Trout is a generic name for a number of fish species that live in freshwaters. They are typically found in water that is between 55-60 degrees in clear water and streams. Trout species generally feed on insects such as dragonflies, which are mostly found close to fresh water and other fish species such as shrimp, crab, and bloodworm.
Although their diet is diverse, a lot of the things they consider food usually migrate during harsh conditions to better-suited areas leaving the trout with a limited diet. However, bees don’t often migrate and thus, during such seasons, serve as a delicacy to the fish and therefore are used as bait for the fish.
Trout is one of the few fish species with the lowest amount of environmental pollutants in their systems and thus are highly sought-after during fishing. If one fishes for commercial purposes, getting alternative baits is best when trying to ensure that you attain your daily fishing target all the time. Bees are the perfect bait for such fish because they hardly ever migrate and are readily available at cheap prices compared to artificial baits.
How to Use Bees as Bait
The most common bee species that are used as fish bait is the honeybee. They’re found all over the world and are in no danger of extinction. Before capturing a bee, it’s advisable to ensure that you’re dressed in safety gear to avoid getting stung.
Don’t capture bees for baiting by going to a hive. It’s too dangerous. Instead, try and catch a few on the surface of large flowers while they’re obtaining nectar. In this way, you avoid getting attached by a swarm of bees, and you get just the required number and not too many bees.
When trying to hook the bee, ensure you have protective gloves on if the bee is still alive. Bees are usually tough once baited, and they can last a long time on the hook if well placed. Run a fine wire hook through the bee’s head, following the hook’s curve allowing the barb to penetrate enough for the bait to be held.
Alternatively, you could tie the bee’s tail to the fishing line using a thread, as long as it’s tight enough. Also, ensure the bee won’t be split into half by the thread and that the thread won’t slide off by tying the string onto the trunk.
You may attach several bees to one hook to attract numerous fish. Bees are not suitable for deep fishing, and so should be placed on the water surface, and fish will move towards them just like they do other insects. It would be best if you tried to slightly ripple the water surface to get their attention.
Is it Legal to Use Bees as Bait?
Capturing bees is most undoubtedly legal as long as the bees are not somewhere in a sanctuary. It is, however, illegal to kill bees by spraying them using insecticides. This leads to the destruction of the whole habitat as bees are a key component of any ecosystem.
Some states have introduced laws against the indiscriminate killing of bees, especially using federally banned insecticides. Using methods such as swatting and administration of EPA approved chemical substances is not prohibited by law, but it is still the individual’s responsibility to ensure that not too many bees are harmed in the process.
Is it Harmful to the Environment?
Before using bees as bait, it is best to first familiarize yourself with fishing laws in your state. Using bees as bait may be illegal in some states, especially in areas where they are being conserved.
Species such as the Rusty patched bumblebee and the Hawaiian yellow-faced bee are out of bounds because they are in danger of extinction due to illegal farming practices that have reduced their numbers.
Bees are an important part of the ecosystem, and thus if one decided to use them as bait primarily, then it’s only fair that they practice bee farming. This is to ensure that the numbers don’t reduce over time.
Is it Harmful to the Fish?
Trout usually approach natural baits as if its food with the intent of eating and swallowing. Thus, when attracted to natural bait, they swallow both the bait and sometimes the hook.
For this reason, if you’re fishing with the intent of later on returning the fish to water, using natural baits may be a bad idea. The swallowed parts often damage the fish’s insides and may lead to death. Otherwise, if you’re fishing to get food, then using bees as bait is allowed.
Alternative Baits to Bees
Having alternatives for baiting trout fish is mandatory if you’re going to catch fish all year round. Sometimes trout reside in muddy and murky water, which may make it difficult for them to see flies and bees being used as bait.
However, their poor eyesight in muddy waters is compensated for in their strong sense of smell. They can detect the odor of natural bait and naturally move toward it even without perfect visibility. Natural bait is also useful in places where trout fishing is heavily carried out.
In such situations, the fish become wary of eating food from the surface and thus inspect everything that is posed to them. They quickly detect artificial bait, and once that happens, you probably will not catch any fish that day. Here are some natural alternatives to use instead of bees:
It’s almost impossible to read literature on trout without coming across the waxworm at least once. They are more commonly used than bees and are one of the best enticements for trout. Waxworms are the larvae forms of bee moths.
They’re found in beehives and come from eggs laid by moths that also reside in or close to the a, and they feed on wax found in the hive. They can be purchased at fishing docks and are also available for purchase in bulk from some online stores.
They are used in the same way that bees are used as bait, and multiple wax worms can be used at a go to increase the chances of trapping more than one trout.
Whether it’s a European nightcrawler or an earthworm, fish are charmed by anything wriggling on the surface of the water. Worms are the most common type of bait used, and no matter how much they’re used, fish never sense danger when approaching one.
They are widely used because they are easy to obtain and store. You could be walking on your way to the pond and you’ll find a worm somewhere on the ground. When using worms as baits, it is advisable to add as little weights as possible so that the worm is lightly and naturally drifting with the currents.
Some people, however, prefer to sink the worm to the bottom of the waterbed by using a worm inflator or hypodermic needle that floats the worm just above the bottom so that the fish see it.
Grasshoppers are easy to obtain, and they’re practically priceless. You really don’t have to visit your local store just to buy grasshoppers as they’re found everywhere as long as there’s grass. They can also be used on the water surface or at the bottom of the waterbed, but they’re most effective on the surface.
Just ensure you give the grasshopper a slight twitch for it to ripple the surface. This will make the fish think that the insect has just landed on the surface, and they waste no time in moving towards potential food.
Trout feed on smaller fish, and this especially applies to the large-sized trout species. You can find baitfish at most fishing outlets, or you could capture them while fishing. Just ensure that the bait is between 1 ½ and 3 inches and that it’s the type of fish that trout feed on.
Sculpins are loved by trout, and they are usually found in the same environment as trout. Live fish are better when it comes to luring trout, but even dead ones can be used as bait. Just place the fish on your hook and tight line it to the bottom of the water or use it while trolling or drifting. They should not be placed on the surface.
5. Nymphs and larvae
Many fish species naturally feed on larvae and nymphs as food. It’s even better than many insects like to lay eggs close to or inside a waterbody. It is these larvae that make up the majority of the trout’s diet.
Many bugs also reside close to water bodies and can be found hovering over the surface of the water most of the time. The bugs can be easily trapped at the fishing site using a mesh dip net and then stored in a moist container with some vegetation and enough air circulation to keep them alive. Examples of bugs that can be used as bait include Mayfly, dragonfly, and Hellgrammites
Bees are a tantalizing meal option for trout and even other fish species. They’re easy to catch with the right gear, and they’re readily available in that they’re everywhere. They just need to be used with discretion, and the species facing extinction should not be used at all costs. Otherwise, trout do eat bees, and they enjoy doing so.