Shad! The Miracle Bait?

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by TA2D, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. TA2D

    TA2D New Member

    Messages:
    886
    State:
    Nebraska
    I got my first cast net this year and caught some shad at my local honey hole, most are in the 4-6inch range but have caught on that was 12-13incher and a couple 8-10inchers, been using them as cut bait. I would like to know how their longevity is on the hook live? The river I fish has a fairly slow current and the water is 6-10 ft deep. Also is there a way to cure them so they don't turn to shad mush after you freeze them?

    Thanks

    TA2D
    Aaron
     
  2. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    TA2D, if you've been catching shad, then I'm sure you have realized that they don't tend to stay alive for very long. They're kindof a delicate little fish, so they don't live very long on the hook, not like a bluegill or goldfish.

    As far as Shad mush, not sure about that one. I try to freeze them without any water in the bag. Thought about adding some water and table salt or rock salt but haven't done it yet.
     

  3. Dave53

    Dave53 New Member

    Messages:
    411
    State:
    Lonedell M
    ta2d..I freeze a lot of shad and I found the secret is to put them on ice just as soon as you catch them. If I hit a bunch of shad I'll keep a bunch in a 5 gal bucket and the rest I stick in my bait cooler with ice. Then when you get home you can put them in baggies.. I try to put in a baggie what I think I might use during a fishing trip. Another thing that might help is after you put the shad in the baggie hold the baggie in a bucket of water up to the zip lock and it helps get most of the air out of the bag. My shad only become mushy after I have thawed them out and re-freeze them so when you go fishing try to keep them laying on ice. The top layer of shad will normally peel off. I have had shad froze for several weeks and they would even bleed a little as they thawed out. I normally cut them down the sides to allow the juices to flow as the shad thaws in the water.. Now, after telling you all this, I have yet hit a big fish..but I'm trying! Hope this helps..look at the hawg Riverrat had caught...he fishes with a lot of shad from what I have read.
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Getting them on ice as soon as they're caught definitely seems to be the secret to keeping them fresh and non-mushy when you freeze them.

    I just dump the shad from the net into a cooler loaded with ice - whether we're going fishing right now or just catching them to freeze for later. We store them in ziplock bags and run them under some lukewarm water to thaw before fishing.

    They'll still bleed when you stick them with a hook, so they're pretty doggone fresh. Plus they don't stink. I'd rather handle shad than catfish -- the shad smell washes right off; catfish slime stink follows you around for days...
     
  5. hoosier angler

    hoosier angler New Member

    Messages:
    63
    State:
    Arizona
    Read my post in Arkansas State skip jack talk same methods apply to shad
     
  6. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    From what I have read is you can get an aditive you add to water. I use a 5 gallon bucket to put my shad into. Don't remember the exact name of the stuff, something like shad keeper I believe, it keeps their scales on if I remeber correctly and keeps them alive, bass pro shop carries it. Can also use certain salts that acts in the similar fashion :cool: .
     
  7. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    The Shadkeeper only works if you have a round container and a good aeration system.It also removes the ammonia that buildsup.I have heard that you can beat the mushy problem by using one of those freeze dried gadgets.I cant attest to this personally but I think someone did post that tip once in the past.
     
  8. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I use shad for 90 percent of my catfishing..I prefer it fresh cut, but will use it frozen..I always try to freez alot for winter and early spring fishing..My biggest flathead of 50-lbs came on cut frozen shad.
     
  9. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    i always catch mine fresh. froze some once before going to a gathering. didn't want to spend the weekend in a strange lake bait hunting. but around home its fresh every outing. i put them from the net to ice. they stay firm for the night of fishing. i won't mess with shad keep and pumps and round do hickies. if i want live bait its bullheads and various sunfish. much easier to keep right in my live well for days. stay alive for hours when hooked through the fat of the back right behind the dorsal fin.
     
  10. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    For freezing them I use a vacum packer, that they sell at places like wal-mart, mine is the "Food saver" brand. It's a little machine that as its name suggest vacum packs.......it gets all the air out and water too. Helps alot and dosent cost that much eithier. Diffently worth it. Although I mostly fish fresh shad, I always freeze some because they can get hard to catch in the winter sometimes. Hope this helps.

    good luck :)
     
  11. jdRivercat

    jdRivercat New Member

    Messages:
    9
    as soon as I catch them I put them on ice then when I get home I use a food saver to freeze them. I froze them as long as a full year and they would still bleed when I put them on the hook. as far as live shade goes I have a 30gal shade tank in my boat with a life saver system in it. I have keep them alive up to four days. on real hot days I have to add ice to the water.
     
  12. mtrimble

    mtrimble New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    oklahoma
    haha. wrong topic. sorry.
    Shad, great bait. One mistake i made was rinsing them off in the sink before storing them. Bad idea. All there oil was gone when i dethawed them. Ice is the best way to keep them. Also, if the water is cold the shad will stay alive alright provided their lightly hooked. I hook mine through the lips.
     
  13. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    Messages:
    606
    State:
    Kentucky
    food saver is the only way to fly for freezing shad or skips. i have used shad that i had frozin for over three months befor ad worked great. like someone else said on here shad are a pain to get here on the lake some times so i always keep about 10 bags ready in the freezer.
     
  14. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    I hope to put more shad in my bait freezer this year. I have been useing skips,will go to shad also. :D
     
  15. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    If you do it right, frozen shad can work awesome! Although fresh is always best for me. But winter can make it hard to get shad so It is great to have some "back-up" frozen shad.

    good luck :)
     
  16. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Top, if you run out of skippies, let me know, and I can get some as far as Atkins. Gardenhawk is up there occasionally, and my wife goes there about every third weekend to take care of her mother. I've got plenty in the freezer.
     
  17. roundhill

    roundhill New Member

    Messages:
    810
    State:
    kings mtn
    when you catch them put in bag add paper towels sandwich between two bags of ice then when you get home leave towels in bag an freeze
     
  18. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    Jerry, I have been out skips sence WDM. I will be ok for now. hope the hot water starts soon.
     
  19. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I'll try to remember to let you know the next time my wiife is going up to Atkins. I think the next regularly scheduled visit is weekend after next, but she does quite a bit of swapping around with her two brothers. My mother in law doesn't have a freezer any more, so there's no option of putting them back in the freezer as soon as she gets there. No problem with putting plenty of frozen soda jugs in with the skippies, though.