BPK Bait?

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Thread: BPK Bait?

  1. #1
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    BPK Bait?

    Hello all,

    I will be down the first wek of May to fish for dolphin (wind permitting) and fish the evening for Tarpon (liver permitting). I was wondering if you guys fish with White bait or pilchards? Seems to me I remember fishing with a guide who was using live pilchards. Being from the West coast I am very comfortable live baiting. Can anyone tell me how available are WB or Pilchards? are they easily found? and some general info as to where to look. I have a 12' net with extra weight that I use around the Skyway, should I be bringing it with me?

  2. #2
    Senior Member razorreilly09's Avatar
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    They are hit and miss. What area will you be in? Pinfish and ballyhoo are more readily available and work good or just as well for dolphin and tarpon if used correctly.
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  3. #3
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    I have similar circumstances. Is there any point bringing a cast net to 7 mile bridge or any of the other bridges around marathon/big pine, or is it best to just buy bait? Can you catch pilchards/other small fish off the bridge with a sabiki rig?

    I'll be fishing from the bridge and was wondering how I would go about "landing" a big fish from the bridge? Can you walk it over to the end of the bridge and get down there or do you pretty much just have to cut the line? Also what is the current situation around these bridges (mainly 7 mile bridge)? Should I stock up on lead?

    Actually I just read that fishing is banned off of the 7 mile bridge. Is this still the case? Which other bridges in this area would be good for tarpon?
    Last edited by kahmad; 04-09-2012 at 10:44 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member razorreilly09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahmad View Post
    I have similar circumstances. Is there any point bringing a cast net to 7 mile bridge or any of the other bridges around marathon/big pine, or is it best to just buy bait? Can you catch pilchards/other small fish off the bridge with a sabiki rig?
    Its always a good idea to bring a cast net with you. You can catch pilchards off of bridges, its actually a good way of doing it since you can see them usually. Problem is, they arent always there and once you do catch them, they require good circulation to keep them alive. A bucket bubbler isnt gonna do it. You can use chum to try to attract them but that also brings in a lot of other fish that will clobber your sabiki rig such as pinfish. If you can find a bridge or dock that is lit up at night you can usually score on the pilchards. Fishing is still allowed on the West end of the 7 mile bridge. If you're gonna try to hook tarpon on top of a bridge, try crimping down the barbs on your hooks, and hope to get a few jumps from them before they throw the hook. you're not gonna bring a tarpon with any size over a bridge rail, nor should you want to.
    Last edited by razorreilly09; 04-10-2012 at 06:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    We will be fishing out of big pine lodge. We are in a 26' boat. I am very familier with the area and comfortable getting the boat close to the bridges to throw the net. My thought was using the WB and Pilchards as a pitch bait for Dolphin. In the past we used cut Bally hoo to pitch to Phins which worked well but as I stated I really am a live bait guy. I'm trying to work towards my strengths and take advantage of my net. Are the crabs showing up yet? we are starting to see them in Tampa Bay. wondering if I should bring some down with me?

  6. #6
    Senior Member gatormonroe's Avatar
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    permit 22, I can't help you with pilchards, but I have had luck with catching bait around the sargassum offshore. Usually a sabiki around a large mat of sargassum can get the small jacks living underneath. Since that's usually what the dolphin are around the weeds to eat they make the perfect bait. The fine print is that I have done this mostly off of Broward County, so your mileage may vary slightly off of the keys. I'll know better in a couple months.

  7. #7
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    I've had lots of luck with live pinfish as far as pitching baiting for dolphin. I will say though, that I've caught 39 dolphin in the past two days and all I needed was squid and the ballyhoo chunks. I had live pinfish in the well but didn't find the need as even the big bull in one of the schools took a squid.

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    What depth were finding your fish?

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