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ChemE

Keeping cut bait on the hook

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I attempted to use some frozen shad as cut bait the other day but had difficulty keeping it on the hook but not because the cats were biting. The only time I could keep the shad on the hook and put the hook, bait, and sinker in the river where I wanted to was when the shad bit was hooked through the solid bone of the skull. Smaller chunks on the hook could usually survive the cast but not entry into the river. I only have the opportunity to fish from shore so I need to be able to give the bait a pretty good zing to get it to go where I want it to go. I'd like to be able to use frozen bait versus live bait because it is so much more convenient. Your advice will be much appreciated.

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You might have taken too long to get it in the freezer or if you've refrozen it multiple times it gets soft.

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Thanks for the response. If I wanted to use frozen bait I need to be sure that it was only frozen once and thawed when I want to use it?

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yeah, I cut mine up and put it in little zip lock bags. If you think you might need extra leave some in the car in a cooler with ice. I learned that the guts work really good but they're even worse on the hook.

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Another thing, if the bait does get mushy, try running the point of the hook out through the skin/scales. Sometimes the skin is just thick enough to help hold it in place.

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I keep my shad on ice even when I am sitting on shore. They are pretty much frozen when they hit the water. I have gone to just hooking them through the eyes, as I have had the best luck with that. I tried the skull just behind the eyes, but depending on the hook size, that just breaks the bone up so much that it doesn't last. If you are chucking really hard, why not go to cut sucker and just replace it every 15 -30 minutes or so?

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So it sounds like keep the bait frozen until attaching it to the hook or use cut suckers. I assume the cut suckers are freshly dead? Does the freshly dead meat have a bit more integrity than the previously frozen?

Thanks again!

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Always go with fresh suckers when you can. You know how dead suckers get stiff real fast? I don't like them once they reach that point and their color is pale. Not that they won't work either, but use the fresh stuff first. I personally would rather buy suckers that are live and throw them on ice in a cooler, unless I was sure they would make it until they were ready for the hook.

Frozen should definitely help. Even if they thaw on the ice they will keep their integrity better than if you just let them thaw out in the bag. Especially in a bag sitting on the bank of the river once it gets hot out.

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I would take fresh cut bait every time over frozen bait. If I had to use frozen bait I would likely use shad or goldeye. Refreezing bait is a move I have made out of desperation a couple of times. The results were not good. I don't hear from many people who freeze suckers as they are readily available at every bait store. Suckers stay on the hook better but must be changed pretty often to put out a fresh scent.

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I might try wraping up a ball of shad in some cloth, like gauze or something.

When the lady of the house runs a hose, instead of letting her throw them away, take the hosiery and cut squares of the material out... then when you bait up, tie the fabric around the bait like a teeny little hobo sack.. I use this when I'm fishing with chicken livers, especially after they "ripen" a bit and get squishier than normal.works nice with circle hooks.

A note however, the high end scented hosiery material doesn't work half as well as the cheapo stuff.

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I tried using the mesh that wraps an Easter ham to hold some shad. I still have to perfect it as it kept gathering down at the hook. I was thinking aquarium or surgical tubing my do the trick by keeping the tied end from sliding back down to the hook. I was waiting for warmer weather and a more aggressive bite to try it again.

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What you learn on FM... I have a wife, a mom, and 5 sisters and did not know the high end hose was scented. Funny and good to know (as it applies to the thread).

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*laugh*

it's amazing what a guy can learn from FM huh? smirk

I didn't notice it until the tackle box smelled like perfume after it had been closed up for a while. after I ID'd the culprit, some admittedly non-scientific testing came out that the scented high end stuff not only had fewer bites, but the generally thinner material ripped easier.

I don't think all high end is scented, but the stuff the wife had was...

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Wow! Lot's of interesting responses. It would be good to here the results of the upcoming experiments as I'd like to have a viable option for fresh frozen cut bait.

Thanks again!

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