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JBMasterAngler

Unusual Cutbait

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Anyone use other fish aside from the norm (shad, sucker, mooneye) for cutbait? I've never gotten into using cutbait, but I intend on doing alot more shorefishing this year, and want to give it a try. I bought alot of frozen sardines (about 8 inches long) this winter for the intent of tip up fishing for pike, but never got a chance to use them. They are VERY oily and stink something fierce, so I would assume catfish would like them?

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I use sheephead a lot, Mostly because i can catch them easily at a creek by my house. I also have used bullheads and chubs and chubs seem to work the best. Cut bullhead hasn't worked that well for me but i've still caught fish on them. Also, i've used both frozen and fresh cutbait and fresh has always worked better, it's hard to always have fresh bait though so i usually use frozen and it still catches plenty of fish.

You can also use frogs, in the right place and time of year they can be good.

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i used red horse some last year that worked pretty good, i have a bunch of shad for this year im gonna try out and see how that works

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One of the biggest myths in catfishing is that stinkier is better. I would argue just the opposite in fact. Yes, you do want some naturally oily fish to disperse scent, but you can make it smell a lot worse by letting it sit out in the sun and rot, but that doesn’t make it better.

The first thing to consider when using a cutbait, is what is natural to the body of water you are fishing. I know guys that have tried to fish shad on bodies of water that don’t have them and had not so good luck. So keep that in consideration. Not saying they won’t work, but usually native fish work better.

Mostly it comes down to availability and legalites for what we choose as bait. I’ve tried some off the wall stuff like sucker soaked in jello, frogs, shrimp, stinkbait and have had success with all of them, but for the MN or Miss rivers, give me fresh bloody sucker or shad and I have the most confidence in catching a cat.

I’m reminded of an In-fisherman article a while back in which the author was fishing up in Selkirk/Lockport and was speaking to some southern gents who were smiling ear to ear and they said, “we are going to let in you in on a little secret. We prepared some rotten chicken livers and have been putting them in ladies stockings to keep them on the hook. I bet we caught 15 cats with three of them over 20lbs”. Then the author goes on to say he didn’t have to heart to tell the good ol boys that he had caught 3 times as many and a dozen over 20 the same day on fresh cut Goldeye.

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I like frog, fat toads, bullhead heads as they will stay alive for a long time after being severed or just a full bully stomped on (make sure dorsal barb doesn't go through your shoe bottom HURT LONG TIME), sucker, shrimp worked, and chicken liver wrapped in pantyhose or chicken liver put in an ice tray with a hook in each section and frozen so that you could just tie and go. My favorite is golden shiners live or cut. I would also like to second that smelly is not always the way to go. I made a nice batch of sun stewed bullies a couple years back. It was so foul that I dumped it into the water and even the dam gar disappeared. I think too this day no catches fish in that spot laugh

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I've only used sheepshead and bullheads, because that's what I've been able to catch from shore. My usual procedure is to use my medium rod with split shot, small hook, and a worm to fish for anything legal to use as bait, kill it and cut it up, and then switch to the baitcaster for cutbait fishing for kitties.

I need to get better at catching bait.

If it were legal to use gamefish, my go-to bait of choice would be cut bluegill.

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I made a nice batch of sun stewed bullies a couple years back. It was so foul that I dumped it into the water and even the dam gar disappeared. I think too this day no catches fish in that spot laugh

As an eyewitness I can tell you that this is a true story and I havent pulled a fish from thaqt spot since sick and somehow I still smell Ode to Bullie slow roasted in HKK truck everytime I pass that spot and throw up in my mouth a little bit laugh

I agree with what Dtro has posted about the misconception of stinky baits and yes they do make stink bait but that is that way for those southern guys grin

but it is a good way keeping others away for your spot just dont go to HKK extremes

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If it were legal to use gamefish, my go-to bait of choice would be cut bluegill.

I hear from folks who live in more liberal states that cut bluegill is the way to go.

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well... liberal in their fishing regulations maybe wink

most people down here targeting catfish that i've talked to use cut shad, and LIVE bluegi... excuse me, "brim"

although folks using trotlines and limb lines generally use whatever is easiest to obtain

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The biggest Channel Cats I have seen were caught on cut Bullhead...Channels love them (at least in my experience).

I like cut Chubs though probably the best.

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I agree with others that species native to the river your fishing will work best as cut bait. I also believe that the oilier those native fish are the better.

That said, I have tried some other unusual baits and caught fish.

Two year old (frozen)salmon chunks from lake Michigan. I wasn't going to eat it after two years in the freezer but the cats didn't mind.

Mackeral from the fish market. Very oily

half rotten venison scraps.

Russty Miller uses steak soaked in various concoctions and does well with that.

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catfishermen, to my mind, are some of the weirdest fishermen out there. and i mean that not in a bad way smile

i had a guy down on Kerr Reservoir in North Carolina tell me the only bait he'd ever use was chicken breasts soaked in WD-40 overnight

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anyone know the reasoning you cannot use carp as cut bait?

Because if you get caught, you will get a ticket grin

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If you catch it in the waters you should be able to use it?

someone stated they use sheep head. I thought that was illegal as well.

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You can use sheephead, but carp. I agree, dumb law, they just dont want the spread of carp, into waters were there isnt any carp.

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catfishermen, to my mind, are some of the weirdest fishermen out there. and i mean that not in a bad way smile

i had a guy down on Kerr Reservoir in North Carolina tell me the only bait he'd ever use was chicken breasts soaked in WD-40 overnight

Many may already know this but one of the reasons WD-40 worked as a fish attractant is that it used to be made from fish oils.

Its no longer made with fish oils but is more petroleum based. Probably not good for the environment.

Next time try anise oil or licorice extract.

I've found it works as an attractant on all kinds of water for all kinds of species.

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You can use sheephead, but carp. I agree, dumb law, they just dont want the spread of carp, into waters were there isnt any carp.

Ya just one of those laws that might not make sense.

Carp are an exotic species brought here as a food fish by the Europeans.

Seems that the native buffalo and suckers weren't good enough. confused

I would think with the current bait laws that you can collect and use bait from the waters you are fishing it would be OK.

Guess not....

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Next time try anise oil or licorice extract.

I've found it works as an attractant on all kinds of water for all kinds of species.

So if I spray one of my bullheads with a fire extinguisher my fishing will improve wink Licorice extract is used as a foaming agent in many fire extinguishers.

I imagine a guy could buy just fish oil from a gnc and use that. Would be kind of interesting if we could see proven test on what works best when using plastics for walleye.

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Carp are an exotic species brought here as a food fish by the Europeans.

Just to clarify a bit of carp history: Carp were brought here FROM Europe BY very wealthy Americans. Carp was one of the highest delicacies at certain points in the 1800s, until they became established enough that the rich folks saw any manufacturing-job joe blow carrying one to his slum apartment from the river.

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So if I spray one of my bullheads with a fire extinguisher my fishing will improve wink Licorice extract is used as a foaming agent in many fire extinguishers.

A new one to add to my volume of useless trivia! smile

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Just to clarify a bit of carp history: Carp were brought here FROM Europe BY very wealthy Americans. Carp was one of the highest delicacies at certain points in the 1800s, until they became established enough that the rich folks saw any manufacturing-job joe blow carrying one to his slum apartment from the river.

Grampa loved carp!

He was one who wrecked it for the wealthy! grin

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