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Post Posted: 11:19am - Dec 5,09 
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Yesterday I finally got to hunt for gall balls. Hooked up with Bubbalouie and Geo7455. After taking a somewhat tortuous route guaranteed to confuse the driver, we arrived at Geo's gall ball secret honey hole. The weather was a little brisk but the sun was shining and we were filled with optomism. One we started walking around in the weeds, all I can say is Holy Smokes...these gall balls were everywhere. Lesson learned early: don't bother looking for galls near bird houses, all of the balls will have holes in em. :( After walking around for about a couple of hours, we decided we had found enough. Lesson learned later in the day: If your going to use a plastic bag to hold your bounty, double up. Early in the day I noticed that the ends of the stems were poking little holes in the plastic bag. Towards the end of the day I noticed that the little holes had joined together to make slits and that I had been, in fact, probably dropping the balls out of the bottom of the bag. :o On our way back to Bubba's house we stopped for lunch at Grande Jake's. I had what easily has to be the largest burrito I've ever seen (took 1/2 home for dinner). Tasted GREAT!

Here is what a bag of 221 gall balls looks like:

Image

Being a curious guy...I couldn't wait to break into one of these balls and get to the goodies inside. Wellll I gently cut into the first ball and couldn't find any larva. It looked like the inside was petrefied or something. (The two halves of the ball are inside the top to the bait container) There wasn't anything soft and squishy inside. Bummer!! So I took one of the bigger balls and decided to try again. This time I got one larva about the size of a #12 rat finke jig head. (See pic below). I tried another smaller ball and this time I got one larva about 1/4 the size of a #12 rat finke. It's actually smaller than it looks in the picture.

Image

As you can see from the second picture, there is a ton of extra material inside the balls. The "bounty" from each is so tiny, I've got to wonder if this whole thing wasn't some kind of "snipe hunt" that my friends and I fell for...hook line and sinker. I can't figure out how on earth, with my Homer Hands, I'll ever get the smaller larva on a hook. Perhaps the trick is to mash several of them together and rub the juice on a jig?? :?

Now I've got to figure out the best way to extract the bounty from each ball. By God we found em and now I'm going to use em...somehow.

At any rate we got to spend a couple of hours walking the fields and I found a new good place to eat. Outstanding day with some good friends!

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Last edited by Luckydog on 12:11pm - Dec 5,09, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: 11:35am - Dec 5,09 
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if anyone is looking for a place to get them songbird slough in loaded with them. Last year I was ice fishing there and ran out of bait so i walked up on shore and got a handful and cut them open they work well but i think they smash very easy or my hands are to fat. I also see alot of them around industrial parks where ever they don't mow good luck

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Post Posted: 11:49am - Dec 5,09 
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bud..1st off thanks for lunch!!! glad you found over 200. i added about 100 to my stash...i only picked larger ones. thanks for posting the pic of the inside...gives me an idea what i am in for when i start opening them! hope you remember how to get to that vacant lot so we can try these things out in a week or so. i will keep an eye out on ice conditions there...just so you know...I WILL NOT be the 1st one out there...lol I will wait till i see some others out 1st. I'm a chicken...lol safe though!

all in all great day with 2 good people!!!

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Post Posted: 02:42pm - Dec 5,09 
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Yep- was a good time trekking around finding those gall balls. Thanks Geo and LD. Good pictures showing the size. They are small!! First couple I opened, I thought those little white specks were something I added when I sneezed…

What Luckydog didn’t mention was the little “incident” I had immediately after arriving at our destination. Upon going back into the car for a pair of scissors, I put my car keys on the seat and then locked and closed the door!! :oops:

Yep, locked out with immediate thoughts of $120 or more to call a locksmith… Fortunately, there was another fellow leaving the parking area who overheard our conversation and offered me a ride home to get a spare key. Wow! Great guy!

When I arrived back, I could see LD and Geo out in the fields. I started towards LD picking some on the way and then…. Gee, there was one on the ground, then another, - didn’t take me long to fill my sack and catch up to LD. Then I saw the slit in his bag where they were coming from (don’t tell LD). Think I would have had more but most of the ones I picked had these little holes in them- guess I better wear my glasses next time.

To conclude our foray, guide Geo led us to Grande Jakes for a Grande Burrito. Now I know of two Grande Jakes close to home! That was worth the trip in itself.

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Post Posted: 03:25pm - Dec 5,09 
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Man you guys really cleaned up! That's a whole lotta galls, and lots of work ahead of you in the extraction process.

As for their size, don't worry about them being so small. In fact the really tiny ones I usually just toss out with the busted open galls. The big fat ones are the ones you want.

I don't use rat finkees much, so I can't attest on how they would do tipped on there. Doesn't look like an ideal jig to be tipping with the round larvae anyway. Try using jigs more like "Gill Pills" and Wolfram Fiskas jigs, they have smaller hooks and smaller profiles that match up better to the gall fly larvae size.

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Post Posted: 05:53pm - Dec 5,09 
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Ed,

I was using the Rat Finkee for a visual re the sizes of the larva. After spending an hour popping the balls, I've learned that some of the larva are brown, some are very tiny and some should work just fine on a gill pill or similar jig. Key will be getting them out of the container and onto the hook without smashing them. There is a sense of satisfaction in working this hard for bait...now I just hope it works better than spikes or waxies on those "Hard Bite" days :D

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Post Posted: 06:10pm - Dec 5,09 
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I have used them side by side on days when anything works, and they work just as good as anything else. I have also used them on days when the gills seem to be in that "sniffing" mood, and I must say these definitely have an advantage over the spikes and waxies.

As I am sure you noticed, there is quite a bit of slimy goo inside those lil snot wads. I think that is what the attraction is. That scent is almost sweet and sap-like from the lil guys feasting on goldenrod fibers.

I plan on bringing up a tub of them with me to Sturgeon Bay for the whitefish. The little mouths on those guys ought to be perfect size for the gall fly goo pod!

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Post Posted: 06:48pm - Dec 5,09 
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Is there any problem with storing some "leakers" with the others. So far I've kept them apart thinking that the liquid would cause them to stick together. Am I on the right track??

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Post Posted: 06:59pm - Dec 5,09 
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Luckydog wrote:
Is there any problem with storing some "leakers" with the others. So far I've kept them apart thinking that the liquid would cause them to stick together. Am I on the right track??


Would they contaminate the others? ie, like a dead worm in the container will? For that matter, will a dead or couple of dead waxies or spikes influence the rest?? Ok- I'm a moron- I never used those little things before last year ...

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Post Posted: 10:27pm - Dec 5,09 
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Luckydog wrote:
Lesson learned later in the day: If your going to use a plastic bag to hold your bounty, double up. Early in the day I noticed that the ends of the stems were poking little holes in the plastic bag. Towards the end of the day I noticed that the little holes had joined together to make slits and that I had been, in fact, probably dropping the balls out of the bottom of the bag. :o


Dog,
Didn'tjer momma ever give ya one a those little tin sand pails for days like this?
You should talk ta Val and see if he'll give one up.
I'd say ask Bubba but he's probably wearing his like a hat still when marching around the house at night beating on his empty and upside down cardboard Quaker Oatmeal container and singing The Ants Go Marching song.

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Post Posted: 08:30am - Dec 6,09 
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Any Luc wrote:

Dog,
Didn'tjer momma ever give ya one a those little tin sand pails for days like this?
You should talk ta Val and see if he'll give one up.
I'd say ask Bubba but he's probably wearing his like a hat still when marching around the house at night beating on his empty and upside down cardboard Quaker Oatmeal container and singing The Ants Go Marching song.


Any, ya can't blame me for doing that when I got home- after picking up all those tiny morsels Luckydog was dropping behind him- I thought he was Hansel, just helping me out by leaving a trail-

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Post Posted: 09:52pm - Dec 9,09 
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Bubba,
I'm surprized that you didn't take along a MILKIN' bucket!!! :D

I CRANED my neck yesterday and saw some "Sandies"
flyin' over.

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Post Posted: 11:08pm - Dec 9,09 
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GETDANET1 wrote:
Bubba,

I CRANED my neck yesterday and saw some "Sandies"
flyin' over.


Ya know John, it's good to hear that you can "CRANE" your neck. Tough surgery to get through and ya did it successfully! :D

But be careful when you look up - the large white stuff coming down might not be snowflakes...

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Post Posted: 12:54am - Dec 10,09 
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But be careful when you look up - the large white stuff coming down might not be snowflakes...

Bruce,
I know about that non snow stuff.
I got Sea Gulled in K Mart parking lot once. :D
and Yep, it's terrific to have full movement of my neck.

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Post Posted: 08:56am - Dec 10,09 
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GETDANET1 wrote:
But be careful when you look up - the large white stuff coming down might not be snowflakes...

Bruce,
I know about that non snow stuff.
I got Sea Gulled in K Mart parking lot once. :D
and Yep, it's terrific to have full movement of my neck.


Was Kmart running a Xmas special? or just crapping on their customers?

Now you mention having full movement of your neck... Lately I've been having trouble in that aspect- now I do as most drivers- never turn around to look when changing lanes :lol: and I'm not looking up!!

Hey Merry Xmas!! :D :D

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Post Posted: 03:08pm - Dec 10,09 
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GETDANET1 wrote:
I got Sea Gulled in K Mart parking lot once.


Try getting "Brown Pelicaned" in Service Dress Blues. Now that's some nasty stuff there.

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Post Posted: 07:27pm - Dec 10,09 
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Aye, Aye....OOOH, Ohhhhh! :( &$%$#@!

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Post Posted: 10:31am - Dec 12,09 
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Here are the results of several hours spent extracting the gall fly larva from 221 gall balls:


Image


The next picture shows the tools I used. The hand shears were used to cut off both ends of the ball and then to cut into the ball. The knife and cue tip were then used as needed to actually free the larva from the inside of the ball.


Image

I should start a contest to count the actual number extracted. I'm guessing around 80. Now the trick is to actually use them and see how they work.

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Post Posted: 03:41pm - Dec 12,09 
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Nice job there LD- can ya do mine now that you know how?

Does that "80" mean a potential 221 Panfish? That would be nice- especially if you use them sparingly only when ya gots a tite bite- :D

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Post Posted: 03:49pm - Dec 12,09 
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You shall be rewarded greatly for your efforts.


:D

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