How small is too small for cut bait (shad)

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by wildturkey, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. wildturkey

    wildturkey New Member

    I recently drove about 75 miles to a lake that is full of shad so I could freeze them. I caught a ton of them...threadfin... but they are only about about 3 - 4 inches long. Some are a little bigger. My question is this. Most everyone here talks about using cut bait for channel and blues. Are these too small for cut bait? I have just been threading them on whole running the hook from the eye to the tail. I have been catching a few channels on trot line but nothing on R&R.
  2. shania

    shania New Member

    San Leandro, Ca
    If I were you - I would use the whole Shad (if only 4 to 5") - I would not cut them at all / unless you are going to butterfly them.

  3. ccat

    ccat Well-Known Member

    Fayetteville Ar
    I have used threadfin and gizzard shad that were fairly small, but with lots of success. If the shad is 4 inches or more, I might cut them up into at least 3 pieces, discarding the tail no matter what length they are. If you do infact have a bunch of small threadfin, just cut the tail off, then cut the rest of the shad in half. Do this with another shad and put on 4 pieces of cut bait on your hook.
    You can experiment with a few rods with 3 or 4 pieces of bait and a few rods with just 1 or 2 pieces of shad. Sometimes when they are biting, it won't matter if you use one piece of shad or 4 pieces.
    On the Arkansas river, I normally start with half of the rods with 4 chunks of bait and the other half with just 2 pieces (head and body with the gut sack) The fish will tell you which they prefer. If they are hungry, then you might just have to load up the hooks to keep them biting.
    Good luck. Hope this helps.
  4. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Hastings, Ne.
    Hey Jim! If the shad are just 3-4 inches, I would use the whole thing on the hook. I like hooking them right though both eyeballs:eek:oooh: or in the back by the tail. I like using a 2/0 to 4/0 wide gap hook when using the shad. Your larger size Gizzard shad can be used for cutbait. Just fillet them like any fish and cut them into chunks or use the whole fillet depending on what size of cats your dealing with!

    Hope this helps.

    Remember to keep them fresh and only take what you expect to use when their frozen. They tend to get very soft when thawed and warm, then I consider the bait useless and go for fresh again.
  5. Boomer

    Boomer New Member

    I have used small shad. I will cut off and use the head, then what I do is take and cut the body from the point on top of the body down to the anal fin. Then I put a hook in the thin portion close to where the head use to be. This is very effective in running water, the water will make the piece of shad look like it is swimming. Try it where you can observe the bait.
  6. massa_blake

    massa_blake New Member

    Normally I use the whole shad if they are less then 5 inches anything bigger than that I cut it into 2 or 3 inch strips good luck bud.
  7. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    I use all mine whole ,unless they are over 5" then I chunk em up. One of my most memorable trotline ventures years ago was using 1/2" cubes of fresh shad impaled on the very tip on the hooks,we had a fish on EVERY hook,not all cats ,but we had crappie,cats bass and white bass. We were told by a local this would work,and by golly it did.
  8. rustystinkbaitrules

    rustystinkbaitrules New Member

    North Carolina
    i honestly dont think there is a too small cause i have caught 5-10lb cats on pieces of cut bait as small as my pinkie finger nail
  9. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Saronville Ne.
    the smaller the peices the more I put on,if you don't want to use them whole cut cut in half and put on the hook,maybe two or three shad per hook,depending on what size cats your after. I've used 1 inch shad wrapped in eggsac netting and used it before probably had 25 shad iin one bait,worked too.
  10. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Use what you got. Just put several on the hook. Cut some, butterfly some, and put some on whole. Catch a lot of fish this way. Sometimes you just cant get the big shad.
  11. Jedicazador

    Jedicazador New Member

    Great advise Boomer!