SHAD QUESTIONS - Catching Shad - Hooking Shad - Keeping Shad

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by BIGCATFISHDAN, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. BIGCATFISHDAN

    BIGCATFISHDAN New Member

    Messages:
    75
    State:
    texas
    FIRST DO YALL CATCH FRESH SHAD EVERY TRIP?

    HOW MANNY DO YOU CATCH ON AVERAGE PER TRIP?

    HOW BIG ARE THE SHAD YALL CATCH ON AVERAGE?

    WHAT IS THE BIGGEST SHAD YOU EVER NETTED?

    IF YOU DO FREEZE LEFTOVER SHAD HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST UNTILL THERE NO GOOD FOR BAIT?

    WERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO HOOK A SHAD IN THE TAIL HEAD OR MID SECTION?

    THE REASON I ASK IS I HAVE A FISHIN SPOT I GO TO AND WHERE I GO TO GET BAIT ON EACH TRIP IS A JACKPOT YEARROUND IT ALWAYS HAS BAIT FROM SHAD TO SHINERS. ANYWAYS WHEN O GO OUT FOR BAIT IM ALWAYS CATCHING 20 SHAD BETWEEN 5-12" ON AVERAGE IS THIS NORMAL OR DO I JUST HAVE A PERFECT BAIT HOLE. THE BIGGEST SHAD I PULLED OUT OF THIS BAIT HOLE WAS 12 " IS THAT A NORMAL SIZED ADULT OR IS THAT GINORMUS.

    THANK YOU FOR THE INFO I WILL TELL NO ONE
     
  2. 1mickymoo

    1mickymoo New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Edgerton, Kansas
    1. I try
    2. Hopefully as much as you
    3. 1 to 10 inches, no average
    4. 11 inches
    5. Never freeze leftovers, catch fresh specificly for freezing
    6. Smaller shad, midsection then through head, larger live ones I hook them middle above the spine and sometimes a trailer hook in the tail
    7. Welcome to BOC
     

  3. BIGCATFISH64

    BIGCATFISH64 New Member

    Messages:
    525
    State:
    Muncie,Indiana
     
  4. centexcop

    centexcop New Member

    Messages:
    3,013
    State:
    Texas
    I think you must have a perfect bait hole. I wish I had one like that.
    If i'm using live shad, i'll hook in two places; through the nose and in the mid section. I use quite a bit of cut shad though too. I'll use the head and the mid section. I try to worm the head on if i'm using cut. Mid secitons, I use small pieces. With that said, smaller shad i've had good luck using a head, mid section, and a head. I do freeze shad. If I catch a bunch, I'll put some on ice and then cut up and put in freezer bags.
     
  5. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    If you can catch fresh shad every trip, then do so. There is no use in freezing the bait. It's not as effective as fresh, I firmly believe that.
     
  6. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    Totally agree with Joshua. I'll keep some shad in the freezer just for backup bait and channels. but any time I go for the blues, I'm planning on getting fresh if available. Seems thats the ticket around me. Looking into getting a vacuum sealer. Been hearing that if I'm going to freeze it, thats the way to go if freezing. Just haven't done it yet.

    If I can get 8 to 40 shad for a trip I can work with that easily. love to fish whole and half shad. But can do ok at times with smaller pieces. Just depends on how the bite is that day. i usually use a gill net(3.5" to 4" mesh) for the waters I fish (Legally). So getting shad in the 8 to 20" range is common.

    Far as the biggest shad, probably around 20" or so.
     
  7. buddyodie

    buddyodie New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    illinois
    I like fresh, but always keep some on hand in the freezer. I really prefer to catch fresh, and keep it in a ziplock bag for 2-5 days in the fridge. This allows the oil to leech to the surface. Really seems to work well for me. Only freeze it later in the season, or when bait just seems impossible to get.
     
  8. 187um

    187um New Member

    Messages:
    184
    State:
    west frankfort, ill
    here is how it goes in my neighborhood--i catch anywhere from 0-5gallon bucket full. most of the time though its 10-20 here and there plenty for me to fish with. i prefer fresh like most of the guys. but freezing shad i have to say in my honest opinion a buddy and i will catch shad go fishing freeze whats left sometimes 2-3 times and in my opinion its ok up to then after that we toss them. have had equal success on both fresh and frozen shad but if your poppin the shad like that then it would seem as though the fishing gods smile upon you. i would recommend freezing some as a back up though never know when you'll run across those blank shaddin days. hope this helps.
     
  9. BIGCATFISHDAN

    BIGCATFISHDAN New Member

    Messages:
    75
    State:
    texas
    WELL I HAVNT REALLY EVER NOT FOUND THE SHAD. IF THERE NOT AT GIZZARD POINT THAN I JUST HOP IN THE CAR AND DRIVE TO EVERY POINT I SEE AND CAST ALL AROUND, DEEP ,SHALLOW AND INBETWEEN IN ON THE SLOW DAYS ILL PROBLY END UP SPENDING AN HOUR CATCHING ENOUGH BAIT FOR THE DAY THE ONLY BAIT IM AFTER IS SHAD AND SUNFISH OR MABY CRAWDADS
     
  10. CatsNstripers

    CatsNstripers New Member

    Messages:
    297
    State:
    Smith Mountain
    I catch bait everytime i go.

    I usually catch enough, but i'm looking for 15-60 Gizzard shad.

    Shad 5-12inchs is what i prefer. I dont know the size of the biggest gizzard. But I know on The Tidal James and expecially Claytor lake. Ive caught shad that would touch 20inch.

    I keep my bait alive, in a 50 gallon Creek Bank Bait Tank. Dont matter if i'm cutting up my bait. I feel more confident with fresh cutbait, keeping it alive until i'm ready for it to hit the cutting board.. The only other way i do it, is a plastic rubbermaid tub, or ziploc bag over ice and out of the water. But within a few hours this bait will start to turn mushy, and i have no faith. Not that its not effective still. I feel if i lose confidence in it, then i have a hard time fishing it.

    Freezing shad suck. They turn mushy and less effective when there froze and thawed. Use fresh bait, you'll see more action. Frozen shad guts are effective for bait when thawed. But still i'd rather have fresh.

    Depends on what i'm fishing for if i use'n my bait alive or not. But When i use live shad, i hook them in the mouth and out one of the nostrils. If you hook them through both lips, they will lose function of there mouth and die rather quickly. Live shad, anchored to the bottom with a carolina rig wont live long regardless. 20-30mins if your lucky. Colder months they will live longer. So have plenty of bait. I hook my shad in the mouth no matter how i fish them. I have found a quicker hookset can be applied to a flathead with the shad hooked in the tail. But with the soft tissue of a shad, its hard to not sling it off the hook on a hard cast. Also the length of time a shad will stay alive tail hooked is almost cut in half of that with a shad hooked in the mouth. The only time I hook shad in the tail, is when i'm making short cast and fishing short periods of time.... reeling in a shad hooked in the tail, will kill it if its not already dead, it takes water backwards hrough the gills. So reel slowly, also, reel slowly to keep from ripping the hook out of the soft tissue.

    When you tail hook a bait. I always hook them just above the anus, you know the talehole. I rarly hook a bait behind the dorsal fin. I man once told me. A bait will swim against the pressure of a hook. So with a bait hooked behind the dorsal fin, the bait will try to swimdown, meaning it will stay on the bottom, causing less vibration and less signs of stress. If it swam up against hook placed behind the dorsal fin, basically it would be swimming upside down, it wont do that.... With a bait hooked above his talehole. it will swim up against the pressure of the hook, meaning it will stay up off the bottom more than a dorsal hooked baitfish. Causing vibrations and signs of stress for a catfish and other species more likly to Hone in on.

    With cut baits, I leave as much hook exposed as possible...!
     
  11. katsandsuds

    katsandsuds New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    North Caro
    I bought a protable battery powered vaccum sealer from wally world for 7 bucks or so. It is Rynolds brand, and you can buy the 1 gallon or quart size ziplock bags to use with it, has hole to suck the air out. It works really well, and I can vaccum seal it before I leave the lake. I always take a couple of frozen packs incase I can't find fresh. I also wash the ziplocks so I don't have to keep buying new ones since I only use it for bait.

    There is another brand that has a hand pump, not batteries, but don't know how well it works. There was a post months ago that I guy said the Rynolds brand was what he used, and it works great. I put the shad I am going to freeze on ice right after I catch them, and I don't have problems with them getting mushy. Not as bloody or as productive as fresh, but in a pinch, they are better then liver, shrimp, etc. Never done any good with those type baits for blues, only small channels.
     
  12. efrith

    efrith New Member

    Messages:
    1,306
    State:
    Seale Alabama
    I have one of those food savers and it works really well. My boy tried to get me to buy one of the portable ones here a wile back but I didn't. I didn't think about fresh shad and you aren't gonna get any fresher than getting them sealed on the boat-so I will get one and try it thanks for the info.
     
  13. cj7

    cj7 New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    AR
    Anyone have any tips on where to look for shad on a river? I haven't found a good baithole yet:sad2:
     
  14. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    cj7, can't speak for your area. Around the waters I fish, the mud flats generally are the place I find them. Docks, marinas, warm water discharges in the winter, sewer plant outlets. Keep in mind too, find the bait, find the fish.
     
  15. flatheadsalyer1

    flatheadsalyer1 New Member

    Messages:
    439
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    I always hear guys talking about freezing shad and herring and how they get mushy. The trick to keep this from happening is either vacuum sealing or an even cheaper and better solution I have used for years, is to keep zip lock bags and rice on the boat. Catch your shad or herring, bag them, and cover them with rice before sealing the bags, then place them on ice. I have used 2 and 3 year old shad and herring from the freezer bagged like this and they were just as hearty as the day I bagged them. I have had no difference catching fish with these or fresh bait. Hope this helps!

    Steve
     
  16. kyredneck

    kyredneck New Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    State:
    Kentucky
    Steve, is the rice you're using the instant type or whole grain type that needs cooked for 20 mins?

    Why do you think the rice preserves the bait like this?
     
  17. catfishwillee

    catfishwillee Member

    Messages:
    485
    State:
    Knoxville, TN
    Biggest shad i caught this year fishing was an 18 inch american shad during spawn. biggest shad this year in a net was a gizzard shad and it was about 16 inches. i have a secret spot and average size for the shad i catch there is 14 inches!
     
  18. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    The rice absorbs the moisture which is what rotts the bait and makes it fall apart.
     
  19. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    If you want to put some up for a rainy day the 12 inch ones are the perfect size. Get a cooler load get em home gut em save the guts and freeze. Then chunk, keep the heads and soak in brine overnight or pack in brine and freeze. 2 cups non iodized salt or stock mineral feed salt to a gallon of water makes a good brine. I have packed em right in the brine and froze and have soaked em in the bait fridge in a bucket overnight in hard brine then packed and froze. Both ways work. Its great for a rainy day when ya cant get bait to have a small thing of guts or brined shad handy. Brining em toughens em up and cats seem to like the salty snack. One of my fav tricks is to runna big shad gut on a hook and hook a brined head thru the eyes. I have had this out fish fresh shad rigged the same way. This works best with gizzard shad 10 to 16 inches or fresh mooneyes another bait I luv to get. It also dont hurt to mix it up somtimes I have gotten some of my biggest blues on fresh bloody carp. You get a small carp in the net use his butt for bait cut or alive. See avatar pic for the power of carp as bait lol.
     
  20. KajunKat

    KajunKat New Member

    Messages:
    57
    State:
    Louisiana
    I have also found that small carp produce some big cats. I get excited when I see one in the net because I know it is likely to produce a big fish. We had some people fishing about a 100 yards from us once and they weren't catching anything while we were doing pretty good. they finally got curious and walked over to chat (you know fishing espionage...:laugh:). I took my cast net and caught them a carp. They cut it in half and caught about a 15# on one half and a 25# on the other. Boy were they excited!!