Skip jack

Discussion in 'Skipjack Herring' started by bigredcatfish, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. bigredcatfish

    bigredcatfish New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Nebraska
    I am from Nebraska and trying to see how and where I can get some skip jack. Does anyone know how far from Nebraska I would have to travel to catch skip jack or can I have it ship in?? Do you catch them with a cast net?? What time of year??
     
  2. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Here's a link showing the range of the skipjack (alosa chrysocloris). Doesn't look like there are any near you. How about mooneye? Got those in your area? Lots of guys too far northwest for skipjack do very well substituting mooneye.

    http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.asp?speciesID=489
     

  3. bigredcatfish

    bigredcatfish New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Nebraska
    We have nothing of the sort. Do you a cast net to catch them or do you use a pole?? What time of year is the best time to catch them?
     
  4. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    This is a deleted post.
     
  5. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I won't say it's impossible to catch a skipjack in a cast net, because over the past 25 years, I've probably caught half a dozen that way; small ones, about 8" or smaller. Normally, they are caught on rod & reel with either a sabiki rig, or a couple of crappie jigs tied in tandem (my preferred lure). I make a trip to Pickwick Dam on the Tennessee River every spring to get my year's supply of skipjack. At that time, and that location, the skipjack average 2#-2 1/4# apiece. I've heard that there's another run in the fall, with the fish being a little smaller, but I've never fished it. Incidentally, skipjack look like baby tarpon; and they fight like baby tarpon! It's possible (or not, depending on your luck) to catch skipjack all summer long, but it's possible to catch a lot more, a lot faster during the runs. Skipjack are a lot oilier than shad, so they freeze much better. And the cats seem to prefer the taste of skipjack over shad, although I've caught an awful lot of catfish on fresh shad. (IMO, shad freezes so poorly that it's not worth the effort.)
    According to this site, Nebraska has skipjack in the Missouri River, and mooneye in the larger rivers in the eastern part of the state. There are alwives are stocked in some waters for forage, but from what I've read, they don't freeze any better than shad.
    http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/fishing/guides/fishid/findfish.asp
     
  6. BLKCLOUD

    BLKCLOUD New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Pulaski Tn
    after you catch the skipjack, and freeze them, do you usually thaw them when needed and fillet them or just cut chunks off and bait with them? cut them up before freezing? what size pieces do you use? thanks!
     
  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I freeze them whole, because I think it keeps the juices and such better. Don't want that stuff running out till I'm using it for bait. Size? That can vary from a little piece the size of the last joint of my thumb up to a skipjack head half as big as my hand; or, for smaller skippies, cut in half from just in front of the dorsal fin to just behind the anus, barely cutting open the gut pocket; or, a steak 1" or so wide, especially if it includes the gut pocket; and the guts by themselves make an excellent bait. But I don't like to use the tail; I will, if I'm running out of bait, but I don't like to.