Millions Of Cicadas Means Lots Of Free Fish Bait

Cicada bait is fast and effective!

Andrew Limberg
May 22, 2019 - 12:34 pm

Scott Waltenbaugh

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Related: Cicadas Can Be Harmful To Cats And Dogs

WASHINGTON, Pa. (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Millions of cicadas have begun to emerge from the soil in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties and while they are not harmful to humans, they can get rather annoying, but one man knows what to do with them.

The male cicadas’ mating call is loud and when you have hundreds or thousands in your backyard, it can be downright unbearable.

The current brood that has emerged from the ground is known at Brood VIII and is one of the larger ones underground.

The cicadas spend 15 years underground preparing to emerge from the soil. During that time they will molt up to five times preparing to mate when they make it above ground.

While the insects are annoying for many, fisherman Scott Waltenbaugh tells KDKA Radio cicadas make great bait for fishing.

On Tuesday near 10 Mile Creek in Washington County, Waltenbaugh says he saw a bunch on and oak tree so he scooped up a handful and put them in a grocery bag and headed to the shore.

After only a short time he had already caught at least two fish using the cicada bait.

Waltenbaugh says he was a child when he first discovered what great bait the bugs make.

He says one summer “we had cicadas like crazy and we saw the bass eating these things.”

Back then Waltenbaugh and his friends were afraid of the big insects, not knowing if they would bite or sting so they would use a fishing net to catch then, hook them and cast the line as quickly as they could.

Now he just uses his hand and scoops them up and reels the fish in.

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