Netting your own bait? When is best time ??

I recently started using a castnet and trying to net my own bait. I've found a nice grassy shoal north of Pine Island that I've been finding greenbacks on but...it seems like some days it's loaded with them, other days there isn't a baitfish to be found anywhere. So, I hadn't logged the days/times when I was finding them so haven't noticed if one tide is better than another. Can anyone tell me when is best to net bait?
I'm anchored over grass in about 3-4 feet of water, chumming with the Purina stuff that I mix with a little menhaden oil and water 'til it gets pasty. AM I too deep? too shallow? best tides? HELP!

Replies

  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,353 Admiral
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  • DarcyDarcy Posts: 1,711 Captain
    nVqTuAn.gif
    lol. What is this sugesting. Needs to try harder. Don't jump. Keep trying, know your limits. Lol
    "No i'm NOT Darcizzle!":blowkiss


    https://captainsforcleanwater.org
  • kymasabekymasabe Posts: 111 Officer
    Nice !! :fishing
  • DoFloridaRightDoFloridaRight Posts: 149 Officer
    I would try moving around a little more. If the fish aren't there, find another place. Sandy/grassy shoals are good, and there are usually schools around the passes (depending on the season).
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,808 Captain
    I have the best luck in the early morning when the water is butter. This way I can spot them rippling the top of the water from pretty far away. I don't typically chum because I don't like to take the time to do it. I'd rather be chucking a lure around than wasting an extra hour trying to find bait. So for me, pretty much if I don't see them on the way to my spot(s) I don't bother.

    PS... tide has had nothing to do with success for me.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
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  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,561 Captain
    kymasabe wrote: »
    I recently started using a castnet and trying to net my own bait. I've found a nice grassy shoal north of Pine Island that I've been finding greenbacks on but...it seems like some days it's loaded with them, other days there isn't a baitfish to be found anywhere. So, I hadn't logged the days/times when I was finding them so haven't noticed if one tide is better than another. Can anyone tell me when is best to net bait?
    I'm anchored over grass in about 3-4 feet of water, chumming with the Purina stuff that I mix with a little menhaden oil and water 'til it gets pasty. AM I too deep? too shallow? best tides? HELP!

    Tides have nothing to do with it. Its time of year. Are you talking about Jug Creek Shoals when you say North Pine Island? Dring the spring the bait there was too easy, then this crappy water came in and ruined that area. We were out the last 4 days and couldn't get bait there at all when it usually is loaded. Last year close to Captive Pass was loaded with bait, not so much this weekend. We got bait there but **** if we didn't throw the net 15 times. We finally got in touch with someone that gave us a heads up, we had to chum heavy and be patient.
    The bait is always moving with the seasons and water salinity. Once you find them write it down and remember it.

    P.S. we were in 3-4 ft of water.
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • kymasabekymasabe Posts: 111 Officer
    SJC, yes, I was talking about Jug Creek Shoals. I've chummed there before and with 15 minutes would have greenbacks flashing all around the boat. I have a tiny net, only 3.5 feet, but could black out my bait well in 3 or 4 casts, dropping right on top of a small school. Last few times I went back to Jug Creek Shoal, I chummed for over half hour, nothing, no fish, no flash, finally started following the birds and just kinda blindly casting hoping to get something and managed to wrangle a dozen pinfish. Same depth as you, mostly around 3 feet of water, and trying to get over some grass as that's where I seem to have the most luck.
    Which brings up a question: is over grass the best place? I've seen guys throwing cast nets under the sanibel bridge, I assume they're trying to net bait. Can I find baitfish other places than over a shoal, or along a sandbar?
  • SJCSJC Posts: 2,561 Captain
    The shoals have died off ever since the water color changed imo.

    The "best" is debatable. I've never got bait anywhere down that way except over the grass. I know bait likes the bridges, the skyway holds massive amounts of bait year round so I would think the Causeway will probably too.
    The Beatings will continue until moral improves!
  • snappinbacksnappinback Posts: 146 Officer
    C and B span will hold schools of bait at times ? / I haven't been over their for bait in a while myself and this water release may have them pushed out of their ? Butt if on the flats I usually look for some birds diving and a good grassy bottom to throw on and not oysters or any other stuff. and the bait fish won't hold up out in them open sand patches , their usually in the grassy areas just be paient and chum Good before ya throw. Good Luck. Al
  • FishyTech215FishyTech215 Posts: 85 Deckhand
    In the daylight hours I cast exclusively on 1-2 foot of water on soft bottoms (no oysters). Any deeper my 8 foot net doesn't sink fast enough and the bait escapes out the bottom. I use to have a 6 foot net and it just didn't spread enough. I chum with canned cat food where you can pop the lid by hand. The water has to be decent. Tide should be moving a little so the chum travels. One day I'll get a 12 foot, heavier net to catch the larger bait under the bridges.
  • snappinbacksnappinback Posts: 146 Officer
    Getting Chummy With Baitfish
    by Frank Sargeant • August 21, 2013 • 0 Comments
    1
    Roll-your-own or commercial mix—they all do the job.

    Commercial fish food meal, top left, mixed with menhaden oil, above,
    creates a paste, left, that will draw sardines from a long ways off.

    The bait chum mixes brewed up by coastal anglers would work nicely as crowd-dispersers, at least as effective as tear gas in chasing away unruly mobs. They could also replace many types of commercial adhesive; once the stuff dries on your boat, it’s there until you go after it with a chisel. And of course it can be used as emergency rations if you’re ever wrecked on a deserted island . . . well, maybe not, though I know a few salty old guides who taste their mix to make sure it’s right before starting to dribble it over the side. Iron men with iron stomachs.

    But there’s no question that the classic mix for chumming scaled sardines, pinfish and other bait—canned jack mackerel and whole wheat bread—is highly effective. It’s moderate in cost, and if kept on ice you can use one bucket for several days. (If you forget to ice it, on the other hand, you may not be able to use your boat for several days!)

    Most who have been at the baitcatching game long add a few special ingredients to the mix. Menhaden oil is a favorite, and by far the most effective; when the slick from this stuff starts to spread, bait comes from every direction. Canned sardines in oil are stinky but effective. Some also like anise oil. Why bait would like this licorice smell is open to conjecture, but some of the most seasoned pros in the business, including Capt. Scott Moore of Holmes Beach, swear by it.

    Captain Nick Winger of Tampa omits the bread and instead uses commercial fish food meal of the sort used on tropical fish farms as the grain base of his chum, adding only a cup of menhaden oil and a bit of water to several pounds of the meal. Stinky but highly effective.



    “The big secret to making chum work is to get where the bait is to begin with,” says Winger. “That’s usually the outside edge of a grassflat, around a shallow marker, or over an offshore bar where you’ve got good current flow. If there’s no current, the chum is not going to work, no matter how good it is, so move until you find current before you start chumming.”

    There are several commercial dry chum mixes on the market, most also based on commercial fish food with added secret ingredients devised by long-time bait-catchers. They do not stink, nearly so badly, as fresh-mix, and seem to work well.

    Captain Van Hubbard of Englewood, who has been marketing “Captain Van’s Magic Chum” for some 15 years, offers these tips, whatever chum you use:

    “Chum them, but don’t feed them,” says Hubbard. “You want just enough chum in the water to keep the bait close, and then right before you throw the net you put a ball of it right where you want the net to center, let them rush in and then toss the net. And make really sure that first throw is perfect—a lot of times if that throw is good, you’ll have enough bait to fish all morning. If you throw a banana, on the other hand, the bait gets smart and hard to pull back in.”

    Captain Dave Markett of Tampa, who markets “Captain Dave Markett’s Chum Magic” in jute bags, also has some effective advice:

    “Be patient—don’t get in a hurry to make a throw; let that chum work and it will call bait in from a hundred yards downcurrent. When the water is just swarming with bait, that’s the time to make your throw. Otherwise, it’s a few here and a few there—hard work and it wastes fishing time.”

    Markett also notes that in strong current, it’s smart to put the chumbag on the uptide end of the boat and throw the net from the downtide end—otherwise, the chum winds up too far downstream from where you want it for a good throw.

    And of course, the deeper the water, the longer it’s likely to take for the chum to lure in the bait. Patience is a virtue—but if you chum for 15 minutes and don’t draw a crowd, you’re not in the right spot.

    Purina is one of the largest makers of fish food; visit www.fishchow.com to locate a feed store near you that carries their products. Menhaden oil is available at most coastal baitshops as is Captain Van’s Magic Chum, or contact www.aylesworthbait.com for bulk purchases. For Captain Dave Markett’s Chum Magic, call (865) 806 3289 for details. - FS



    Read more: http://www.floridasportsman.com/2013/08/21/getting-chummy-with-baitfish/#ixzz2ghxlEJQY
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