keeping shad alive

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by BIG_D, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. BIG_D

    BIG_D New Member

    Messages:
    8,107
    State:
    Batchtown IL.
    i have never fished with shad but am fixing to start got any tips on keeping theam alive i have herd its hard to do
    ps. my mane consern is keeping theam alive in my bait bucket the left overs i will freez
     
  2. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    They tell me ya need a round tank, aeration and some shad keeper. I just throw mine on ice and cut em up. Live is prolly better, i dunno
     

  3. BIG_D

    BIG_D New Member

    Messages:
    8,107
    State:
    Batchtown IL.
    i fixed a bait bucket today and put a bubble box on it so im good with air and a round tank
     
  4. randallewis

    randallewis New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Louisiana --Shreveport
    I think you are probably right John. I have fished w/both on the same line and couldn't tell the difference. Shad don't live very long under stress.
     
  5. randallewis

    randallewis New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Louisiana --Shreveport
    That will work fine. Just keep the number of shad low in the bait bucket. They can't stand crowded conditions.
     
  6. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    It'd be a good practice to put a few in a 5 gallon bucket for a few minutes to let them puke, $#!+ and shed scales. Then transfer a few of the strongest specimens into your bait bucket and cross your fingers.

    You'll have better luck in the early season when the water is still cool. In the summer you can pretty much forget it unless you invest in a good tank with filtration etc.... and even then you'll have to work at it.

    You'll be amazed how quick shad can die in a bait tank. Some within minutes.:eek:oooh:
     
  7. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    It's nearly impossible to keep shad alive in a good sized bait tank, worse yet a bucket. Shad need to swin to stay alive. When you put them in a tank or bucket they bang against the walls until thier noses are red and they're stressed out. Another killer of captive shad is the high amounts of ammonia they secrete. When a shad is caught they stress. That makes them piss non stop. If you have a bottle of water conditioner that removes ammonia that will help. A little uniodized salt helps keep them fresh also. I've tried different things over the years and I finally just gave up. Now I'll take a cooler full of ice, net them and put them on ice and let them piss, and puke themselves out until dead. Then put them in ziploc bags on ice. If you dont wait for them to piss out before bagging them they will become ammoniated and really soft. I have an idea of what it will take to keep shad alive, but it seems like a lot of trouble. If you made a tank that constantly flowed water it'd work. Use a rectangular tank with a high volume pump at one end pushing, and another at the other end pulling. Then they would suspend themselves in the center of the tank and stay idle just keeping up with the current. But, I've never been able to come up with a practical plan. I've found that if you try to keep them alive and bag them as they die you'll lose some of the quality of the bait. They lose slime and become soft. If you ice them and bag them as I stated earlier they will still be fresh, and here's the key, SLIMY. I've heard of many people stating they keep shad alive in thier tanks, but I have yet to see a quality shad come out of a bait tank that I would rather use than one thats been on ice. They just dont have the slime...Good luck. If you figure out a way to do it. you might get rich!
     
  8. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I've talked to striper fishermen who were getting shad for tournaments. They were getting the shad at Dardanelle Dam for tournaments on Lake Ouachita, about 75 miles away. And they had big baitwells that cost $100-$300. Stripers obviously prefer live shad, and I bet that flathead catfish do too. To dead shad, I mean. Personally, given the effort needed to keep shad alive, I'd rather use live bream or bullheads for flathead bait. But here's what those striper fishermen told me they did to keep shad alive:
    1. Round tank.
    2. Oxygen, oxygen, and more oxygen.
    3. Don't overcrowd. Only 3 or 4 average sized shad per gallon.
    4. Use chemicals to offset the ammonia.
    5. Use a filter to take the crud out of the water.
    6. Use an insulated bait tank, and be prepared to cool the water if necessary. Apparently, more than a few degrees change in water temp will stress the shad. Stressed shad die.
     
  9. flysure1

    flysure1 New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    Illinois
    I just used shad for the first time last year fishing the Mississippi in west central Illinois, my buddy had netted them and then iced them, we threaded them on the hook kind of like threading a dew worm, he said he quit trying to keep them alive because it was very hard to do, we did very good on the dead iced ones, that is his main catfish bait, small bluegills or rock bass would be easier to keep alive if you want live bait.
     
  10. BIG_D

    BIG_D New Member

    Messages:
    8,107
    State:
    Batchtown IL.
    well i will just stick with iceing thear butts thats easyer than live any way and from what you guys say is just as good thanks time to get a net and do some freezing
     
  11. Catfish Pursuit

    Catfish Pursuit New Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    State:
    Missouri
    I've always just kept my shad fresh as was said earlier, on ice and out of water. I caught my biggest blue, 84 pounds, last year on a whole 10 inch dead shad hooked in the eyes. I dont see how the fish can see a difference when the bait is in the current as long as its fresh. I have caught tons of blues and channels, some in the 50 pound range, on chunked fresh shad also so you'll be fine. Chris
     
  12. tnvol

    tnvol New Member

    Messages:
    469
    State:
    Clarksvill
    +1. Fresh is the key!