When I was a kid, my father would choose a weekend for a catfishing trip to Lake Texoma, giving me ample notice to catch lots of trotline bait. The pond I liked to get bait from was full of black perch and bluegill from 3 inches to 3/4 pound each. They liked crickets. Lots of crickets.
It took me an hour after dark to chase and catch a dozen crickets to fish with the following morning. Then the perch ate them so fast that I ran out within a half-hour or so. I had to figure out a better way to supply myself with enough crickets to catch enough perch to run a 100 hook trotline at least four times. That takes a lot of perch and even more crickets.
I noticed that the crickets I needed were on the ground, dead, at the gas station on the corner every morning. They were piled up under the light that stayed on all night. Nowhere else were they so numerous.
That gave me a brainstorm. I went down to the grocer's and begged an orange crate from him. Don't laugh. . . oranges came in wooden crates in the mid 1950's. The slats failed to cover the entire box bottom, but it allowed air flow. I covered the box with window screen wire on the bottom and sides in order to keep the crickets from escaping. Then I made a tight-fitting frame covered with the same screen wire for a lid and hinged it to the box.
The box was half-filed with torn up lettuce leaves from the grocer and placed outside against the wall of the garage with the lid propped open. This was the trap.
The lure was a simple invention. . . an extension cord with a garage trouble light plugged in. The key was the red lightbulb. The red light was positioned so that the light fell on the lettuce bed in the box.
The crickets swarmed the red light at night, falling into the lettuce where they remained chomping merrily away all night. All I had to do was quietly remove the light and close the box lid at daybreak and I had thousands of crickets free of charge.
My live tank at the pond was filled on schedule and many church fish fries were supplied with fine catfish from that Lake Texoma trotline.
Submitted by Albert McBee. Copyright December 2006. The author is a 100% disabled Viet-Nam Veteran operating Oklahoma Catfish Charter Service as a catfishing guide and maintaining several websites including http://www.okcharters.com , http://www.precisioncaster.net and http://www.bigboyztoystore.com .