LEECHES commercially

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moonwolf, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Anyone here that is raising Leeches in ponds to sell as fishing bait?
    Interested in the details of how you are doing it.
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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  3. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Does anyone here use them for fishing bait?

    Other than earthworms, what does anyone else raise for fishing bait?
     
  4. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Heck, leeches are the best walleye bait there is!

    Wish I could help ya, Moonwolf. At $11.99 per pound for jumbo leeches....at least that's the price around here...I don't blame you to want to grow yer own for sale.

    Certified organic leeches are commanding a hefty 17.99/lb price tag around here too!
     
  5. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    WHAT??? Why in the world would they need to be organic? :confused:
     
  6. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    All I know is that around here leeches sell retail for at least $50 per lb. A lb. of jumbo leaches is something like 30 dozen. They can be harvested in wild ponds, and they were able to be imported to Ontario from Minnesota until last year. There are commercial leech producers in norhern states, but I guess size of the leech and reproduction is limited by the short growiing season. That's about all I know, except also they are starting to use them medicinally for healing amputiations, but those are a mediciinal leech species that are called 'blood suckers' not for fish bait.

    Cabin Fever is right. Leeches are the preferred live bait for summer walleye fishing. There are always shortages of these in the baitshops, on weekends and all of August around here. The anglers like the Big Jumbo sized leeches used often with slip bobber rigs for still fishing, or lindy rig for trolling and such.
     
  7. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    You want to know the secret bait? atleast around my area for walleyes...
    willowcats... I don't know how you go about getting them. They are over a buck a piece (i think), but the big fishing tournaments(walleye) around my area (mississippi river) always seem to have winners that use them.

    However, MN recently stopped letting baitshops from selling them because they are an introduced species(?)...
     
  8. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    um BLLEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! :eek: :eek: you mean people TOUCH those to bait their hooks? :eek:
     
  9. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

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    Here in northern Wisconsin the leeches you see in the baitshops are trapped from the wild. We have a friend who traps baits (leeches and minnows) for selling to distributors. Then they're usually sorted for size and sold by the pound to the baitshops. The reason they're scarce come August and REALLY scarce after Labor Day is the leeches tend to shut down for the coming winter. If you change their water daily and keep them in the fridge they'll last for weeks before up and dying. Watch out if they do, the only stink that rivals them is dead crawlers. Ask me how I know.

    Leeches are probably the top bait here for walleyes too with the larger minnows a close second. Of course alot of people still use crawlers and if you're trolling it's totally artificial.

    I think if you had the right body of water they could be raised. Never wanted to try it although we do have a couple of ponds that might work.

    LisaBug
     
  10. flutemandolin

    flutemandolin mark an eight, dude!

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    I think the "willowcats" are technically stonecats or madtoms, which are in the catfish family. They are a native species in MN, but not very abundant. Minnesota prohibits the importing of bait fish (to prevent possible introduction of exotics) and I don't know of any in-state bait dealers that are raising them, so that's why you don't see them in bait stores. Since they require flowing water they would probably be difficult to raise. If you really wanted some you could seine for them in a medium-sized stream (not a designated trout stream).

    I don't know much about raising leeches, but I'd be interested in knowing more.
     
  11. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    I stand corrected... I just remember a huge "stink" about the whole ordeal earlier this year.
     
  12. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    2 brothers of mine are big in Tournament fishing, along with several friends, and from what i hear, thats how you catch the big fish(willowcats).

    Streams? I'm going to have to look into this more.