Discover Freshwater Mussels

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by TXBlueHunter, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. TXBlueHunter

    TXBlueHunter New Member

    Messages:
    231
    State:
    Flower Mound, Texas
    Since there have been a few post on using Mussels as bait for catfishing it got me to doing a little research on the Freshwater Mussel. What I found is very intresting information on this little jewel of freshwater. Just thought I would share the information.

    The following link will take you to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife site on freshwater mussels. I hope everyone finds it as intresting as I did.

    http://news.fws.gov/mussels.html
     
  2. bluehunter

    bluehunter New Member

    Messages:
    3,004
    State:
    Los Angele
    Good info on the mussels. They are a big food source for blue cats. Plus I never knew a lot of that info about mussels.
     

  3. bigsammy

    bigsammy New Member

    Messages:
    189
    State:
    Poteau ok
    Thanks for the link bro,used mussels for bait in the ocean in Ca when I lived there.Never thought about tryin them here.Might have to check into this some more
     
  4. james

    james New Member

    Messages:
    747
    State:
    Blue Ridge texa
    ive had good luck with them but its hard to find them most of the ones i find at the lake are opened up nothing but a shell left. the best place i can get them is in ponds not sure why
     
  5. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    here in indiana they made it ilegal to even mess with the empity shells.
     
  6. willisjj

    willisjj Guest

    Thanks for that link. Very informative article! I plan on baiting up at least one pole on the next few trips with mussels and see how it goes. I have used them in the past, but not enough to figure out how well they work.
     
  7. catwacker

    catwacker New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    illinois
    folks around here , north west illinois, used clams quite a bit. they were easy to get out of the mississippi. we would shuck out a mess, lay them on a cookie sheet, pour a can of condensed milk over them. let them sit in the sun till the milk is almost gone. soured clams, we called them. they will stay on a trotline all night long. talk about stink, dipbait is perfume compared to sour clams.
    the japanese came over, fleets of clam divers, practically cleaned out the river. now there is no more diving, don't even know if you can use them for bait.
    there were button factories all along the river, stamping out buttons from shells. you can still come across piles of the old shells with holes punched in them were they dumped them. the japanese used the shells to plant in oyster to grow cultured pearls, i think they ate them, too.

    i tried to find out if the clams were safe to eat. the DOC did'nt know , referred me to the army corps of engineers. the corps said no studies had been done, but did'nt advise eating anything off the bottom of the mississippi
     
  8. TXBlueHunter

    TXBlueHunter New Member

    Messages:
    231
    State:
    Flower Mound, Texas
    James the below link to infromation from the TPWD that will give a little insite on why we are not seeing as many freshwater mussels in our major lakes.

    I have to admit that I was part of the boom on mussel harvest while I was in highschool. I made lots of money during the summer "toepicking" mussels and selling them to processing houses. It was all legal but if I would have know the effects I would not have been so eager.

    http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/didyouknow/inland/mussel.phtml
     
  9. Environmentor

    Environmentor New Member

    Messages:
    95
    State:
    Buffalo, Iowa
    The small town I live in, on the Mississippi, had several button factories.

    Anyway, I was just letting you know that some places it may be illegal to harvest any mussels (depends on the state). Also, if you are going to gather mussels to use as bait it might be wise to memorize those in your area that threatened, endangered. After all, mussels are the most threatened or endangered organism. If you are using threatened/endagered mussels as bait and a conservation officer or game warden comes up on you, you are commiting a felony (just like with any felony, being ignorant of the law is no excuse). You will be charged with killing an endangered specie and possibly serve some prison time and pay fines up to $100,000. I really don't think nobody wants to undergo this for some bait, so it would be wise that if you plan on using mussels as bait, you know what is safe to use and those that are endangered/threatened. Also, someone said that having shells is illegal in their state. Well, part of the federal endangered species act makes it illegal to possess any part of an endangered species (unless you are licensed, like a museaum or biologist or etc.). I am very sure this includes endangered/threatend mussel shells.
     
  10. TXBlueHunter

    TXBlueHunter New Member

    Messages:
    231
    State:
    Flower Mound, Texas
    Environmnetor

    I totally agree. The TPWD has a program called "Mussel Watchers" where people wanting to help monitor the mussel poputlations and be trained and summit reports.

    I belive the second link I posted has information on this program.
     
  11. ksutroubleii

    ksutroubleii New Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    New Philadelphia, OH
    Mussels are illegal here in Ohio, but I have that they are good bait around here. I follow all fishing regulations whether I agree with them or not. I frequently take kids fishing with me and I want them to know that Fllowing the law is very important.
     
  12. waterwalker

    waterwalker New Member

    Messages:
    604
    State:
    Louisville Ohio
    Just wondering...do you know if chumming in Oh is legal?
     
  13. jerrydean

    jerrydean New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    arkansas
    Mussel beds are about the best fishing areas there are. Fish are there year round and are normally real agressive. If ya find a good live bed, hang on to that spot & keep it under your hat. People have been known to pay $$ for info like that.:)
     
  14. stonemaster

    stonemaster New Member

    Messages:
    98
    State:
    versailles, ky.
    If you know where a strait line (no septic tank) sewer goes into a river is you have found a mussel bed. That is the way that I have found many.
     
  15. Lngbo

    Lngbo New Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Marion Ark
    Back in the 50's when I was very young, my grandfather used to dig for muscles in the area of Cody Bridge on the St Francis River. He used the meat as bait and sold the shells. Had a heart attack while doing this and pulled the boat with four of his children under water. All drowned.

    That is one man I would have loved to have known. just to get a little of his understanding for fish and such.
     
  16. Cattoo

    Cattoo New Member

    Messages:
    603
    State:
    caneyville,ky.
    cant get em here legally.
     
  17. kaleigh

    kaleigh New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Lehigh Valley Pa
    Great eating when cooked with pasta in a white sauce.Freshwater mussels taste really good in any kind of dipping sauce too...:grin-big:
     
  18. slabmaster

    slabmaster New Member

    Messages:
    719
    State:
    missouri
    i dont fish with mussels.when i was in my teens i used to scuba dive for them in ft.gibson lake "oklahoma" you must posses a shell harvesting permit if you posses mussel shells in ok. i like to take young people fishing . i also like for them to know we are going to obey the laws of the land.one other thing if you are caught violateing game laws in arkansas or missouri in the presence of a minor fines and points double.