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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Spottail Shiners and Inland Silversides as bait? #13943609 04/01/21 04:32 AM
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Lonestar Angling Offline OP
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I just posted this in the general freshwater board but thought that it might be better suited here after posting. I'm not sure if posting the same post in different forums is allowed, if not then my apologies.

Today I was at a public boat ramp fishing when I started seeing some small baitfish bust on the surface. I thought they were small shad and I had a 1/4" mesh cast net in the car so I threw on them and to my surprise pulled out 4 spottail shiners and a dozen or so of the largest inland silversides (4-5") I've ever seen. I threw back all of the silversides since I never have luck keeping them alive, and kept the spots to try to use as bait. They got slammed by crappie, but it was hard to hook them without killing them due to their small size (~3"). If you've used either of these baitfish as actual bait without killing half of them just by hooking them, how would you recommend fishing them? I'm thinking it may have only been that my #1 octopus hooks were too thick for the job but I figured it was worth posting here before I go buy any hooks that I don't already have on hand.

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Re: Spottail Shiners and Inland Silversides as bait? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13943619 04/01/21 06:41 AM
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Mckinneycrappiecatcher Offline
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Your hooks are way too large. I use those spottail shiners and red shiners for bait all the time and they work great, even the tiny ones. Those shiners can get in the 4” range too. Downsize to a #6 or #8 baitholder hook and drop them down with a small piece of split shot. Nose hook them, don’t hook them in the back and they’ll live fine. Those wild minnows also play dead on the hook so that could be part of it as well.

Re: Spottail Shiners and Inland Silversides as bait? [Re: Mckinneycrappiecatcher] #13943789 04/01/21 01:21 PM
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Thank you for the input Mckinneycrappiecatcher! It's funny that you said #6 or #8 because those are exactly what I had in my pack with me, just in a thin wire aberdeen. It just got too dark to give them a shot before I had to go home. I'll be trying to get ahold of some more of them to try out tonight at the same spot. I'm thinking that I may try some of those large silversides too on the same hooks. I've caught maybe 3 fish on live minnows in my life so this is a bit new to me, I'll keep y'all updated as I progress.

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