Turtles and Gar eating my bait :(

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by kyron4, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. kyron4

    kyron4 New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Indiana
    Can anything be done to keep turtles and Gar from eating the bait off the hook before the cats can find it ? Turtles eat the cut bait and Gar eat the live bait. I catch my share of each but would rather be catching cats. :angry:
     
  2. KanHeadhunter

    KanHeadhunter New Member

    Messages:
    154
    State:
    S. E. K.
    For the gar, try use live bait at night they seem to quit feding at dark. For turtles,,,,,Move to a different spot, once they know were they get a free meal more will come.
     

  3. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    If the spot you're fishing is a real honeyhole, moving to another spot may not be a viable option. One possible solution for the turtles is to use chunks of meat from a fairly large fish that has a tough skin; carp or buffalo should work very well for this if you remove the scales first. You want to make sure that you have a decent sized piece of skin on each bait, because the turtles will eat most of the meat off the bait; but they can't eat it right down to the skin. They will always leave at least 1/8" of meat on the skin, which they generally can't get off the hook. This means that you still have a bait on your hook that's attractive to catfish.
    Gar? Maybe a tactical nuclear weapon would work. If they're a real problem, you can't possibly catch and kill enough of them to make a dent. However, if you really want to try that, adding a 3"-4" length of nylon rope (combed out) to your hook will frequently result in the gar getting snagged so you can dispose of it. Of course, you can always learn to like gar balls.
     
  4. MSgtCatfish

    MSgtCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    216
    State:
    Alabama
    It has been my experience that if the turtles and gar move in - time for you to head out for that day. Happened to me on the Coosa last year in a King Kat tournament. We caught 4 blues ... 15 pounder and some 5 pounders, then we caught a channel, which should have told us to move then, and then I caught a 3 foot gar, then my buddy landed the largest loggerhead I have ever seen, this thing most have weighed 90 pounds plus, then I ended it with about a 30 pound loggerhead.

    Something that was said to me a long time ago by a master catter, if the channels move in, leave. I'll stand by that and the turtles and gar. May not be right 5 percent of the time but will be the other 95 percent of time ... plus or minus 3 percent for error LOL!:wink:
     
  5. Pirate Jerry

    Pirate Jerry New Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Yulee Florida
    No gars in my fishing hole but I do have a bunch of big softshell turtles. They take anything I use for bait, even live bream. They don't just steal the bait, they get hooked then It's a real pain in the butt getting them off the hook. Guess I'm gonna start taking my .22 and a machete to thin them out.
     
  6. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I don't know about moving because of turtles. I used to keep several trotlines in a favorite spot that was covered up with turtles. How bad were they? Well, when they saw me coming, they all came up to the surface, rolled over on their backs, and clapped their flippers together, saying "It's suppertime!" The way I handled them was to bait my lines. As soon as I finished, I rebaited them, because most of the bait would already be gone. As soon as I finished rebaiting them, I rebaited them again; a good bit of the bait would be gone, but not nearly so much. After that third baiting, I could leave my lines to catch catfish and not have to worry too much about the turtles eating the bait...they were already full of shad. How good was this spot? I'd usually catch 3 or 4 cats while doing the 3 baitings.