Home General Fishing

Pinfish question

katwoman85katwoman85 Posts: 491 Officer
Hi all. Wanted to ask a question about pinfish. I catch them quite often in the Dania Cutoff Canal. When I catch them, what is the best way to use them as bait for bigger fish in this canal?

Thoughts and comments would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!

Replies

  • onICEonICE Posts: 988 Officer
    I don't know much about that canal but you can use them on a live bait circle hook, probably 3/0 , with a weight, freelanced or under a float. They are good hearty baits.
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    I have never had luck or felt lucky using pinfish as bait for inshore species; unless I am bottom fishing offshore.
    Let's go fishing!
  • fishboyfishboy Posts: 1,326 Officer
    They work well inshore under a cork... I don't like freelining them because they head to the bottom, and if you are not drifting in a boat, then they rock you up a lot... If there is no structure around then you could put them on a Carolina rig with weight...
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    Inshore- under a cork Redfish will eat them, but I think they prefer them cut into 'steaks'... Offshore- everything eats them...
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    they work well live, or cut into a plug.. ive picked up lots of reds on cut pinfish in deeper canals.. remove the head and the tail, cut off all the fins and then trim it to size if you think its too big.. you can even butterfly it for added flutter
  • sbp0317sbp0317 Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    Whether fished on the bottom or under a cork, they are pretty decent baits for trout and redfish. They work best if you trim the tail of the pinfish then cut most of the top dorsal fin off. The pinfish will still be very lively but it makes them lots more enticing to a big fish. Trout love them when I cut the fins off.
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,293 Officer
    butterflied on bottom
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    please show us a picture or diagram of this "butterfly rig"
    Let's go fishing!
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,293 Officer
    Basically just remove the backbone and tail so the fillets are still connected to the head. This way its putting out maximum scent.
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    with a weight or free lined?
    Let's go fishing!
  • JettyparkJettypark Posts: 1,969 Captain
    I freeline pinfish off the jetties/piers/canal and just about any body of water I can walk too LOL.... do they rock themselves... YES most of those type of
    baitfish will.. but if you are going to freeline then you need to hold the rod and feel and feed your bait line... if you fish rocky areas a trick to do is cut off
    his fins this way if he gets into the rocks you can still pull him out (I have done this plenty of times and it works)... plus you also put scent into the water..
    you will still get snag it part of the game, but once you get better at feeling them and watching how he is swimming .. you will snag a lot less... I hardly
    snag any now adays

    A simple "Fishfinder rig" has always work for me.. it keeps the pinfish in one spot and this way you can soak him and leave your rod in a holder...
    Pinfish do work just like any other baitfish... good thing about them is they can take a beating and Everything Inshore eats them... now size is another matter,
    remember if you freeline to use the smallest hook possible...
    aa13.gif"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons"
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    with a weight or free lined?
    its better to fish a dead piece with a weight for reds since they will most likely be grubbing off the bottom but if youre in a situation with say... bluefish for instance .. which could be feeding anywhere in the water column, you can freeline it so it naturally sinks.. ive slayed tons of blues on chunk pogie just letting it flow with the water.. to butterfly a pin you just remove head and tail, all fins, then you run your knife through it almost like youre gonna fillet it (starting at tail end) and stop about an inch before the end so it has two nice little fluttering flaps, plus more scent dispersion
  • Chewdog2121Chewdog2121 Posts: 469 Officer
    Inshore, float that bad boy under a cork (cajun thunder type floaters are best imho), un-maimed (no cutting of tails or butterflying), this will prevent the miscellaneous rock-ups etc. I know guys that mutilate their pins, but I've just never really tried it much. Yes they are strong swimmers, but if the fish you are pursuing are hungry enough, it will have no problem downing a reasonable sized pin. If they are rocking up, (freelining) pull them in and re-cast them. Try switching up your hook placement as well to see if that will make a difference. I tend to adjust my hook size depending on the size of the pin (the smallest you can get away with). I have an issue at times with fish throwing the pin, or pulling the pin out of their mouths if the hook isn't matched up correctly. I will vary from a 1/0-3/0 typically inshore.

    Do yourself a favor and learn to fish a pinfish. In my opinion, they are right up there with ballyhoo, pilchards, etc. as far as being the most versatile bait you can fish. BIG trout love them, and a hungry schooling redfish will pancake them with reckless abandon. If you are lucky enough to fish them offshore, oh that's an even bigger treat!
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 1,024 Officer
    I've never caught a redfish or snook on a live pinfish. I have caught plenty on cut. Tarpon like pinfish on the beach and like many have said I've caught plenty of bottom fish (Grouper, snapper, etc.) on pins.
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    FusionZ06 wrote: »
    I've never caught a redfish or snook on a live pinfish. I have caught plenty on cut. Tarpon like pinfish on the beach and like many have said I've caught plenty of bottom fish (Grouper, snapper, etc.) on pins.

    they most definently eat em.. i caught a large red on a topwater on the flats on light tackle.. long fight.. and when i got him up he was regurgitating pinfish.. and his belly was so swole up he must have had a ton in there.. this was a couple springs ago when the pinfish just start to increase in numbers.. and the two he puked up were big ones..
  • Chewdog2121Chewdog2121 Posts: 469 Officer
    Caught a redfish last year that had 23 pilchards in its belly (a couple were mine judging from the hook marks in the tail), and the one that got him was a pinfish that happened to bite back, lol. If you find a school of redfish, or an area where you know there are redfish, suspend a pinfish from a cajun thunder and I promise you will be in for a treat. The feeling you get when they smash those big pins is second to none.
  • red_magnetred_magnet Posts: 498 Deckhand
    Caught a few snook off pins , popping cork at the edge of the canal entrance to a larger bay
    I owe it all to my Granny and Bill Dance....
  • tankardtankard Posts: 7,031 Admiral
    I have never had luck or felt lucky using pinfish as bait for inshore species; unless I am bottom fishing offshore.



    Really?

    Big trout love pinfish, and as mentioned, reds will eat them too.
  • DragScreamerDragScreamer Posts: 1,475 Officer
    tankard wrote: »
    Really?

    Big trout love pinfish, and as mentioned, reds will eat them too.

    The spines on the pinfish are the confidence remover for me....but I'll try butterflied pinfish on the beach sometime
    Let's go fishing!
  • ReelinrudyReelinrudy Posts: 298 Deckhand
    They make an excellent live bait. I don't know where you are, but some canals will hold juvi tarpon and snook. If the bottom is not grassy or overly rocky, I'd put one out with a sliding weight and let it sit for a while and see what happens. I don this off my grandparents dock in the ICW in St. Pete when we visit; hooked a couple tarpon that way. If you chunk them like many others have recommended, you have a shot at a whole host of fish.
  • If1shalldayIf1shallday Posts: 464 Officer
    They make a great snook bait just free line them under docks you know or think have fish under them. They are a very hearty bait. Just free line them
  • SpaceCoast SlayerSpaceCoast Slayer Posts: 3,527 Captain
    reds and trout are on live pins big time this time of year on account of the pinfish population blowing up in springtime the way it does
  • katwoman85katwoman85 Posts: 491 Officer
    They make a great snook bait just free line them under docks you know or think have fish under them. They are a very hearty bait. Just free line them

    I fish off our 2 docks in the Dania Cutoff Canal. What size leader should I have? 20 lb.? 30 lb?
  • katwoman85katwoman85 Posts: 491 Officer
    Reelinrudy wrote: »
    They make an excellent live bait. I don't know where you are, but some canals will hold juvi tarpon and snook. If the bottom is not grassy or overly rocky, I'd put one out with a sliding weight and let it sit for a while and see what happens. I don this off my grandparents dock in the ICW in St. Pete when we visit; hooked a couple tarpon that way. If you chunk them like many others have recommended, you have a shot at a whole host of fish.

    Dania Cutoff Canal which is near Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale
  • onICEonICE Posts: 988 Officer
    katwoman85 wrote: »
    I fish off our 2 docks in the Dania Cutoff Canal. What size leader should I have? 20 lb.? 30 lb?

    katwoman you can scale your leaders to the size of bait you are using. 20ish for shrimp, 30 for pins or sardines, 40+ for bigger mullet, etc. Good luck!
  • TailHunterTailHunter Posts: 333 Deckhand
    There are no reds or trout in Dania Cutoff. Snapper and Snook with the occasional grouper will eat your pinfish.
    - 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
  • JettyparkJettypark Posts: 1,969 Captain
    The spines on the pinfish are the confidence remover for me....but I'll try butterflied pinfish on the beach sometime

    What??? LOL.... if you do it enough you wont have to worry about those spines... What do you do if you catch a Hardhead?
    Pinfish of any size is a good bait> live or dead
    aa13.gif"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons"
  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,356 Admiral
    Most fish that feed on finish will eat a small pin. Great offshore bait. good inshore bait when you can't find any white bait.
  • RaymoRaymo Posts: 208 Deckhand
    but I'll try butterflied pinfish on the beach sometime


    send one as far out from the beach as you can, live, freelined on a 4/0 circle ... if the water is warm, its snook and tarpon candy, if they happen to be cruising the beach
  • P.cliffordP.clifford Posts: 226 Officer
    If they are native to the area that you are fishing, use them. I love them for larger trout, snook at night and tarpon in a couple weeks. If they are in your area, they are part of the food chain. I put them under a cork or balloon most of the time. I do trim the tail and dorsal with a pair of scissors to slow them down a bit.
    As folks have stated, the dead ones are good too. One great thing about pinners is that they will say alive for a good while. I keep them in the bait well on the boat wight just the bubbler running and they last 4 or 5 days. Good luck. have fun
Sign In or Register to comment.