Whether you use the shad whole or cut up as cut bait depends on the size of the shad you are using for bait as well as the size of the blue catfish that you are targeting.
For example, threadfin shad that are two to three inches long are commonly used whole when targeting blue catfish. If using larger threadfin or gizzard shad for bait for smaller blue catfish you would want to cut them up into pieces, tailoring the bait size to the fish that you are targeting.
Baiting a hook with cut shad may seem like a simple process that does not require instruction but a hook that is baited incorrectly will actually cause you to miss fish. Understand how to bait a hook correctly and why to follow this process will simply help you catch more fish.
I am a huge fan of circle hooks for blue catfish like the Daiichi Circle Chunk Light and Team Catfish Double Action Circle Hooks . These circle hooks are my “go to hooks” especially for blue catfish and are without question the most popular hooks among blue catfish anglers across the country.
Circle hooks that are not baited correctly pose a specific problem that many people don’t recognize and it can take them forever to figure out, and some never really figure it out.
If you take a big chunk of cut shad and slap it on the hook with no rhyme, reason or thought behind it then chances are you have missed the very little step when baiting your hooks that could really be costing you a LOT of fish.
When you put a chunk of cut shad on one of these circle hooks and the bait begins moving around in the water it flips around and ends up double hooking itself covering the hook point and filling the gap of the hook. This will often caused missed hook sets and in turn missed catfish.
This process of the bait flipping around and covering the circle hook is called a “fouled hook”.
There is a very specific process that you need to be following when baiting a hook with cut shad or cut bait, again especially when fishing with circle hooks but you need to be aware of it for ALL different types of fishing hooks.
In this week’s Catfishing Quick Tip Video I cover:
- How to bait a hook with cut shad.
- Where to toughest part of the bait is to hook the chunks.
- How to keep them from falling off.
- Several different ways to keep them from causing you missed fish (VERY IMPORTANT)
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 to check out the catching shad program.