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You should just experiment with different things, you aren't going to get anywhere directly asking for what kind of baits to use, especially at a paylake. I am not trying to sound like an @$$, but thought you might try another tactic.
 

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take a float rig, drop it down until you reach the bottom and then pull it up a foot or two, fish with a crawler, move it around until you find fish, past that stick with bluegills.
I dont think bait matters that much...some guys swear one thing works better than another in paylakes, I have caught them on just about everything. swimbaits work really well if there are any rocks around btw
 

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if there are indeed "fat cats" in this pay lake then use some large live bait, especially if you want to catch a monster shovelhead. 6" to 8" goldfish, 8" creek chubs, blugill(i think its illegal but nothing beats a lively gill). ive done a ton of shovelhead fishing over the years and honestly the best rigs to use are heavy braided line with a 1oz slip sinker tied above a barrel swivel then tie on about 20" of heavy mono as a leader with a 4/0 hook. think of it like a heavy duty carolina rig. it allows the bait to swim somewhat freely. as far as gear goes, get a decent baitcaster with a bait clicker on it, a heavy action 7' rod (despite what you see and people tell you, you dont need one of those ocean style broomstick rods). tie on one of those huge creek chubs or one of your pet gold fish and hold on! if your wanting to catch blues or channels then take those same creek chubs or bluegills and cut them up. or try the always trustee but expensive, shrimp. also chicken liver never fails to deliver tons of bites.
 

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It's Fishing not catching
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I use to fish fat cats paylake pretty heavily about a year ago. The baits I perfer is live bluegill, goldfish, if you are fishing bottom I use shad. The owner used to tell me what people catch the cats on and honestly a lot of people were catching the big ones on nightcrawlers. I havent fished it in a year now, but just fish the lake see what the fish are bitting on. You really dont know what they are bitting on if you dont go fish. It is a very good pay lake and the owner is a nice guy. Good luck.
 

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Flathead Fanatic
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if there are indeed "fat cats" in this pay lake then use some large live bait, especially if you want to catch a monster shovelhead. 6" to 8" goldfish, 8" creek chubs, blugill(i think its illegal but nothing beats a lively gill). ive done a ton of shovelhead fishing over the years and honestly the best rigs to use are heavy braided line with a 1oz slip sinker tied above a barrel swivel then tie on about 20" of heavy mono as a leader with a 4/0 hook. think of it like a heavy duty carolina rig. it allows the bait to swim somewhat freely. as far as gear goes, get a decent baitcaster with a bait clicker on it, a heavy action 7' rod (despite what you see and people tell you, you dont need one of those ocean style broomstick rods). tie on one of those huge creek chubs or one of your pet gold fish and hold on! if your wanting to catch blues or channels then take those same creek chubs or bluegills and cut them up. or try the always trustee but expensive, shrimp. also chicken liver never fails to deliver tons of bites.
Just an FYI on the legality of using Bluegill for bait. It's perfectly legal. You can use ANY fish (gamefish even) you catch on rod n' reel for bait as long as they're of legal length and you're not transporting them from one water to another.
 

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I have a customer who fishes Fat Cats all the time he loves the place. Bait wise he just uses bluegill/shad and he has told me that floating the bait about 3-4 foot from the bottom is the ticket.
 

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about the crawlers, after working at some pay lakes back in the day. crawlers take more big fish than any live bait. big gills and whatever else you use will catch tons of small 5-25lb flatheads. but the really big ones like small little nibbles in paylakes, its not a natural situation so dont treat it as such.
but my favorite part is they take alot less effort to carry and keep alive
 
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