NC Angler Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought one of the things that would make for good discussion was the various methods used in gathering or making bait for saltwater species. Chum recipies would make another good topic for later. Come on guys let's hear how you catch the little ones in order to catch the big ones. AL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
I'll start with catching menhaden for offshore slow trolling for kings. I would usually use an eight foot diameter 5/8 inch mesh cast net. Stand in bow or on front deck, when they are scarce you will have to chase them. I own and can throw a twelve footer but it gives me a hernia, so I stick with my eight footer. To locate, you can see them flipping on the surface, smell them, ( they give off a slightly sweet odor not fishy smelling at all) and the best way to locate is to watch pelicans diving-- proceed to where they are diving and look for them flipping at surface. Throw (a perfect circle with your cast net) ha ha, allow it to sink to bottom or be able to close with the rope fast enough to trap the fish. If you don't know how to throw a cast-- thats another story-- takes a lot of practice.

I can tell you all about this stuff, but all I ever had to do was to tie my boat up to Bubba's pound net, make one cast, (don't try this unless you know Bubba) throw them in my live bait well and head out the inlet and be catching kings while other fishermen would be chasing bait.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,131 Posts
Like Forrest, I often use a 5/8" mesh cast net for catching Menhaden to use as bait when King fishing. But sometimes they are not available or I run out or whatever. So I keep a light tackle rig on board and a sibiki rig or two in the tackle box and use them to jig up bait from the bottom.

A Sabiki rig has anywhere from 6-10 hooks, usually gold and spaced out on a three to six foot leader with a swivel at the top and a snap at the bottom to attach a pyramid weight. Usually wherever you are King fishing there will be some hard bottom or reefs nearby (or on the way), locate them with your GPS & fishfinder and then drop the sabiki rig straight down (a 3 ounce weight is best, if you go lighter your line will tangle). Once it hits the bottom just jig it up and down about a foot or so, pretty quick you will feel the fish on the end, reel it up and be prepared for mulitple fish at a time - cigar minnows, ribbonfish, greenies, etc. Often I can fill my bait well in about 10 minutes or less.

Some guys I know make their own but I prefer the Hayabusa brand Sabiki in either size 6 or 8 with a red or green bead above each hook and a dried fish skin sheath on the hook shank. I always have some aboard in case I need extra bait or can't find menhaden.

Tight lines,
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For inshore baits I use a clear mono cast net with 3/8" mesh. I prefer a 5' model for making long throws but a 6' or 7' model will work better for shorter throws. If you got to have just one I would suggest a 5'er. They are cheaper and handier if you need to make a long throw or a quick on target throw. Pinfish can be chummed up rather quickly using pretty much whatever you can find handy. Just make sure there are plenty in the area and take current into consideration. Mud minnows will respond well to a crushed crab (just step on him) whether you are trapping them or chumming them up to net. For finger mullet the 5' is tops day in day out. Finger mullet are very skittish and your throws need to be well timed and on target and are often long. For small menhaden a 6' or 7' net works best from the casting deck of a boat. Minnow traps work well with mud minnows. Just find an area that has plenty and bait the trap with a crushed crab. Cat food and a number of seafood items will work with cat food and fresh fish being the easiest and most commonly used. AL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,131 Posts
Al has a good point about finger mullet (Pop-Eye mullet) being skittish. So casting for them I try to use the terrain to my advantage - The shadow of the net coming toward them is usually the first thing they notice - they almost never will run toward the direction of the oncoming shadow - so we can eliminate one of the four major directions to start. If in a boat, try to position yourself so that the shoreline, an island, or some other hard structure eliminates a second direction or more (at a 90 degree angle to your boat if possible). Now you only have two directions to worry about and they are close together - you have a better than 50/50 shot now - to further hone in - I'll usually cast toward the deeper of the two directions as fish will often run for deeper water as it provides more cover. In any case always cast past where they are when you start your throw as you know they will move (they usually don't move more than 10-15 feet at a time when they flee).

The ideal situation is when you can find them in a place where two sides are eliminated by structure. As an example: I have one spot that I love to check for mullet at flood tide, it's a ditch off the ICW on the marsh side but it has a wide spot about 10 feet back that is just wide enough for my net at flood tide without getting tangled in marsh grass and oyster rock but is twice as long as my net. I put my boat at the ditch entrance and watch for the mullet to be on the front half of the wide spot, when I see them there, I throw to the back half of the wide spot. On days the mullet are at that spot - I usually have my bait well filled in one cast and off I go fishing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sand fleas are excellent baits for several species. Sand flea is the common name for mole crabs. These critters don't look anything like a crab. They look more like the head section of a crayfish minus the pincers and with tiny legs instead of long walking type legs.their tail is less than 1/2 the size of your pinky nail yet they can burrow quickly with it. The tail stays tucked underneath Overall they are only about 1" long. They are perfectly defenseless and use the cover of the breaking surf to move about. On an incoming tide the ride the waves right up onto the beach. On the outgoing tide they march right back out tumbling with the receding water. As soon as they sense the water slowing down they bury themselves just under the sand with only their antennae showing. Their antennae form small vee's in the sand. When you are looking for sand fleas, these Vees are what you are looking for. Simply walk the edge of the surf in one direction till you spot the vees in the sand under the receeding waves. Simply stick your fingers in the sand let the sand filter thru and pull out the sand fleas as the bump into you fingers. Put them into a small insulated container with enough damp sand to keep them covered. You want the sand to stay cool and damp to keep them alive. You don't want any standing water or even very wet sand as they will not live long in standing water. If you find yourself in need of large numbers of sand fleas large numbers you can make or buy sand flea rakes which will speed up the gathering. AL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Before we get too far away from sabiki rigs, I want to mention that there are now rods on the market for about $70.00 that were designed so that the sabiki rig reels up inside the rod. When I first saw them I thought that it was a good idea that just wouldn't pan out. They thread the line thru the inside of the rod which is basically a thinwall 5/8 fiberglass tube with a handle and a place for the line to enter. Well guess what? I got to use one and they work like a charm. I had no problem feeling the bait hit the jig and no problem with tangles, actually they even cast well. For the guy who will only use a sabiki rig once or twice a yr I would forgo that option. For the guy that might use one 10 or more times a year they are a worthwhile investment. They would pay for themselves in less than 3 years just on sabiki rigs saved. The added benefit of a tangle free sabiki system makes them a no brainer. AL
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top