Texas Fishing Forum

Spottail Shiners and Inland Silversides as bait?

Posted By: Lonestar Angling

Spottail Shiners and Inland Silversides as bait? - 04/01/21 04:19 AM

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.
Posted By: Lonestar Angling

Re: Spottail Shiners and Inland Silversides as bait? - 04/27/21 03:31 AM

This thread never gained traction but: I have been using silversides and spottail shiners almost exclusively the last couple of weeks and they catch almost any species. I get bites on almost any size of either, but big ones get more bites. With the small ones you get more bites with 4-5 dead and slightly smashed on a larger hook. I have had trouble getting anything to bite live shad or bluegill or any type of cut bait but have caught probably 4-5 crappie and a couple dozen white bass, plus 4 legal hybrid striped bass on these tiny baitfish. Not to mention a few largemouths, an 8" bluegill, several drum from 6-18", and a handful of undersized channel and blue cats. I guess it makes a lot of sense in retrospect that the most plentiful baitfish where I'm fishing would make for a good bait once I learned how to fish it.
Posted By: spacejunkie

Re: Spottail Shiners and Inland Silversides as bait? - 04/27/21 02:13 PM

Use to catch them in a small trap and hook them in the lower lip. Missed a lot of bites but they stay alive longer. Used one of those gold long shanked crappie hooks.
Posted By: Lonestar Angling

Re: Spottail Shiners and Inland Silversides as bait? - 04/27/21 02:47 PM

Thanks for the reply spacejunkie! I will have to try hooking the silversides in the bottom lip seeing as I can't get them to stay alive on even very small hooks. The spottails tend to stay alive for me as long as I don't hook too far back through both lips. Lots of people around here have told me I won't be catching anything on the silversides, only to see me pull 3-4 white bass or a hybrid or two out before they can even get their boat fully secured to their trailer roflmao
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