Bait preparation and presentation

Discussion in 'Carolina Catfish Club' started by Mac-b, May 30, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This thread will be about how I and others prepare their baits for trolling. There are other ways to prepare baits, but the technique to be described on the this page and other pages has worked great for us in the Carolinas and elsewhere.

    First, we scale the bait fish and this allow the pores to open up and thus put out more scent. You should have as fresh a bait as you can get for this to be effective. First photo depicts the scaled bait.

    Second step is to filet off one side and then the other. If you have big blues in the area, you can use a whole filet for bait. Take note that I leave the tail fins on the filet. While you are trolling at 1/2 MPH of less, this gives the appearance of a live fish. Second photo depicts the whole filet.

    Third step is, half the filet if you are fishing for medium to small cats. Take notice that I leave some of the tail fins on the strip filet, for the same reasons stated above. Third photo depicts the filets cut in half.

    Fourth step is to disconnect the head from the carass. The head is a great bait and believe it or not, a trophy flathead will bust it if it comes across his domain. Photo for this will be shown later.
     
  2. bowler man

    bowler man New Member

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    898
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    i like to do what you showed mac but i like to fillet the fish from his tail all the way through the head this makes a great looking piece of bait and it puts off a ton of scent , but you can only do this if there isnt a size limit on the fish your using (like crappie), i do this on both sides so the bait has no backbone in it , i have even gone ahead and used both baits on the same hook or use one half and use a willow blade bass spinner in front of it just for show while trolling
     

  3. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The first photo below depicts the whole fish with one side filleted off. This is an ideal bait for large cats. You can use a stinger hook with this size bait. Also, it can be used for both anchoring or slow drifting.

    The second photo depicts the head and to me, this is the best bait I can use for a trophy cat, blues or flats. The head as depicted can be used for anchoring or slow trolling.

    The third photo depicts a whole filet hooked in the rib cage. The barb of the hook should always be exposed. When trolling at 1/2 MPH, this filet as cut presents to the cat a possible small fish.

    All of the above baits are giving off a scent, which the catfish will pick up under ideal conditions and follow it until it can touch the bait and or make contact with it.
     
  4. bowler man

    bowler man New Member

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    898
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    nc
    i seen the carp in your pics page here is one i caught from wylie while cattin about 4 years ago it weighed about 70lb
     

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  5. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The first photo. is of a half piece of the side filet. This is a good bait for almost any size catfish. Note that the tail fins are still in place for reasons stated before. If you are getting tail bites, you can use a stinger hook or just shorten the bait from the top part.

    Second photo. is of the strip filet double over on the hook. This will help with short bites and also, some people think that it gives the appearance to the cat of a mussel or clam. There is a lot of scent in one place when this technique is used.

    Third photo. is of a fish head. There are several ways to hook this great piece of bait. You can hook it thru the eyes with a big hook, thru the nostrils with most any size hook over 3/0, thru the lower lip out thru the head and in the meater part of the back of the head. There are a lot of juices and thus scent, that comes from the head. This bait can be used for anchoring or drifting.
     
  6. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The first photo. is of the carass. This to me is one of the most overlooked baits that we have at our disposal. The carass offers more blood, exposed meat, scent than all of the other baits, except for maybe the head. This is an ideal bait to use a stinger hook on. It is best used while drifting.

    The last photo. is of a chunk bait. It can be used for drifting, but it is my opinion that it is best used for anchoring. The size of the chunk depends on the size of the fish in your local.

    Things to remember from the foregoing: fresh is best, proper bait preparation is a must, proper presentation scores big, leave the hook exposed, use the proper hook size for the bait that you are using etc. Also, give some thought to the size of natural bait in the area that you are fishing, in other words 'match the hatch'.

    As I stated in the beginning, there are other ways to do the foregoing, but this is the way I do it and others in my area and we have been successful with it. Mac
     
  7. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Jeff, sorry I did not answer you right off, I was trying to get this piece done for the Mac Byrum's Catfish University in the library section. I like your idea and will give it a try. Nice carp you caught there. I caught mine on a Sabiki rig with four pound test line. Real proud of it and I'm sure you are proud of yours. Mac
     
  8. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Mac,very informative as usual
     
  9. willcat

    willcat New Member

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    that's a very good write up there Mac. thanks for explaining it in detail and w/pics-you know we have to have pics..........:smile2:
     
  10. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

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    Good thread Mac, you know the old saying a picture is worth a thousand words:cool2:.
     
  11. kmcalester

    kmcalester New Member

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    Mac this one of the best written post I have seen on the BOC, and I really thank you for it.
     
  12. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

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    Great info. as allways Mac. Thanks!
     
  13. jerry9497

    jerry9497 New Member

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    Tobaccoville NC
    Hey Mac
    good post, I do usally chunk the carcass overboard.
    I seen post where some people "thread" the hook thru shad. are you familair with that? hows that work?
     
  14. rahughes

    rahughes New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    North Carolina
    Thanks Mac I will try the bait cut the way you explained. I have been useing the chunk methed.