Backwoods Bait Gathering

A backwoods bait trap

Although using live bait to catch fish is frowned upon in some circles, it is an old-school, highly effective way to get fish on the hook and to the dinner plate. Sure, you could go to the bait shop, and anyplace from Bi-Mart to hole-in-the-wall gas stations will have a tin of worms or some equivalent that you can purchase.

But here’s a quick tip that can help you harvest creepy-crawlies right from your own backyard: Get your hands on an empty coffee can. If you can’t find a coffee can, a Mason jar will do. Pick a shady spot that looks like a good place to hang out if you’re a bug. Bury your jar or coffee can in the ground up to the lip. Place a handful of grass in the bottom of the receptacle. Now put a small piece of board over the buried container with just enough room for the critters to slip under it.

Congratulations, you now have yourself a backwoods bug trap. For best results, set your trap the night before your fishing adventure, and check it in the morning before you get out on the water.

Happy April, Oregon. It’s trout season. Get out there and keep those lines tight.

Dante Zúñiga-West is an Afro-Latino writer and outdoorsman known to some as “The Backwoods Blaxican.” He escaped Los Angeles and now makes his home in Oregon. His fiction has been published in various literary journals. His novel Rumble Young Man Rumble: How I Fought to Stay Alive is awaiting publication in 2014, on Black Coffee Press. For more adventures, check out his weekly column at or follow him on twitter @BackwoodsBlaxi

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