No Shrimp? Pilchards and Pinfish are great live baits and are very easy to catch.
Not only are Pilchards and Pinfish readily consumed by almost every sport fish out there, they can be caught in large numbers in very little time. A boat full of these baits will definitely increase your productivity.
Pilchards can be caught off the beaches, in the bays, the grass flats and canals. The giveaway for locating pilchards would be to look for birds; usually wherever there are birds there is bait.
Quite a few people will chum for Pilchards by throwing several chum ball’s out and keeping a watchful eye as they school up around it. The telltale silver flash is a dead giveaway that there are pilchards around.
Once you know they are there, throw several more small, golf ball-sized chum balls out and wait for a few seconds for them to settle, then throw your cast net out and get ready, as you can easily catch 50 to 100 in a single net.
Pilchards can be very difficult to keep alive during the day, so be sure not to overstock your live well, and circulate new water or change the water in your live well often. An aerator alone will not keep Pilchards alive for very long.
Pinfish, on the other hand, are much tougher than Pilchards, and will keep for quite a while with just an aerator.
Pinfish are caught in much the same way as Pilchards; find a nice, productive grass flat and you can chum or throw blind. You will usually come up with enough pinfish for the day in no time at all.
Some people will use what’s called a Sabiki Rig if the Pilchards or Pinfish are running deep or they don’t want their bait beat up by netting them. A Sabiki Rig is a line featuring several small lines with hooks coming off it (similar to a trot line), and each hook has a small skirt around it. As it is dragged through the water, the fish will bite the skirted hooks.
They are fun to use and in most cases you will get double or triple hook ups.
Get out as early in the morning as possible to catch these bait fish, and you’ll be glad you did!
Any other methods of catching good bait fish that you know of? Share them belowm