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SteveD

Cat Tip of the Day: Making Cut Bullhead

16 posts in this topic

Some cat fishermen don’t like bullheads for cut bait but I have had good luck with it. Live bullheads are my preferred bait for flatheads and I trap and catch my own bullheads. My traps catch a lot of small bullheads (4" to 5") which are perfect to use as cut bait.

The trouble with bullheads, especially small bullheads, is that they are difficult to handle and the sharp spines on their fins can inflict painful cuts on your hands.

I have found that one of the best tools for making cut bait is a good scissors or game shears. I found a great scissors at Fleet Farm called a “Power Scissors” and it only costs a buck – you can’t go wrong at that price. That scissors makes short work of cutting up small bullheads.

First a word of caution on handling bullheads. Don’t just reach in the bucket and grab a bullhead. Net the bullhead in a small net and carefully pick it up being careful to avoid the sharp spines on the side and pectoral fins.

CutBullhead.jpg

On my small bullheads I only make 2 cuts with a scissors. The first cut is just behind the head

CutBullheadStep1.jpg

and the second cut is just in front of the tail.

CutBullheadStep2.jpg

You will end up with a nice chunk of fish with an opening into the gut. This chunk of bullhead will leave a good scent trail in the water. It takes all of 30 seconds to make a perfect piece of cut bait.

CutBullheadStep3.jpg

The scissors in the cut bait photos are my Cabela’s game shears. They will cut up anything. I would also recommend a Power Scissors which I also use a lot. They make short work of cut bait and are well worth the $1 investment. The last photo is a picture of the Power Scissors – I found them at Fleet Farm.

PowerScissors.jpg

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Steve, your posts are always very informative and extremely descriptive. I appreciate the effort you put in. Last year I did not have good luck with cut bullies, but that's operator error and lack of persistence more than anything. I always have small bullies around, so there's no reason to not give it a go this year and see what happens. I'll report back if I catch anything on them (or if I don't, for that matter)

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My best luck with cut bullheads has been cutting them up as steve described. Cutting a piece off a bigger one didn't work that good. Using little ones and leaving the body intact must leave a lot more scent.

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Thanks for the post Steve!

Might have to give it a try this year.

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Great post Steve D!

The channels of the Miss. North will not even eat a small live bull head (IMO and hours of using them), but switch to cut bull head and they hammer it down. Walleyes on the other hand play with the live one (I think).

Quote:
First a word of caution on handling bullheads. Don’t just reach in the bucket and grab a bullhead. Net the bullhead in a small net and carefully pick it up being careful to avoid the sharp spines on the side and pectoral fins.

I know this is a good disclaimer above. If you are around bullies a lot, you end up knowing how to grab for them out of the live well. Last night on the MN, i gave the bullies some water from the river. As always, it was chalk full of mud and dark brown. My fishing partner would not put his hand into the live well. He still watches in amazement when I tell him to get out of the way and I pick by hand the one to use.

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and then when you graduate from that you can try handpicking bullheads from a seine of about 500. smile

I still come away with bloody hands and a few four letter words every time.

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Do you guys use the heads also as cutbait? This year my best bait has been the heads of both creek chubs and bullheads. I don't know why but the heads are for some reason getting the job done.

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and then when you graduate from that you can try handpicking bullheads from a seine of about 500. smile

I still come away with bloody hands and a few four letter words every time.

shockedshockedshocked

Its almost to take up some gloves.... The pain just does not go away for a long time.

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Do you guys use the heads also as cutbait? This year my best bait has been the heads of both creek chubs and bullheads. I don't know why but the heads are for some reason getting the job done.

I always save the heads to use for cut bait but I use the body part first. I always end up the evening with the heads left over without using one. Next time out I will give the head a try too - I don't see why they wouldn't work, they are sure bloody enough to leave a good scent trail.

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Bullies and gloves for me do not mix well. The bully pops out, like one of those kids toys with the liquid in the rubber tube.

Knock on wood, I have never had a bullies spike break threw the skin of my hand yet. Also I have not yet been able to handle 500 bullies, because my seine area is finally calming down. I am how ever running the bait tank at full capacity thanks to a legal dip net.

Just thought of it, I should do another water change right now tired

As for grabbing bullies out of the bait tank, Steve D is right on. I do not even know if I would catch one in mine by hand.

Thanks Steve D for the Scissors tip. I read it before in one of your post’s and now I keep a pair of game scissors in the boat, just incase.

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First a word of caution on handling bullheads. Don’t just reach in the bucket and grab a bullhead. Net the bullhead in a small net and carefully pick it up being careful to avoid the sharp spines on the side and pectoral fins.

Do you also have to wear a dress when using a net?

:P

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Originally Posted By: SteveD

First a word of caution on handling bullheads. Don’t just reach in the bucket and grab a bullhead. Net the bullhead in a small net and carefully pick it up being careful to avoid the sharp spines on the side and pectoral fins.

Do you also have to wear a dress when using a net?

:P

ooohhhh... calm down, boys! laugh hehehehehehe

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Originally Posted By: SteveD

First a word of caution on handling bullheads. Don’t just reach in the bucket and grab a bullhead. Net the bullhead in a small net and carefully pick it up being careful to avoid the sharp spines on the side and pectoral fins.

Do you also have to wear a dress when using a net?

:P

Yo! cool You got a problem with dresses!

Wait till you see me in a pink Tu Tu..... Singing to Sailer Jerry. grin

Fondling and getting pricked by monster bullies. cry

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Yo! cool You got a problem with dresses!

Wait till you see me in a pink Tu Tu..... Singing to Sailer Jerry. grin

Fondling and getting pricked by monster bullies. cry

You wearing a pink Tu Tu wouldn't surprise me much considering your confession at last summer's KOTC gathering about how you like to take Sailor Jerry in the mouth! whistle

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Yeah, last night I heard LFC was setting the hook with a leg kick and an extended pinky finger.

But he did catch more fish than I did, so I might have to try that smile

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I don't mind a little sting from a bullhead unless that manage to get you on the knuckle. That hurts for days. I handle them pretty gingerly until I get proper grip. The tighter you hold them, the more leverage they get. They do make calculated moves trying to drive those spikes into your flesh. But I am preaching to the choir or the pastor with some of you.

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