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They were toads. I had a swift lunchtime session today on the quiver and there are still a few round, slightly bigger but coal black. First saw them on the water silhouetted in bright sun so colour was hard to tell.

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As a kid I use to use Tadpoles as perch bait.

Perch loved them. You had to hook them in the tail otherwise it just became a mush if you hooked the head.

in an old pit I fished as a kid there were massvie clouds of tads, a sweep with the landing net got you all the bait you need for a day. (most of the tads went through the holes but you still had plently in the net)

Jasper Carrot On birmingham city

" You lose some you draw some"

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Just a point of interest....frogs, toads, newts etc are all protected species so using them as bait is a no no. There not exactly sustainable bait either and already on a massive decline ! Not that they'd be fish magnets at any rate, I've seen shoals of perch etc swimming amongst then and ignoring them only to snaffle up my maggots at first sight.

 

As may be but soft plastics in newt/salamander shapes and floating soft lures in frog shapes & patterns certainly catch fish and especially in the spring.

" My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!" - Harry Truman, 33rd US President

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