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  #1  
Old 04-21-2022, 09:31 AM
trigger7mm trigger7mm is online now
 
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Default Leeches?

When do most of the stores start carrying leeches. I want to stock up for the summer. Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2022, 09:39 AM
Bushmaster Bushmaster is offline
 
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Before our first trip last summer I heard there was a shortage of supply. So I saw a thread about guys catching their own. Took 10 minutes to make a trap and left it in a nearby dugout overnite and voila !!

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Old 04-21-2022, 10:09 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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When do most of the stores start carrying leeches. I want to stock up for the summer. Thanks.
Locally supplied leeches can only be harvested after the ice comes off the ponds. Leeches from the U.S. can only be harvested after the ice comes off the ponds. Walleye Masters out of Edmonton used to supply the bait stores in that area and they got their supply from Minnesota. The two people I know in Saskatchewan who trap commercially are located in P.A. and Meadow Lake, a little way north of me and they've got plenty of snow still.

Last year the stores had very few if any commercial grade leeches in their bait fridges. I have a spot and my successes started in the last week of April. I keep only the largest and return the regulars and smalls to grow and I was able to collect over 18 pounds in 7 weeks. I made a lot of new friends.

This year the melt has been slow so I'm not expected any results until the second week of May and depending on how high the temperatures climb and at what speed I look forward to ending the trapping trips by mid June. By August I have switched to worms.

Free
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Old 04-21-2022, 12:23 PM
Jays toyz Jays toyz is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushmaster View Post
Before our first trip last summer I heard there was a shortage of supply. So I saw a thread about guys catching their own. Took 10 minutes to make a trap and left it in a nearby dugout overnite and voila !!

Tell me more! I have a pond that must have the buggers!
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Old 04-21-2022, 03:20 PM
mlee mlee is offline
 
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I usually start the week before season opens and can get a pail like this every 3 days until end of June out of my slough.
That's a 10l pail..... i just use my old open ice fishing bait for the leeches....herring smelts etc.

Sent from my SM-G981W using Tapatalk
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2022, 04:15 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Jays toyz View Post
Tell me more! I have a pond that must have the buggers!

Super Easy Leech Traps!!
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2022, 07:33 PM
Bushmaster Bushmaster is offline
 
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AlbertanGP pretty much says/shows it all. I had a trap stolen (blue heron I'm guessing) because the trap was visible and not too deep. After that I set just before dark and picked them up as early as possible. Good luck !
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2022, 09:10 PM
trigger7mm trigger7mm is online now
 
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Default Leeches

Last May I tried setting traps with frozen minnows and liver in a half dozen different sloughs around my place, and didnít catch a single leech. 4-5í of water right along the cat tails. Only place I caught any was in an old dugout, but they were only about an inch long, and Iím pretty sure they were horse leeches.
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Old 04-22-2022, 06:25 AM
Bushmaster Bushmaster is offline
 
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Don't know what to say.....maybe too early?? alkaline sloughs?? I've only tried this one dugout....late May. I know I tried later and they were fewer and much smaller. Might have to google lifespan of leeches.
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Old 04-22-2022, 07:51 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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Invertebrates cannot survive the winter in frozen mud bottoms. Dugouts work because the ice doesn't go to the bottom. Ponds fed by spring water are the best places to look, in my experience. Good luck.

Free
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Old 04-22-2022, 08:49 AM
Bushmaster Bushmaster is offline
 
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Last edited by Bushmaster; 04-22-2022 at 09:04 AM.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2022, 03:29 PM
trigger7mm trigger7mm is online now
 
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Default Leeches

Thanks for the tips. Much appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2022, 07:31 AM
Bushmaster Bushmaster is offline
 
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OK, as part of the learning curve I set a trap last nite at 9 p.m. and checked it at 7 a.m. this morning, not knowing what to expect...cold water and all. Very surprised at the results. But they haven't reached full size yet.

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Old 04-24-2022, 10:20 AM
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If all else fails, just have one (or more) of your kids go for a swim in the dugout. You just have to pick off the suckers when the swim is over.
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  #15  
Old 04-25-2022, 07:59 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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Default Some tips

[QUOTE=Bushmaster;4513932]OK, as part of the learning curve I set a trap last nite at 9 p.m. and checked it at 7 a.m. this morning, not knowing what to expect...cold water and all. Very surprised at the results. But they haven't reached full size yet.

Nice haul! Now comes the hard part. Cleaning them and keeping them clean. I store mine in glass jars kept at +1C or +2C. changing the water (non-chlorinated) every day for the first few days then weekly. Personally, and from that camera angle, I'd call that catch 'regulars' and 'smalls' of the sort bait shops sell for $6.00/dozen. Too early to use them (around here) so I suggest returning them and going back for the bigger ones. I've used chicken and ground but I've determined that a strip of beef liver is the best bait. More is not better; they are more attracted to the metal which is a different temperature than the water.

This year I plan to soak traps 24 hr. per day with ritual harvesting at 6 a.m. and 7.p.m. instead of placing traps for only overnight, hoping to double my output.

Free
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Old 04-25-2022, 08:25 AM
Bushmaster Bushmaster is offline
 
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"Nice haul! Now comes the hard part. Cleaning them and keeping them clean. I store mine in glass jars kept at +1C or +2C. changing the water (non-chlorinated) every day for the first few days then weekly. Personally, and from that camera angle, I'd call that catch 'regulars' and 'smalls' of the sort bait shops sell for $6.00/dozen. Too early to use them (around here) so I suggest returning them and going back for the bigger ones. I've used chicken and ground but I've determined that a strip of beef liver is the best bait. More is not better; they are more attracted to the metal which is a different temperature than the water.

This year I plan to soak traps 24 hr. per day with ritual harvesting at 6 a.m. and 7.p.m. instead of placing traps for only overnight, hoping to double my output."

Interesting and good luck. I released them all as I'm not going fishing till early June. Does depth change things? I will set the trap just the day before we go. And thanks for the info...whats involved in the cleaning process?
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Old 04-25-2022, 10:38 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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Rinse well through a plastic sieve to wash away slime and stomach contents and return to clean water. Evaporate tap water or R.O. to remove chlorine, at least 12 hours. Or clean spring or well water if you have it.
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Old 04-25-2022, 11:25 AM
Drewski Canuck Drewski Canuck is offline
 
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What works really well to keep leeches going is to throw some green grass into the container of water with the leeches. As the grass decomposes, the leeches seem to be feeding off the grass and stay alive alot longer than otherwise.

Drewski
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Old 04-26-2022, 05:13 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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Rinse well through a plastic sieve to wash away slime and stomach contents and return to clean water. Evaporate tap water or R.O. to remove chlorine, at least 12 hours. Or clean spring or well water if you have it.
One additional thing to mention, the rinse water and the new water must be as COLD as the water that they were in. Changing water often precludes putting organic matter in to decompose.(sorry, Drew) I've kept leeches live all through to September with this method but have discovered that leeches become yesterday's news to walleye and they have moved on to worms and minnows. Not many trout ponds in Sask.

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  #20  
Old 04-26-2022, 12:48 PM
trigger7mm trigger7mm is online now
 
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Default Leeches

If Iím catching small ones now in a particular spot, will they get bigger as the summer goes on?
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Old 04-27-2022, 05:07 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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Default Perseverance

Keep trying. Change locations. Try liver. Try a different trap- hint- a folded length of roof flashing to make an "envelope" held closed with paper clips. Those in the photo look like bait and cheaper than TFH; you are already ahead of the game.
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  #22  
Old 04-27-2022, 06:30 AM
trigger7mm trigger7mm is online now
 
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Default Leeches

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 04-27-2022, 06:41 AM
Bushmaster Bushmaster is offline
 
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And yes, I think they'll get bigger in the next month.
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  #24  
Old 04-27-2022, 10:46 AM
Lowrance Fishburn Lowrance Fishburn is offline
 
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If a guy were to set his own traps and catch a bunch of common size leeches then let them feed on beef liver and other bloody stuff, would they grow into jumbos or super jumbo's? If so, in what time frame? I'm not that interested in catching my own small to medium leeches, id rather spend the money frankly. BUT, if jumbos or super jumbos are attainable with the right treatment, I am way more interested in that. Please advise.
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Old 04-27-2022, 01:49 PM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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Default This year's smalls are next year's mediums...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowrance Fishburn View Post
If a guy were to set his own traps and catch a bunch of common size leeches then let them feed on beef liver and other bloody stuff, would they grow into jumbos or super jumbo's? If so, in what time frame? I'm not that interested in catching my own small to medium leeches, id rather spend the money frankly. BUT, if jumbos or super jumbos are attainable with the right treatment, I am way more interested in that. Please advise.
Leeches are invertebrates and only consume organic matter derived from the water they live in.They defecate and produce a slime that blocks their ability to sustain themselves in a container. Jumbos die quickly even if treated like the expensive little bugs that they are. They are a lot of work.

I put the regular sizes back hoping to re-catch them next year, provided that the ponds don't dry up and blow away; the very reason they were hard to find last year.
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Old 05-07-2022, 07:35 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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I thought I might brag up my pond as little and tell you that I have, in 9 days, successfully trapped in excess of 20 lbs of large or better and 6 or 7 lbs of smaller critters that went back to grow. More than half of the returnees were of the size the tackle shops sell and some were less than 10mm (1/2") stretched out. My 'friends list' grows and I am not even on F.B. Storage has become an issue and I am looking for a good used refrigerator.

Freedom 55 (per)
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Old 06-06-2022, 11:15 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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Default Next year

Last day for 2022 at this pond. Total "large or better" comes to 36 lbs. More than 50 pounds went back to grow and more than half of those were bigger than bait store size. (note: 2 dozen 'mediums' = 0.22 lbs) Those tiny tubs of 12 'smalls' (4 dozen = 0.22 lbs) available at bait fridges works out to more than $140.00 per pound plus tax for anyone who has a market for such. That's a lot of cash that went back for sustainability purposes.

Not to mention two uphill walks a day and three tick bites. And the fuel bill. Cheeses wept.

Free
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Old 06-06-2022, 03:26 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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What's your protocol for maintaining them Freedom55? I've been negligent on my collection this season, and I'm about to start paying for it. But one of the reasons I don't go hard is I seem to have a hard time keeping them alive, even with a ready supply of R.O. water at my lake house.
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Old 06-06-2022, 06:16 PM
curtz curtz is offline
 
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West end fishing hole had some about a week and a half ago.
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Old 06-07-2022, 05:15 AM
Freedom55 Freedom55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertanGP View Post
What's your protocol for maintaining them Freedom55? I've been negligent on my collection this season, and I'm about to start paying for it. But one of the reasons I don't go hard is I seem to have a hard time keeping them alive, even with a ready supply of R.O. water at my lake house.
The best way to keep them alive, besides the methods already described, is to find a market. Mine is tournament anglers. And if you are at a lake then you could use lake water. It is a daily routine and gets old fast
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