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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For digging fleas, I use my hands. If the fleas are thick, I can one-hand a couple when I'm ready to bait hooks. But that means you've got to stay near the fleas. I've started to store some in a soft-sided lunch cooler (kids school thing) with some damp sand and that helps. But when the fleas are deep or few-n-far between, you can really wear yourself out digging (w both hands).

I've used a $1 kitchen bowl/strainer/colander from Dollar General with decent success - except where the coquina shells are thick... but it is somewhat flimsy and not shaped to penetrate well into the sand.

I've seen a scoop advertised for 'treasure hunting'. Looked like a strong, plastic scoop, with holes in it for sifting. I might try it. $8 on Amazon.

I'll probably end up buying a sand flea rake, or making one (311POPE on youtube has a great vid on his). Commercially available ones can cost a nice chunk of money but may be worth it. Some look flimsy and tend to be less costly, but that's a waste of money if it doesn't hold up - my hands can do better than that.

So,

1. Any commercial ones that are the real deal?
2. Other alternatives? Often, the obvious solutions are right in plain view (like the kitchen [colander] or at the end of our wrists).
 

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For digging fleas, I use my hands. If the fleas are thick, I can one-hand a couple when I'm ready to bait hooks. But that means you've got to stay near the fleas. I've started to store some in a soft-sided lunch cooler (kids school thing) with some damp sand and that helps. But when the fleas are deep or few-n-far between, you can really wear yourself out digging (w both hands).

I've used a $1 kitchen bowl/strainer/colander from Dollar General with decent success - except where the coquina shells are thick... but it is somewhat flimsy and not shaped to penetrate well into the sand.

I've seen a scoop advertised for 'treasure hunting'. Looked like a strong, plastic scoop, with holes in it for sifting. I might try it. $8 on Amazon.

I'll probably end up buying a sand flea rake, or making one (311POPE on youtube has a great vid on his). Commercially available ones can cost a nice chunk of money but may be worth it. Some look flimsy and tend to be less costly, but that's a waste of money if it doesn't hold up - my hands can do better than that.

So,

1. Any commercial ones that are the real deal?
2. Other alternatives? Often, the obvious solutions are right in plain view (like the kitchen [colander] or at the end of our wrists).
Carry a Shovel in your Truck, you can tell your spouse you bought it to help her garden.

Take your cast net and cast it open on the beach, high and dry area.

Shovel sand/fleas on top of the net.

Shake the net out and you have a pile of fleas/shells/gold doubloons
 

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$40 dollar job I bought from Frank & Fran's 10 years ago is still going strong.
Considering all the bait it has provided, I figure it paid for itself about 8 years ago.

To keep my fleas I took a small hard six-pack sized cooler, stole a Tupperware container from the cabinet that fits tight enough to hold itself up against the sides without falling to the bottom & punched holes all over the bottom of the Tupperware.
Then I put ice in the bottom of the cooler to keep them cool, put a little sand in the Tupperware, and put the fleas on top.
Kept cool, and rinsed several times a day, they will stay alive for 3-4 days.
Last thing I do before leaving the beach at the end of the day is give them a good rinse, add new sand, add more ice to the bottom, and drop the cooler into my bigger cooler.
TjB
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SteveZ - will do
Garboman - garden idea - good move, but I'm going fishing without her this weekend and she's wanted me to help w the garden this weekend! I'll take a few gold doubloons...
tjbjornsen - thanks for the tip - that ammonia eats the best of them, I guess. I want the pompano to get the best.
we'd rand - was thinking of buying a minnow trap anyway!

Thanks, everyone!
 

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I love fleas so much that I broke down and bought the Fish N' Mate rake. It's very sturdy and will last a lifetime, I'm sure, but it's not exactly portable. If I'm tight on space or want to travel lighter, I just detach the basket from the pole and throw it in the bucket. You can still use it with just the stubby handle, you just have to get closer to the sand. It also keeps the kids entertained and keeps me in the bait.
 

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Half of a minnow trap works very well, like those made by frabill, the ones that have two pices that you bait with bread more minnows.

Go to the area where you think the fleas are, drink a third of a can of beer. Use a shovel to dig up some sand/fleas, dump the sand/fleas into the half a minnow trap, rinse the sand through the wire trap in a wave, leaving the fleas in the trap. Continue to finish the beer, while repeating the above step, until you have as many fleas as you need.
Finish the beer, place the empty can in the bottom of a 5 gallon pail, fill the half a trap with some damp sand, place on top of the empty beer can, in the bucket. Add fresh damp sand daily and rinse the waste from the bottom of the pail..................good idea to replace the empty beer can also..
 

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I'm saying use half a metal trap to scoop in the back wash/v". No shovel or anything else required. In SC, around Murrells Inlet and around the rock jetties, we would use our hands around the base of the rocks when the wash went back out and fill our pockets full while walking the surf up and down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I errantly omitted that I have children. I drove them to the beach. They can dig fleas! Actually, they have each loved to do that at times. My son, fortunately, still loves to, and this weekend he did that all the time, until...(see attached photo).

My son didn't really know how to spot the sand fleas, he just started digging or saw them scurrying in that last inch of wash draining away. He did pretty good. However, the beach was ripe with their sign along the crest of the sand. We ran up to one of those spots, dug the kitchen strainer in there and boom! I could feel the strainer hitting fleas that were just deeper than the lip. When I brought it up, it was level-full with sand. After straining one scoop:

Unfortunately, no fish in two days on the OBX.
Cuisine Dish Cockle
 

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I've used a stainless steel colander and also an aluminum colander in the past.
Keep an eye out at yard sales, thrift stores, etc......you may be able to get a cheap deal
on one. Doesn't matter if it's a little beat up....as long as it's the solid metal (not wire) type.
Pick it up, try and push the side together....if it doesn't budge easily or at all...then that's the type
to go for. Always give it a good wash down to get the salt residue off when you get home. It'll last longer that way.

I have also seen some people use the stainless steel vegetable baskets that are used on an outdoor cooking grill.
The type that has holes, grip handles on the side, and has some depth to it.

Good job on that sandflea haul. Hopefully the fish will co operate on your next outing.
 

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I get the black coated minnow trap and stomp down the hole unless you need a minnow trap. Scoop just like a flea rake and keep your fleas in the other half of the trap. Keep them in the shade and rinse every so often.

Only bad thing is bending over if you have a bad back or a plumber ass. 8$ or so for the trap. Takes up very little space too.
 
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