Can you catch baitfish in SW Florida canals?

Naples SteveNaples Steve Posts: 1 Greenhorn
I live next to 10 Mile Canal.  I'm wondering if this is a suitable area to catch baitfish either with castnet, trap or Sabiki.  The bottom is mostly mud not grass.  I see plenty of small fish around but they look like juveniles of larger species (cichlids, redfish, sheepshead, tripletail) rather than species that are typically used for bait (pinfish, small mullet).  Should I look for bait around here and, if so, how?  If not, where do you recommend?


  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 802 Officer
    Which canal are you referring too Steve? Lots of canals in naples. I have caught plenty of snook and tarpon in our freshawater canals. 
    Jason :USA
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 11,066 AG
    edited November 8 #3
    Open water grass flats typically hold a lot more bait than canals.  That's not to say you can't find bait in canals, but in my experience open water is much more productive.  That said, it's probably worth a try to see if you can trap pinfish as they are in most canals as well and it doesn't take a lot of effort on your part.  Good luck...Mike
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 151 Deckhand
    I live on a creek that draind into  Charlotte harbor and I don't  consistently catch bait off my dock.  I do catch some once in a while. 
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 2,450 Captain
    edited November 9 #5
    I have not had any luck catching bait in canals.  Though there are snook...  so they have to be eating something.  In the canal I am in, I'm guessing tilapia.  
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 151 Deckhand
    Snook have been in those canals before tilapia became so prevalent.  They eat small mullet and majorra (sand bream). They will also pop a bass or sunfish in a heartbeat. 
  • Belfast BillBelfast Bill Posts: 43 Greenhorn
    Sorry to butt in on your post but I will be staying in Cape coral over Christmas and was wondering the same. we are staying in a Villa with a dock and boat about 5-10min's from the Bridge,it's on a canal so wondering if I can stick a baitfish trap out beside the dock and get some bait when doing family thing and overnight? if so what type of trap and where can I get one Please.
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 151 Deckhand
    I also have a minnow trap and I only catch 1 or 2 minnows at a time. Shrimp is a better bait in Dec. 
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,784 Captain
    Sit out on your dock with a decent size cast net and wait for the mullet to swim by.  I regularly do this.  Sometimes I can load up in under 2 minutes... sometimes I have to wait an hour for some to swim by... but it's pretty much a guarantee that you'll get them eventually.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    Cast nets are not legal in manmade canals or waterways in the City of Punta Gorda.  I do not know if similar rules exist for other canal systems.  I believe baitfish traps are legal, though there may be labelling requirements.
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 151 Deckhand
    That sounds like a PGI rule. They are about the only man made water ways in PG. 
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    Lostconch said:
    That sounds like a PGI rule. They are about the only man made water ways in PG. 
    Mostly PGI.  A few other places too, such as Emerald Point canals.
Sign In or Register to comment.