How do you cut Shad?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Salmonid, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    SW Ohio
    Hey folks, I typically use Gama Circle hooks for when I use frozen shad and wondered how you all cut up your shad.
    I use shad that are 7-10" mostly and like to use poultry scissors to cut them vertically in strips about 3/4" inch wide when fishing for channels but sometimes when Im using the guts/stomach, I have problems getting a good piece to hold on the circle hooks without getting the guts to fall out.

    Does anyone else have a way they cut the bait to help maximize the amount of bait off a shad?
    Do you fillet or chunk it? do you use scissors or knife?, Do you use the belly part of the shad or not. Other then the tip of the tail, I use the whole thing, save the head for the best flattie looking spot.

    Any others way of doing this would be great, and when I ussually use redhorse, carp or skipjacks, filleting them seems to work betterbut with the shape of the shad is where the problem comes in.

    Thoughts, Ideas, comments?
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I usually get 2 chunks from a shad. I'm much less worried about getting the most bait from them than I am about maximizing the amount of exposed flesh that will bleed into the water.

    Basically I just fillet them - take one whole side off, cut the tail about 1" before the fin and then make 2 chunks out of the remaining bait. The head chunk includes about 1/2" of the bloody body and as much of the guts as possible; the other chunk has some of the guts and a full-length exposed side that just oozes blood and oils.

    Cutting them into chunks doesn't really expose much bloody surface area, though I'm sure it makes bait preparation faster and easier.

    Oh - the other thing is that I keep my shad alive in a bait tank until I'm ready to cut them. The cut chunks twitch when I stick a hook in them. You can't get fresher than that.

  3. dip

    dip New Member

    stinkin ohio
    i use a super sharp fillet knife.

    usually don't fillet shad, i cut the steaks like you describe. when using gut i thread the meaty part on the hook as many times as possible then cap it with the hard "stone" part. this hols the gut on. when we catch SUMO shad usually in the spring we just use the shad back. cut off the head and cut that strip of meat above the spine and chunk it. i waste a lot of the shad when i have plenty but one time i caught just one 7" shad and carved and filleted enuff to catch 8 channels.
  4. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    SW Ohio
    At this point, I never have fresh or live shad and am always tryingt o get the most out of my bait that I do have, that is why i ask. I agree when its plentiful, to not worry about it but more often then that, is when Im hurting for bait.
    Thanks for the reply!
  5. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    If you have big shad, and you want to catch big fish, you need to use some of those big slab steaks 2-3 fingers wide. If you are after smaller fish, you can fillet the meat off and cut it into smaller pieces.
  6. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Wichita Kansas
    An old timer showed me his secrets last summer, and increased my success by 100%!

    I take the shad and cut a "V" shape just behind the head about midway through the body, make a slice up the gut, cut the tail off, and cut ONE side like you would a filet about halfway down the body starting from the head, and just let this kind of flap.

    He also uses heads from the smaller shad that are to small to make these cuts. He said the larger the shad, the more smell it puts in the water.

    I have taken some shad, cut them up like this, stuffed them in an old panty hose (my wife's by the way!) and tied it to the end of my line on an extra pole and thrown them out nearby where I plan to cast, acts like a chum bucket. If you have enough shad, this works GREAT!
  7. slipbobber

    slipbobber New Member

    dip buddy you took the words out of my mouth i use the back also, and also i have caught some nice fltheads on just the guts alone. seems like they hit within a few moments of it hitting the water.
  8. IL Hunter

    IL Hunter New Member

    Normal, IL
    I just chop them up with scissors into little or big chunks depending on the size of the shad. I use everything except for the tail. I really like the nasty oozing gut sections.
  9. drewk

    drewk New Member

    i just get the knife right behind the gill then slice straight down then the head then move down a couple of inches then cut another piece straight down.
  10. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Greenup Co. KY
    All the shad I have frozen are 3-4" I use the head and use the mid section and throw the tail out.
  11. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

    Anything up to 8" I don't cut up at all. Stick the hook through the eyes and toss it out.

    Bigger than that... Depends on the size, but the head will be used (with some meat and guts attached) and one or two chunks from there. Maybe a few cuts to help juices flow.

    I have never had much luck with frozen shad. I always use s throw net. If I get shad, great. If I can't get shad, I'll use anything else I happen to get in it (as long as the laws allow it). With any other baitfish I get, same rules usually apply.
  12. mdudes17

    mdudes17 New Member

    Chicago, Illinois
    i cut the head and tail off to prevent it from getting tangled in the current, then i just chunk the body into 2 pieces. hook the bait once near the top corner. it lays out real nice for the channels to eat.
  13. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    clk. tn
    I either cut them into three sections, or fillet them. Also use the guts, and have had good luck. Big fillets I thread them onto the hook and up the line some.
  14. rcneman

    rcneman New Member

    i use gut packs from shad....cut into the the backbone follow the backbone to the place just above the gills and rip the "gut pack" out. Otherwise i use the whole shad with the tail cut off.....

    I'm fortuante at this point as i can usually count on havin fresh shad whenever i go out.

  15. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    for me I like to cut the tail off and then cut up from the tail almost up to the head leaving the flap attached then fold the flap up to the eyes and hook through tis area. I also cut the tail off and use a large J hook and just hook from the tail throught he body and out of the eye/ head area. with the hook exsposed. Both of these methods IMO are tried and true and have yet to let me down.
  16. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    GC, OHIO
    I always use a Knife, hope this helps. LMAO