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Sand fleas

hey guys, surf newb here and got the surf fever already. Hauled in a couple black tips and some whiting so far but bait is getting expensive when the crabs want a feast. Keep seeing everyone talking about catching sand fleas and just wondering if anyone could point me in the direction or post a how to or guide on catching them. Bought a "sand flea" rake the guy at the bait shop said was a must but not really to sure what I'm looking for or how to go about it. Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • snook charmersnook charmer Posts: 337 Deckhand
    Google "how to catch sand fleas" or go to youtube and search. Basically when the wave comes up onto the beach you want to rake up the fleas.
  • spydermonkeyspydermonkey Posts: 765 Officer
    dig in various parts of the surf. It sounds like you are on the east coast so I'm not totally sure where you dig there. Start where the waves are crashing up near the beach and work your way up to where the water stops. Somewhere in there you will find where they are. then sift through the small stuff by shaking it around with the top just above the water line. Then dump in a bucket and sort sandfleas from other stuff.
    "Insert intelligent sounding quote here"
  • davidgiddavidgid Posts: 250 Deckhand
    You want to find a place where the sand is soft. They might be in the hard packed stuff, but the rake I have can't get down to them. For me it is hit or miss. It will be interesting to see what is said on this thread, because I know I could learn something.
  • DrewthecanucDrewthecanuc Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    We're staying on the gulf coast side near Naples. And I will have to give that s try thanks.
  • YakNPompYakNPomp Posts: 227 Deckhand
  • Icecat21Icecat21 Posts: 634 Officer
    I never did well using a rake. I always caught the biggest ones by taking a big two-handed scoop of sand.

    Sometimes they are right where the wave crashes on the beach, other times up where the wave wash up onto the shore. You have to try different locations until you find where the big ones are at.
  • snook charmersnook charmer Posts: 337 Deckhand
  • spydermonkeyspydermonkey Posts: 765 Officer
    We're staying on the gulf coast side near Naples. And I will have to give that s try thanks.

    In this case they are usually where the waves are breaking or right above them. Look for a small drop off right next to shore and dig on the edge.
    "Insert intelligent sounding quote here"
  • Wade BWade B Posts: 259 Deckhand
    YakNPomp wrote: »
    this -->

    That is a cool video.
  • FibberMckeeFibberMckee Posts: 12,837 AG
    You've got to find Sand fleas, aka Mole crabs, before you can catch them & in my experience they've been getting harder & harder to find over the years.

    Places on Atlantic coast from Flagler Bch to Ponte Vedra Bch that had routinely held Sand Fleas years ago & where I learned how to catch them, have been wrecked by both beach erosion & beach renourishment. In recent years it's become hit & miss, making it much harder to find a bunch.

    Had found it was easier at low tide when the Sand fleas were concentrated at the bottom of the beach. Areas with lots of Coquina shell was more promising than plain sand. Trick was to get down in the surf zone & watch the 'suds' from each retreating wave, sliding back to ocean, very carefully looking for tiny tell tale V's produced by the Sand fleas as they dig themselves back into the sand.

    Once you understand how Sand fleas come out & rebury themselves with each wave running up a beach & learn what the V's from rushing water going past them looks like - you can find them. If you don't see the V's it can be almost futile. You only have split seconds to locate them & either plunge hands in sand, to throw it up beach, or drag rake in right spots - to catch Sand crabs.

    Never tried near Naples.
  • anglingarchitectanglingarchitect Posts: 1,492 Officer
    Beach renorishment wipes them out for a while.
    rent my beach house
  • fishing-guyfishing-guy Posts: 543 Officer
    YakNPomp wrote: »
    this -->

    I like it very nice and instructive. Video thanks
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    Icecat21 wrote: »
    I never did well using a rake. I always caught the biggest ones by taking a big two-handed scoop of sand.

    :signs Same here, but I never caught that many fleas. I always looked for the little black V in the sand as the water retreats. That V is the flea digging in, be quick and scoop a handful of sand... You'll have at least one bait.:cool:
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    Yep I do the same but the rake does keep you from going into the water on cold days.
  • NSByakNSByak Posts: 424 Officer
    Used to catch them like crazy as a kid here in New Smyrna about 25 years ago. You don't see them nearly as often it seems like now though. I never used a rake, but I was a kid playing and digging in the water then...i might use a rake now lol
  • Lunch Money SurfLunch Money Surf Posts: 1,033 Officer
    Beach renorishment wipes them out for a while.

    That's a fact. They've really taken a hit on the Space Coast.
    You've got to find Sand fleas, aka Mole crabs, before you can catch them

    Yes. Don't blind-rake or you'll wear yourself out wasting your time.

    They look like a rough patch in the smooth sand of a receding wave. They feed by extending antennae into the receding wash of a wave, filtering out bits of food. Beware of fool's gold: rocks, shells and periwinkle clams make rough patches too.
    Icecat21 wrote: »
    I never did well using a rake. I always caught the biggest ones by taking a big two-handed scoop of sand.

    This is what I usually do to catch them. The bigger ones are sometimes deeper. You have to separate them from the sand. Toss them up on the dryer sand and pick them up as they flee. It is helpful to have kids around for the round up.

    PS - the best way to get sand fleas is to buy them but I'd call ahead to the bait shop first
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