Cut bait freshness for AZ flathead catfish

Discussion in 'LOCAL ARIZONA TALK' started by topjimmy, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. topjimmy

    topjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    AZ
    For those of you who have been using cut bait in AZ for a long time, have you found a "shelf life" for cut bait that flats will bite on?

    Is there a limit to how long you can let cut bait sit around and still successfully catch flats? Do they like freshly cut bait, or will they bite on nasty old rank stuff?

    TIA
     
  2. AZflats

    AZflats New Member

    Messages:
    2,535
    State:
    Peoria, Arizona
    The only cut bait I am familiar with is cut carp... I try to keep the carp alive untill I slice and dice.. Once it is cut, keep it on ice. Don't let the meat get wet. You will loose a lot of the natural oils.

    I would think as long as the meat is kept cool and dry, you should be able to keep it for a few days.

    Thx. ~A
     

  3. SilencedMajority

    SilencedMajority New Member

    Messages:
    320
    State:
    White Mtns, AZ
    I only use cut bait on the trip I am fishing. I have tried to use days old cut sunfish in a bag before, and had very little luck. Usually, while I'm fishing for flats I have a pole out for carp as well, and when I catch one I will throw it up on bank and cut a chunk out. I've caught nice fish on fresh carp, carp found on the bank from who knows when, and fresh bait that has been out on a line for many hours. But my vote is for it to be as fresh as possible, the bloodier the better.
     
  4. azfisher

    azfisher Member

    Messages:
    34
    State:
    arizona
    do you guys catch flat heads on cut bait. I was told that waterdogs and live gills were the only baits to entice flaties. was i mislead?
     
  5. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    until i moved to yuma, i believed live bait only for flatty's . then started talking to the old "salts" out here. one guy only uses night crawlers and i've seen him catch them. i've started partially flaying the gills that die and catching them at times. never tried cut carp but gonna soon. have friend that swears on the gill heads only and has pictures to prove catches.
    made me a believer.
    as for water dogs, would love to get my hands on some. not available here in yuma. salamanders in tucson i was told, but too far for me to drive for bait.
    gary
     
  6. topjimmy

    topjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    AZ
    Sometimes the carp gets scarce. One day I will catch 4, the next I get skunked.

    I think I am going to get a live well for shore fishing that will fit carp.
     
  7. GETHOOKED

    GETHOOKED New Member

    Messages:
    548
    State:
    Arizona, Scott
    SPARE COOLER AND SMALL BATTERY OPERATED BUBBLER!!! I DO IT NOW FOR GILLS AND CARP:wink:
     
  8. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    Cut Bait is a great bait for flatheads. It is a myth that flatheads are only caught on live bait. Its probably as high as 85 to 90% of the flatheads i have caught over 30 lbs have been caught on cut bait. Mainly Carp and Bluegill. It is somewhat seasonal. It seems to work great in spring and as the water warms up it still works but live bait seems to be just as good in warm water. Then again in fall when the water cools it seems cut bait works better than live again. I like Bluegill cut bait fresh but i like my Carp kept cool and slightly aged(a day or so). It gets a certain smell to it. It is not a rotten smell but almost a sweet type smell. It is hard to explain but we dubbed it Sweet n Sour Carp. That seems to catch more flats for me than fresh carp. I like to gut the carp when i catch them and dispose of the guts. The fish will get rotten and smell rank quicker with its guts in it. I keep it in the cooler on ice for about a day and when it smells the way i like it. I'll use it. Try different presentations of it and not always just a fillet or head. Cut Bait is a great bait but if you live by it you'll die by it. You gotta mix up you types of cut baits and presenations and live baits. You know how fish are. What worked last week or just yesterday, might not work today or tomorrow but will again some other day. Trying to figure it out is the fun part. :big_smile:
     
  9. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    question on the carp. i've never fished with, but want to to try. you say flay it. do you leave the scales on, or flay skin off also? i've heard both ways.
    gary
     
  10. Da Chummer

    Da Chummer New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    Arizona
    I have had luck both ways. I'm not sure it matters or not. I do always leave the skin and some scales where i put the hook through the cut bait. It'll stay on the hook better that way. That and make sure to have the hook point exposed and not where it'll set into the cutbait instead of the fish.
     
  11. SilencedMajority

    SilencedMajority New Member

    Messages:
    320
    State:
    White Mtns, AZ
    I have caught carp on hook and line, with the hook set nicely through the lip, pulled it up on shore, lopped off the whole head with an ax, and casted it out just like that. I think I pulled in a 40 something flathead with that rig. Otherwise I just cut little steaks out and hook those through the skin and cast out. Tails have caught me flatheads too. Always a good idea to pull off scales around hook point, they are tough as shingles.