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Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by kenlaw76, Dec 31, 2008.
Have any of you guys ever had any luck using live gizzard shad as bait?
yes i have... if i can get them i will use them!!
Yea....maybe a better summer bait though.
Just give me a good fresh shad head and i will be happy.
Once again we agree my friend. I have found that skips outfish the shad when the river water starts getting cold!!
Occasionally, but in the winter it just seems the cut shad works better.
Here in Oklahoma the only reason I'd use a live shad is to entice a flathead... only there are other species that are more hardy and better suited for live bait like a bullhead or black perch.:roll_eyes:
In the summer, it's hard to keep a live shad alive very long. The winter is not much better. I usually just dump my live shad right out of my net onto a thick bed of salted ice in a cooler. They freeze fast and stay usable as fresh baits for as long as you can keep them frozen and dry. I've used shad prepared this way for several days... and the shad still bled when cut... the acid test for fresh shad.
As far as shad goes, the head is the best bait with a cut including the gut being the second best. You cannot put too big a chunk of shad on a hook in the winter. A 5 pound blue can swallow a 10" shad in about 2 seconds.:wink:
Do you keep the shad right on the ice Albert? What about using dry ice? Is there anything to keeping it dry? Should I put them in a zip lock baggy first? I would like to try what your talking about and see how it compares.
I am even thinking about the vaculock think using it on the boat with an invertor
Sorry... yer makin it a lot harder than it really is...
First things first before you hit the ramp, get 20 pounds of crushed ice from the "C' store lightly dropped onto the pavement to break it up, then poured into the cooler. Scatter about 4 good big handsfull of ice thawing (ice cream) salt on top of the ice and close the lid.
Let the salt do it's job lowering the ice's temperature while you're driving to the ramp. Don't forget to put the cooler in the boat like I've done before...:embarassed:
Don't disturb the ice... it will be a solid lump by now. Drop the shad directly onto the salted ice from the castnet. They'll jump around a little, but before long they'll lay very still. Keep the lid closed as much as possible, keeping the cooler covered or at least out of the direct sun and with the drain open to prevent the accumulation of brine which will ruin the freshness of the baits..
Even during a hot Texas summer afternoon, the shad will stay frozen and dry for the entire days fishing.
I've never tried dry ice. It should work just about as well... but adds a special consideration when reaching for a bait with wet hands. I'll pass on that...:roll_eyes:
The ziploc will only serve to trap water... that's what dropping the still squirming bait on the ice prevents. If the shad are allowed to soak up water, they will no longer be firm or, most importantly, BLEED when cut. A bait that does not bleed is not fresh. The blues know the difference.
Thanks I will giver it a try.
The fish in my avatar was caught on live shad in late spring. Along with another just like it, as well as several smaller ones and a few flatheads. All the shad were approx. 6" long. I have fallen in love with my bait tank.
And everyone is right about live shad being a late spring/summer time bait.
Ken, I have caught many catfish on fresh and frozen gizzard shad. I have been using the whole shad. (6") I have caught monster.....catfish,walleye,hybrids and smallmouth so far. If you have it use it! Good Luck!
You're right on that. But I like them if they stay alive long enough for me to get them on the hook and into the water again...
I've some good luck during the hot of summer with fresh shad heads and some gut pocket's. During the colder months though, skipjack seems to do a lot better in conditions.
Here's another thing to think about using baggies for your shad. When shad stress they piss out tons of ammonia. dying is probably pretty stressful. They contaminate themselves with ammonia if you put them directly in a bag. If you choose to ziploc them, do it after they die.
I use live yellowtails about 5-6 inches for blues I also use live skipjacks about 6 inches for bues fishing in current. I catch flatheads on them in cover
yep shad head and bluegill head .
As with some of the other posters, I will tend to go to live shad in the summer months as well. Especially on empoundment waters like the Ohio, Tennessee or Cumberland rivers. When the dams are down to little or no flow and the water goes slack and SEVERE CLEAR, the bigger blues tend to suspend up in the water column and getting them to take a fresh cut bait can be tough some times. These are the times I like to use a live bait.
On our stretch of river, the Mississippi, we never see stale water, but live baits do work on occasion, and are the best bet for the big Flatheads. Although there are no hard and fast rules, I tend to lean towards the threadfin and gizzard shad baits in the spring, and Skipjack Herring or Asian Carp during the Summer and fall months when Shad get a little hard to find.
Live Baits certainly have there place, and when conditions warrant I wouldnt hesitate to use them. Coincidentally, there has been a couple of Cabelas King Kat Events WON on the Mississippi River on LIVE baits when there were very few fish brought to the scales.