after work so you can see what I'm talking about.

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brian6715

Do leech ponds range throughout the state or are they only in the northern part of MN?

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Hawg

I've used both cans and folded aluminum, I personally like the cans better. Any meat or bloody food works, chichen liver is my favorite.

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magnum mike

I was once told that almost any pond with catails will hold leeches.

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chubsdemps

i have just used bloody bones they hold on to chubs

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Shane Z

Thanks for all the advice everyone! As I was duck hunting his fall, I pulled a few nice leeches up that we're attached to my decoy weights. I'll post pictures as soon as I get a few different traps made and test them out!

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JakeJ_Mn

I always use coffee cans. They are harder to find nowdays. I drill 1/4 and 3/16 holes all the way around in rows - usually 5 or 6 rows of holes. I drill a hole in the center bottom for a small eye bolt to tie my duck cord. Throw in some chicken liver that has sat out awhile. I put in a rock big enough to sink the can, tape the lid on and toss them out. I usually put mine out at dusk and pick them up at daybreak. I use mostly large, so after I sort I put the small ones back

Hawk makes a nice trap. I know people who use folded ones also. Check out jewel outdoors on y tub.

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Tom7227

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leech~~
The guy I know use's burlap bags tied shut but you have to get their early before they all swim back out,can't remember what he baited with.
Same here. Up where I go deer hunting the guys would use an old beaver carcasses frozen from traping season. Throw a rock in the burlap sack and lob it out in the swamp with a rope on it. wink

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Tracker55

Not to sound totally ignorant, but when you're trapping leeches, how do you tell leeches from blood suckers?

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yonk

Not to sound totally ignorant, but when you're trapping leeches, how do you tell leeches from blood suckers?
ribbon leeches vary from tan to black with and without spots -- good bait leeches all share one characteristic; they wiggle and squirm in your hand. You can also separate ribbon leeches from similar looking horse leeches, by texture. Bait leeches are firmer. The other common leech, the horse leech, has an orange underbelly and red dots on the back and much softer and not near as frim as the ribbon leach. It can and will get 2 - 3 times the size of the ribbon leach. So it's easy to spot too.

My leech trap is a 4" or 6" PVC pipe cut at 16" with a screen made into a cone inserted in one end, similar to the cone on a minnow trap. On the other end is a cap that has inside cut out and replaced with a screen. Leech motel works great and it stands up to time and abuse. Just have to remember to clean it or the leeches will not come.

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leech~~
Not to sound totally ignorant, but when you're trapping leeches, how do you tell leeches from blood suckers?
Use the old trapper trick! You have to line them up down your arm and wait! wink

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      My recollection of Sylvia is it being a nice, clean looking lake that would have nice views.  Bass were plentiful when I last fished it but ran pretty small on the weedlines.  You had to fish the slop to get better sized bass.  Couldn’t tell you a thing about walleyes there. I agree with Tom, Clearwater is a more dynamic fishery.
    • Wanderer
      We had to cut the hooks on one of my fish this year.  Caught on a Cisco Kid, 2 of 3 sets of trebles in the fish.  Just by how they were twisted, the leverage made removal by pulling very difficult and the fish would thrash when I attempted to work them out.  Made the decision pretty easy to cut the hooks. I’m honestly considering going barbless on everything.  Half the time the lure shakes free in the net anyway so the pressure is what keeps them buttoned until netted.  The plus is if one of us gets one in the hand when working on a netted fish, it won’t hurt so bad getting it out!
    • Wanderer
      Thanks for the feedback.   We have the time from hookset to release pretty short I think.  I read earlier this spring the average fight these days lasts 90 seconds or less.  I’ll admit I was amazed to hear that but after a half dozen muskies that have come to net this year, that’s no bull.  We usually have em netted on the first pass by the boat.  My 48 inch net allows one to do all the handling in the water while the other gets the bump board laid out and phone ready for a pic. A quick measure and quick pics and back in the water they go. Thats about as much as we can do.  70 degrees is lower than I expected to hear.  We were seeing those temps on opening weekend in Ontario.  We didn’t like seeing 80 last Friday on Leech.
    • delcecchi
      What do you think of the "cut the hooks" method of dealing with Muskies?   Small bolt cutters to make the process fast.   Just wondering.  
    • guideman
      Typically temps over 70 degrees are considered dangerous for handling Muskies. The length of the fight and the time you take handling the fish will make a difference. That is one of the reasons we use heavy line and big rods, you don't want to battle the fish to the death. Skip photos on smaller fish and remove the hooks with the fish in the net, in the water, not on the bottom of the boat. "Ace"   "It's just fishing man"  
    • Tom Sawyer
      Sylvia would have been my 1st choice, until it recently was discovered to have Stary Stonewart. Pretty devastating invasive. I'd bet Clearwater holds a state record large mouth bass. It also has strong walleye year classes.
    • Wanderer
      I was able to get back out on Leech last Friday the 13th.  Had to take a day off work to get some fishin’ in! This time was strictly for muskies but bass and pike showed themselves anyway. 🙂  The morning waves were still rolling from either the night or Thursday and the lake was rougher  than expected at 6 am.  The forecast said 0-5 and eventually the wind did calm from the northwest, switch, and then proceed from the southwest.  The effect for us was basically almost a 180 degree switch while we were out there and we didn’t see any fish of any size after that.  I think the switch was complete by roughly 1 pm. The other thing that raised our eyebrows was the surface water temps.  We started seeing high 76’s right away on the main lake but climbed pretty quickly to 78-79 mid day and was topping out at 81 by the afternoon/evening.  This made us really want to focus on deeper weeds but weren’t having much luck locating them.  We just weren’t in the right part of the lake.  But that’s how you learn - by doing. Total muskie count for the day = 2; 1 follow (mid 40 class) and one boated (41.5).  The day went SUPER fast for 10 hours of fishing.  Black bucktails raised the two for us.  I had the follow, my partner caught the fish. The temps had us concerned about the fish but my monster 48 inch net enables us to keep the fish completely in the water until it’s time for a quick measure and pic. Still trying to come to grips on what’s too warm for fishing muskies.  This one was on the line for no more than 2 minutes, including the net time before the hooks were out.  Maybe another minute to get the phone and board out and glove on for grabbing it up.  Less than 1 minute to measure and photo, then back in the drink for an easy resuscitation.  
    • Jeff Thill
      Looking for walleye  and bass fishing mostly.   I did hear good things about Clearwater Lake.   My wife has been looking at houses and her focus landed on West Sylvia.  She could care less about the fishing. Have any of you heard good or bad things about Sylvia Lake?    
    • FishinCT
      I looked up the Mille lacs hooking mortality study on walleyes and it started to dramatically increase around 65 degrees. About 5% mortality at 65 degrees but about 25% at 75 degrees. I have to imagine the numbers are higher for muskies given an extended fight with a large fish, having to take more care to not get cut up or hooked yourself while unhooking the fish, temptation to take lots of pictures, etc.  Here's the study if you're interested http://mnmuskie.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Reeves-and-Bruesewitz-2007_factors-influencing-hooking-mortality-of-walleyes-Mille-Lacs.pdf
    • DLD24
      Went out the last couple days on Mille lacs, we had no problem finding fish, but the big fish eluded us... We got all sorts of year classes from 11" eyes on up to 24", which is a good sign... That big storm they got must have dirtied the water up, all the fish we found were on the top edge of the flats no matter how bright it was... Rigging leeches and crawlers were the best until we got some waves then the jigging rap was taking all the fish. The fish were stacked up on points of flats and narrow ridges on the flats... We tried pulling lead for a little while, but I've never done it so I had zero confidence in it haha.