Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Field notes: Cicadas & fishing

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Charles Yates had a good basic question for this time of year: `Is a dead cicada any good on the end of a hook?''


He asked the question on Facebook.

It may me laugh because in the last two weeks my kids have been finding all kinds of dead cicadas and cicada husks, including the one above.

As to the fishing question, I have used live ones as bait, but not dead ones, during the last great year of the cicada. If anybody has an idea on using dead cicadas as bait, I would love to know the answer.

The question was part of Field Notes, a weekly feature on Sundays in the Sun-Times outdoors page.

If you have a question related to Chicago outdoors, I try to track down the answer. Email questions to

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I would like to hear that answer as well.
I have used live cicadas as bait a couple times myself, thinking that I was in possession of the great secret bait but have had only limited success with panfish.

i saw a guy stomp one, put it on a hook and catch a small channel cat. Prolly the squishy bits leaking was the attraction.

A decade or two ago I remember mats of cicadias dead in eddies, all sorts of fish eating them I tried using some for bait, no go. I did catch them by tossing lures into the mat of dead bugs. Who knows what lurks in the minds of fish.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 13, 2012 6:58 AM.

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