Can Slugs Be Used as Bait?

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When selecting the type of bait to use, it is always advisable to go live ones, for example, slugs. These creatures might be slimy and gross, but they are one of the best baits you can use. This is because plenty of freshwater fish such as catfish, walleye, bass, and perch feed on slugs. 

Also, their smell and movement are similar to what most freshwater fish eat naturally. The good thing about slugs is that you can get them free of charge since you can find them in your garden.

However, they are also sold in bait stores. 

Where Can You Find Slugs?

Slugs take three to six months to mature. They also lay eggs in groups of between 3 to 40 slugs under a tree, rocks, soil breaks, and other protected areas. They are more common in rainy and wet seasons and hibernate in the sunny seasons.

Hunting for slugs is not as straightforward as it might seem. This is because they always seem to appear in your garden at specific times, i.e., when it rains. This is because slugs need a moisture-rich environment to survive. 

Therefore, you will only find them where the humidity rates are approaching 80%. That is why they are commonly found in grassy areas where they emerge in large numbers after a downpour. During warm summer months, 90% of slugs found in gardens live underground. 

However, you can still find them in near freshwater, marine biomes such as streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. Due to their closeness to such water bodies, they tend to fall and get eaten by fish. 

Slugs are easily found near rivers and lakes due to the wet and damp conditions

If you don’t know how to catch slugs or prefer not to, you can easily buy them in bait stores. In bait stores, anglers have a wide array of baits to choose from depending on what they want to catch.

As such, you have the luxury to choose different species and sizes of slugs. Some stores breed the slugs themselves while others hunt for them. 

Lastly, you can also breed your slugs. All you need to do is collect as many as you can during the rainy season and transfer them to a habitable enclosure.

Housing them is very easy; you can use a small aquarium or a storage tub to make an ideal enclose. Fill the tub with loose soil to allow them to lay eggs and maintain the temperature at 60-75 degrees. Also, ensure the humidity is close to 80%.

Slugs feed on grass and other small vegetable leaves; therefore, it is easy to develop an environment that will sustain them. 

How To Catch Slugs Using Alcohol

One of the best ways to catch slugs in bulk is by using alcohol. Fill a paper plate with beer and place it where you suspect there might be slugs.

Slugs love the yeasty smell of beer and will crawl into the paper plate. 

The great thing about this method is that the beer removes the mucus making it easier to hook the slugs.

However, it would be best if you were careful not to drown the slugs. Check on the trap from time to time and collect the ones that have been trapped

Fake Baits versus Slugs

While artificial lures can be used to catch several types of fish, they are not as effective as live bait. 

This is because fake baits do not produce sounds or scents that will entice the fish to bite. Additionally, they do not show any movement that mimic the natural prey that most fish feed on. 

Furthermore, fish and other aquatic animals do not see light the same way as land animals. The color on fake baits may, therefore, not have the attraction that natural bait has. 

On the other hand, Slugs have a ‘silverish’ natural color that shines or dulls depending on how sunny it is. On a sunny day, the silver coat reflects light and makes the slugs more visible to fish.

fishermen adding bait to lines

These color changes can attract the attention of a fish from a long distance. This is because, in the water, refraction affects the perception of distance. Fish, therefore, use light changes on the skin of prey to gauge distance.

Cost of Slugs

Slugs are natural and can be accessed freely in your garden, on muddy surfaces, or near water bodies.

Even if you choose to buy them, they are still cheap. Although they are not reusable, slugs are still cheaper compared to most artificial lures. 

Also, since they occur almost in any environment and breed fast, there is no possibility for depletion.

Can you use slugs in salty water?

Salt is lethal to slugs as it makes them undergo an osmotic process that drains water from the slug’s body. A slug has a lot of moisture content; when a saline solution is introduced, it mixes with the mucus produced by the slug. 

This creates a saltwater solution outside the slug’s body. Since the salt concentration outside is more than inside, osmosis occurs, and water from the slug’s skin cells is drained.

A tiny amount of salt might not kill it, but the amount of salt present in oceans will immediately dehydrate the slug.

Therefore, if you want to take advantage of the benefits that come with using live baits, only use slugs in freshwater bodies. 

Also, it is essential to note that slugs are not equipped to live in water. They might withstand brief periods of immersion; however, after several hours, they will die. 

Final Words

In summation, slugs are excellent baits. You just need to be sure which type of fish you are targeting and the area you will be fishing (salty or freshwater).

A lot of freshwater fish feed on slugs which makes them great live baits. It is ideal for fishing not only because they are cheap and easy to find but also because they live longer and can be stored. 

Also, most slug varieties are non-poisonous to both fish and humans. The best type of fish to lure with slugs include catfish and chub. Lastly, only use slugs in freshwater as salty water will kill them instantaneously.