There are anglers everywhere on a constant quest to find the best bait for blue catfish and looking for some sort of “workaround” to finding and catching shad.
It’s an attempt to take the “easy way out” for some. For others it’s just not wanting to put the time and effort in.
There’s no easy way out and there is no “workaround”.
Then there’s the hunt for blue catfish.
Whether you’re a trophy blue catfish hunter looking for the next world record blue catfish or you just want to catch a mess of smaller blue cats for some fast paced action on your next day of fishing.
Knowing how to find and catch shad is essential to catching blue catfish.
In the most simple form it’s the key to not only having fresh bait for blue catfish but also the key to how to find blue catfish in it’s most simple form.
Regardless of anything you have seen or heard the best bait for blue catfish in most situations is the primary forage fish in the body of water you are fishing.
That’s almost always going to be either threadfin shad, gizzard shad or skipjack herring.
Having fresh bait is essential to catching blue catfish plain and simple.
Catching shad is not that difficult as long as you understand these bait fish, their habits and what moves them. Once you understand the basics, finding and catching shad and fishing with them it’s a pretty simple process that anyone can follow.
How To Find Blue Catfish The Simple Way
This is the simplest way to go about finding and catching blue catfish.
Find The Bait, You Find The Fish.
I tell people all the time, find the bait, you find the fish. It really is that simple and this is without a doubt the the simple way to find blue catfish.
Finding and catching blue catfish is as simple as locating the masses of shad. Once you do this, you’re able to narrow down specific areas to look for fish and blue catfish are always going to be located where the food is, or at least close to it.
Blue catfish fishing continues to increase in popularity because you have the opportunity to catch excellent numbers of fish but the chances of a trophy class fish exist in most waters that blue catfish live in.
Monster blue catfish in the 100+ pound range are popping up all over the country and getting more and more common.
I get scores of emails, Facebook messages and Tweets each and every week from people looking for more information on locating and catching monster blue catfish. How to find blue catfish is all they want to know.They want to know how to find these fish more effectively, the best bait for blue catfish and every single piece of information they can gather on these fish because blue cat fever is sweeping the country.
That one phrase gets repeated time and time again, it’s short, simple, and to the point.
Find The Bait, You Find The Fish
Blue Catfish Are A Lot Like Teenage Boys
Blue catfish are a lot like a teenage boy. You take any red blooded American teenage boy and put him in a room with pizza and girls and he’s going to be right next to one of the two.
Blue Catfish Are a LOT Like Teenage Boys –> Tweet It
Blue catfish are the same way but rather than pizza and girls it’s threadfin shad, gizzard shad and skipjack herring.
Blue cats are eating machines. It’s typical to catch them of all sizes stuffed with threadfin shad, gizzard shad and other bait fish.
When I say stuffed I mean really stuffed. When presented with the right opportunity they’ll eat so many shad their stomachs look like they’ll explode.
It is not uncommon for them to have shad or large fish hanging out of their throats. It is also a fairly common occurrence for them to throw up a mess of partially digested shad when landing them because they are so stuffed.
Find the bait and you find the fish pretty much sums it up.
If you can find the primary baitfish the blue cat eats in the body of water you are fishing, you are going to be able to find fish. You’ll not only have fresh shad for catfish bait but you’ll be on the path to success locating and catching blue cats as well.
Blue Catfish Are Predictable (Shad Are Also)
The fish to target in many instances are going to be near baitfish. Don’t get me wrong there are always exceptions, but the quickest path to locating and catching blue catfish is to start looking for bait fish. If you’ll learn how to do this then you’ve won half the battle. There are certainly times where targeting blue cats away from bait fish will produce but locating blue catfish in it’s simplest form boils down to find the bait, you find the fish.
To Be A Blue Catfish Expert, You Need To Be A Bait Expert
The fastest path to learning to locate and catch blue catfish is to become a super-duper-ninja at locating bait. Learning to pattern shad is the simplest approach to learn how to find blue catfish.
Wanna catch Blue Catfish? Become a shad ninja –> Tweet It
Not only does learning to pattern bait make your fishing easier because you have the bait you need to fish, but you can really shorten your learning curve patterning the fish and getting in the right areas to catch them.
I’m not saying that catching blue catfish is as simple as finding shad and all of the sudden you’ll be pulling hundreds of fish in the boat.
I am saying that learning to pattern and locate the baitfish will have a bigger impact on you putting blue cat on the end of your line that ANY other thing you can learn.
Once you learn what the bait fish are going to do, then you narrow your search to those areas and finding the fish you want to catch becomes a whole lot easier!
If you introduce sonar into the mix you have a deadly combination for catching fish.
Shad Are Predictable
Shad are even more predictable than the fish that eat them.
They respond to environmental triggers that move them around. Learning what makes them “tick” makes them easy to find and makes catching shad simple.
If you’re here because you want to catch blue catfish you need to remember, find the bait, you find the fish and learn everything you can about locating (and catching) bait fish.
If you’re obsessing over gear, finding the best catfish rods, reels or tackle, spending hours on end searching for that magic bullet catfish bait or otherwise wasting time on nonsense that’s not going to help you find and catch more catfish…..
If you want to obsess over something when it comes to finding and catching blue catfish then obsess over learning every single thing you can about shad and studying topographic maps and learning more about blue catfish behavior (or your chosen species of catfish).
Find the bait, you find the fish.
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Want More On Catching Shad?
If you want to put yourself on the fast track to learning how to locate and catch shad then check out our Catching Shad book.
Catching Shad covers everything you need to know to be successful finding and catching shad from choosing the right cast net to locating and catching shad all year long.
Rather than wasting your time learning through trial and error you can learn from my career of over fifteen years as a professional catfish guide and learn everything you need to know in a simple, easy to follow format.
You can find the catching shad book here as well as our other products to help you catch more and bigger catfish.