Mussels/Clams for Bait ?

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by Manny, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Manny

    Manny New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    Arnold, Mo
    Went fishing this morning and while walking along the very low Meramec i found what looked like to me was a Mussel or a big clam partially in the water. ( I know it was not a Zebra Mussel )

    It was about 5.5 inches across, anyway i pried it open and cut it in half casted it out and within 2 minutes i caught a couple pound channel. And the other half i caught a big carp.

    Have any of you ever used this for bait ?

    And are the good to eat if u find enough of them ?

    It looked more like a big clam to me. I did a quick search before posting but didnt find any pics of missouri mussels and clam.
     
  2. Tim70

    Tim70 New Member

    Messages:
    48
    State:
    Maplewood, Missouri
    I caught a small channel on a muscle I found on the meramec. Seems like you can find them pretty easily.
     

  3. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Here in central Arkansas, in spring, the cats will be so full of mussels & clams that they clatter when you net them. And anytime you can find a mussel bed, you'll probably catch fish on a regular basis. This includes zebra mussels. After finding one particular hotspot, I found that I'd occasionally have a zebra mussel on my hook.
     
  4. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,215
    State:
    Central Cail
    Name:
    James
    I'am not from your state ..But yea we use clam's alot out here and catch both channel cat's that are load full of them and stripper's too
     
  5. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    I used to use mussels for bait on jugs years ago. We would dig them them
    from the mud in shallow water. I think in the hot summer sometimes they
    die and float to the top like the one you found. When you find them like that
    I think catfish feed heavily on them while they last. I tasted one raw one time
    but i have never tried to cook one. Bream will hit them to.
     
  6. Wvawitrado

    Wvawitrado New Member

    Messages:
    463
    State:
    California, Fresno
    ....accidental post
     
  7. Wvawitrado

    Wvawitrado New Member

    Messages:
    463
    State:
    California, Fresno
    I do not have much experience with clams but my boy CATMAN(CALI)85 swears by them and well needless to say he caught the most fish last trip!!! haha So i know they work for sure....
     
  8. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,187
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    I know some species are endangered and illegal to use, but yes, they do work good for bait
     
  9. CarolinaCatJack

    CarolinaCatJack New Member

    Messages:
    427
    State:
    Travelers Rest,
    Here in SC, we use mussels a lot for channels. Like some of the other guys said, if you can find them floating, get 'em. Channels tear 'em up. That's what my kids do when they're fishing, is look for floating mussels. LOL....That's how I first found out about them. "Look, Daddy. I caught this on a mussel!" Two or three pound fish. I'll use them whenever I can. Otherwise, I use fresh chicken livers or chicken gizzards. :0a26:
     
  10. John(Bullhead)Hagen

    John(Bullhead)Hagen New Member

    Messages:
    135
    State:
    ILLinois
    :confused2:Never seen a fresh water clam float in my life,but i can still learn.We used them all the time,you find then around a lake as the water goes down and up and on nearly all midwest rivers on sand bars and mud flates.The way we do it is to open them and put them in a quart jar with a tablespoon of brewers yeast,put on lid but not tight.Let sit for 5to10 days in Ref.then they are ready to use.They wont smell that bad.I am the last of the four guys who fished with them all the time.Hope the fishing is great up there hears to you Mac. Joe, Woody, miss you guys we had some times.
     
  11. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,711
    State:
    Independen

    Definitely check the regulations. I've read of guys getting arrested for illegally collecting mussels.

    We do have a MDC biologist on the board now, maybe he'll see this and comment.
     
  12. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I remember as a child we would use mussels for bait with pretty good results. It seemed like they were a lot more common in those days.

    The Missouri Regs say that you can catch them and use them for bait as long as they are caught legally.. meaning hand, handnet, or pole, daily limit of 5, and you must have a valid fishing license to take clams and mussels.

    The catch is that mussels listed in the "Species of Conservation Concern Checklist" can not be taken or possessed. That list is here, http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Documents/145.pdf , but good luck to you in figuring out and identifying which species it is that you are catching.

    The safe advice is that unless you are good at mussel species identification, leave them all alone, there are a lot of other good baits available.
     
  13. huntoften

    huntoften New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks Gary...I now have a headache from trying to read all of that Latin! :angry: :wink:
     
  14. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Couldn't find prices online, but with all the recipes for mussells, they've got to be available in fish markets. Anybody know what they cost there?
     
  15. Dredge

    Dredge Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Arnold,Missouri
    I've never had much luck on mussels,but some people swear by them.I'm guessing you were on the Mermac somewhere.They're fairly common here near the Mississippi.I wouldn't advise eating them,but they stay on a hook forever.Tough little things,don't ya know.If you caught fish on it,they must be in the mood for them.Good luck.See you on the river.