Cut bait techniques- basics for stripers

I need some help please.
What are some of the basics for using cut bait when your herring die? Do you have to be anchored and perfectly still?
What portion of the fish do you use?
Can it be suspended (downrod or float) or must it be on the bottom?
Can you freeze the herring and use them at a later time?
Are some conditions better than others for fishing cut bait? (i.e. temperature, wind, night or day, etc.)

Saturday’s deep freeze killed my bait overnight so I attempted to fish cut bait Sunday. Didn’t really know what I was doing but tried anyhow since I had 2 dozen herring available. Froze 'em just in case…

I would appreciate any pointers you can give me.

I don’t know much about it. But i do know water usually hits the 60’s before people start doing it. Anchored is best because is not you are leaving or not fishing your chum circle if you are leaving. From what i have read and researched, once a bait is frozen you lose its cut bait quality. Fresh cut bait bleeds and puts more “scent” in the water. Once frozen bait does not. Couple yrs back there was a huge article in south carolina sportsman about cut baiting for stripers, probably worth your time looking for it.

As far as when, where, etc someone else will have to help, but good cut bait holes most people will keep quiet. Most will say close to deep water but still shallow and nice to have some structure close by. Alot of midlake humps are great places to start. Wild hair tx last yr was won by cut baiting in the big pool…

21’ Hewes Craft Custom
115 Evinrude

Murrymaker, thanks a bunch. I appreciate you digging up that old article for me. It was really informative and answered most of my questions.
Looks like I need to get another anchor to positon the boat correctly.

Wild Hare won by cutbait in the lower pool, why yes it was. :slight_smile: I’ve got a lot going on right now but will try to find time to respond in the next few days.

I have found that the stiller the boat the more you can detect strikes.I ether use 2 anchors or run the bow of the boat up on the bank and trimdown mtr. I have fished 4 rods with dead bait out of the tank and cutup on one side of the boat and 4 rods baited with fresh,live bait cutup on the otherside of the boat and the fresh bait outfished the other 10 to 1. When I cut bait fish I use the head and belly portion and throw the rest as chum. I have used bream,pearch,herring,gizard,treadfin,mullet and shrimp and caught fish on all.
I have found if you dont get a bite in 20 min, reel in and change baits. I all ways cut the leader lenght down from live bait fishing, I think you catch more fish on 12". I like shallow water with deep water near by and place baits at all depths. I use rod holders that have 2 positions, nearly flat for live baits and 30 deg. for cut bait, I realy think it makes a big differance!

If you really want to learn about cut bait fishing, talk to Warren Turner.

Bob Van Gundy
Marine Designs,Inc.
Custom Aluminum Fabrication

Boatpoor- Thanks for the additional advice. I especially liked the results of your fresh versus dead experiment and the angle of the rod holder tip.
Bob- I’m not familiar with Warren Turner. How does one get ahold of him?

I thought he was a member of MSC, although I could be mistaken. I had the pleasure of fishing with him (once) a few years ago when the club had a “Captain & riders” tourny on Clarks Hill. He also gave a lecture on cutbait fishing at one of the meetings. I don’t know how to cotact him, but maybe someone else will chime in & help.

Bob Van Gundy
Marine Designs,Inc.
Custom Aluminum Fabrication

Was president of StriperKings club in Greenville

Here ya go.

Bob Van Gundy
Marine Designs,Inc.
Custom Aluminum Fabrication

Thanks H.B. I already check out SK’s Striperboard pretty regular…I had just never heard Warren Turner’s name before.
After re-reading it, the main guy in the SC Sportsman article Murrymaker posted IS Warren Turner. Guess he is THE MAN when it comes to cut bait!

Hey guys! My contact information is 864-915-5348 and I am a member of MSC. And if asked would be glad to do another presentation on cutbait fishing.


Warren Turner
President, SBCC

Thanks Warren, that’s a mighty nice offer of you. If you are asked, I hope I can attend. It’s pretty difficult to get to Lexington midweek with my work schedule- I’m up in Cavins (Spartanburg).
I really enjoyed that article from 2008, have you revised anything since then or like to add any tidbits to this string? By the way that’s a sweet Striper in the article…how big?

Warren I’ve always wanted to know the ins and the outs of cut baiting all thow I’ve learned a good deal of info from Shawn of team shap up & fish but would like to see how you do it is any different from the way I learned so there for I think we need to have a presentation on cut baiting at one of the meeting

Team Overtime

Pioneer 197 yamaha 150 fourstroke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Daniel   Powell -Tight Lines

2 anchors, bow in the wind, dead frozen herring are soft and will not stay on hook well. I use a variety of cut bait. Mostly I cut heads and tails and use the body. Sometime I just cut heads off, sometimes just tail. Cut baiting on Murray isn’t what it used to be 4 or 5 years ago. I remember the days anchored up and being surrounded by folks pulling and down rodding. I would be catching 8 and 10lb fish every 20 or 30 minutes while the boats around me didn’t catch anything. July 4th abkout 5 years ago I had 4 fish right at 20lbs in the boat by 8:30. Hopefully someday the cut bait bite will come back strong. I think there are fewer stripers and so much bait available that the stripers don’t have to scavage for food any more.

Live bait on the bottom hooked through the tail so the bait flutters is also very effective. Winter time has always been a great time to cut bait. I will cut bait as shallow as a couple feet during winter time. A lot of striper king guys will slide the boat on the shoreline without anchoring and cut bait behind the boat.

Bryan, Thanks for the additional details.
Do you use circle hooks and do you always hook in an end or do you ever hook right in the middle?

I do not use circle hooks. I want fish hooked deep if I am fishing a tournament. Hard to explain how I hook cut bait. Down the belly of a herring or shad there is a very tough part. Kinda like a breast bone. I hook in and out through that. The rest of the bait is soft and hooks come out of easily. Especially the warm water soft Murray herring.

Thanks Bryan. Next time I cut a herring up I’ll take a look for that tough part- never noticed it before.