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Bullheads... Any tips and advice?


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Every year I seem to miss the boat on bullhead fishing because I'm too busy with this or that... I'm making it a point to get out rather often this year, especially with the nice weather settling in.  I made it out last night and only caught a few perch....

Id love to hear how some of you folks target them, what bait do you like to use , how to rig your setup etc... anything and everything

Thanks!

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I usually just use worms and fish the bottom. Sinker tied on light test set below the hook, basically like a leader.

 

I've had good luck with old cheese, the stuff that won't break down easily. Velveeta knocks off work OK.

 

I've had really good luck with spoiled liver. Buy a package and separate it and put it in zip bags in the freezer. The day before you're ready take some out early in the AM, cut it up frozen in small chunks and let it sit so it goes bad, outside is strongly recommended. Put a small chunk on a hook, and bottom fish it. USE RUBBER OR LATEX GLOVES! If you don't use gloves the stink will get into your hands and take a while to get it out. It might sound gross but it works.

 

I used to know a guy who used dead crayfish and did pretty good.

 

I've heard of people using raw chicken chunks, and a bunch of other odd baits. They are a scavenger type of fish, mainly bottom feeders, so they will eat almost anything.

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11 minutes ago, Arcade Hunter said:

Every year I seem to miss the boat on bullhead fishing because I'm too busy with this or that... I'm making it a point to get out rather often this year, especially with the nice weather settling in.  I made it out last night and only caught a few perch....

Id love to hear how some of you folks target them, what bait do you like to use , how to rig your setup etc... anything and everything

Thanks!

My method has always been quite simple.

3/8 sinker on bottom. 1 hook 1-1.5' feet up and another 2-2.5' feet up. Thread some night crawlers on.  Set pole in the Y branch and wait. Set the hook on the bob. When they are biting good 2 at a time is not uncommon. 

I know some like to fish at night but my best times fishing are the nice sunny 60° days. Mainly I fish the shallow back bays and channels off the local rivers .

I havnt done much bullhead fishing in a few years, but they ought to be biting now.

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9 minutes ago, ncountry said:

My method has always been quite simple.

3/8 sinker on bottom. 1 hook 1-1.5' feet up and another 2-2.5' feet up. Thread some night crawlers on.  Set pole in the Y branch and wait. Set the hook on the bob. When they are biting good 2 at a time is not uncommon. 

I know some like to fish at night but my best times fishing are the nice sunny 60° days. Mainly I fish the shallow back bays and channels off the local rivers .

I havnt done much bullhead fishing in a few years, but they ought to be biting now.

Thanks for the tip... I remember years ago my dad would make dough balls... im not sure what his recipe was but he would soak cotton balls with this stuff and use that for bait.  Ive heard that chicken liver work too but they fall off the hook easily..

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11 minutes ago, ncountry said:

My method has always been quite simple.

3/8 sinker on bottom. 1 hook 1-1.5' feet up and another 2-2.5' feet up. Thread some night crawlers on.  Set pole in the Y branch and wait. Set the hook on the bob. When they are biting good 2 at a time is not uncommon. 

I know some like to fish at night but my best times fishing are the nice sunny 60° days. Mainly I fish the shallow back bays and channels off the local rivers .

I havnt done much bullhead fishing in a few years, but they ought to be biting now.

I don't bullhead fish much...maybe once every other year but I've had bucket filler nights. The biggest bullhead I've ever seen caught was at 10AM on a sunny day on clear gravel bed just off the park midway down Conesus. Couldn't believe it. Caught on a nightcrawler.

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I don't have a lot of experience with Bullhead, but did fish for cats a lot back in Illinois. If you are using bait that breaks apart easily, like chicken livers, wrap and tie them in pieces of pantyhose. For livers, I like the method of cutting and wrapping in hose when frozen, then setting out to spoil. I've caught a lot on stinky liver. I've also caught a lot on nightcrawlers as well.  

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There is a pond behind my parents house. When i was a kid you could go out there any time of day with some night crawlers and a sinker and as soon as it hit the bottom you had a bullhead....Only time i ever fished for them. They were always very easy to catch....Haven't been in the woods back there in 30 years....lol

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In my area, if you try during the day, the panfish are too eager and strip the hook. As soon as it gets dark the panfish slow way down,  and the bullhead start. 

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There is a bullhead derby this weekend up at Wilson, the 2 heaviest fish takes first prize. That sounds like a fun way to get out and have a good time fishing for them!

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Hot Dogs !  This was our Go To bait when fishing just for Bullheads .And you dont have to grill the hot dog either !  LOL   

Depending on the size of the hook you are using, and how big the Bullheads are where you are fishing . We sliced them from 1/4 to 1/2 inch depending on hook size.  We rigged the line with either a slip sinker above a snap swivel or barrel swivel with the hook on a leader , or you can just use some good size split shot weights if you are tying the hook directly to the line .

The kitchen gloves is a great idea for keeping the stinky slime off your hands and helps from getting harpooned by their dorsal fin dagger . Definitely need a hook remover like this cheapo plastic one . Those critters always swallow the hook and you have to pry their mouth open . They are delicious especially if you are catching them in cold water .  

https://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Fishing-Disgorger-Remover-Snelled/dp/B08NTHZNDS/ref=cs_sr_dp?crid=3LJ33YP01MKQQ&dchild=1&keywords=hook%2Bremover%2Bfishing&qid=1617806184&sprefix=hook%2Bremover%2B%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-30&th=1

Edited by SportsmanNH
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If you have a bait shop that carries them Leeches are a top notch Bullhead bait, the best part is they are leather like in texture and you catch catch several fish on one before you have to bait the hook again. Softshell Crayfish are another top Bullhead bait, a little pricey though.

Al

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The cheap tiny little shrimp from Walmart. The more you freeze and thaw them the better they work. I think they’re called salad shrimp? It’s the best bait I’ve ever used

I’ve always used a double drop rig with a pretty heavy sinker 1/2oz or so, I fish them in the Hudson so there’s usually a pretty good current up here in the spring.


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48 minutes ago, SportsmanNH said:

Hot Dogs !  This was our Go To bait when fishing just for Bullheads .And you dont have to grill the hot dog either !  LOL   

Depending on the size of the hook you are using, and how big the Bullheads are where you are fishing . We sliced them from 1/4 to 1/2 inch depending on hook size.  We rigged the line with either a slip sinker above a snap swivel or barrel swivel with the hook on a leader , or you can just use some good size split shot weights if you are tying the hook directly to the line .

The kitchen gloves is a great idea for keeping the stinky slime off your hands and helps from getting harpooned by their dorsal fin dagger . Definitely need a hook remover like this cheapo plastic one . Those critters always swallow the hook and you have to pry their mouth open . They are delicious especially if you are catching them in cold water .  

https://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Fishing-Disgorger-Remover-Snelled/dp/B08NTHZNDS/ref=cs_sr_dp?crid=3LJ33YP01MKQQ&dchild=1&keywords=hook%2Bremover%2Bfishing&qid=1617806184&sprefix=hook%2Bremover%2B%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-30&th=1

agreed hotdogs have always been my #1 bait for them.

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