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Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by Vince Copple, Oct 3, 2007.
Anyone else use shrimp for bait on the MO and MS rivers? How do you all use it?
I dont use it. Never had any luck on the blues with all the "refrigerator baits" shrimp, livers, bologna, etc. Every now and then you hear of Joe Blow who whacked a big fish on spam or something like that, but its pretty infrequent. When the fish are hungry and eating good I'm convinced you can catch them on pretty much anything. Its those times that they are being picky that it gets tough. Kinda Like now. :roll_eyes:
Chances are you will not catch the big fish using shrimp. Sometimes you do not always target big fish as for right now, they are not biting. Shrimp are used as the easy way and substitute for crawdads that are a natural bait in the rivers.
Lets think in different terms here to be a more rounded fisherman
Big fish are not biting where we would use skipjacks, golden and moon eyes and shad as the norm. How are you going to put fish in the boat now? One tournament was won this year by this type of thinking and putting 13 pounds in the boat. Shrimp is just one option to consider is why I wanted to bring this up for a discussion..
When fishing for eating size fish I've used shrimp quite often with great success. The shrimp leaves a good scent trail in the river, so what I'll do is use a piece of nightcrawler or leech and then tip it off with a piece of shrimp. The reason is while the fish love the crawlers and leeches they aren't the easiest things to see in the water. So they will follow the smell of the shrimp, but when they get there they find something that they are usually looking to eat anyway as a bonus.
I can't say that I've ever used shrimp in the river systems, but I have used livers quite abit before I had a boat, and was actually able to get out there to get baitfish. I don't ever recollect catching blues, just mainly channel cats on the liver, but then again, I was up at Mark Twain Lake this spring fishing some bridge pillars for blues. I had my three rods off the front of the boat with fresh cut shad, and my partner had three rods off the back baited with livers. Mine didn't get touched. He caught three blues on livers than night. All were in the 15-20 pound range. I have another friend who lives in a lake subdivision. He catches small blues there all the time on powdered donuts. Nothing will probably be better than natural baits, but if you aren't catching anything, you can have alot of fun baiting up with shrimp or livers and belting some channels. Especially on lighter tackle. A mess of channels could make all the difference in the world in some tourneys also where the fish aren't biting. Heck, I'm willing to try anything if it will catch fish!:wink:
I have used shrimp a few times this year on the river. I also caught when using it. if I am in a tournament and I havent hit a fish after a few hours I start throwing out everything I can think of. this year shrimp seamed to be the best for my odd ball baits hotdogs have been my best odd ball in the past. I didnt catch anything of size with shimp
We fished the splash this year on Lake Fork and for this tournament i decided to cure some livers. I bought 4 boxes of bait shrimp and cured them right along with the livers with salt and garlic powder. baked them in the sun 4 hours to a side. We had skip jack, shad, cured livers and cured shrimp and Dk's punch bait. Our top bait by far was Dk's punch bait the cured shrimp was probably second. Skip's and shad produced some fish and the liver was probably a waste of time. I've never caught so many 2 to 5 lb. channel cats.
We also just fished a 2 day tournament last weekend on Friday and Saturday. We had a tough time Friday fishing with fresh caught skips and fresh caught shad. We switched to using all punch bait on day 2 and made a come back to finish in 6th place. So if your normally productive baits are not working you need a back up plan and ours is Dk's punch bait and wouldn't be afraid to throw some more cured shrimp at them either.
Vince, bring your shrimp, livers, and such down. I didnt realize you wanted to sit and catch rats all day long. I can take you to a spot where you will catch 50 fish in a day. Once you cull it down you'll have say 8 pounds or so. You'll probably catch between 30-50 of them in a eight hour period. Its a matter of personal preference to me to try and avoid the rats and seek the bigger fish. Occasionally when I have the kids I will go fish for the numbers, just isnt my thing when I'm by myself. Besides, havnt you used those shrimp the last several outings down here and not one fish? I readily admit, its important to think outside the box and try and give the fish what they will eat. Its no coincidence though that 98% of the tournaments are won on Skipjack, Mooneye, and Shad whether live or cut. If its just large numbers of fish your after, bring your Shrimps down. I'll use my natural bait of choice, and well see which they prefer. :wink:
Ive caught plenty of channels on shrimp, but its not really my bait of choice. If im looking for eating size fish, i like liver or crawlers.
i've caught alot of channels on shrimp, and a few blues here and there.
but nothing that made me pull out my scale. nothing over 10lbs
John, There are different ways to use shrimp that you can target fish from 8 to 30 pounds using shrimp. Not the little rats as you call them. If the big ones arent biting, you go to the next category and try other baits and techniques. Normally, you want to have 8 types of baits with you to put fish in the boat instead of a skunk stripe going after showmanship Trophys.
Shrimp have put roughly 60% of the fish in my boat over the years that will range from 8 to 30. Even If you catch 5 fish at 10 pounds apiece.. You might just place and be in the yearly points as this is the style I use. One of my other partners has proven the next theory of using dip bait which I would like to discuss next that will target the 4 to 15 category. He is noted for taking 4th and ending up in the top 5 in the points. Everyone on my Team has a different style which is nice as we have learned from each other to be a well rounded Catfisherman. Over the next few months, Id like to sit down here in BOC and try to help some of us that are want to learn.
John, that is all I am trying to do starting with shrimp and we will expand on the different baits that will help us put over all fish in the boat..
Gonna have to show me how it is you catch 30 pound fish on shrimp. I havnt seen it happen yet but I'm all ears when someone produces results with a given technique or bait. As far as finishing in the point standings with 8 pound fish, i respectfully disagree. A quick search of the Cabelas, and Freemans tournament series, (the two biggest) would indicate over the last several years you'll need to average well over 100 pounds of fish per event to even be in the top 5 boats at years end, let alone win it. The Cabelas point system uses only your best 4 or 5 Places, even if you were to fish every event. That puts the pressure on having bigger fish even more important as far as points titles go. Of course the tournaments I'm referring to concentrate on the Midwest Big River Systems ie Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, James, etc. A local tournament series out of one small lake is a different venue all together. Of course this is more for a tournament thread. As for catching lots of fish, and just fiddling around on the water, we could name a dozen baits that can work. Its two different beast all together. Some of us target bigger fish as a matter of personal preference. If you like to refer to it as "showmanship trophy's" or what have you, thats ok by me. Its fishin. Sometimes they bite, sometimes they dont. Everyone is free to use the baits they choose, and target the fish they choose. Doesnt make em wrong or right, or "masters of showmanship" if we catch big fish, or target the eaters.
Ok.. We can compare stats all day and night as I have a computer full of them all. Normally you put your limit in the boat and get a kicker. I shoot for the 20 pound average and a kicker if possible. Isnt that 100 pounds? Then again, there were times that I would jump up and down just to get one that is just over 14 inches to qualify for 180 points being 12th instead of the 10 points just to show up. That is not what this is all about..
Its about shrimp techniques...
Anyone ever maybe use shad gut and shrimp before??
i use fresh water shrimp that i catch out of the river and have good luck with them.
Are you cureing them in something Vince? I can remember useing them as a kid but havent tryed them since. What size works the best? Do you buy the boxs of bait shrimp or the larger ones?
I think I'd rather catch fish than use shrimp for bait...
Might as well get out the Lil' Smokies, hot dogs, chicken livers, danny king's and cottonseed cakes while you're at it... Then kick your feet up, relax and take a nap. You won't have any interruptions from those pesky fish, that's for sure...
I feel about the same Marty. I go for big fish and wont use that stinkin stuff so may claim works so well. (got a whole unopened gallon of dk I won if someone wants some) But in thinking about the cut bait we use, a big piece of shrimp my be along the same lines. Then again with what the big ones cost I would be hard pressed not to put them on the bbq.
Ive used anything from the little ones to the bigger prawns that fit on a 9/0 kahal. Normally, Ill stick with a medium that you can run on a 5/0 kahal to look natural because of the bend in the hook. The large, go to a 7/0 fits very well. Peel off the tails, so the hook will not have like a shield over it for the bigger shrimp. You can leave their little feet as this makes it look more natural also. Just as long as the hook tip is partially exposed is the main key.
I try to get them as fresh as I can so they are still somewhat juicy although most up here have already been frozen once. Use the raw ones, not the cooked ones as this will cook out what natural juices they have. You can always add in a scent as shrimp will naturally soak in or you can use a vacuum pump and glad jar to infuse them. Ill get to this soon..
You definitely want to have a good swivel on your leader as the shrimp on a kahal will spin in the water. Rather it be a 3 way rig, Carolina or a suspended rig is totally up to your personal preference or where the fish are at in the water. This is where you use the Bottom, suspended or top water rigs to your advantage.
They will get expensive up to 25 dollars a trip is an average for me when using fresh as possible. Then you can write it off for the tournaments as a bait expense for the ones in tournaments. Get to know your fish manager at your local fish market or grocery store. They will throw alot of shrimp away if it sits in the bins to long due to seafood regulations. Some of them will save it for you and sell it to you for a few dollars a bag. Get to know them, it is worthwhile if you use alot of shrimp..
I will unfreeze them and place them in baggies with about 8 to 10 each in them depending on their size. Just leave the shells on them and pinch off the tip of the tail shell as to not poke through the frozen baggies works best. Refreeze them solid again. We normally leave on a Thursday for a tournament and just ice them down, so by the time we get to them on a Saturday, they are kinda stinky and not as fresh as the normal store bought type for human consumption. I will also take a few and place in another jar so they degrade at a faster rate if set in the sun. I do the same with clams and add a few shrimp in with them. So we have a choice of which type of shrimp we want to use.
At this point, I'll try anything, LOL. I'm going to definately have to meet my local fish dept. manager. That seems like a good idea to get some relatively fresh/cheap bait. Learn something new everyday...