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View Full Version : Crappiepappy, I have a question



Roberta
07-02-2004, 08:01 PM
A year or two ago on the old forum you mentioned collecting the galls from horseweed and cutting out the worm to use as bait. We noticed that a lot of the horseweed on our place has these large galls mid-stem and we're wondering how late in the summer will they contain a usable worm? The one Doug cut open was still pretty solid and only had small specks (eggs?) in it.

We've had good luck using assorted caterpillars and other critters we've collected in the garden, so we figured we'd try this, too. Thanks in advance. - Roberta

CrappiePappy
07-03-2004, 04:17 PM
Roberta - I believe it was about this time of year that my Grandparents and I would travel down some old, country side roads in search of Horseweeds. The plants would be nearly 5-8ft tall and thick as your fingers or thumb. It always seemed to be quite hot and dry, so there's a pretty good chance that it was around this time of year.
We always looked at the stalks of the plants - either for a telltale "hole" in the stalk, or a section of the stalk that looked swollen (esp on the stalks of "pinkie finger" size or smaller). We would then cut the plant several inches below the lowest "hole" - then cut off the leaves and branches, leaving a long, bare stalk. These were cut in half, if it could be done without cutting thru the swollen area (or the worm). Occasionally we would cut into the stalk, at the hole or bottom end of the swollen portion, and pry a split in the stalk ... looking inside to confirm the worm was there. Then the stalk was dropped into a burlap bag, and after we'd collected a goodly amount, we'd be off to the lake.
We'd split open a stalk and retrieve the worm ... a small immature one would be a reddish tan, and a "goodun" would be a plump, white worm with light golden brown patches on its back. We'd thread the worm on the long shank thin wire hook ... head to tail or tail to head ... and drop them down on deep points - about 15 feet deep (minimum) in 18-20+ft of water. We deadlined (didn't know about "slip floats" in those days) and hand held the pole lightly in one hand. When the rod tip started heading towards the water - we set the hook. I remember catching, what seemed to be, much larger Bluegill than what we normally did (in shallower depths) ... with the occasional Channel Cat or Flathead as a surprise bonus....sometimes even a stray Crappie or Bass would take the offering.
One of the "other" things I remember about these "excursions" into the roadside stands of Horseweed .... is having to wear long sleeved shirts and lots of insect repellant ....LOL!! The long sleeves were to ward off any number of "other" critters, and to keep the weeds from causing our arms to get "itchy". The "bug spray" was to try and keep the "Chiggers" numbers down as much as possible ...LOL!! You never quite seemed to get away "Scott Free" ... but considered it a "successful" event, if you only got a FEW "chigger bites" out of the deal !!

I don't know about "galls" ... I only remember a "swollen" thickening of the plant stalk, and a yellowing of the coloration. The stalk would appear to be swollen about 25-50% larger, in the section where the worm had bored thru. If the worm inside looks like this, then it's a Horseweed Worm - http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/Sangamon-menard/ag_articles/ag_photos/stalkborer2.jpg

Hope you find some and catch some "bull gills" with them ....luck2ya ..cp :cool:

ps - the plant isn't "actually" true Horseweed ... but is, in reality, Giant Ragweed. And the "worm" is actually one of a variety of "Stalkborers". I just call them the same as my "granpappy" did :D ;) !!

Roberta
07-03-2004, 07:44 PM
These swollen parts - nodes, galls- whatever, are the size of ping pong balls. We opened up a couple of old dried ones from last year and there's evidence that a pretty good sized grub lived there, so we're hoping for some good, free bait (the best kind),
We've done pretty good with odds and ends we pick out of the garden, like cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms, and of course, earlier this year, periodic cicadas.
I've already got my share of chigger bites from picking blackberries out back, so what's a few more? ;-)
Good luck on the lake. - Roberta

Jerry Blake
07-03-2004, 09:30 PM
These swollen parts - nodes, galls- whatever, are the size of ping pong balls. We opened up a couple of old dried ones from last year and there's evidence that a pretty good sized grub lived there, so we're hoping for some good, free bait (the best kind),
We've done pretty good with odds and ends we pick out of the garden, like cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms, and of course, earlier this year, periodic cicadas.
I've already got my share of chigger bites from picking blackberries out back, so what's a few more? ;-)
Good luck on the lake. - Roberta
Hey Robera,

Good old Ben Gay will take the itch right out of a chigger bite and after one or two applications will drive the little booger right out and send it on it's way.

CrappiePappy
07-05-2004, 09:17 AM
Jerry - I've been giving them the "clear nail polish" treatment ...LOL!! I'll have to look into the "BenGay" treatment. You'd think I'd be smart enough, by now, to spray myself with repellant of some kind. Mosquito's don't seem to like me (or else they're too busy chewing on my fishing partners), but Chiggers seem to find me waaaay too easily.

Roberta - I do remember something about a grub/larvae that creates a ping pong ball sized nodule on a certain plant ... but that ain't a "Horseweed Worm" (at least not to my knowledge). Check out pics of "Giant Ragweed" (kinda looks like a close cousin to another, infamous "weed" ...LOL!) - if you've got them in your area, you've probably got the "worms", too.
And you're right - the garden does provide more than good veggies. Corn Borer worms, Potato Bug larvae, grasshoppers, and the other "critters" you mentioned - are all pretty good Bluegill bait. And FREE ... free is good :)
And I'll suffer thru multiple Chigger bites - for a bucket of big, fat, juicey Blackberries ...LOL!!! I just wonder if putting "BenGay" on BEFOREHAND, would keep Chiggers OFF of me, in the first place ..LOL!!

Thanks you two, and ...........luck2ya both ................cp :cool:

Roberta
07-05-2004, 07:58 PM
I don't know, Jerry. Doug said he's willing to try. Benedryl gel works better than the nail polish - and looks better too!
The only stuff we've ever found that really works as a chigger repellant is elemental sulphur. You put it on your clothes, not your skin. Around here, I figure I can suffer for a few days for a good batch of berries. I made jam last Monday. Yum!

I look forward to finding out what kind of worms we have in those weeds and if fish wil leat them. Like you say, Crappiepappy, bluegill will usually eat anything like that and free IS good. - Roberta

crappieseeker
07-08-2004, 08:52 PM
A year or two ago on the old forum you mentioned collecting the galls from horseweed and cutting out the worm to use as bait. We noticed that a lot of the horseweed on our place has these large galls mid-stem and we're wondering how late in the summer will they contain a usable worm? The one Doug cut open was still pretty solid and only had small specks (eggs?) in it.

We've had good luck using assorted caterpillars and other critters we've collected in the garden, so we figured we'd try this, too. Thanks in advance. - Roberta
Roberta, have you ever tried using big black ants for bluegill fishing? You can usually find them on trees. We use to catch lots of big bluegill and shellcracker on these ants. Just hook them through the thick part of their back.

Tim The Lippa Rippa Mon
07-08-2004, 09:16 PM
Roberta, I don't know if you have them in your area or not. But "Wood Worms" look almost exactly like wax worms, and are found in Black Eyed Susan stocks in their dormant(Winter) months. These little boogers are much tougher skinned than a wax worm, and stay on the hook longer. Great bait!!!

They make a slight bulb in the stocks too. The tell tale sign of when to gather up the stocks here(Iowa), is when the flower heads have been chewed off and the stock's end is sealed up to look much like the end of a piece of Bamboo. The worms seals the the ends somehow. Just keep them cold. Some pods have 1, others will have up to 4 worms in each of them. From what I have been told, they eat the flower heads during the next Spring. FYI

<,"}/>{ Rippa

Roberta
07-09-2004, 07:26 AM
Thanks, guys, I'll keep that in mind, although I think I'd rather tie some ant flys rather than get bit by a big carpenter ant! I'll keep an eye on my black-eyed susans to watch for borers. We're real close to having usable crickets and grashoppers in the yard so they get to meet the open mouths of bluegills and anything else that's interested.
I'd like to find a catalpa tree. Those worms make great bait. Also, if you are growing tomatoes or tobacco, use those big ugly hornworms. Fish go nuts on the fat chartruese worms.

Like Crappiepappy says, free bait is good. - Roberta