Where to get skipjacks

Discussion in 'LOCAL SOUTH CAROLINA TALK' started by Kat-addict, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Kat-addict

    Kat-addict New Member

    Messages:
    114
    State:
    ohio
    Hi everyone. My name is Randy and I live in Ohio. I am curious to find out if you folks down in SC have skipjacks there? I seen a In fisherman show where they had purchased skips in the area of Santee-cooper and I thought that maybe they were plentifull in your area. I would definatly be willing to make the trip there to try and catch my own or even buy them if I can find a vendor or someone who may have some for sale. If anyone can help me out I would appreciate it....Thanks. Randy
     
  2. sarSWAMPFOX

    sarSWAMPFOX New Member

    Messages:
    381
    State:
    Union, South Caroilna
    I have not ever seen any in SC just blue backs. If they bought some here they pretty much had to be shipped to a supplier or market. The only place I ever caught them was on Pickwick in Alabama just below the Wilson dam. I brought some back home on ice and they still caught fish. But none here in SC that I know about.
     

  3. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    There are no skipjacks in Santee Cooper, but there are tons of blueback herring, and they appear very similar. The skipjack is basically a freshwater version of the blueback, which leaves the ocean and goes upriver to spawn in fresh water. I'm sure that what they called skipjacks were only bluebacks, although either one is excellent catfish bait. Most of the mature bluebacks return to the ocean after spawning, and the fry stay in the lakes to grow.
     
  4. Kat-addict

    Kat-addict New Member

    Messages:
    114
    State:
    ohio
    Thanks for the info guys! How big do the blue backs get or should I ask what is the normal size for them. Do you catch them with Sabiki's or do you throw net them? I think I may have read where they get them at night with a light...is that right. What would be my chances of getting a mess of them if I came down there to get some? I have good luck freezing what little skips I can get. Do the blue backs freeze well? What I mean by that is,are they still nice and bloody when ya thaw them out?
    I know I am full of questions,but am just trying to figure out my best move for some good bait for this upcoming winter. I can get shad here most anytime...even in the winter...but the skips seem to work best when the water gets below 50deg. The shad also don't seem to work well after frozen like the skips do. Once again,I appreciate the help....Randy
     
  5. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Randy, if you're wanting the bluebacks for bait, then the best time on Santee Cooper is in April, when they come up the rivers to spawn. They can be caught in cast nets just below the dams at night (http://www.dnr.sc.gov/news/Yr2007/feb12/feb12_shad.html), average length is probably 8-12", not quite as large as skipjacks. They can often be caught on sabiki rigs or small crappie jigs, too during daylight hours. There is a recreational limit of 1 bushel per day. The large ocean herring are available during this time in local bait shops, but after the spawning run, mostly 4-6" fish are all that's available.
    As these fish enter the lake system, they work their way upstream toward Lake Murray and can probably be caught up there, too, but I don't know much about that area for fishing.
    It might be a long, expensive trip for bait, but that's also a good time to catch some nice catfish.
     
  6. Kat-addict

    Kat-addict New Member

    Messages:
    114
    State:
    ohio
    Thanks a bunch Tommy. I think based on that info,I may see if I can check elsewhere. I had hoped to find some for this fall and winter. A trip there next april sure sounds good to me though ! The skips are around here if you can happen upon them at the right time. My nephew and I fish our tails off (3-4) days a week,year round,and just can't seem to get on them consistently enough to keep us in bait. I'll keep lookin. Good luck fishin !!!! Randy
     
  7. Rookie12

    Rookie12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    State:
    Kannapolis, NC
    Man, when the water gets cold around here, like below 50 degrees. It rarely gets much below 40 around here. anyway, the best bait for me is cut gizzard shad and white perch. What kind of shad do you got up there? I haven't had much luck with threadfins in the winter except if I'm striper fishing with live bait. I hardly find herring in the winter.