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Leaky shad?

1774 Views 26 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  BottomBouncer
Okay, whenever I freeze my shad I get this frozen block of watery blood in the corners of the bag.......where does it come from? It isn't there when I put the shad in the bag......do they drain or something? They all end up getting stuck together! Makes for even more of a mess when thawing out.

Are there any ways to prevent my shad from draining? lol:( :p ;)
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Good question

I don't think it can be prevented. I have it happen with skipjacks too. When they freeze, water expands, pushing out of their bodies. That's also waht makes them soft. I've heard debates on adding salt, that it will preserve them & actually keep them from a real deep freeze. I think they are still going to freeze at 10 below zero. Wouldn't matter what type of salt, you can put rock or pickeling salt in the water when they are alive to keep their scales on better. You can't use salt with iodine in it on live shad. Maybe they would ingest a little, but I can't imagine it would be enough to make any difference while freezing them. I notice I get alot more bloody water on the second freeze. You can actually use skipjacks about 3 times before they get too soft & mushy. I try to keep them frozen while fishing, I keep them in a cooler & maybe pack it with snow or ice if it's possible. Those never thaw, so that time out doesn't count.
It is just blood and jucies from the shad, I dont thaw mine out..I cut them and bait um up while froze..the bait will thaw quick in the water..My 50-LB Flathead I caught last year came on a whole 8inch Shad froze solid..The Big Cat hit the bait within 5 minutes of me casting out.
I usually hook mine right through the eye socket.....sometimes it's hard when they are frozen......eyes popping out and stuff?
i dont have that problem?

All the shad and skipjacks that i ever vacuum sealed dont do this because there is no room for that stuff to go..just stays inside the bait!
Also the bait isnt as "soft" as it was when i just froze them in zip-lock bags when i go to use them!!
Also there is no room for freezer burn to build up(no air).

My brother has a cabin in Mich. and vacuum seals some fresh fish like perch and trout for the freezer every year..he says after using his FoodsaverII he will never just freeze fish by regular means..says the fish tastes much fresher when vacuum sealed..i say if the fish hes eating TASTES better to him..then my old vacuumed frozen bait should taste good to those spring cats looking for winter kill shad!!
If this winter is anything like last......we won't have to worry about winter-kill shad. I did get a ton in the cast net last spring. How do you guys think it effected the fishing last year? Would fishing be better through the season if there was a big shad kill?

With the rivers being so high early last spring, it was hard to tell how the shad kill was..water was flowing 50mph.
I say a nice shad kill is a good thing if conditons to fish are right...

Last two years the early spring & late fall schools of live shad have been amazing..i hadnt seen that amount of shad ever before..when thier numbers are high and they are all over predators are feeding like mad..has been some good days fishing near creeks that have collected big numbers of shad..same holds true though in the spring when they first seek warming shallow waters.

I say for great spring fishing we dont need a big shad kill..we just need a more NORMAL spring..yea rain water rising the streams and rivers some..but not massive floods that last 2 months..then when it finally calms down..cats go on the spawn like last spring!!
Yeah, that sucked. I happened to catch them as they were heading back up river.

Some of the shad I netted last spring were HUGE....pushing the 13" mark. Six to eight inchers are not that hard to come by, but these things were monsters. Are there any odds of skips being in the Scioto?
Flats is Right

We encountered huge schools of shad on the river this fall. It looked like it was raining there was so many on the surface. There would be huge schools & tons of schools !
In one of the lakes I fish there are schools of shad.....sometimes during the evening the water will start to boil and stop...on and on.......
I tried fishing the school with topwater and a spinnerbait.....but it didn't work? Any ideas? I figured there had to be bass under them........I was cattin' and wasn't really prepared:confused: :rolleyes:
My experiance

You have to determine what's hitting them. Wipers & stripers are distinctive, sounds more like WB(white bass) if it's a boil. For me, running an inline spinner like a 1/4 oz white roostertail as fast as I can crank it produces hits. The thing I found was to keep it on to, where you can see a wake from your bait. Any slower & they ignore it.
fishing the boiles

Jim is right a nice white or silver roostertail works good, i also found a 1/4-1/2oz spoon to work very well if you cast it to the middle of the boiles and let it flutter down like an injured shad..most of the BIG fish will be waiting below letting the smaller fish kill the shad.

BB, "Are there any odds of skips being in the Scioto?" there has only been ONE skipjack caught in "our" area, Jake caught it last summer..i wouldnt have believed him, but Dave was with him and confirmed the catch...but they are not there in numbers.
I have also caught a skipjack in Paint Creek way above where Jack fishes, during a smallmouth wadin trip yrs ago.

I bet ya the farther down the scioto you get closer to the ohio r. you'll find some skips, but they are mostly a big water fish moving all the time with schools of elfin shad(small ones) and emerald shiners.
On the Ohio r. if we can find good sized schools of emeralds we will always find those skipjacks too.

BB , i have takin skips into the scioto before along with shad...the skips did not do well at all and the shad caught all the cats...they feed on what they are used to catching naturally in there...so my guess is that skipjacks are not found in that area enough that the cats key in on them.
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No matter where I have fished, shad has always produced. When I fish the Scioto sometimes I'll use lighter eggs so the shad will role/drift down stream.
When using live bait, have you ever tried fishing it with no weight so it will cruise around?

Would be a big hassel in my spot..way too many brush piles..i loose enough rigs & big fish in there as it pinning them down with 2-4oz.
I have come up with a slick "float" system for that river....have only tried it out a few times..but worked very good...
This next year im going to start taking the canoe in and running a lot of different rigs to keep the bait close to the surface next to some of the brush piles using release clips;) :cool: .

Hey man what size boat do you have? is it aluminum?
Ever thought of hitting the "warm" water area around there?;) :cool: (shhhhh)
Thought about it.......it's a glass bass boat, 70hp......don't think I'll be able to launch.

I've heard good fish tales from the warm area, I've never hiked up that way
Yea me too

One of these days im going to fire up the Hovercraft and go see what its all about;)
I would like to see the hovercraft on the river and maybe take a ride.:D
can arrange that

This thing is WILD..has a 477 rotax motor(water cooled) that puts out 68hp at 9000 rpms. the craft is a 1988 ScatII that is about 10ft long 6ft wide and holds two poeple.
My buddy Jake and i took it out scouting last year and we had it up to 60mph on the Scioto..talk about "droppin a log in your pants"..this things FAST!
I dont know if he'll ever ride on it again..lol
I rejetted the carbs. to run in winter on snow this year..but we havent gotten any here yet!!!!
Only draw back to it is this craft is considered a "personal watercraft", BUT its illegal on ANY lakes in Ohio(because of the speed and noise level:D ) and is only allowed on the rivers/streams here.
I was told it was your brother's hovercraft, is that true?
well you was told 1/2 right...

WAS my brothers, he bought it up in Mich. close to his cabin, used it for two seasons then put it in his garage and it set for another 2 seasons.
Since my brother has 4 snowmobiles, 2 four-wheelers, 2 dune buggys and lots of other toys and money he GAVE it too me!...

I once asked him to teach me how to drive the H-Craft so i could borrow it to scout the local waters..he told me if i wanted it..to TAKE it..the title is in my name now.
So WAS my bros, but is MINE now!
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