Buying Or Catching Shad

Do you recommend buying shad or catching shad for catfish fishing? Is it easy to catch them? How?

Shad make for great live bait for catfishing.  You can buy them at some bait shops, or you can catch them yourself.  The main difference between buying and catching shad is convenience.  If the bait shop in your area carries shad (not all do), you can just pop in and buy as many as you want.  But, if you don’t mind taking a little time to learn how to catch shad, you’ll be able to get more for absolutely free, and they’ll be good and fresh.

I would recommend learning how to catch shad, and just getting some straight out of the water whenever you need them. 

To catch shad, you need a throw net.  Most lakes, ponds and rivers have plenty of shad feeding right at the surface of the water during spring, summer and early fall.  In most areas, the morning is the best time to catch them.  Also, look for a good area with lots of shad.  You can usually see them in the early mornings, flipping along on the surface looking for food.  Once you find a good spot, stick to it.

Most people use a cast net, which you can buy at any major department store.  They are a little tricky to use, and require some preparation before you throw them out, but once you learn how to do it, catching shad will be easier than even driving to the bait store and plopping down money on the counter.  Get a good cast net for $25 or so and follow the directions that come with it.  Each brand is a little different in how it must be prepared.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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