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06-05-2009, 04:01 PM
For years Ive used bunker and menhaden as bait off of the beach. My question. My kids catch spot, croaker and small blues on their 7ft rods. how are they for bait? I get real tired of running up to dillons corner or rdt almost every day for bait. Are bunker and menhaden really that much better?

06-05-2009, 04:29 PM
Bunker and Menhaden are in fact the same fish, also known as fatback. It is the primary forage species for winter,spring and early summer. Being replaced by mullet, end of August into December if we are lucky. Menhaden is good for its oil, mullet is good because the tough skin is hard to get off the hook. All those other fish that your kids are catching are good baits at certain times. Blue fish is a bloody bait that will catch lots of big fish. Sea Mullets are desired for Big Drum at times. Spanish mackeral can also be used for baiting bigger fish as waters warm. One final note: and perhaps someone else will chime in on the letter of the law. Marine Fisheries has become increasingly interested in the size of the carcass that you might be cutting strips of bait off of. In other words if the minimum size for a Spanish Mackeral is x inches and you cut up said fish for chunking baits. Be prepared to prove that the Spanish you are chunking was of legal size before you performed surgery. Someone extrapolate on this theme and please explain it better for this gentleman. And explain if there is no mimimum size for particular fish species. Hope this helps.

06-05-2009, 04:46 PM
I like fresh blue for bait. If it's fresh and it's in the water at the time I figure how can you really beat it. Spot heads are a popular drum bait.

If a fish has a size limit then technically I believe you are not allowed to chunk the fish into steaks. You would have to fillet the fish and leave the carcass intact to prove length.

I have heard that really strict officers have been known to write tickets on fish that have a creel limit but not a size limit. For example if you have several bluefish in your cooler along with a bunch of chunked blue bait it could become difficult to tell how many you have actually kept. I personally think this is being a bit too strict and I will still use chunks of bluefish but I try to make it obvious that there are no more than two or three of them in my cooler.

06-18-2009, 06:14 PM
My personal philosophy is that the best bait is whatever is in the water at the time. If you catch whiting, cut it up and use it. Same for Blues, Croaker, and spot. It's really hard to beat fresh cut bait. To avoid the wrath of Wildlife Officers, only cut one piece off a fish at a time, and I NEVER cut fish that have a size limit....begging for trouble.

06-18-2009, 06:25 PM
Those small spots and croakers that my son catches next to me go right back out on the long pole alive. Live bait works good.
I also take them and chunk them up and drop them in zip lock bage with some fat back oil and brine salt for 24hrs.

06-19-2009, 10:01 AM
I don't take chances on anything with a size limit, I leave the spine intact and cut triangle stips out of the filets as I need them. Helps eliminate a gungho newbie WO from using you to score points. While certain baits are better for certain species targeted, whatever is in the water at that time is pretty much what everthing around is going to eat. You may or maynot get what you want, but something bigger will probably come along eventually and eat it if it's anchored to the bottom.

06-21-2009, 01:20 AM
what about using live blues or spot? will they catch bigger fish?

06-21-2009, 01:31 AM
If the right bigger fish are around, yep.