Ok, here is the deal. I have just recently got into fishing for big cats. I got bored last year and went down to a local lake. The lake level was so low that the feeder creek was several feet above the lake level. Fishing the creek I caught a blue that was 32in. A 8-10 lb channel as well as numerous others. I have been hooked ever since. I firmly believe in CPR and have been doing it for years. I was wondering how big of a bait can I use for these monster flatties? I use shad, as big as possible. I use blue gill, the bigger the better. I want to try cut carp or buffalo. I have read on this site of people using 2lb live carp. I can't seem to catch them that small. However, while fishing for cats over cattle cubes with DK punch bait for fun. I caught several buffalo in the 10lb range. Now I use an Ugly stick Catfish rod 7' MH paired with an Abu 7000. I use 30lb Cajun Red. I really don't like the braids or the hard to tie heavier monos. I use a carolina type rig. A float is added if drifting (below the sinker). My hooks as of now are Gamu octo circles in a 8/0. I will be moving up to a 10/0 soon. One of the lakes I fish has HUGE flatties in it. I'm talking over 100lbs. I have personally only caught blues up to 30lbs+- 5lbs. And thats sitting at a boat slip. I am yet to catch a flattie. I was fishing with a friend and she caught one in the boat slip in my spot. Good for her it made both of our days. So my question to you all is how big can I cut these buffalo and not turn a big fish off. Using them whole and live is totally out of the question. These suckers are strong. Would using a fillet off of a fish that big be out of the question. Or do I need to leave some skin and scales to help keep the bait from being ripped off. Where do I find the big ones in a lake? Shallows, stumps, dam? Thanks in advance for the help.