So it is that time of year, when a man begins to contemplate the hills and mountains, the streams and lakes, imagining the joy of taking his two sons fishing. Of moving out into the wilderness, to become one with his instinctual need to hunt and gather, to grow his beard out as long as he please, and to revel in the heady scent of campfire smoke and mountain pines, away from the restraining influence of spouse and society.
Corn and live fish are legal as bait in every state I have fished in the upper Midwest, and are very popular and effective. I have not fished Utah, but in western Colorado I found fishable waters and catches were a lot harder to come by than in the Midwest. I am going to guess that the Utah DNR is trying to extend the availability of a limited fish population.
So, what kind of corn is best to fish with? Creamed corn? Yellow? White? Indian? What about cornbread? When fish eat corn and poop does it reconstruct itself and come out in whole kernels like in people?
This measure is in place to protect the fly fishing tourist trade.
Corn is nigh-irresistible to trout. Trout are frequently overfished, to the point that many states maintain costly restocking programs. States do this because fly fishing is an important tourist draw. If people get to “cheat” by fishing for trout with corn, it can quickly deplete the fish population and undercut the state’s efforts to promote fly fishing.
For trout, the drill I’ve heard goes like this: Throw out some frozen corn (separate kernels, not big lumps.) Then bait your hook with a thawed kernel or two. The theory is that the trout will bite, and spit out, the frozen corn. When they get your thawed corn, they’ll eat that. Why do trout want corn? It resembles fish eggs, which they naturally eat.
Carp are a game fish in the UK, (so I’ve read) and many other places. We Yanks snub the carp, and we call it a trash fish. So, corn and carp. I’m sure there are many variations, but here is one.
Start with dried corn, and boil it with strawberry jam and lots of sugar. Carp are vegetarians, and they allegedly like sweet and red. Make a rig, as follows. On the end of your line, attach a one-ounce weight (lead is unfashionable now.) From there, attach about 18’’-24" of line. At the end of that, a small lump of plastic foam for flotation and a hook with one or two of your boiled sweetened corn kernels.
Cast out your rig, which will suspend the bait a couple feet off the bottom. Toss out some sweetened corn to attract the carp, and wait. When you get a bite, you are in for a fight!
The fish pellets being fed in the hatcheries has been my experience here, also. So I highly doubt the “they get fed corn as fingerlings” blog as well.
The idea that they want to limit the fishing makes some sense, though. Thanks to everyone for that insight.
I guess the follow on question is: Why do trout love corn so much, rather than, say, wheat, oatmeal, sorghum, or something else from the Gramineae family. Is it the color? The scent? The strange colors the trout see after they’ve taken a hit?
Hijack here: excuse me, aren’t we promoting illegal activity? Let’s say this thread, instead of being about illegal fishing bait that grows naturally and is commonly used because it works so well, were about an herb that grows naturally all over the world and, despite having been used medicinally for thousands of years and depsite having been made illegal by some puritanical, misguided law in the mid-1930’s, is commonly used because…it works so well. Then someone (no dis intended to AskNott; it could be me or anyone) comes along and gives advice concerning how to use said herb. MODERATOR ALERT! THREAD SHUTDOWN IN PROGRESS!
Easy there, Sequent. If you will carefully read the OP, I am not asking “How can I get away with using corn while fishing,” I am asking why it is illegal and (later) why fish find it so attractive. If someone posted a thread on the afore mentioned “herb” and what medicinal use it has, and how the “medicinal substance” works, and then some yahoo came along and posts information on how to GROW the stuff… Well, it ain’t the thread, it’s the poster who is out of line.
Besides, further research indicates that the situation we are discussing here is illegal only in Utah and Oregon, as far as I can gather. As few of us Dopers as there are in those two states (sorry folks), as compared to the whole board, I think we are well within the boundries of legal discussion. That being said, however, in no way do I wish to encourage any illegal activity. Check with your state’s regulations and guidelines. Blah, blah, blah. Etc. etc. etc.
Most US states, and most of the rest of the world, have no regs against fishing with corn. Although the OP asked about Utah (which prohibits it,) the post I quoted had no location and gave no indication that the poster was in Utah or any no-corn state. KiethP asked what kind of corn works best, and I gave it my best shot.
Some areas tailor their fishing rules to prevent overfishing, and I have no problem with that. At least one Canadian province prohibits barbed hooks, and nearly every place has some limits on the size and number of fish you may take. I do not advocate breaking the fishing rules anywhere.
I’m just hoping for a fish locator that tells me whether the fish are laughing at me.