January 03, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Q On the Dec. 10 episode of The Osbournes, Ozzy used cheese as bait while fishing in front of his Malibu beach house. What’s the catch?

A The rocker is miscasting, according to Jeb Wyman, an editor at Pacific Fishing: ”Cheese has a long, venerable history as bait in rivers and lakes…but on the Pacific coast, cheese-loving fish are hard to come by.” Henry Bart Jr., an ichthyologist at Louisiana’s Tulane University, says freshwater dwellers like catfish are more adept at sensing cheese, which is typically laced with meat-derived liquids: ”Generally, what’s attracting the fish is not the cheese, but other things put into the bait, like blood.”

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