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Old 11-29-2021, 08:59 PM
Bigtaproot Bigtaproot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 448
Default Willow cat

Back when I was a kid in Minnesota we fished with what we called willow cats. Was great bait for walleyes on the Mississippi. Have you guys ever fished with them
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Old 11-29-2021, 09:50 PM
Flatheadmike Flatheadmike is offline
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 71

Best bait ive ever used for walleye . Used to buy 10 dozen at a time from a local guy , then this vhs crap hit and now they are way more than Im willing to pay . Some locals trap there own here on the ol miss , but pretty sure thats not legal anymore
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Old 11-30-2021, 05:31 AM
minkman minkman is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SE MN.
Posts: 795

I use them. They are $20 /doz. I really like fishing with them but I'm not the best at it. Bugs me to lose them on snags . Definitely catch bigger average walleyes on them . Hardly ever get a sheepshead on them . Smallmouth eat them - They sting real good ! Got stung once and am a lot more careful now . Wish I knew how to catch my own because of the price . Some guys are really good using willowcats .
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Old 11-30-2021, 07:19 AM
Woodhead Woodhead is offline
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Winona, MN
Posts: 62
Default Willow cats......luv' em

I consider them 'eye candy. Best bait for larger walleyes! One almost has to stop using them after you catch that 20+ walleye as they tend to inhale willow cats. You will catch LARGE sheepshead and flatheads on them! Larger smallies (5+ lbs) also luv them.

Last year I tossed out 2 lines with willow cats on and promptly caught 2 walleyes at the same time - 22 & 24 inches respectively. I kept the 22 incher as I was able to get the hook out of 24 incher without problems. This was not an isolated event as I had to reduced my willow cats to one line....the other line was designated the Kirby vacuum cleaner line (nightcrawlers) which caught everything....

Before the limit change, it was not uncommon to come home with six(6) 'eyes between 20" and 23"....I like to throw back all 'eyes over 23".

Getting stung by a willow cat is like a "rite of passage".....not fun, but it will happen. Some people will use a towel to hold the willow cat and to make them less slippery. All I can say is that it is not allowed in my boat and good luck to you in catching the big walleyes. The towel removes the "slime" that covers the willow cat and severely reduces the appeal to the walleyes!

As far as price? as you are sitting in a $20K+ boat with a 40hp+ motor....$5K+ electronics...$100+ rod/reel....+$25K pickup to haul everything......$20 per dozen seems pretty cheap!!
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