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Shad for bait


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Yesterday in a big hurry to get down to the river an fish I forgot my crawlers. So instead of driving a 100 miles to find a bait shop, I thought Id try my cast net for the first time in MN for fatheads. didnt get any fatheads but started catching small fish that looked just like the ones I catch in the gulf with the nets. was thinking some kind of shiner which they are called in some areas. but after searching around on the internet found out they were shad. In the gulf of mexico the salt water ones I call greenbacks work great. they look like a great bait for the sippi too.Only problem they seem to die real fast. what are they good for here? the one I were catching were about 2an a half to three inches long. Im sure catfish would go for dead ones . But will walleye go for shad. these have little black spot right behind gill. cool.gif

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They work great as cut bait for cats. As you know by now they really stink. That size I would cut them in half or 3rd's if the fish are smaller then 2lbs. But I have caught walleye's on them while fishing for cats. They're a big part of a walleye's diet. You're right they do die quick, maybe trolling them on a spinner rig might work.

Good luck

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One other thing to know. It is illegal to catch and use minnows or fish for bait from the Mississippi River below St Anthony Falls. This is part of the Invasive Species laws. See pages 78 - 81, 2005 Minnesota Fishing Regulations.

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Thanks for clueing me in. But You say below the falls what about a hundred yards or so above it? Serious grin.gif

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See page 81, 2005 Minnesota Fishing Regulations. It says: Minnesota Waters Infested with: "Zebra Mussels - Mississippi River (downstream of St Anthony Falls)." Because it is a zebra mussel infestation you are specifically excluded from taking and using bait from those waters. You cannot use them even if you catch them in that body of water.

In my opinion, If you are above the falls you should be OK. Unfortunately the cast net is out and shad are not readily taken using hook and line. The only legal methods authorized for taking minnows or leeches is with dip nets, traps, or seines. See page 83, 2005 MN Fishing Regulations for the regulations applicable to the taking and possession of bait.

By the way, Shad are great bait for channel cats. It is one of the primary forage fish of the Mississippi and St Croix River systems. But!! They are illegal to take on both the Mississippi (downstream of St Anthony Falls) and on the St Croix (Downstream of Taylors Falls). If you can legally catch them, they make great bait. They do not stay alive very well in a bait bucket or normal live well. They are most often used as cut bait because it is hard to keep them alive. I was catfishing on the St Croix last night and watched the white bass going nuts chasing shad. There are tons of them right now on the river systems.

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