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#2786924 - 02/21/12 06:44 PM
Sheephead cut bait?
Catfish46 Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 02/20/12
Posts: 9
Loc: Rochester, MN
Well I just signed up here so excuse me if this is a dumb questiongrin
So I mainly fish lake zumbro and as you guys probably well know the sheepshead have been biting like crazy. I was just thinking that if they are in there, that catfish probably eat them. Up till this point the only cuts I have used are sucker and I havn't had too much luck. Hopefully sheepshead will work better because they are so much more common.
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#2786936 - 02/21/12 06:50 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Catfish46]
smeese Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 1135
Loc: Mankato MN
Illegal

I support stocking "MORE" Muskies in Tetonka smile

Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once. –Lee Wulff

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#2786952 - 02/21/12 07:08 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: smeese]
RiverFish Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 1396
Loc: Central, WI
Where in the regs does it prohibit someone from catching a drum (rough fish) and using the drum in the same body of water as cut bait?

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
Henry David Thoreau
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#2786962 - 02/21/12 07:15 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: RiverFish]
mrklean Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 9799
Loc: Plymouth MN
i thought carp was the only rough fish you couldnt use as cut?

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#2786968 - 02/21/12 07:21 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Catfish46]
Catfish46 Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 02/20/12
Posts: 9
Loc: Rochester, MN
Thanks for the quick reply. That was my main fear but in other posts I saw guys mentioning using it. Guess this wont be an idea to try.
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#2786971 - 02/21/12 07:25 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Catfish46]
RiverFish Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 1396
Loc: Central, WI
Originally Posted By: Catfish46
Thanks for the quick reply. That was my main fear but in other posts I saw guys mentioning using it. Guess this wont be an idea to try.


I think you could try it if you were using the drum in Lake Zumbro. Hopefully others will chime in. Your best bet is to email the MN DNR, they will usually contact you within a day or two. Then you will have an absolute answer.

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
Henry David Thoreau
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#2786974 - 02/21/12 07:27 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Catfish46]
DTro Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 18699
Loc: South of the River
Well, here's the thing. It depends where you catch them. Last I checked you can still catch them and use the for bait on the MN, but on the Miss? I don't think you can.

I could be wrong though. It's pretty bad that I try to stay up on the latest and I don't even know myself.

We are in the process of having the wording changed to allow catching roughfish and using them in the same body of water you caught them from (whether Classified as infested or not).
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#2786978 - 02/21/12 07:29 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: RiverFish]
Catfish46 Offline
Hello I'm New

Registered: 02/20/12
Posts: 9
Loc: Rochester, MN
Well I just looked it up in the regs and I found out that only carp/goldfish/gamefish are illegal to use as bait.
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#2786984 - 02/21/12 07:39 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Catfish46]
DTro Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 18699
Loc: South of the River
• Taking of wild animals for bait from designated infested waters (see pages
16-17) is unlawful, except for minnows and leeches taken for personal use
from waters infested SOLEY with Eurasian watermilfoil. At these waters,
harvested bait may ONLY be used at the water where taken and may only be
taken using a cylindrical trap not exceeding 16" in diameter and 32" long.
Taking of bait from other infested waters and using them is unlawful.
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#2786986 - 02/21/12 07:40 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Catfish46]
Gordie Offline

HotSpotOutdoors Staff Development Administrator

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 12358
Loc: Zimmerman Minn
Catfish46 first off welcome to the HSO family a lot of great guys with slot of knowledge in these forums no question to dumb when it comes to finding out how to catch fish .

It is my understanding that you can use sheep head for bait either cut or whole .
The law reads .Using Whole or parts of game fish,Goldfish or carp for bait is unlawful.


Edited by Gordie (02/21/12 07:40 PM)
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#2786988 - 02/21/12 07:43 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Gordie]
Gordie Offline

HotSpotOutdoors Staff Development Administrator

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 12358
Loc: Zimmerman Minn
Thanks Dtro that was my next post
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#2786995 - 02/21/12 07:48 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: DTro]
RiverFish Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 1396
Loc: Central, WI
Originally Posted By: DTro
• Taking of wild animals for bait from designated infested waters (see pages
16-17) is unlawful, except for minnows and leeches taken for personal use
from waters infested SOLEY with Eurasian watermilfoil. At these waters,
harvested bait may ONLY be used at the water where taken and may only be
taken using a cylindrical trap not exceeding 16" in diameter and 32" long.
Taking of bait from other infested waters and using them is unlawful.


If I am reading this right, a person can not catch a drum on hook and line and use it as cut bait???? Bait must be taken using a clylindrical trap.
Please educate me.

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
Henry David Thoreau
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#2787000 - 02/21/12 07:53 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: RiverFish]
DTro Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 08/19/00
Posts: 18699
Loc: South of the River
You are correct. Plain and simple you cannot catch bait on any body of water that is infested (that is not solely infested with milfoil) and use that bait in the same body of water.

Now...

If you are on a body of water that is ONLY infested with milfoil, then you can use a cylindrical trap to catch your bait, but you MUST use that bait on that body of water, (cannot transport).


Yes, mega confusing. Like I said, several of us have been working to get this law changed. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.
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#2787269 - 02/22/12 07:59 AM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: DTro]
Shawn Kellett Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 10/31/06
Posts: 799
Loc: In the dungeon
Just a note on sheephead, they are one of the few species that are very susceptible to VHS so please, please, please don't transport them alive or dead. I know most here wouldn't knowingly break the law, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.

On another note, I TOTALLY want to try for some flats this summer. I'm open to trading a day muskie fishing for a flathead trip. I'll bring the home brew.

I support muskies in Lake Tetonka too. smile
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#2787465 - 02/22/12 11:30 AM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Catfish46]
SteveD Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/17/04
Posts: 1099
Loc: St Croix River
Originally Posted By: Catfish46
So I mainly fish lake zumbro and as you guys probably well know the sheepshead have been biting like crazy. I was just thinking that if they are in there, that catfish probably eat them. Up till this point the only cuts I have used are sucker and I havn't had too much luck. Hopefully sheepshead will work better because they are so much more common.


Unfortunately Lake Zumbro is infested with zebra mussels and that makes it illegal to harvest bait from. (See page 25, 2012 Minnesota Fishing Regulations)

The specific Minnesota Statute that makes the harvest of bait from infested waters illegal is 84D.03 INFESTED WATERS; RESTRICTED ACTIVITIES. Subdivision 3. Bait harvest from infested waters.(a) Taking wild animals from infested waters for bait or aquatic farm purposes is prohibited . . .

If you would like to read MN Statute 84D.03 here is the link:

MN Statute 84D.03 Infested Waters; Restricted Activities

As Dtro said, the Catfish Workgroup has been working with the DNR to change this statute to allow us to harvest bait from infested waters. Unfortunately the proposed changes being recommended apply to streams or rivers and would not make the harvest of bait from Lake Zumbro legal. The specific wording being considered reads like this:

Harvest of bullheads, goldeye, mooneye, sheepshead, suckers for bait from streams or rivers designated as infested waters is allowed by hook and line for noncommercial personal use provided: (1) It is used on the same body of water where caught and while still on that water body (2) and fish taken under this clause may not be transported live from / off the water body.

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#2787513 - 02/22/12 12:37 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Shawn Kellett]
SteveD Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/17/04
Posts: 1099
Loc: St Croix River
Originally Posted By: Shawn Kellett
Just a note on sheephead, they are one of the few species that are very susceptible to VHS so please, please, please don't transport them alive or dead. I know most here wouldn't knowingly break the law, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway.


Sheepshead are Classified as Under-utilized Fish or as Rough Fish. As such, they have a Continuous Open Season with No Limit on possession. It is perfectly legal to catch them all year round and keep them and to transport them home as long as they are dead. This includes even if you catch them on infested waters.

Doesn't it seem strange that you can catch a sheepshead or even a sucker on infested waters and it is legal to keep it in possession and to transport it home for consumption but that it not legal to catch one and cut it up for bait even if you do it on the same body of water where you caught it. There should be a responsibility to have a Review Panel for all these regulations and a majority of the panel should be made up of experienced catfish anglers to vet all these requirements. What is the use of protecting all of our 10,000 + lakes and rivers with all these Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) regulations if the end results makes fishing a prohibited activity. I guess we can just sit on the shore or in a boat and look at the water.

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#2787530 - 02/22/12 01:06 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: SteveD]
SteveD Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/17/04
Posts: 1099
Loc: St Croix River
I almost forgot - in response to your basic question. Sheepshead are an excellent bait both alive and cut. Your assumptions about it being a logical catfish bait because of it being readily availabe is a good one.

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#2787597 - 02/22/12 02:27 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: SteveD]
itchmesir Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 2553
Loc: winona, mn
So... Why exactly can't you use carp as cut bait? Seems to me making carp available as bait could help cull the herd of them we have everywhere

"Off the hook like bass and trout"



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#2788225 - 02/23/12 09:08 AM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: itchmesir]
Scott K Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 14985
Loc: Henderson, MN
Originally Posted By: ichmesir
So... Why exactly can't you use carp as cut bait? Seems to me making carp available as bait could help cull the herd of them we have everywhere


I have wondered the same thing. I came to the conclusion, there is no logical answer! Kinda like most of the regulations that are written. They seem like a good idea to the suits that write them, but make no sense to the rest of the people.
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#2788231 - 02/23/12 09:11 AM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: Scott K]
reinhard1 Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 11020
Loc: Mn. USA Andover
i was watching an episode of monster fish last night, and it was about the large wells catfish. it was interesting to me that they were using pieces of squid for bait. guess the cats like that over there even though they are cought in fresh water. i dont know if it's legal off hand but it would be worth a try if it is. good luck.

You Know You Have Gone Too Far When You Turn Your Fireplace Into A BBQ Pit.
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#2788325 - 02/23/12 10:58 AM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: reinhard1]
rough_rider Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 94
Loc: Twin Cities, MN
let's be real, we've all fished for much of our lives: fish will eat anything that is potentially food. Some things may have factors that work a little better than others but if its a food item and the fish can locate it, it's chomping on it.
Ex: bullheads trigger a territorial response; drums smell very fishy; minnows give off pheremones when in danger; shrimp mimics crayfish.
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#2788390 - 02/23/12 11:48 AM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: rough_rider]
pikestabber Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1085
Loc: Itasca County
Originally Posted By: rough_rider
let's be real...fish will eat anything that is potentially food.
Yes and no. A hot dog is potentially food, and while catfish will eat it, I don't think too many walleyes anglers are swapping out minnows and leaches anytime soon for a package of Ball Parks. Some baits work better than others and at certain times, only certain baits work, and many of these scenarios are species specific. Lots of variables. Using walleyes as an example again, there are times when fathead chubs are gobbled up like candy and times when they won't be touched in lieu of shiners. For cats, there are times cut-bait will own the night, and times it is left untouched in favor of liver, etc. There area a million more examples out there... When I use cut-bait, I firmly believe cut sucker (or what have you) from the same body of water it comes from is a better bait then fish brought in from other waters. Just my two cents, and we can agree to disagree, but I strongly feel that fish have a lot more discerning palettes than you are giving them credit for...

"Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish." ...Mark Twain
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#2788473 - 02/23/12 01:14 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: pikestabber]
TruthWalleyes Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 5418
Loc: Minnesota
When i fish the St. Croix and catch a sheephead, it goes into the livewell for catbait - Live steve D says...BTW steve, how do you catch them "bite size" sheephead like in your picture? And, i head of you guys using shad quite a big for sturgeon, how are you getting those?
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#2788516 - 02/23/12 02:13 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: pikestabber]
rough_rider Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 02/22/12
Posts: 94
Loc: Twin Cities, MN
i wholeheartedly agree that fish can be finicky (I've had my share of being skunked) but ur hotdog to walleye comparison isn't fair as the walleye is arguably a visual hunter whereas catfish can find a hotdog that is laying on the bottom. I bet if you tipped a jig with hotdog you could increase ur odds of landing a ballpark walleye. my point is just that wild animals have a split second to decide if they wanna eat this meal as one may not come for who knows when.
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#2788755 - 02/23/12 07:15 PM
Re: Sheephead cut bait? [Re: rough_rider]
DARK30 Offline

FishingMN Pro Staff

Registered: 01/22/01
Posts: 4646
Loc: Belle Plaine, MN..
Well now everybody knows about hotdogs and squid! Thanks alot cry

I've never done real great with cut sheepshead (or bullhead). I always liked chubs or wild sucker better...but then again, a hungry fish is a hungry fish (AND) If I'm throwing bait into the Minnesota River, I don't care where it comes from...its become ridiculous.

WET NETS! cast,cast,cast,cast,cast........
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