Re: NANFA-- collecting in a bait shop

R. W. Wolff (
Thu, 19 Dec 2002 12:17:46 -0600

I used to be good at picking out the non minnow oddballs in the tanks of
bait shops. Usually healthy bait of one species will ball up in the corner,
with the "odd balls" being pushed out of the mass of fish to the top or the
sides, or the bottom depending on the fish. Hovering over the tank for a few
minutes you can catch glimpes of fish that look different from the top.
Once accostomed to what fatheads or golden shiners look like from above, you
can pick out dace and other cyprinids in the mix just by watching. Most of
the bait shops locally never minded me doing this, even when I was just in
grade school. After they were used to me being at their store ( and thinking
I was a bit odd) they even let me dip in the tanks without supervision.
Building a relationship of trust with the store owner was all that was
needed. Its like that with any business. I even ended up working one of the
bait stores during high school when the family that ran it went on trips.
They just asked me one day when I had stopped by. I hung out there so often
anyways , and they knew I could run the net in the tank well enough.

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