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Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by TeamWhiskers, Nov 15, 2006.
So what do we all think would be the advantages in having or using live bait?
Live bait is the only way to go for flatheads! I catch alot of blues on it also while fishing for Flats. If I'm not targeting Flatheads I used fresh dead shad. That's about all I use, except for a special time in the spring when the dough baits work well on a rising river.
Live bait....its whats for dinner.
Their used to it. its natural & what predator doesnt like an easy meal?
Like Ray said, flatheads are used to eating livebait. They will usually hit a live bait much more readily and it helps for them to track it down when it is thrashing around, they are great at homing in on the vibrations and noise.
In my professional opinion, live bait, espicially goldfish and perch, are constantly moving/swimming when hooked thus creating vibrations in the water that fish can detect (using their lateral line). The vibrations generated by the live bait are much more natural than a lure or a glob of stink bait increasing your chance of landing the big one.
Live bait also emits natural oils. All fish, especially freshwater, are covered with a very thin gel called mucus. This slime acts like a barrier between micro-organisms in the water and also makes the fish more 'aerodynamic', enabling it to glide through the water. When live bait is hooked, the hook interrupts the mucus coating and prevents it from regenerating thus releasing it into the water enabling other fish to smell it (espicially cats). The injury from the hook also causes live bait to slowly bleed (for a little while), obviously enabling the preadtor fish to move in.
Another advantage of using live bait would be the authenicity of it's movement. The gold of a goldfish or the silver of a minnow can attract the big one. As the fish are swimming, trying to get off the hook, they create a visual feast for cats. The shining of the scales can really attract a nice one.
Well that all I can think of right now!
I really like to use live herring when fishing in P A Y lakes. But other than that I use live, dead, cut, frozen and everything in between. However the beast flatheads like live bream with a cut tail, or a big gizzard shad. It's all good whatever works for you man!
I would say live bait, minnows or worms. But I also like using livers.
I thought we were supposed to be talking about the advantages of using live bait, not what we use for live bait. Just asking, thats all - maybe we can open a thread on "what do you use for live bait".
Speaking of live bait, I've got both bait tank in the back of the truck and if I can get about 200 baits caught tomorrow the lines are going in the river! Wish me luck.
Catfish are always looking for a quick easy meal just like the rest of us. Knowing what they are already feeding on in that particular body of water rather it be a river or a lake is essential. Give them what they want from their natural environment. It is always best to start out with fresh live as you can always cut it to extract the natural oils and blood that attract them.
Many techniques have been discussed already concerning the actual bait fish to the tackle used depending upon the size and type of catfish we are targeting. We still have a long way to go as we need to learn the various types of shad or herring for example. Understanding their patterns and where they are located as this helps us then be able to predict the patterns of catfish. Where there is bait, there will be catfish around somewhere close.
There are many other aspects that we need to know about also. How to catch the bait fish to keeping it alive in our boats so that it remains as fresh as possible. I am always thinking out on the water.. Where are the bait fish and how do I use it on my hook to place it to catch a catfish
I believe that the advantage of live bait is knowing when is the best time to use live bait. I have used live gills on certain evenings and nights with no strikes. But as soon as I switch tactics and cut up a live gill on these nights, its like turning the light switch on and I would be getting more strikes and catch a few cats when before the bite was non-existent. Wished I knew the rhyme and reason for this.
Yeah I would have to agree with you. It is like a "light switch".
It really is amazing that they won't bite on a live perch but if you use cut bait, they bite like hell.
I don't know why fish operate that way, oh wait:
In my opinion, catfish will bite on cut bait opposed to live bait because cut bait generates more scent in flowing water?
Also, catfish become lazy in response to water temperature and many other factors as well. Therefore they resort to an easier catch, such as cut bait that doesn't fight or swim when they approach it?
Just a thought from my fishing trips.
This is one of the reasons why you always want to have fresh live bait to start with. There are ways of "turning that light on" that needs to be looked at also. You can always cut the tail to produce a Sound in the water that will attract the catfish. Sight has a factor as the catfish will also see that the bait fish is now easy pray. You can Scent them out using various ways also. So we know that Scent, Sight and Sound along with other factors will trigger them to feed.
Live bait is the way to go, without a doubt. Never tried cutting the tail. May have to do that.
Cutting the tails off of live gills worked good for us in late summer early fall for flatheads. It produced more strikes than cut gills or live gills with tails. The runs were more often and a bit more aggressive. During the late spring early summer the flatheads prefered live gills untouched.
Your right about the times of the year. I not only cut their tails, but then cut up their spine an inch to release the oils and blood. I have also found that if you nip the dorsal fins some this will create more of a distressed sound in the water. This means they have to work harder from the natural swimming. The catfish will sense this.
Sometimes I will also make a small cut right below the gut sack for added scent. The big key when you start to cut your live bait is to make it bleed the most and let out the oils. That fish might only stay alive for 20 to 30 minutes anyhow. Then you just bait up another one or find a new hole.
I never heard of cuttting the tail of lives gills plus the dorsal fin thing. But if this brings more strikes i may have to try it flathead time.
Depending upon the species of your bait, you might try scaling part of it also. This normally works with Skipjack as they have large scales as you want to release the oils right under the skin by making a few cuts in the skin after scaling them. Starting out with the fresh live bait. You then have many options as fresh is much better than frozen.
I will surely try that in the spring time when I start fishing again. Thanks for the information.
live bait is the way to go for big flatheads; evn for big blue or channels but not so much.