Finding baitfish

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by yotetrapper, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper New Member

    Messages:
    69
    State:
    Illinois
    Last summer we bought a castnet, and one day, spent a couple of hours in search of baitfish, and never found none. I know you can see them working the top of the water sometimes, but what about when you can't? Where do you begin the search for baitfish (primarily shad) in the Miss. River?
     
  2. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    A lot of times you will see what looks like a big black blob moving under the water.Shad swim in really big schools and thats what they look like.You might also try to lure them in with breadcrumbs or a light at night.
     

  3. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Look for any type of warm water discharge from factories or power plants. If these are not available, the bait like fast water so look at tailraces on dams. If this is still not available go to the mouth of a small stream where the water should be several degrees warmer. Typically you can catch some at these spots even if you can't see them.............no a whole net full but you should be able to get enough to fish with a few cast.
     
  4. flatheadHunter84

    flatheadHunter84 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    Missouri
    Somtimes if i know i will have a hard time finding shad in the river I will go to the lake (at night) and throw my net under the lights at boat ramps, that usually always works good for shad and perch, and you dont have to worry about tearing up your net.
     
  5. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    If you have a boat and good fish finder, You can locate what is called bait balls which usually are shad on your finder.

    On lakes during a windy day the wind will force plankton toward the bank that its blowing against. The shad feed on plankton and will generally follow the bait. Good luck
     
  6. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    I just bought one too. Haven't even had a chance to wet it yet.
    I have heard that the downriver side of tied up barges are a good place.
    Thats one of the first places I'm gonna try.
    Also Its no secret that the biguns haunt the shallows at night to feed.
    Well that means that is where the baitfish are.
    Good luck and if you find a good place please let me know.
    Will I see you at the gathering at Keokuk this summer?
    have a good one
    just
     
  7. Gordhawk

    Gordhawk New Member

    Messages:
    1,378
    State:
    Iowa
    I have heard that the downriver side of tied up barges are a good place.

    Hey Bob,
    Where are you going to find tied up barges at?:confused2: I was just wondering since I've never seen too many up around MP.LOL:big_smile:
     
  8. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    LOL
    Nope not any here. I do get over to the big river sometimes and want to get there more often.
    I haven't thought of using the castnet on the Skunk. I'm afraid I'd get it snagged and tear it. I'm kinda fond of dip baits here.
    During the summer this whole damned river is shallow.lol

    .
     
  9. orion_xxvx

    orion_xxvx New Member

    Messages:
    397
    State:
    North Central Missouri
    Alot of times shad will be over the edge of boat ramp or even on top of it. Goodluck Sometimes a net must give its life so that you can learn where bait is.
     
  10. Ruger 454

    Ruger 454 Member

    Messages:
    174
    State:
    LaGrange Kentucky
    Hi Angela try looking for birds working the water they are pretty in tune with were the bait is I am talking about gulls or terns diving into the water.
    You can also look for blue herons and other wading type birds or kingfishers diving the surface this has worked for me in the past.
    Good Luck and tight lines.
     
  11. catfishbrett

    catfishbrett New Member

    Messages:
    181
    State:
    Steubenville,Ohio
    I fish the Ohio river and the shad travel from the river up into small creeks in the spring and fall.I always see a ton of them at warm water discharges from the mills we have up here..hope i helped
     
  12. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    I would try the warm water discharges or the mouths of feeder creeks. You can almost never go wrong.