I hate running out of bait so I always buy a lot and I can't remember the last time I have run out. If I go alone I will get 4 doz/scoops, with 2 of us I will get 7-8doz/scoops. One of my fishing buddies is so cheap that he will get 3doz/scoops for 3 people. He will cut up a normal shiner that I would put on the hook whole into 3 pieces. Then he wonders why he comes up with empty hooks or he catches small ones all the time.
I'm sure you guys use cut bait on occasion. If the perch are biting really good I will cut a piece of belly out of a white perch into a strip about 2" long then put the hook on the very end. That way when your line goes up and down with the waves the strip will look like it's swimming. I catch a lot less perch but it takes a lot to lose the bait and the perch are usually larger. I always fish with 2 rods but when they are biting non-stop I will bait one up with cut bait.
Another fishing buddy pops the eyes out of the perch in the cooler.
I think he catches more fish with eye balls than I do with cut bait but the eye balls usually will only catch one fish and then it's gone. Besides that there is just something about sticking a hook through an eye ball that creeps me out. I've tried worms but they usually catch the sheeps and white perch. I've tried Gulp minnows but never caught anything until I cut one in half and just put half if it on the hook. I caught 2 perch on a 1/2 Gulp minnow. A guy I know that fishes in Lake Michigan uses a casting spoon as the sinker and claims he catches a lot of perch on the spoon.
What other things have you guys tried for bait, or any other secrets? I've tried the cat food thing and the motor running but I have no proof that it helped attract fish.