Does anybody catch clams for bait?

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by catman529, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    If any of you do what I call "clamming" and go into streams to find clams & mussels, do you ever find them in cold water, like now? Just wondering...
     
  2. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I have found and used clams year round.I have used clams for Cat bait for 50+ years.Great bait.You have to be very careful now.Many clams and mussels are now endangered and protected on federal and state levels.You can get big fines and jail terms for the wrong bait now.The same laws apply to many minnows,salamanders and even Craw fish in many places now.Check with your fish and game department to avoid grief.I think that most of the people being charged have no idea that they are breaking the law.That is not much help to them or the officers having to enforce the law.Even a child playing in the water can get it's parents in a heap of trouble now days.peewee-williams
     

  3. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    I haven't used any for bait but I did catch a channel about 2 lbs that had a small clam shell about 1/2" diameter that was coming out of the ole pooper shooter.

    How would you use one for bait? I'm guessing bigger clams that you take out of the shell?

    Thanks,
    Shelby
     
  4. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    Clams 3" and bigger are good. I have not yet caught a cat with them (only used them once so far) but here's how I fish them. Get your pocketknife and stick it in the crack of the shell. Twist like a screwdriver to pry it open. Once you can get your fingers in the crack you can wrench it open all the way.

    The tough part is easy to find, since the rest of the clam is soft and thin. If the clam is alive when you open it, it will most likely shrink its tough part as you break in. The tighter it is shrunk the tougher. Now once you get this blob, hook it any way you like and go fishin.
     
  5. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Please use a fixed blade knife.Even a lockback can give and fold up on your fingers with the kind of pressure you exert when opening a clam.Severed tendons are serious business and often do not heal correctly after multiple operations.Cheap clam knives can be found on line.I have done it to myself and seen it happen to others.You can get away with it for a while,if you are lucky.Thanks,peewee-williams
     
  6. rockbass

    rockbass New Member

    Messages:
    1,107
    State:
    Ohio
    I have not used them yet, but heard they are great for cattin. Actually I think it is illegal in Ohio to use them, but.........................:tounge_out:
     
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    It is definitely illegal to use, sell, or possess them in the State of Ohio. 20 years ago when i had no idea they were protected we had a great bed of them just downstream of the Beverly Dam on the Muskingum River. I used to catch several 5 gallon bucket fulls. We used clam knives and screw drivers on the back side of the clam or the hinge. They were good fresh, better after a day in the sun for channels. They say that they are excellent Bluecat bait, but then they say that we don't have them in the Muskingum too.
     
  8. MR SANDMAN 800

    MR SANDMAN 800 New Member

    Messages:
    1,026
    State:
    Kansas
    Never used them for bait but caught a couple of them after they'd clamped onto my line while catfishing...
     
  9. THE CATFISH HUNTER

    THE CATFISH HUNTER New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    Tennessee
    thanks for your help with the skip jack sandman!
     
  10. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Jon,

    More of user than a gatherer. I would gather them at Mossdale Landing on the San Joaquin Delta. Using them is messy, just like using muscles in the ocean. Problem is the size. Rather have big ones, but I think the folks keep the big ones and sell the smaller ones. I've heard it told that some big ole cats can have a "belly full" of them. You can hear em inside their sagging belly. I usually use cut bait, mackrel, bonita,this and that, but have often wonder if just putting some small clams in....say a nylon stocking bag, tied off with a rubber band might be the ticket. Crush a few to get the juices going, and cast the whole thing out there and wait.

    As I have done lots of river looking...me and my depart old boat, I came around one bend of the delta slough to find the tide had gone out....
    and local Vietnameese folks were out their wading and gathering... not sure that they were getting..... bait for them selves or to sell. I had to watch them.... as I poled my way around this shallow bend.... Finally got to the deep water. (no wonder there were no other boats here.) I like the curved tidal charts now......

    bayrunner ray
     
  11. tomnt369

    tomnt369 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    Arkansas
    I use the freshwater mussels when I can gather em. The river I fish has a smaller river that feeds it down from the house. It is discharged in by a plant upstream so the level is jerked up and down frequently.

    When the level has been up awhile then drops overnite you can walk along the bank and gather the mussels easy.

    I prepare them along with chicken liver by drying them out a little bit and adding garlic powder. This toughens them up so they will stay on the hook longer.

    But do be careful, their shells are sharp as razors and like someone said earlier, some types of mussels in some areas are endangered and expensive to get caught with on a trotline.lol
     
  12. THE CATFISH HUNTER

    THE CATFISH HUNTER New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    Tennessee
    i saw an ad where they were used with out the shell.
     
  13. darinspawn

    darinspawn New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    North Dakota
    use then frequently. caught some of my bigggest channels on clam..