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Spires: The great debate

Spires: The great debate

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I like to fish, so I have my opinions about how to best catch fish.

In a recent conversation I got in a serious debate with a fellow about which is the better, bait, crickets, or worms.

I’m a cricket man and I took the side of the cricket. He, on the other hand, fished with worms and took the side of the worms.

Our discussion went something like this:

“Crickets are better because they are a natural food for fish in general. They, like their other bug cousins, fall out trees, or fly into the water where fish snap them up and eat them. Worms are not a natural food for fish, they have to be dug out of the ground and presented to fish. Fish don’t dig worms,” I told him.

“However, worms are a better bait, because they are fleshy, with some real meat to them, unlike a cricket that is nothing but an outer skeleton and mushy stuff on the inside,” he countered.

This went on for a few minutes with us bantering back and forth about which bait worked better.

“The bottom line, for me, is that crickets are not as messy to fish with,” I finally told him.

He agreed, but insisted that although worms are in fact messy, they were still the better bait.

I did have a good point about how someone may have used the first cricket to fish with. It was shortly after Ug the cave man invented the fishhook.

“It is obvious, if you think about it: he saw a cricket swimming across the creek, a fish grab it and ate it,” I said. So Ug, being a bright caveman, concluded that bugs, especially crickets, were good fish bait.

“How did they choose worms for bait?” I asked.

“I really don’t know the answer to that one, unless one fell out of a tree and a fish grabbed it,” he said.

“That’s possible,” I responded.

“However, my thoughts would be that Ug picked up a worm and popped it in his mouth, then spit it out proclaiming it tasted like dirt, but slimy. Then thought let’s see if the fish like them and of course they did,” was my answer.

Needless to say, the debate still continues to this day. What is the better bait, worms or crickets?

I know, a few of you think that artificial bait is the best. But, in the end, they are just replicas of the real thing. Instead of just outright catching the fish, some folks want to shame them into biting something that is not real.

That’s another debate for a later time.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell” in a series of three books. You can email him at



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