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Where to look for bait?

Any tips on where to look for bait?

Just looking for general areas but specific spots work too. I just don't know where to look.

What environment or features are they typically found around?


I have I think a 9 or 10 foot net with I think 1/2" mesh.



  • KittykillerKittykiller Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Depends on where you are fishing but typically the theory goes that over the next few weeks white bait will start to congregate off the beaches and near shore structure. There is a lot of small bait in the back waters right now and as they mature they will move to the beaches and passes. Look for birds or surface movement to locate a pod. I have heard chum works well but have not tried it before. Perhaps someone with chum experience can post on specific types of chum that are successful(i.e. Frozen, dry, catfood, ect.)
  • Joe SnookJoe Snook Posts: 468 Deckhand
    I havent found bait in ten k in a while but I dont have alot of time to spend looking while on a charter. 1/2" around here is too big unless yur offshore and catching threadfin herring or have lucked into giant pilchards. I used to throw a 3/8" but after many frusterating hours of pinching heads and pulling out thousands of lil baits I started throwing a 1/4" mesh for years now and couldnt be more pleased for up to 15' of water. Ive gotn huge fish on tiny baits and the ones that I used to kill by get stick in the net are Awesome for chumming up the fish.
    As far as chumming for the bait my rule os locate them first and use chum to bring them to the back of the boat and get them all balled up with it. Wet catfood, jack mack and oats mixed together has been my favorite recipe given to me by an old friend and fishing partner. Dont make it too dry or it clumps in balls and sinks to the bottom bringing in multitudes of catfish.
    I have seen small schools of finger mullet while fishing drop offs along beaches inshore but I was not looking for em and didnt have my net out.
    The best live bait ive had for big snook lately is small 8 to 12" ladyfish and have had people hook and catch Big Snook on them and is my bait of choice to single out the large fish.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I547 using Tapatalk
    southwest florida fishing guide in the beautiful 10k islands, everglades and more
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 12,282 AG
    Yep, That's a Mullet Net with 1/2 mesh. Too big really for much Bait, And you ever thrown a net that big more then 3 times ?
    It'll put a hurting on you.

    Kittykiller is spot on as well....
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • ChopskiChopski Posts: 25 Deckhand
    Thanks for the pointers guys and Joe Snook you the man!
  • NaplesYaksterNaplesYakster Posts: 91 Deckhand
    Chopski wrote: »
    Any tips on where to look for bait?

    Just looking for general areas but specific spots work too. I just don't know where to look.

    What environment or features are they typically found around?


    I have I think a 9 or 10 foot net with I think 1/2" mesh.


    If you're fishing south end, Isle of Capri out near the shoals loaded with bait right now.
  • snookerf150snookerf150 Posts: 298 Officer
    I haven't gotten any white bait at the Naples or Marco markers in the past few weeks but have gotten a handful of big threads. I throw a 11 ft black pearl 3/8".next few weeks it should improve though.
  • KittykillerKittykiller Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Is there any special technique to removing the bait fish caught in your cast net? I usually just shake it by sections and then start pooping off heads. The problem is it becomes very messy and time consuming.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 12,282 AG
    Get a smaller Mesh net or throw on bigger Bait.
    I've pulled the net out many times and had week old stinkers in it. One throw and they fall apart and out....
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    "Christmas treeing" your net (using too large a mesh for the bait... and gilling them by the hundreds...) is something that happens to us all -fortunately you learn to look really close at what's in the water before you toss that net.... I keep a 1/4" 8' and a 1/2" 10' on my skiff -but the 1/4 gets the most use year in and year out. Here's a trick to clear out a bunch of gilled bait... tie off your net at the horn with the brailles tight (like your net was hanging up), then cleat it off at the bow, then drop it in the water. Make sure the end can't reach your motor under any circumstance then jump up on plane, dragging your net alongside. Do it right and the water pressure will clean out every gilled bait. Be a bit cautious the first time you try this since you don't want the net coming back up in the boat and you really don't want it slipping back towards the motor....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • KittykillerKittykiller Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Lemaymiami - Interesting technique. I will have to give it a try next time.
  • dtobiasdtobias Posts: 733 Officer
    Great idea on clearing the christmas tree...will try that next time it happens...thanks Captain.
  • 218cc218cc Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    Any bait at the Naples Marker yet?
  • KittykillerKittykiller Posts: 114 Deckhand
    218cc wrote: »
    Any bait at the Naples Marker yet?

    Was out there last Friday night and didn't get any threads or white bait at the marker. Just inside the pass though two dolphins were spooken a pod of threads in the 4" - 5" range. Ended up netting about a dozen after waiting till they got close enough. Saw a bunch of medium sized tarpon rolling in the pass and blowing up bait. At one point there 8 large boats in the pass all trying to get pictures of the sunset, the Naples Princess came through like she owned the place and just about capsized my 19' bay boat. After the sunset all the riff raff headed on to the next drinking destination and I got to hit up some of local hot spots. The wind was ripping and the water was pretty murky so the bite was poor to say the least. Hopefully be better this weekend :crossed
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