Sand fleas as bait. What am I doing wrong?
Guys I cant ever seem to catch anything from the surf on sand fleas. I generally hook them up through the shell from bottom to top in a way that keeps them alive and moving. I have never caught anything on them.
You might be in the wrong place in the surf..too far out, sitting on a sand bar etc..
1. What kind of rig are you using, and what kind/size hooks?
2. How far are you throwing them? Sand fleas are better bait close-in IMO, because that's where the fish would normally find them, as opposed to 30+ yds out.
I use a spot or croaker rig. As far as distance, I usually only cast beyond the waves final break at the shore. Maybe 30 feet.
I personally don't even go that far out with them. Usually about 10 feet out I guess...maybe in a foot or so of water. I've had mixed results with them though.. although, most of the time I've used them was at either Oak Island or Topsail Beach and both places was calm water.
Originally Posted by 1BadF350
** by 10 feet out, I mean 10 feet from the breakers on the beach.
Your fleas are probably digging into the sand like the are designed to do, the Sand fleas are outwitting you.... and the Pomps can't see them, try pinching their heads and as stated just out over the first drop at the edge of the surf.
what size fleas r u using & give much more specific info on your rigs, hooks, etc. When u reel in your bait are the fleas still there or are thry gone?
Im using various size fleas, 3/4 to 1 inch long. The rigs are the pre-made spot/pompano rigs you buy at the store. 2 hooks with small floats (upper and lower) with weight on the bottom.
The fleas seem to stay on for a little while. Usually they soak for 15-20 mins and when I reel them up to check they are gone. Not all the time though.
The floats could be your problem.
Pompano are sight feeders and they look for the sand fleas on the bottom, where they usually are.
You might be floating them above their heads.
If you are using store bought rigs and such, look for the snelled hooks with the little beads on them, and sometimes those little spoons that spin.
Put those on the two hook dropper rigs.
Hook sizes should be anywhere from a #6 up to a #1, or #1/0.
And some swear by gold hooks, others swear it makes no difference at all...
If you are interested, there are a lot of threads here about tying your own 2 hook dropper rigs.
It is a topic for much sprited debate as to what works best, and what is worth the trouble.
"Fluff... Zing... POW!"
I've fared better on pomps with regular hooks than the gold ones. They don't keep a sharp point very well at all, especially when using fleas.
Originally Posted by tjbjornsen
I'm in the camp of "just say no" to storebought rigs.
"I'm in the camp of "just say no" to storebought rigs. "
Me too, but I figured that is my affliction and not his...
First we get him off the floats,
THEN we get him tying his own rigs.
By this time next month we'll have him lurking around craft stores looking for just the right beads to match the coquinas!
"Fluff... Zing... POW!"
what rod,reel,line lb. test,type of weight and oz.you normally use,dead stick or holding your rod, where do you fish. Please answer the "where do you fish" question first.
P.S. -funny you mentioned beads Tbj, I just got back from the bead store.And I found some good ones, prolly good enough to buy an island with, or maybe jungle land to put some touron rides and a put-put on!
Last edited by HStew; 09-13-2011 at 02:59 PM.
Reason: add on
doesn't take much to take a flea ... and also easy to fling off ... might be better even holding the rod when using fleas
Use two hooks and try super mutu light wire circle hooks(no beads) size 2 and/or 4. Use SMALL sand fleas < 1/4 wide - two on a hook. The "young" of pretty much everything is more tender than the old crusty ones. Put your rod in the sand spike - they(mullet & pomps) will hook them themselves. Most sandflea rakes need to be lined with 1/4 inch hardware cloth to catch the little ones. Fish in close OR put it on the bar if you can reach it. YMWVTM...
OK so if you are often reeling in a bare hook that raises 2 possibilities (assuming they are not flying off when you cast):
1. the sand fleas are being nibbled off by pinfish, etc. leaving a bare hook which is why you're not catching fish
2. the sand fleas are actually being eaten by whiting/pomps and you can't detect the bite when it happens and then the fish eventually comes off the hook
If #1 is happening you will often reel in a flea in which the legs/underside have been chewed/eaten off and there is only a part of a flea left on a hook. Make sure you have a rod with good bite detection (i.e. soft tip), a lot of normal surf rods are too stiff for flea fishing.
Speaking of floats, many people use them specifically to target pomps...i.e. float them up in the water column where the pomps can see them from far away.
Never "pinched" their heads, learn something new everyday!!
You may be fishing where this bait is unproductive- are people catching blk. drum,pomps,whiting around you. Your line/rod is too heavy...fish pole not detecting bites-get a noodle rod(more parabolic). You may not be fishing right distance from beach.Some people need 12' to 14' to reach the fish, while others do well close to shore with a 7' rod. Pomps like clean clear water. Drum and whiting will feed in water that has been roughed up a couple days and not clear.If you are using circles are you leaving enough gap?
I like to fish them in front of a flee patch or in front of shell beds. I fish them in close, in the ditch the first couple of waves produce on hand tied double drop rigs with #3-5 hooks. I have caught Pomps, whiting, black drum, red drum and flounder on them. Cut up any fish you catch in the surf, and their full of them. You'll have hit and miss days, but believe everyone, they are great bait, and cheap!!
WOW I guess "the devil is in the details" as they say.
I'll try the rigs with no floats. I usually fish the sand fleas and fishbites on a small 6'-6" rod.
What size weight is the "most common" for in close flea fishing? I know it somewhat depends on conditions, what would most like to use or normally use?
As you said, it depends on the conditions. Basically the smallest weight you can get to hold.
If you throw a 2 and it's washing in, change it to a 3. If 3 doesn't hold, throw a 4. Easy peasy.