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Cut Shad, How To Cut Shad For Catfishing


Cut shad and whole shad is one of the most popular and effective catfish baits there is for catching blue catfish.  Since I started Learn To Catch Catfish I have received countless questions about threadfin and gizzard shad, their use, how to bait hooks with them, how to cut them, what kind of hooks to use and the list goes on and on with related questions. I am going to try to start working my way through all those questions and would have preferred to put everything in one article but I am short on time and long on work right now so I have to call it quits with this first article and catfishing video.

Cutting shad is something that many people have some strong opinions on in regards to the best way to do it. There are some who will tell you that filleting or following other specific techniques for cutting them into cut bait will get more bites but I have rarely every noticed a difference.

I do however have two specific pieces of the bait that I prefer to use and a specific technique that I like to use to cut the bait that works really well for me. I didn’t go into great detail in this video on why I like to cut at an angle but will cover that more in a future article.

If you plan on fishing for blue catfish you have to learn to throw a cast net, find and catch bait, and catch them consistently. There is no option, there is no substitute and there is nothing else that will work as well (or better) except for skipjack in areas where they are native. We don’t have skipjack populations in north Texas so we use shad.

Catching shad is an essential part of targeting blue catfish. Not only is fresh shad one of the best baits for blue catfish but learning to pattern shad will do wonders for you in your quest to catch blue catfish.

To get more information including an in depth guide on choosing a cast net and tips and tricks on finding and catching shad and everything else you ever need to know on catching bait, click here.

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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. George Bouquet says:

    Good info on using large Shad

  2. good video

  3. James Watt (Ronnie) says:

    You cut shad much like I cut mullet for surf fishing. On the Texas coast.Not all things cross over from salt water to fresh water but cutting bait seems to cross well.

  4. thanks chad. i never thought catfish new the difference between a fancy cut piece of bait and a chunk.

  5. Meggan Womack says:

    Thanks for all the videos.

  6. Thanks for all the videos, very helpful.

  7. Great video,

  8. Pedro Barrios Jr says:

    Live in Laredo,Tx. I fish the Rio Grande(Bravo) whatever. I love to fish for cats and your right the quicker you get a hook in the water the better. Take my nephews and son we have a blast only thing is homeland security but oh well at least I know they are doing there job. 😉 Like your videos especially the one on how to repair your castnet. It helped!!!

    • Thats funny. I guess at least they are doing something. I have some clients that come from out there to fish with me and they tell me they do well with yellow cats on the river.

  9. I’d like to see how you put the chunks of cut bait on a hook.

  10. would you cut bluegill (bream) the same way, or would you scale them prior to using them as cut bait?

  11. Billy Jo birdsong says:

    I fish on the Ross Barnett in MS I jug fish do I do my bait the same way

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