Skipjack

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by catman529, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    I have read that skipjack are caught mostly below dams. Is this true? Let me know how you get bait. Thanks
     
  2. Clovis

    Clovis New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Paris Tennessee
    I would be interested to know also.

    And are they hard to keep alive once you catch them compared to shad for instance?

    I'm a Baitfish beginner.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     

  3. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Skipjack love fast highly oxygenated water. That's one of the reasons why dams are a great place to catch them. There's no dams in my area but we still catch them around the tips of the dikes.

    No one I know even tries to keep them alive because they die so fast. Shad stay alive much better than skips do, in comparison.

    We use a series of crappie jigs (usually 3) tied about a foot apart on a light rod to catch skips. I use 15-20 lb test line to catch them with. Sabiki rigs also work great and I will usually put a small spoon on the bottom of it to use as weight. I usually take 1 rod rigged each way when I go out. Sometimes they show a preference for one or the other.

    They are a blast to catch and there's nothing like catching 3 big ones at the same time! That's the reason you need to use a little heavier line :tounge_out:
     
  4. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I have never tried to catch skippies either. I am gonna be fishing the Missouri river this weekend, and as of now all I have as bait is live perch, and I don't know if I will be able to catch shad right now. Are these fish fairly common, or could it take all day to catch the bait? Would shad be in their regular spots but deeper? I see shad all over in lakes, and have no problem netting them, but didn't see many on the river this summer.
     
  5. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    Sometimes you can fill a truck with skipjack in 10 minutes, other times it can take 4 hours to catch one. I catch them along the Ohio River on rock banks. They usually come shallow for thing in the morning and right before dark, you will see them chasing minnows and hitting the surface. Crappie jigs work well. I like to put 2 crappie jigs on and then a stump jumper on the bottom, to add a little flash. Sabiki rigs also work excellent and this is what i always try first, I only go to crappie jigs if they wont' hit the sabiki. I have caught them on live minnows below a bobber too. I was fishing below a dam earlier this year and the only thing I could catch them on was 3'' Berkley Gulp Minnows. I was sauger fishing when I accidently hooked one and then they started hammering it. so who knows what they will eat. But i would stick with crappie jigs and sabiki rigs. And they are impossible to keep alive-don't even try. I just throw mine in a bucket without water. Good luck!
     
  6. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    They are next 2 impossible to keep alive, but they work great as cutbait. They are lethal on the big blues.
     
  7. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    the best way to keep them is on ice , after catching place them in a ziploc bag on ice and they will keep a long while , but like most baitfish they turn soft or mushy after being froze
     
  8. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    Thanks for the tip but, how does the ice keep for a while? I have frozen baitfish before and you are right about the mushy part. How could I keep a good supply of any baitfish (including skipjack) for the entire winter?
     
  9. keithcatfish

    keithcatfish New Member

    Messages:
    148
    State:
    Maryville, TN
    Fresh bait is always best but skips are much better than shad when defrosted. Skips stay firm enough to cast and release a ton of oil for the cats to find. Defrosted shad get mushy and just don't seem to lure in the cats.
     
  10. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I have a vaccuum sealer and have sealed shad and froze them, and it worked well. I packed them in packages of 10 and 20 so I could use only as many as I needed for that particular trip. They seemed the same consistancy as they did before frozen, and I caught fish on them all summer long. My sealer is a foodsaver. They are still kinda costly but very handy for all sorts of stuff.
     
  11. KatKaller

    KatKaller New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    Alabama
    If you want to fish live Skips you will have to spend a little $$ to get a baitwell setup for them. I know a lot of guys that fish them live in tailraces for both cats and stripes. The livewell system will be fairly extensive needing a constant supply of freshwater and strong circulation as well as some type of oxygen system. You need a lot of volume too, probably 5 gallons to one skip. It's usually pretty useless to try and keep more than four or five alive at a time. It will be an all day thing from catching bait to fishing and back and forth but can prove very productive.

    As far as catching them goes it's fairly easy. If they are hungry they will bite most anything from marabou jigs (I always use 2), Yozuri thin minnows, small rattle traps, top water plugs, sabiki rigs, spoons, and others. If they aren't biting as well I like to tie a popping cork in front of my spoon. The sound and action it makes creates a feeding frenzy and they come runnin'. When I say popping cork I mean one like the guys use saltwater fishing for redfish and such.
     
  12. KatKaller

    KatKaller New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    Alabama
    Popping cork set up with small spoon:
     

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  13. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    i dont know for sure havent tried this but told it works , wrap fresh bait in news papers and vacume seal and they supposedly stay fresh much longer

    when you figure out a way to keep bait longer without them turning soft or their blood going stale and turning black let me know

    good luck
     
  14. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

    Messages:
    3,194
    State:
    Beebe AR
    I wonder would salting them make tough Just an Idea
     
  15. jwfish

    jwfish New Member

    Messages:
    398
    State:
    columbus ohio
    I get mine from a warm water discharge in the winter months and freeze them.
     
  16. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Have any of you tried cutting you skip jack up putting your hook of choice in them and then freezing the "rig"? That way you could cast your bait out with the worry of it flinging off and it would defrost when it hits the water.

    Just an idea.
     
  17. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Best place I have found is on the warm discharge side of an electric plant , like tva in cumberland city tn. First thing in the morning is usual best and right before dark.
     
  18. KatKaller

    KatKaller New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    Alabama
    I always salt mine.
     
  19. damcodon

    damcodon New Member

    Messages:
    16
    State:
    Quincy, Illinoi
    I find it quite easy to catch skipjack below dams. I usually fish for them, in the fast water, near the edges, using ultra light spinning gear, and 2 inch, white, lead headed, curl tail grubs. Fish close to the surface. Adjust your retrieve to the speed of the disharged water. I have the best luck casting downstream and cross current. The Skips act and look like little Tarpon, as they always leap into the air when hooked. Kids can love the fast action and excitement of the catch also. Don't be surprised if you catch a variety of of other fish also. White bass, largemouth, smallmouth, crappie, etc. If you let the grup hit bottom, you can come up with catfish, and tons of drum perch. Catching bait can be fun!
     
  20. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    If I get a chance this weekend I will be heading down to the steam plant in cumberland city, to try for skipjack. They should be running pretty good now. You can catch enough to fill a cooler then sometimes you will only catch a few. But when they are running you can see them near the surface when the sun hits them giving off a bright reflection. It's something to a swarm of them move in and out. And when it is cold out before the sun comes up the shad are running in huge swarms, with a cast net I have filled a 5 gallon pale almost full on one cast, now don't get me wrong it is not always like that, but when it is its time to stock up on bait.