How should I use shad as bait?

Discussion in 'LOCAL CALIFORNIA TALK' started by JHalden, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Brought home 4 nice fat shad today, zipvac'd em and they are in the freezer. I have never used shad as bait and was hoping I could get some tips. Should I just cut a chunk off and throw it on a hook or should I fillet it?.. Any advice would help. Thank you!
     
  2. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Thanks for the reply man, but how exactly should I cut em up the belly? I know that sounds like a stupid question but they got this like sharp bone that goes down their belly...
     

  3. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Simple enough to use shad for cat bait you can fillet or use as chunk bait, one works just as well as the other.
    Bigger pieces of bait catch bigger fish if only because a small fish cant eat it.
    Most important is to keep it on ice to preserve as much freshness as possible.
    if they are big baits and you are fishing water with an abundance of smaller fish, you might want to fillet the bait and then cut it into pieces suited for the size hook you intend to use.
    Remember you don't need to hid the hook from a catfish. They don't care.
     
  4. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,173
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Never had much luck on frozen shad...fresh is best. Use whole shad or you can cut the bigger ones in half.
     
  5. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    He man... your thowing away a good scent item for attracting the cats.... use the head and guts as chum... throw it in the bag as well....

    but when it comes to preparing the bait, you could just chunk it out without filletting the fish.... but another way.. just hole the head with the thumb and fingers and cut down to the backbone with the fillet knife and go to the tail... then flip the bait over and repeat the same... then chunk it up.... works good with mackerel and other fish that are to be prepare for bait.... But as Plumbertom1 Says... fresh dead, and on ice is the best way to keep em.... not frozen... but if thats the way to keep it for a long time.. then you got to do that...

    Another way to use shad it to "butterfly them" and open up the sides of the fish so that it "milks" into the water... this is a Delta stripper, and salmon.... way of doing things

    Bayrunner Ray
     
  6. nater779

    nater779 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    State:
    ohio
    i have not used them yet but that is what they stock the lake with for the cat
     
  7. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    These shad are all a pound and over so i couldnt see a cat eating a whole or even a half of one, at least where I live... I think I will try using chunks or fillets... :big_smile:
     
  8. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Good job on getting some American Shad Justin. I see you're from N. California. Where did you catch the shad?

    Chunks & filets are the way to go. Fresh is always best, but freezing them is ok if you are vacuum sealing the bait. Vacuum sealing pulls out all the air which prevents freezer burn. Freezer burn is the main thing that will ruin a frozen bait. I've been vacuum sealing my baits for years and can attest that it lasts for a long time in the freezer and will still produce good results. It's funny, I initially bought a vacuum sealer to keep my steaks and fish fresh longer. Now, I only use it to keep my bait fresh.:0a12:

    I just vacuum sealed some fresh American Shad. For best results, have 3 items on hand. A butcher style knife for chunking, a filet knife for fileting, and a pair of kitchen/poultry shears. Of course, make sure both knives are SUPER SHARP. A butcher style knife gives you the leverage you need to cut through the spine when you are chunking the bait. The shears (scissors) are used to easily cut off all the fins prior to cutting into the fish.

    Lastly, I use the filet knife to take off some of the scales on the top portion of the fish. American Shad are super scaley & removing some makes it easier to establish the initial cut. Also, since American Shad is so bloody, make sure to roll the filets & chunks in the blood for extra scent.

    pic one - chunked American Shad
    pic two & three - filets

    :0a26:
     

    Attached Files:

  9. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Pic 1 - heads
    Pic 2 - tools to make the job easier
    pic 3 - the bounty
     

    Attached Files:

  10. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    This is a killer method for threadfin shad Ray. Threadfin shad are a freshwater fish and get to maybe 5 inches long at most. Butterflying them allows more scent to disperse in the water. Threadfin shad are abundant in the CA delta and are also a major forage base in most CA lakes.

    American Shad on the other hand average 2 to 4 pounds and are much too large to butterfly as it is not necessary to use the whole American shad for bait. American Shad are a salt water fish. They are in the Herring family. They spend their 7 year life span in salt water, but come into the Nor Cal rivers to spawn.
     
  11. boombalaty

    boombalaty New Member

    Messages:
    1,536
    State:
    Kansas
    I like em fresh but I have also had luck on ones I cut up and ziplocked and then put in the fridge. If you dont freeze em they seep alot of blood and junk that gets soaked up in the meat:wink:. keep the heads and use them too, hook em through the eyes or nose. You can also just use the guts.
     
  12. catmanofohio

    catmanofohio New Member

    Messages:
    639
    State:
    Aberdeen (Southern Ohio)
    once again i didnt read through all the post, due to little time. The way i like using shad is: Whole and FRESH! well as fresh as possible. If your going fishing, go catch you some shad, they wont live long but it dont matter. if you are at a place that you know there are nice fish, just hook the shad like any other live bait, at the back/top section of its back. Then i take my old knife and make a slice out of its stomach where the guts are, and put it on the bottom of the water. ( some times to catch nice blues i put a few night crawlers on before the shad, and leave each one hanging off about 3 inches.) remember for cats the STINKER the BETTER! so if you can stand the smell man. Take a gallon ziplock baggie with about 20 shad, leave it setting outside (away from animals) and just use that when you go fishing! but i hear a lot of people say cut bait shad is good too. Hope this helps, Good Luck!
     
  13. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Thanks everyone for the help and now I know what the difference between american shad and threadfin is. And by the way to KnotGillty i caught em at nimbus and i vacuum sealed em as soon as I got home (within a couple hours of catching them).
     
  14. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Back in the early 90's, I lived in Orangevale just a couple of minutes from Nimbus. Spent a lot of years getting down there at 2am in order to pull salmon out from against the dam an hour before sunrise. It was arm to arm combat fishing at its finest. I'm not even sure if you can fish against the dam anymore after 9/11. Anyway, I've paid my dues there. Haven't been back there since I have a boat now. I've been catching my shad up around Verona recently. Maybe we can hook up sometime.
     
  15. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    State:
    Central Cail
    Name:
    James
    Randy your right about arm to arm combat at nimbus...lol...Last time i was there it was crazy:smile2: But that was many many year's ago.
     
  16. shanelures

    shanelures New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    ohio
    use the heads as cut bait!! shane
     
  17. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    I've seen it all Catpaw. 4 ounce sinkers coming out of the water at mach speed knocking people out. Lots of fights on shore. Even fights in the water. When you have 50 people, elbow to elbow, with no room in between, and most everyone is hooking salmon, some people get angry when another angler causes them to lose a fish. I caught thousands of pounds of salmon each season down there (most of it catch & release) during the early 90's.

    As much fun as I had there, I wouldn't go back if you paid me. Just not my scene anymore. I now go fishing to get away from crowds & aggression:roll_eyes:
     
  18. JHalden

    JHalden New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    NorthCalifornia
    Ya it's definitely not my ideal type of fishing but it has been fun, I don't like to fish the wall much though, mainly the drift below it. Luckily I just started fishing there last summer so I never saw those 50 people days...
     
  19. KnotGillty

    KnotGillty New Member

    Messages:
    401
    State:
    Northern Califo
    Yup, the drift below the wall can be good for the waders. You will not see the 50+ people days until they open salmon season again. That's when people just get stupid with the excitement of catching big fish, one after another. My best day there was 24 salmon landed for 500+ pounds. Only kept 2 (the first & last) and released the rest. That day screwed me up for about a week with back, neck, elbow, and finger problems.:crazy:

    Catching those salmon back when the runs were strong was ridiculous. They stacked up by the thousands in the basin. It was crazy fun. . .

    Too bad salmon season has been closed on the American River for the past 2 years. This year is going to be closed also.