Mooneye vs. Gizzard Shad

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by kyredneck, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    It was ‘locust year’ in my area of KY this year and we collected literally thousands of them (still have most frozen) and used them as bait on R & R (mostly to catch bluegills for bait) and on trotline (for eater channels) with much success.

    We caught lots of bluegill on the locusts, but also caught several of what I initially called Mooneye, but everyone else around here referred to them as big shad or shiners. So, without doing any research on my own, I started calling these fish ‘big shad’. Many years ago, down below the dam at lock 10 I had actually caught a few of these fish on trotline and had thought them to be mooneyes. Well, I’ve done a little research here lately and I believe I’ve been right all along; they ARE mooneyes; shad are plankton eaters and mooneyes will go after flies and worms. If you’ll check the two photos in the links below I think you can see why there could be some confusion between the two because of the similarity in their appearance.

    Anyone else here ever confused the two, mooneye and gizzard shad?
    Mooneye:
    http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/fish_marine_images/mooneye.gif
    Gizzard Shad:
    http://www.tnfish.org/PhotoGalleryFish_TWRA/FishPhotoGallery_TWRA/pages/GizzardShadDouglasNegus_jpg.htm
     
  2. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    They do look pretty similar. The first Mooneye I caught I thought it was a big Shad. I thought it was strange that I caught it on crawlers. Mooneye are great bait but I rarely catch them. I'd love to catch a bunch for the freezer to use for cut bait. Katfish Ken caught a good sized Mooneye down at the Greenup L&D on a chunk of Skipjack. If the fish had been biting at all that day I'd say it'd made some good cut bait.
     

  3. biga

    biga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,111
    State:
    evansville
    i have caught a lot of fish on mooneye this summer when skipjack wouldnt catch a fish!! great bait!!
     
  4. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    Yea, I'd like to catch a bunch of them for bait also; I gave most away (thinking they were gizzard shad) because they wouldn't stay alive, but I cut some up and baited some trotline hooks and did catch a 20+ lber flathead on a cut midsection of mooneye.

    Do mooneye school like shad?
     
  5. biga

    biga Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,111
    State:
    evansville
    they do but much smaller schools.. a small piece of skipjack of shad on a gold crappie hook will catch them if you can find then...
     
  6. Coors

    Coors New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    north carolina
    You probably could catch them on a sabiki rig also?
     
  7. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    Mooneye have teeth and the gizzard shad don't. also. I cut them up and use them immediately if I catch one. Cats on Milford love mooneye.