Best Catfish Bait?-Shad versus skip jack

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by Steve W, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Steve W

    Steve W New Member

    Messages:
    39
    State:
    Arkansas
    I throw a hand net to catch my shad baits.
    Some of the shad have a black dot right behind the gill plate
    I always thought these were gizzard shad. I catch another shad looking fish which is generally bigger, no black spot, same blunted nose. Are these Skip jack? What does a Skip Jack look like? From what I'm reading online these skip jacks may be a better bait
    Steve W
     
  2. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    You can search the library or the net and find a photo of each, if I can find a photp of both I will try and post it. Finaly have a computer at home trying to figure everything out. I have generaly had better luck using shad than skipjack, especialy shad guts seem to put out more stink than skipjack guts.
     

  3. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
  4. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    In my opinion, you should use the bait which is the prodominant forage fish for the catfish in your area. In some areas gizzard and threadfin shad are the predominant baitfish, and should be used. In other areas the skipjack herrings would be best. More importantly than your type of bait, is to ensure that it is fresh. Not frozen, or left out in the open air. This is absolutely critical when fishing for big catfish. As well, when I'm fishing I refresh my baits every 15 minutes. I think it makes a big difference. Catfish find there food by sensory organs in their mouths, and the fresher your bait is, the more scent is dispersed into the water column. Hope this helps. Good Luck Fishing.:cool:
     
  5. Catchinbiguns

    Catchinbiguns Member

    Messages:
    605
    State:
    Kansas City, Ks
    I agree, I really believe that.
     
  6. 710split

    710split New Member

    Messages:
    31
    State:
    iowa
    I just learned something fishing in the rain last November. I've fished shad as cut bait and have heard about shad guts, but didn't know what they meant. (I didn't get to enthused because how can you keep guts on a hook?) I found out that there is a hard ball in the guts that you can put on a regular hook. (You cut open the belly and scoop/scrap out all of the guts.) Once the ball is on the hook, then pass the hook through as much of the rest of the soft guts as possible. I was amazed how well the whole mess stayed on the hook in current.

    Next season, I'm going to have a stink bait bucket seeded with with shad guts and pieces of the filets from the rest of the shad. I'm hoping the pieces will do even better than before.

    PS: My favorite bait is skipjacks when I can get them. I wonder what kind of guts are inside.
     
  7. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Good Advice. As well, on the smaller shad, you can cut them into a piece which includes the gut pocket and hook them through the back. This keeps the guts in tact alot longer.:cool:
     
  8. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    You can also use treble hooks to hold shad guts on better
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've always been told that the hard ball is the gizzard from a gizzard shad. Don't know if that's right or not.
     
  10. Blue Bruiser

    Blue Bruiser New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    St Louis, Missouri
    For me it seems like the best bait is whatever they are eating at that moment. I have always had my best luck with mooneye. They are my bait of choice. Shad coming in at a close second and skipjack produces well at some times as well. But by far mooneyes have always brought me the biggest of the bruisers.

    Here is some info on mooneye

    Some guys around here just call em Herring but that isn't what they are.

    http://www.iowadnr.com/fish/iafish/moe-card.html
     
  11. thomas feldon

    thomas feldon New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    Farmington, MO.
    I fish the mississippi here in MO. I use cut skip jack, compared to chad and have doubled my results. With chad, I caught gar, and small cats. By using chunks of skip jack I'm not bothered by gar only an occasional turtle. I believe it has something to do with the oil in the fish.
     
  12. beaneye46

    beaneye46 New Member

    Messages:
    209
    State:
    indiana
    ive caught all mine using live bluegills while fishing for flathead. every time i use shad, gar seem to hone in on them. it seems like when the blues are biting theyre really biting often catching bunches of big blues in one night.
     
  13. pendog66

    pendog66 New Member

    Messages:
    2,121
    State:
    Brookville OH
    i'll let you know after i get to fish for blues with skipjack, last year i did well on shad, but the best bait seemed to be a monster bluegill
     
  14. Blue Bruiser

    Blue Bruiser New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    St Louis, Missouri
    If you are getting bothered by shad too often then you are fishing shallow. Gar hang in the shallow slackwater sections of the body of water. I have never been bothered by gar while fishing current, or deeper waters.
     
  15. rsimms

    rsimms New Member

    Messages:
    242
    State:
    Tennessee
    I'd guess the ones with the black dot are threadfin shad... generally small, about 5 or 6 inches long at best. The other others with the blunt nose, no spot, are probably gizzard shad. They get larger... up to 10 or 12 inches. The third species we've got in TN River is skipjack, also known as river herring or "Tennessee Tarpon." They basically look like a tarpon. They'll get large, 12 - 14 inches long or bigger. They fight like demons. The rockfishermen love them... I do too, but typically only fish a single large filet when chasing Big Blues. Threadfin make great bait, but due to smaller size don't seem to attract the BIG guys. HOWEVER, as other have noted here, my favorite bait for big blues is bluegill. I typically butterfly them... run a filet knife in behind gills and filet backwards... but leaving meat intact at gills. Do it on both sides and the cut the spine to remove backbone and dorsal fin. Basically creates a bait shaped like a "butterfly," without spine or dorsal fins. That way ol' blue doesn't have to mess with turning him just right to swallow.