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Live Bait From the Gulf of Mexico.

**Credit for the photos in the Baitfish Profiles goes to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Division of Marine Fisheries, and to the artist, Diane Rome Peebles.**

There are many small fish that can be used as live bait in salt water -- Sardines, herrings, several varieties of pinfish, killifish, mutton minnows, chubs and any other fish that fits the size of the bait that you want. Also, remember this: if you try a new bait alive and nothing seems to want to eat it, you can sometimes be very successful by filleting it and using it as a cut chunk or strip bait.

Baitfish are seasonal; therefore I’ll often cast net baits like mullet and menhaden when they’re abundant, then freeze them for use during the winter. Most of the baitfish are gone then, and your fresh-frozen bait will be of better quality than most of the frozen stuff you buy in the tackle stores. To maintain the quality of your soon-to-be frozen bait, do it like this: Soak it overnight in a brine solution of two pounds of salt to a five gallon bucket of sea water, well iced down. Freeze it the next day in Ziplock bags (2-3 pounds of bait per bag), to make it easy to use on future trips. If you don’t care to go to this much trouble, then freeze the bait immediately - it will still be superior to most store-bought frozen bait. Most of the pre-rigged frozen baits are very costly for what you’re getting.

Remember, take only as much as you need and plan to use. Let the rest go alive, and leave some for tomorrow.

Captain Charlie

Button_Ballyhoo.jpg (5526 bytes)  Button_BlueRunner.jpg (5798 bytes)  Button_Cigar.jpg (6105 bytes)  Button_Crabs.jpg (5427 bytes)
Button_Croaker.jpg (6307 bytes)  Button_GlassMin.jpg (6063 bytes)  Button_Ladyfish.jpg (5602 bytes)  Button_Menhaden.jpg (5659 bytes)
Button_Mojarra.jpg (6311 bytes)  Button_Mullet.jpg (6009 bytes)  Button_Pigfish.jpg (5490 bytes)  Button_Pinfish.jpg (5422 bytes)
Button_SandPerch.jpg (5983 bytes)  Button_Scaled Sard.jpg (6253 bytes)  Button_SilPerch.jpg (6023 bytes)   Button_SilTrout.jpg (5938 bytes)
Button_SpanSardine.jpg (6371 bytes)  Button_Spotfish.jpg (5675 bytes)  Button_SpottailPin.jpg (6250 bytes)  Button_Threadfin.jpg (6331 bytes)
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Click here for a short history of baitfish in our area...


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