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Jan 23rd, 2013
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"Feeding" live Gizzard Shad? #13840851 01/10/21 08:04 PM
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Box Fish Hero Offline OP
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Maybe this topic has been covered elsewhere on the TFF, but i'm not very successful when searching the archives. Is anyone familiar with a commercial or easily attainable "food source" for captive gizzard shad? Myself and a couple friends have all established bait tanks at home to keep large gizzard shad alive for months on end. While I did not have trouble keeping big shad alive last winter for over 2 months, I noticed a substantial difference between my bait and that of a friend. He has a pond close to his shop where he keeps his shad tank, after approximately 3 months, we were using the last of his shad and they were BEAST MODE, super lively and seemed to be in GREAT health. My shad were perfectly alive, just did not seem as frisky as his... i'm not certain his shad were not continuing to grow while in his bait tank. The big difference between his setup and mine, he was able to do 1/3 water change each week with water from the nearby pond, and he noted they went ballistic when he pumped the freshwater in... we are assuming it was a feeding frenzy. I never ran into problems with sick or sluggish fish, or any shad dying, so i'm pretty confident I never had any problems with chemical buildup in the tank. Hoping someone here has figured out how to feed their shad. The Google machine has not produced much info that seems useable to me. Any help pushing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: "Feeding" live Gizzard Shad? [Re: Box Fish Hero] #13840969 01/10/21 10:02 PM
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Just a guess, but since they eat plankton in the wild, the pond water likely already has it in there. You can buy freeze dried plankton, it isn't super expensive. Although I don't know if they would be as jazzed up about it, as the real thing. Also, maybe try putting a couple pieces of hadite or flat rock in there, as a place for algae to take hold.

Last edited by z289sec; 01/10/21 10:05 PM.
Re: "Feeding" live Gizzard Shad? [Re: Box Fish Hero] #13841000 01/10/21 10:38 PM
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The striper guides in Arkansas have big plastic tanks 400-500 gallon and keep shad all season and they don't feed them anything and they are very lively, The shad they keep are 10-15" long. They feed on the plankton growing on the tank. I ask the question of what they fed them and they said we don't.


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Re: "Feeding" live Gizzard Shad? [Re: jackiekennedyfishingguide] #13841999 01/11/21 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jackiekennedyfishingguide

The striper guides in Arkansas have big plastic tanks 400-500 gallon and keep shad all season and they don't feed them anything and they are very lively, The shad they keep are 10-15" long. They feed on the plankton growing on the tank. I ask the question of what they fed them and they said we don't.

and if they ever find out where you catch gizzard shad they will continue to come until they deplete the resource entirely.... I've watched them do it.... never tell people where you catch bait.... Commercial bait fisherman will wipe you out and your spot... I live in Arkansas I know......Ithey do it another places too they're bad in Alabama about it

Last edited by Big Sam; 01/11/21 06:23 PM.

If it ain't broke don't fix it...but go ahead and work on it anyway.....
Re: "Feeding" live Gizzard Shad? [Re: Box Fish Hero] #13842204 01/11/21 08:38 PM
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Maybe putting your focus on something other than food would do the trick?
Many important things to consider when working with shad. Filtration, oxygen infusion, temp, etc.


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