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Phishn_Phool

Are shiners a taboo subject???

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I just moved to the Harris chain in Florida.  Are we allowed to talk about shiner fishing here?  I have never done it and was wondering if anyone has ever caught any fish this way and would be willing to admit it "S"  Tell me how, when and where if you can talk about it.  I have never fished live bait, but I am told that is how to get the bigguns ;D

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Hey Phishn_Phool,

I'm not too proud to admit it.  I cut my bass fishin teeth using live bait.  Actually, I caught the bait and Grandad caught the biggins, fond, fond memories, my man!!  The method we used then is the same as  I'm learning to use now with artificial baits, except the shinners take the work out of it.  I've since seen fishing shows in which live shiners were used, I think it was Roland Martin.  Bottom line is, if the bass are feeding on baitfish there's no better substitute than a real baitfish and a kid can have as much fun cathing the bait as you can catching the biggin.

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Oh boy, wait until RoadWarrior sees this post!  He is a BIG live Shiner fisherman.  He swears by them.  He also has alot of experience and can probaby give you some very good tips.  

I have no doubt he'll have somethings to say ;D ;D

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I dont think it should be a taboo subject at all. Personally I dont think its as fun as using artificial baits, but sometimes thats all that will work.

In the past I have made mistakes with the size shiners I have used. I found that I was shortchanging myself by getting 3-4 inch shiners. Well, I was schooled one time by a veteran Bass fisherman who told me(please correct me if this is wrong) that bass are lazy and opportunistic. They have a mindset to get the biggest meal they can while expending the least of amount of energy.   So that means to get the biggest bait you can. A big one will bite.

I also saw that Roland Martin show. He was using shiners that were about 8-10 inches. In that same show he stated he started out shiner fishing...and has no problem going back to them.

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Well, I was schooled one time by a veteran Bass fisherman who told me(please correct me if this is wrong) that bass are lazy and opportunistic. They have a mindset to get the biggest meal they can while expending the least of amount of energy.

It's not just bass, it's all (or most) animals. They won't expend more energy chasing prey than the energy they'd receive from said prey.

I don't care for the word "lazy" when applied to animals. Laziness is a human trait; animals are pretty much hard-wired to behave in the ways that they do, even though it appears to be lazy superficially.

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I fished with wild shinners for years then I found out how much they where a dozen and learned to cast net them. I think in the 80's we where paying $10 a dozen I think now they are up to $14 or $15 a dozen. We fished them with a flipping stick spooled with 30lb test line and a egg shaped cork bobber. Unless we where just sitting on one spot most of the time we trolled it behind the boat while we flipped a tube or worm in the weeds. The cork we used worked great because it didn't have a bobber stop in it. Instead it had a thread that you put the line through then you pulled the thread that pulled the line in one side of it and out the other side of the cork.(thats the best I can explain it) The line was snug in the bobber but if it got stuck in the weeds because of a fish grabbing the bait the line would still pull through it and not get the bobber hung up.

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Well, if you like catching big fish and lots of 'em, you'll probably find fishing a shiner works pretty well. I can't be much help with the techniques you guys use in Florida, but Chris covered that already. I don't actually fish shiners in Tennessee or Arkansas for largemouth bass, but I use them almost exclusively on the Tennessee River targeting smallmouth.

So, here's how we do it, maybe this helps:

First of all, we drift the river approximately fifty yards out or far enough to cast to the bank or within five yards or so. We buy the biggest bait we can find, 3-5 inches minnows. Hook 'em up on a Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hook #6. Attach a split shot #4 or #5 or as small as you can get away with, about two feet above the hook.  Light line is important for the bite, at least around here, so I'm spooling up 4 & 6 lb test Yo-Zuri Hybrid. We use spinning tackle with a GREAT drag system.  

We drift parallel to the bank and cast at a 90 degree angle, straigth towards the bank. As we drift we try to click the bottom and fish at no more than a 45 degree angle to the shore, NEVER down stream.

Big fish are on or around structure and ALWAYS in current. We try to fish deeper water, 5-20+ feet. Hope this helps.

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RW  That should really help thanks.. 2 questions though 1.  How do you hook the shiner lips..D-fin or tail  and do you set the hook imediately(sp) or let the run for a second???? thanks again ;D

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I have read many articles about fishing shiners in your neck of the woods, and I think most guys hook 'em underneath and near the tail so they can swim freely. That doesn't work in river current, they drown. I fish them hooked upward from the lower jaw through the nose, they have to be lively and this doesn't kill them. I use a circle hook, so the fish sets the hook, 95% of the time right in the jaw. You NEVER set the hook with a circle. Again, I don't know if this will work for you.

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Good post and question. I'll be honest, for years I considered myself a purist and stayed away from live bait of any kind. I may have even looked down upon guys who did fish live bait. I went on a shiner trip in E Toho years back and there was just something about the way that frantic shiner burst out of the water seconds before a slob largemouth rolled on it.

Nowaday's I have a different mindset. Look at guys like Doug Hannon who made a lving catching Florida hogs on shiners, the guys in California using live craws to catch giant bass...Bob Crupi comes to mind. I've read a ton and I write a ton, there are very few artificial anglers who are recognized as true trophy hunters. The late Bill Murphy comes to mind, maybe a couple of the California guys who have been around a while. Realistically though, those live bait guys have garnered much more attention. It is definately a skill to consistently catch big bass on live bait and do not think otherwise.

I'm moving to Florida in a few months and I'm sure I will at least try live shiners as bait.

My new smallmouth hero is none other than our own RoadWarrior!! He fishes a little with the live shiners as well.

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Honestly, I've been serious bass fishing for 10-15 years. And I've only used shiners once.

In fact, my fishing partner was casting a plastic worm while I was fishing the shiner and caught more fish than I did.  ;D

And I kept throwing that dang shiner off the hook. Eventually I realized I had to slow down my cast.

By the end of the fishing trip, I decided I was done with shiners. Especially at $15 per dozen.

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I don't use shiners either but I can't believe the prices I've been seeing 12 to 15 dollars a dozen.  Wow!  I live in MA and shiners are $3.50 a dozen here.  I'll have to send you guys some!

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Redtail...I'll take that offer LOL.  No really I would not even consider shiners if my eyesight was not failing and I had to pay that much for shiners.  I can get them with a little oatmeal and a throw net right off my dock.  I have been a purist artificial fisherman since I was 12 fishing for bullheads up in central Illinois.  I am soon going to try this shiner stuff though.  Thanks for all the help.  If anyone is coming the way and wants to try it let me know..I have a nice boat and live right on Lake Harris where the biggest BASS bas has come out of this year  11.3LBS

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I may go into the shiner business.

Here they cost 4 bucks for fifty, 7 bucks for 100.

Goldfish run 7 bucks a pound.

Hook em thru the front part of the eye sockets, will stay alive a long time compared to other methods and if in current that or lip hooking is a must.  Tailhooking or back hooking makes em struggle a lot for a little while, then they tire out and hang still. Front end hooking they calmly swim around in circles if on a yoyo and swim where they can go if on a float.

For bass ill use a good sized float and the shiner or goldfish 12 inches or so deep. Gently pitch the rig up next to cover and let the bait swim into areas you could never cast directly such as under docks, under parked boats, inside hollow logs, etc..

be prepared for anything. gar, bowfin, jackfish, catfish, crappie, bass, etc... anything may nail a fat juicy shiner or goldfish.

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If anyone is coming the way and wants to try it let me know..I have a nice boat and live right on Lake Harris where the biggest BASS bas has come out of this year 11.3LBS

One of these days, I might take you up on that. It's nearly certain that my club will vote for that lake sometime this year and I'll have to get up there and practice. If we do, I'll be looking for ya.

BTW - did you catch that 11 lber or was it caught in a recent tourney?

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Shiners cost so much because you realistically have the chance to catcha tremendous fish on any cast. If you spend 100.00 on baits and take a 12lb bass.....isn't it worth it then?

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At 7 bucks per 100, potentially 100 12 lb bass, versus the cost on only ONE fancy new diving crankbait that may end up lost or hungup deep.

Hmmm, I like those odds.

BTW, Ive used shiners and goldfish all my life, even now have a few dozen yoyo's out im fixing to go run and never, i mean never ever never, have i gotten a bass over about four lbs on a yoyo and maybe five using a rod w/ live bait. Lots of small fish but not many big ones.  Fine by me anyway, bass over about six lbs taste funny so they get released anyhow so you folks can hang em on yer wall.  ;D

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G=Dog...I did not catch the 11LBer. it was caught by a young man from Chicago fishing the back of the boat in the recent BASS tourny they had here/  I have caught 2 about 6LBs since I moved in about 6 weeks ago.  Honestly I don't weigh till they get closed to 10(I HOPE) LOL ;D

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I don't think it should be a taboo subject.I don't use them personally.It's from an obsession for artificial baits though,not an objection to the use of live bait.

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Shiners work, as do suckers and creek chubs. The most likely way of catching a trophy bass on most days.

I rarely fish with them for bass, but I do know they work. I just get bored too easily trying to sit there with live bait. Nothing wrong with doing it though! (I guess it's no different than sitting on a hump with a jigging spoon for smallies all day)

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Guest the_mud_man

Not only are shiners not taboo,i'll go you one better.Every couple of months I leave the tackle box home  and get on the lake with just one rod couple of bobbers some 1# hooks and a couple dozen night crawlers. I pinch the barbs so I don't gut hook them and just spend the time drowin worms.It's a good way spendin time doin nothing

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Let me also add that if you are going to use a shinner make sure to use a WILD SHINNER. There is a big difference! A domestic shinner which looks silver in color does not act the same way around a bass that a golden wild shinner does. A domestic has never grown up in an enviroment where everything wants to eat it so it almost acts dumb around bass. A wild shinner knows he is on the low end of the food chain runs for its life around a bass. You will always catch more bass on wild shinners than domestic.

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as you see, even purist artificial fishermen talk of tryin shiners.

I enjoy a good day of sitting back and tossing out a bobber. There have also been times I haven't caught a lick all day. then again, there are other times I have caught quite a few. especially back in the drinkin days, I couldn't set down my cold one for the hook set of another one.

now a days, I enjoy fishin plastics, and when I go out with my dad or friends who aren't as serious, I will buy a dozen or two shiners. but like someone was sayin earlier, u can be serious at fishin and do great with 'em as well.

and chris, thats important info that I didn't know about, but now unfortunately, u force me to try to catch shiners!  instead of buyin em...  lol

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