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how to avoid bait stealers?

i'm new to salt water fishing, i dont have a boat so i'm forced to fish off piers. anytime i use live shrimp or frozen sardines, by the time the bait hits the bottom, i dont feel any hits and the bait is gone. i've been told its pin fish stealing the bait. are there any techniques you would advise? like keeping the bait moving with a steady retrieve? any help would be appriciated.

Replies

  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,024 Officer
    Catch whatever is stealing your bait and send it back down :)
  • Serpent710Serpent710 Posts: 205 Officer
    fishbites which is artificial strip bait with mesh so it stays on the hook. Ive had great luck with this, or this http://www.basspro.com/AtlasMikes-Magic-Thread/product/77948/
    References: triumphrick, 1love, MAVERICK16'10", Sails and Tails, Gatorman, Bottombouncer, onICE
  • thevilittletrollthevilittletroll Posts: 34 Deckhand
    what type of fish did you catch on the fish bites? do you just put it on the hook, cast out and wait?
  • Serpent710Serpent710 Posts: 205 Officer
    what type of fish did you catch on the fish bites? do you just put it on the hook, cast out and wait?

    Yes that's how I fished the fish bites. I mainly use it for surf fishing and have caught whiting pompano and black drum on it, and sheepshead, pinfish inshore
    References: triumphrick, 1love, MAVERICK16'10", Sails and Tails, Gatorman, Bottombouncer, onICE
  • MH79MH79 Posts: 503 Officer
    First off, don't use sardines unless you know they are fresh. Sardines (especially old sardines) have a tendency to get mushy and come off the hook very easily. Shrimp are effective but are very soft and can be easily picked off the hook by the little lane snappers, grunts and spots that hangout by the pilings. I suggest you use cut squid as bait....it's gummy, stays on the hook well and is a pretty universal bait a variety of fish will eat. Make sure once your bait hits bottom you reel your line in enough to where there is no slack on your line. I reccomend holding your rod in your hand instead of leaning it up against the railing because you'll increase your odds of not missing a bite. Pinch the line between your thumb and pointer finger and you will be able to feel the bites. The bites from those little fish stealing your bait are much more subtle then a decent size fish so if you're just looking at your rod tip bobbing up and down to tell you you have a bite, you're gonna miss a lot of fish. Also, match the size hook to the size of the fish around the peir and your weight to the current. If you're just doing some basic bottom fishing like it sounds like you're trying to do, just use enough lead to where you can hold bottom. Too much weight can affect your ability to feel the bites as well. Learn when and how to set the hook or if your using circle hooks, when to start reeling to hook the fish.
  • ZimmerNoleZimmerNole Posts: 9,244 Officer
    MH79 wrote: »
    First off, don't use sardines unless you know they are fresh. Sardines (especially old sardines) have a tendency to get mushy and come off the hook very easily. Shrimp are effective but are very soft and can be easily picked off the hook by the little lane snappers, grunts and spots that hangout by the pilings. I suggest you use cut squid as bait....it's gummy, stays on the hook well and is a pretty universal bait a variety of fish will eat. Make sure once your bait hits bottom you reel your line in enough to where there is no slack on your line. I reccomend holding your rod in your hand instead of leaning it up against the railing because you'll increase your odds of not missing a bite. Pinch the line between your thumb and pointer finger and you will be able to feel the bites. The bites from those little fish stealing your bait are much more subtle then a decent size fish so if you're just looking at your rod tip bobbing up and down to tell you you have a bite, you're gonna miss a lot of fish. Also, match the size hook to the size of the fish around the peir and your weight to the current. If you're just doing some basic bottom fishing like it sounds like you're trying to do, just use enough lead to where you can hold bottom. Too much weight can affect your ability to feel the bites as well. Learn when and how to set the hook or if your using circle hooks, when to start reeling to hook the fish.

    **** good advice here, gear down also. Use a smaller #2 oe 3 hook and you'll increase your hookups. I've had my bait "stolen" before, only to gear down and reel in a few nice keeper snappers. They have the uncanny ability to remove dead bait off a hook as well if you're not paying attention. Small circle or "octopus" hooks will increase your hookup rate as well
    Heroes On the Water
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  • katwoman85katwoman85 Posts: 491 Officer
    I get my bait stolen alot. I am going to get an underwater camera. I use squid all the time & find this works best because, like everybody else is saying, it stays on the hook. Shrimp don't last long period. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the blue crabs are stealing my bait when I have a crab trap sitting on the bottom with stinky chicken necks in them. What's up with that? Anybody have suggestions on this? I was hoping to have several blue crabs that I can steam & make crabcakes. Those SOBs are stealing my squid.
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    Once you catch a pin fish cut him into stripps and use that for bait instead. From what I understand pin fish are not cannibalistic.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • sbp0317sbp0317 Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    As said above scaling down in tackle and changing your bait will bring you much more success. I would rig up a light carolina rig with a small weight (just enough to get to the bottom) and a small hook like an eagle claw 084 #6 and I would put a very small piece of squid on for bait. I would then catch one of the bait fish and put him out as live bait on a bigger rod for a bigger fish. This will open two doors for you. First, you won't be continue to get your bait stolen and second you are giving yourself an opportunity to catch a much larger fish.
  • TailHunterTailHunter Posts: 333 Deckhand
    use a coconut or used water bottle to mark your pinfish trap, most boaters will avoid those, but will aim for regular buoys.
    - Travis

    Shut Up and Fish

    "Common sense isn't as common as commonly thought." Me
    "The unprepared man goes into the game prepared to lose." Me
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,044 Moderator
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    Catch whatever is stealing your bait and send it back down :)

    X2
  • ZimmerNoleZimmerNole Posts: 9,244 Officer
    katwoman85 wrote: »
    I get my bait stolen alot. I am going to get an underwater camera. I use squid all the time & find this works best because, like everybody else is saying, it stays on the hook. Shrimp don't last long period. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the blue crabs are stealing my bait when I have a crab trap sitting on the bottom with stinky chicken necks in them. What's up with that? Anybody have suggestions on this? I was hoping to have several blue crabs that I can steam & make crabcakes. Those SOBs are stealing my squid.

    Use squid in the trap?
    Heroes On the Water
    South Florida Chapter Coordinator
    https://www.facebook.com/HOWSouthFloridaChapter

    "Helping find peace for those who fought to defend it!" :USA
    FREEDOM CAPTURED!

    FSU Alumni GO NOLES!!! >>
    >

    2013 Hobie Outback
  • Edgewater220Edgewater220 Posts: 488 Officer
    Big Fish big bait catch on of those little bait robbers and put it on the hook and throw it where he don't belong. Keep your rod in your hands if you feel a bite give it some time to swallow the big bait. Mind the type of hook your using with circle hooks you don't set the hook just pull up till line in tight let the fish hook itself and reel it in. In most cases 1oz sinker is about all you need. Unless the current is rippin then up to 3oz.
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  • Machine HeadMachine Head Posts: 2,634 Officer
    Hide the hook put the hook inside the skrimp
    "There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - Kenneth Grahame
  • SaltyOspreySaltyOsprey Posts: 56 Greenhorn
    I don't think a pinfish would take a whole sardine off, using larger more solid baits should work, live fish will never get taken by pinfish, although they can shake off the hook.you could wrap the bait in mesh like some people do for gar so the fish has to eat the whole thing.
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