Trout Pellet & Bait Catapult
(Note – this method is so good, it is illegal in some states and on some lakes – check your regulations!). It works that well.
Stocked trout fishing around Chicago, Illinois and many states starts up this week! If you want some tips to catch more trout – read a few of these tips to help you with tools, baits and tricks to catch more of the stocked trout near you! There is even a class on catching stocked trout if you live near Chicago.
Sound strange? The bait catapult method might be the most sure-fire method to catch stocked trout. Reacting to sound and the falling action of falling pellets in the water column really get trout active. The method calls for a bagged small pellet to be fired out using a small catapult. Little and often is the way to feed fish and attract them. Keep things accurate and you are pretty assured of success and you can catch more fish than anyone around you. You can also catch fish when the fishing is slow using this method. Having the catapult with you means that you can get pellets fired out onto water, even in wind.
On one Fall day, the method worked so well – the fishing picked up in front of me. Not only did the bait catapult method work on the trout, but it also worked on all the people fishing on the lake. My section of the lake with my two kids was the only spot where the fish were biting. Naturally, the Chicago area anglers being so courteous, all of the people from all sides of the lake I was fishing walked right up next to me. Some even cast right over my line trying to get to these trout. My rig on this day was fishing 20′ foot deep. They were fishing no deeper than 4′ foot down so even moving right next to me didn’t help them. Because they were rude- as I packed up to leave (with my limit of trout), I used my catapult to send the trout out deeper – away from this group of fishing barbarians. The instinct to try and avoid being skunked was very strong with this group. If they would have been polite, I would not have driven the school out deeper. I packed up my bait catapult and my pellets and left.
The bait catapult helps to attract all types of fish. Falling pellets are attractive to all species of fish. These can work on crappie, catfish, trout, bluegill and other species. A lot of fish find the fluttering pellets appealing – visual-feeding fish are stimulated by the falling action. By firing 8-10 pellets out onto the water, fish can be attracted to start feeding in from tot a boat, next to a dock or in front of a shore angler. When feeding fish with a bait catapult, feed a very small area in front of you. By hitting just one area consistently over a period of time, you will pack the fish into one area. Packing these fish into an area, gets them moving, feeding and actively fighting each other for food. Your hook bait becomes more attractive when fish race to a single bait.
Bait Catapult Tips
Some tips for feeding pellets with a bait catapult:
- Use small amount of pellets (5 – 10) – feed little and OFTEN
- Don’t over-fill bait catapult pouch
- Hold handle straight out in front of you
- Pick a target to shoot to – shoot to same spot! (keeps left-to-right accurate)
- Pull back pouch holding string to same spot on arm every time (keeps distance accurate)
- Feed little and Often
- Did we mention feed little and often – often?
- Aim slightly upward to make more noise (and to keep pellets or bait in pouch)
- Anglers will crowd around you when you start catching more fish – be polite : )
- DON’T SHOOT BAIT PAST WHERE YOU ARE FISHING
- Be able to cast just past where bait is landing.
- Fish small baits the size of the pellet such as spikes, waxworks, 1/2 red worm
Follow these tips and you will attract more trout if you try a bait catapult. If you couple this method with a very light and small float such as the Gapen pencil float – you will catch more fish than those around you. Trout bite lightly and they feed on small baits. I choose spikes as the number one live bait you can use for trout. They out-perform Power Baits and jarred baits because they have movement and they have a perfect drop rate in the water column. The movement of the bait on a very light hook is also key to success. Many species of fish can be taken on this method using a small hook, small live bait and shooting pellets on the water. I do occasionally shoot spikes out with the same bait catapult – this really works.
Look for LBFT baits and superior hook leaders coming soon! The tips above are based on catching more fish 80% of the time out than other trout anglers fishing around me. Many times, I would attract the fish and then adjust my neighbor’s rigs, get them a smaller float or hand them my float and tackle and THEY would catch 2 or 3 fish right away. Having the light float and light leader make all the difference in the world. Follow these tips for catching more fish using the bait catapult and you will be a very happy angler.
Live in Northern Illinois or Chicago area – check out the trout fishing classes and our interactive up-to-date
Trout Fishing Info Page . The map shows you updated stocked trout locations for this Fall (2016).