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Cigar Minnow

Cigar minnows, cigarfish, or hard tails are all "Round Scad", Decapterus punctatus. They grow commonly to 6 inches but can be as large as 12 inches. As the name belies, they are cigar shaped and have a line of enlarged scaled running the length of the body on the sides and a tiny finlet behind the dorsal fin and behind the anal fin. You can catch them in a cast net or with gold hook rigs in the same areas that you find sardines or threadfin. They are in the same size range as sardines so if you are using a Sabiki rig to catch them a # 8 is a good size to use. They are also sold frozen and are an excellent cut or whole bait for almost everything. For live bait fishing, hook them in the cartilage in the nose and troll away. They are a hardy fish in the well and on the hook, and like the blue runner, can out swim the boat if you are not careful.

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