Earthworms are terrific for catching panfish. But what to do when you do not have a bait shop nearby and can’t dig any up (maybe you live in an apartment)?
Sure, I have heard folks sing the praises of boxed mashed potatoes. They have not worked for me—the potato tends to fall apart when the hook hits the water. I have reworked the consistency a bunch of time—and I’m done with that.
My new go-to bait is shrimp. I buy frozen, peeled shrimp—a container of 36 ran about $10. Each shrimp can be lopped into maybe a dozen tiny pieces that fit snugly on little size 8 snelled hooks.
Here’s the math for the value proposition: $10 / 36*12=432 pieces of bait = 2.3 cents per piece of bait. Bargain!
I only need to thaw three or four shrimp at a time—which can easily be done by soaking them in warm water for 10 minutes.
Shrimp also endures the nibbling by small panfish very well.
What more can you ask? Shrimp is cheap, you can have it on hand year round, and it work ridiculously well. Give it a shot.