(Editor’s note: This was the last letter to the Outdoor Guide from the late Russ Heindselman, the Missouri Hillbilly Poet. A story on his death appears on Page 52.)
I am a lifelong promoter of a doctor-recommended health food – fish. As a retired, 35-year fish farmer, I also remember having a pay fishing area many years ago.
The Missouri Department of Conservation has outlawed the big, red crawdad as bait sold by bait shops. They say if dead, you can sell them. These big, red crawdads were hauled in from the South. You see, when you put your hook into these crawdads, they would die and would not harm the pond, creek, lake or stream or the environment.
I love crawdads. All over the South, they eat the crawdad as well as use them for bait – a double-barrel, Dyn-O-Mite use of this critter. We in the Midwest could do the same thing.
I have nine fish ponds, and I now catch these beautiful red critters out of my ponds, put them in a tub and cover the bottom with an inch of water. I put in a quart of fish food, let the crawdads crawl around for 12 hours, eating until their stomachs are full of catfish food and the paste covers the beautiful crawdad outside.
Quick-freeze them (two dozen in a gallon zip-lock bag, selling for $2.50 a dozen or $5 a bag) and you have instant bait. If you fish in a farm pond, the catfish food will draw the fish to the bait.
Take a kid fishing with you, and tell and show him what Dyn-O-Mite is. I guarantee all my bait – if I am on the end of the fishing pole. Heck fire – by golly!
Missouri Hillbilly Poet