Catching Summer Baitfish
Good bait is the key to catching big summer stripers.
Where I live in Tennessee we are blessed with an abundant baitfish population. Throughout most of the season, it’s easy to catch enough gizzard or threadfin shad for a full day’s fishing in very short order using a cast net.
In the hot summer, a lack of moving water and oxygen will cause shad to move from their typical shallow-water locations to cooler, deeper areas near the mouth of the creek, often 8 to 12 feet down over as much as 50 feet of water. That makes finding fish to net much, much more difficult, so I rely on my electronics to locate balls of bait. If you find one shad, you generally find a bunch of them so itwon’t take long to collect your bait.
Because the fish are located deeper, I like to throw the biggest, heaviest net Ican handle.I do not use my big motor to search as I believe it spooks the fish. The trolling motor is a better option.
I use Fitec cast nets, particularly the model 15063 8-foot and 15065 10-foot nets.I like the 5/8-inch clear mono netting as it allows the troublesome new hatch to escape while catching the larger shad you want for bait.