Catching fresh bait in cold weather!

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by nightowl, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. nightowl

    nightowl New Member

    Hey guys I was wondering if you could give me some insite on catching fresh bait when the weather turns cold.
    What kind of bait will be available (shad, skippies, ect.) and wherer do you get em'.
    Do shad run year round or do they split up. Will the skippies still be on the end of dikes if not, where do they go.
    What do the big cats like during cold weather. Do i need to change location or precentation.
    I know that i have lots of questions, but its just because i want to learn as much as i can about our wiskered friends. From what I've seen and read and the knoledge that this web site offers I sould have no problem finding the answers to my ?'s. Once again THANKS!!!
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I suppose a lot depends on where you're fishing (lakes or rivers) and what your definition of "cold" is... (to me, the water isn't *really* cold unless you can walk on it... :eek:oooh:)

    In lakes, you'll find shad in schools during the winter just as you would in the summer, but typically they're in much deeper water. In my area, the shad are down 25 to 40 ft, which requires special equipment and technique - you need a large cast net (I'd say 8 ft radius minumum), with large mesh (1/2" to 5/8") and plenty of weight (1 lb per radius ft), plus a longer rope.

    I fish the Missouri River quite a bit too and found shad last winter in slack water behind dikes, down 10 to 20 ft in 20 to 30 ft of water, sometimes shallower if the sun was out. Also caught a lot of mooneye and other good baitfish.

    The shad are still there, you just have to work a little harder to find them. I've spent upwards of 3 to 4 hours looking for shad in the winter - sometimes that's what it takes; if you get lucky and find them right away, it's a bonus.

  3. joesf

    joesf New Member

    Bloomington IL
    I have found shad in the dead of winter on our hot water lake.
  4. bumper

    bumper New Member

    If you know of a pond or something that has a lot of bream in it, you can still catch them on a pole in the wintertime. On warmer winter days (maybe even 60 degrees here in GA), I usually can catch fresh bait like this, however, you should always have some bait in the freezer just in case.