Here's my all-time favorite bait for just about everything on the Gulf coast! Spanish sardines (Sardinella aurita) are members of the herring family and have a slender body, bluish or greenish back, white belly and very silver sides. They grow to about ten inches - and will fill your bait well with loose scales very quickly. You must have a good water flow to keep them healthy - especially during summer when water temperatures are high. Everything loves to eat sardines and they are great bait either alive or cut, trolled or fished on the bottom. They can be caught on gold hook rigs or with a cast net (3/8 inch mesh) in shallow waters. They are frequently found around piers and reefs. When you do catch them you should immediately hook one or two on your rods and begin fishing right where you caught them - at least for a little while - because generally there are some predators around feeding on them. Those predator species are generally the fish youre looking to catch. Note: Sardines can be fished out by the commercial netters, and have been in the past in California and the Tampa Bay area as well as other parts of the world. Watch your coastal area if you have lots of Spanish sardines around. If you see the purse seiners or trawlers starting to catch them, you had best get immediately involved with a strong conservation group if you want to see these valuable baitfish saved.