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CATCHING PINFISH...LOT'S OF PINFISH...

In a short amount of time..
I know folks that use Pinfish traps but their out there daily or off their docks. Pinfish are a new bait to me.
I know their easy to catch with small hooks and squid..but I want 20 and done for half the day..and I don't want to spend hours running all over like I have to do with White Bait.
Will some cat food ect and a 7 ft. castnet in 3 or 4 foot of water do the trick ? Solid Turtle grass on the Flats.
What say you Pinfish Pros..?
Killin and Grillin :grin

Replies

  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,410 Officer
    i think you might need a larger net. 

     With a long shank # 20 hook & squid you can catch 10 to 15 in less then 30 minutes, then throw the net..
    Giimoozaabi
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,794 Captain
    Run to the edge of a good grass flat with a block of chum (or a couple of cans of catfood then set up (you’re looking for a spot with some current in three to four feet of water...).  Get your chum going then use a sabiki or a home-made double dropper rig with at least two #10 hooks on 8lb line with a 3/8 or 1/2oz sinker at the end (I like Mustad #3192 long shank hooks with barbs mashed down) with tiny bits of shrimp or squid (squid stays on the hook longer... and start bailing pins... Try not to bring in just one pin at a time -wait a moment until number two (or three) is also booked up.  By myself I can usually put 40 to 50 in the well in less than an hour from start to finish...  At the end of your bait catching you can also toss a net on them - but pins will dive down into the grass as your net hits the water so you won’t get most of the ones that were up in your chum...
    Chum them up a few times and you’ll learn favorite spots.  If they don’t show up very quickly - go somewhere else.  Where I catch them in Florida Bay we always have a problem with sharks eating our chumbags.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    I always net my pinfish.  'Usually' I can net about 20 in 3-4 throws of an 8' net.  Often, in shallow grass, they ball up just like schooling baits (maybe spawning??).  You can spot them easily when they are doing this and then it's one throw and done.  This is usually what I'm looking for.  I've got a neighborhood seawall that makes this very easy.

    If you don't see them balling up, you can usually spot them on pot holes or running along 'drop offs' in the grass.  You may only see a few but there will be others.  3-4 throws on these spots usually results in enough bait and these are usually the larger pinfish (hand size).

    Not sure why, but I seem to have to wade to do this.  I don't have much luck netting pinfish from my boat..
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • tailwaterstailwaters Posts: 122 Deckhand
    I switch to using pieces gulp to catch pinfish instead of squid. Works just as good if not better
  • jbsrqjbsrq Posts: 229 Deckhand
    chum and throw the biggest net you can effectively throw. 
  • farside88farside88 Posts: 495 Deckhand
    jbsrq said:
    chum and throw the biggest net you can effectively throw. 
    This. You will catch more much faster this way than with a hook. 
  • fishdishfishdish Posts: 1,223 Officer
    What size pins are you trying to get?
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,609 Admiral
    Littler Trout size ones..
    We did the small gold hook with squid and it worked OK but it was one here..one there and we had to rebait constantly...ever with tough squid.
    We did this drifting for Trout in 5 / 6 ft. of water.
    Looking to go to 3 ft. and net a bunch. Thinking about the way they catch Shrimp on the St. Johns and putting out a couple pvc stakes and throwing cat food around them..then back off and wait 10  , ease up and throw the nets..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,453 Admiral
    Why don't you just try arti's and forget about the live bait. I rarely use bait and seem to do pretty good. Less mess, more actual fishing........winning
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,609 Admiral
    Heck I do that too.
    Usually a popping cork out and a jig rod in my hand. No relaxing when you fish with me..
    I make it happen....winning..: )
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • 4WARD4WARD Cross Creek,FLPosts: 1,969 Captain
    Over thinking sir.
    Yes chum, cat food whatever, 3 to 6 ft and TRY to bring up the grass, they are in there.
    You will wreck your boat with mud and weeds , but you got it.
    The shallower you find them the more you will get in a 7' net.
    Don't forget the clearer water up here, keep your face to the sun and sling that net low( just sayin)
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • acme54321acme54321 Posts: 351 Deckhand
    Why don't you just try arti's and forget about the live bait. I rarely use bait and seem to do pretty good. Less mess, more actual fishing........winning
    For trout I'd tend to agree.  Artificials or buy some live shrimp.

  • fishdishfishdish Posts: 1,223 Officer
    I'm with WW on the artis for trout. 50 cent piece pins are great inshore for snapper and the larger ones are good for reds next to the mangroves but trout are rarely picky. With artificials you get the strike factor too which is always a plus. Captain Lemay's and Spanglers advice on how to get pins is the way to go. This time of year most flats are covered with them in a variety of sizes depending on the water depth. 
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 5,373 Admiral
    Trout, use a mr17.  They love those things.


    “When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you.”

    -Walter Payton
  • MelbourneMarkMelbourneMark Posts: 2,157 Captain
    chum and hit em with a net.  I throw 10-12ft net.  I find a larger net is almost easier to throw than a smaller one.  it weighs more, but it tends to open easier.  Plus, if you dont pancake it, it will still have more area open than a smaller one.  but, use what you have.  
    When we try to catch grunts/croakers; we use squid and chum.   We make our own 2-3 hook rigs.  I hate hate hate sabiki rigs, as Ive been stabbed too many times!  (1 time i had to have it cut out at Dr. office)
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,794 Captain
    For those just learning to fish... Pins work great.  I have each of my anglers with the lightest rods on my skiff bailing pins (and we always take one or two and fish them under floats nearby while we're filling the well).  Once we're loaded up it's off to the races - the big pins are either for tarpon or grouper -the tarpon under a float - the grouper set up on heavy knocker rigs (the Everglades rivers hold surprising numbers of gag grouper - the biggest we ever beat around 30" or 12lbs - bigger ones take us to school).

    For snook and the occasional red we rig medium to smaller pins under floats set about 30" above a 2/0 or 3/0 circle hook and I have my anglers launch them high in the air so that the pins have a bit of slack as they land near structure.  If a snook or red is nearby they just get murdered before my angler can even start reeling.... Great fun! 

    Lastly the smallest pins are rigged as snook cookies (or trout or redfish cookies) on simple lightweight leaded hooks (no more than 1/4oz - usually on 1/8oz hooks) and tossed next to structure then allowed to lay right on the bottom until they get picked up by whatever's there....

    Although I only do this with beginners - anyone with a well full of pins is in business with hungry fish nearby...  As you can guess we use rods sized to the fish we're targeting...  Light rods for trout, medium rods for snook and reds, heavy for bigger specimens or the biggest tarpon and grouper... 

    Almost no pinfish at all in the interior of the 'Glades - for us it's a launch out to the outside grass flats for bait  -then back towards where the fish are.....  Many days we do the circle if we're using pinfish -launching off of one ramp then coming back inside to the other ramp.  The shortest distance involved is 55 miles - usually we're well above a 70 mile round trip if we're out of Flamingo.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 16,987 AG
    TRT, Why not just drop some traps?  The guys who I know fish with pins up here use traps to catch them with virtually no effort.
  • Oldsmar GuyOldsmar Guy Posts: 40 Greenhorn
    TRT, Why not just drop some traps?  The guys who I know fish with pins up here use traps to catch them with virtually no effort.
    Yeah, this is exactly what I do. I have a crab trap that I put whole squid in and let the trap soak for about an hour. While I am letting my traps soak, I sometimes drift around and try to catch some ladyfish for cut bait or I will tip a small hook with a Gulp bait to try and hook up with some additional pins.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,609 Admiral
    Traps are a pain...
    Little gold hooks work Ok
    I'm a Glades Castnet guy..and I want a bunch of whatever bait I'm after...Right Now.
    I'm going with the Cat food and a Castnet...
    Sabiki rigs as backup.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • fishdishfishdish Posts: 1,223 Officer
    Glad you made up your mind. For a Glades guy you're kind of a diva. Just saying.........
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,609 Admiral
    I'm an Over Analyzer, but it pays off. 
    I'm never Under gunned...
    Wait until you see my Cobia Way Station for early am Cobias on the Flats..just something I'm working on...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • fishdishfishdish Posts: 1,223 Officer
    Looking forward to seeing the results. Where are you fishing at? Sounds like you're in the big bend area but I thought you were a Collier County guy?
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,609 Admiral
    I fish both areas...got a Hunting Camp 8 miles from the Gulf up there and started taking the boat when I'm not hunting..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • kci-miakci-mia Posts: 265 Deckhand
    I use small piece of raw chicken skin on small #16 or #14 long shank hooks to catch pinfish.  Chicken skin will usually last long enough to catch a dozen pins.
     
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    ^That is a great tip!  Do you guys not find that pinfish don't last as long when you catch them by hook?  I feel like the only time I really ever find them dead in the live well is if they were hooked.  And usually multiple.

    Hook is def best for the big ones.  And I like them really big (hand size plus).  Big enough to deter most catfish.  And trout lol  Can't be big enough for a redfish or snook.
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 5,027 Admiral
    spangler said:
    ^That is a great tip!  Do you guys not find that pinfish don't last as long when you catch them by hook?  I feel like the only time I really ever find them dead in the live well is if they were hooked.  And usually multiple.

    Hook is def best for the big ones.  And I like them really big (hand size plus).  Big enough to deter most catfish.  And trout lol  Can't be big enough for a redfish or snook.
    I think baits caught be hook are generally heartier that cast netted baits especially threadfins 
    You should have been here yesterday
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,794 Captain
    To keep hooked pins in good condition there's a few tricks - the first to use long shank hooks with the barbs mashed down so that they're easiest to unhook and drop in the well - the second is to use a bait unhooker so you never have to touch them (guys who hook a bunch of threadfin herring will know about the tiny de-hooker that alllows you to remove pins while never touching them.  Lastly I never put pins in the well that are injured and quickly remove any that look like they're dying... You want your baits to be able to swim freely until they're needed....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    Never knew about a dehooker for baitfish/tiny hooks... I can see the benefit tho having maintained a ton of aquariums.  Long shank, barb mashed.  Makes sense.  Awesome, never stop learning.  Thanks!
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
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