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USFishing

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Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #1 
I have fished my whole life and have caught a ton of whitebait and pinfish but I dont think I have ever caught menhaden in my net. I normally chum over grass flats to catch my bait. Are there certain methods to catching menhaden? I havent had any luck and would like to try to fish with menhaden. If you have any advice that would be great. Thanks
Action_Craft1802

Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 217
Reply with quote  #2 
Typlically Shad / Pogies / Menhaden are found in deeper water and near structure like bridges and passes.

You'll need a fast sinking net, 5/8 mesh works great, they don't respond to chumming.

You can also find them on deeper flats ,more than 5 feet deep. You won't see them but you'll hear em. Listen for a little flipping noise from their tails on the surface, it's a distinct sound that is somewhat faint but noticeable.

Once caught they can be a little tough to keep alive, don't overload the well and make sure the well has a strong flow or water.

They are Kingfish candy , and Crack for Tarpon to name a few.
maritime

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 167
Reply with quote  #3 
Go to deep water structure...marker etc..............these are about 30ft deep..skyway markers or the like armed with a 10-12foot thread net.......

if you have a bottom machine it helps if they are deep........you can see them balled up on the bottom.

Or they are visible flashing at the surface and flipping out of the water at times.......birds give them away too............

If you see any of the above scenarios ----Bust their A##S's............let it sink all the way or close to it......dont get hung up on the structure or bottom....sometimes they can hang real close to the structure......be careful with tides and structure......it can take the net and boat right into it in a heartbeat.

You can sabiki them as well which is almost as good and fun...just not the quantity as quick.

Threads or Menhaden as you call them are not very hardy so handle them carefully and keep the live well on em at all times..........you will still have some that die......I cut them up and chum with the dead ones.
Good luck.
CaptTommyZ

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Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 2,365
Reply with quote  #4 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maritime

Threads or Menhaden as you call them 

Threadfin and Menhaden are NOT the same thing! Not even closely related.

Threadfin:

Shad or Menhaden:


Kenny (Action Craft1802) has it 'bout right on catchin 'em. Most really productive shadding spots are kept close to the vest and probably will not be posted on a public forum.



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Capt. Tommy Z.
Dream Catcher Charters
Key West, FL
maritime

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 167
Reply with quote  #5 
Sorry for the confusion...........assumed he was speaking about threadfins.........I was thinking a lot of people used the two interchangeably even though it is not correct.
Tarpon70

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Registered: 05/12/10
Posts: 1,719
Reply with quote  #6 
The good news is that menhaden (e.g. shad) work as dead bait, particularly for tarpon.  The only place I know that has them is Mastry's in St. Pete.  If anyone is interested, I know someone who catches them regularly, and I can likely get you hooked up with Dave who will sell them (freshly caught and iced) to you directly, IIRC.

p.s. Tommy is right, people are very guarded with their mehnaden spots.  Although we occasionally catch them under the lights at the Gandy and CCC bridges after dark when netting whitebait (but not with enough regularity to target).

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USFishing

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Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #7 
Guys I truly appreciate all the information. I have a buddy of mine showing me pictures every other day of the baby tarpon he has been catching off cut menhaden and he refuses to give me any insight on how or where to catch the bait. They refuse to eat anything but that bait. I am heading out Friday and Saturday in search for the bait. If I cant find any I might be giving you a call Tarpon70 for your buddy who catches and sells it. Again Thanks
Tarpon70

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Registered: 05/12/10
Posts: 1,719
Reply with quote  #8 
Here's another interesting menhaden fact...

If you do ever catch a live one, look inside its mouth.  Many/most of them have a very bizarre creature (copepod?) that lives in their mouth -- it looks like miniature Alien from the movie.  Weird.


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OriginalCaptFred

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Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 598
Reply with quote  #9 
Those are aliens, and they force the menhaden to seek out dirty nutrient rich water. Nutrients=urban runoff. 
They also send out brain wave signals that confuse pelicans, so the pelicans have to dive from way way up in the air.
CaptTommyZ

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Registered: 12/08/05
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Reply with quote  #10 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalCaptFred
Those are aliens, and they force the menhaden to seek out dirty nutrient rich water. Nutrients=urban runoff. 
They also send out brain wave signals that confuse pelicans, so the pelicans have to dive from way way up in the air.

Pay attention to OCF's sillyness!!! Good stuff right there!


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Capt. Tommy Z.
Dream Catcher Charters
Key West, FL
russ

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 456
Reply with quote  #11 

Caught a bunch of large ones tuesday on a flat where I was chumming for scaled dines.  I have about three places in the Bradenton area where we catch them. Always pay attention for the sounds Action Craft  mentions. I first thought they were small ladyfish or small trout hitting the bait I was chumming but it was large shad popping on top. Guess its just something you have to stumble on for yourself!


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Kokosing_Lover

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 299
Reply with quote  #12 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpon70
Here's another interesting menhaden fact...

If you do ever catch a live one, look inside its mouth.  Many/most of them have a very bizarre creature (copepod?) that lives in their mouth -- it looks like miniature Alien from the movie.  Weird.


The parasites are isopods.  And if you ever net a whole bunch of menhaden and have them flopping around your legs, chances are a couple of the isopods will come loose and try to latch onto the closest thing available.  This includes your feet, legs and fingers and they hurt like crazy.  Don't worry though, they're only attaching via their front legs and there are no eggs or toxins involved with the whole process.
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