Pier and Surf Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Honestly I can't think of a time I've done as well on them as with a little bit of fresh shrimp.

I'm mostly targeting mullet, pompano, red and black drum on the beach. Fishing small Owner or Mustad circles, or small Kahle hooks if big pompano are around.

No problem catching fleas, and I'm not slinging them off on the cast. Fishbites or not, shrimp seems to work better for me.

How about you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
No, fleas aren't "overrated". ! That's all I use when fleas are available and that's what sea mullet, pomps, black drum, and a list of other species are feeding on in close. I get better quality fish with fleas on a River rig than with shrimp or fish bites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
On Avalon yesterday morning the anglers using sand fleas were catching fish. The rest were just fishing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,640 Posts
Not overrated, but they're not the be all end all bait. In dirty water some fresh peeled shrimp might be getting some more bites due to scent, but I'm not a fish and couldn't tell you how much scent a flea gives off. I do crack the sides of the shell off of them. The color from Fishbites is no doubt a huge plus. I have caught very nice fish of all 4 species you mentioned on just a 1/2" square piece of Fishbites...

I always fish fleas when I can find them during daylight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Not overrated, but they're not the be all end all bait. In dirty water some fresh peeled shrimp might be getting some more bites due to scent, but I'm not a fish and couldn't tell you how much scent a flea gives off. I do crack the sides of the shell off of them. The color from Fishbites is no doubt a huge plus. I have caught very nice fish of all 4 species you mentioned on just a 1/2" square piece of Fishbites...

I always fish fleas when I can find them during daylight.
Not overrated at all. The quality of fish I've caught on sand fleas vs any other bait usually pales in comparison. Im more about the quality than the quantity. Plus Sometimes you need to fish them at your feet too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
I've only ever had reliable success with them in the first ditch, right behind the break. Shrimp and fish bites on anything further out. Have gotten lucky with a flea out in the distance on occasion but not often. I like to fish them on a pomp jig with a trout rod also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Honestly I can't think of a time I've done as well on them as with a little bit of fresh shrimp.

I'm mostly targeting mullet, pompano, red and black drum on the beach. Fishing small Owner or Mustad circles, or small Kahle hooks if big pompano are around.

No problem catching fleas, and I'm not slinging them off on the cast. Fishbites or not, shrimp seems to work better for me.

How about you?
I've not had much success with them but that doesn't mean I'm not doing something wrong. Having only been able to visit one week a year mostly I'm still learning and adjusting what I do and how I fish. Just figured out in the last 4 to 5 years or so how many fish you can catch practically at your feet. From what I understand fish key in on the females that have eggs tucked underneath as well as they are more nutritious. Not 100% sure that is true in all cases but it makes sense to me. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm a once-or-twice a year surf fisherman at this point, but I generally get into the fish. I'll have baits out everywhere from in the suds on 7 ft rods, to over the breakers on a Team Alabama 13 ft rod.

I'm not going to give up on sand fleas, but I just don't seem to do as well with them. When quality fish around, I haven't noticed a difference in take rate on fleas vs. shrimp. Of course if that ever changes even once on a trip, it's worth the effort.

I do try different combinations of shrimp+fishbites, flea+fishbites, just to tune in the bite on a given day. It's just always surprised me a bit that I've never seen a time when the fish really preferred fleas over shrimp.

@ Benji, that's a good point about keeping them fairly close in. I know for a fact I haven't had much luck with fleas on long casts, to the point that I distinctly recall a few times where I've reeled them in still intact when it was time to re-bait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,199 Posts
I'm a once-or-twice a year surf fisherman at this point, but I generally get into the fish. I'll have baits out everywhere from in the suds on 7 ft rods, to over the breakers on a Team Alabama 13 ft rod.

I'm not going to give up on sand fleas, but I just don't seem to do as well with them. When quality fish around, I haven't noticed a difference in take rate on fleas vs. shrimp. Of course if that ever changes even once on a trip, it's worth the effort.

I do try different combinations of shrimp+fishbites, flea+fishbites, just to tune in the bite on a given day. It's just always surprised me a bit that I've never seen a time when the fish really preferred fleas over shrimp.

@ Benji, that's a good point about keeping them fairly close in. I know for a fact I haven't had much luck with fleas on long casts, to the point that I distinctly recall a few times where I've reeled them in still intact when it was time to re-bait.
once you buy a SF rake the fleas are free the rest of your life and is the natural choice but sometimes I will do better on shrimp ( which you will have to buy forever ) but most of the time I do better on SF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
SE NC Citation Pomp Chaser here: I'm no expert and sure many people on this board can outfish me, but If live fleas are around, that is the ONLY bait I am fishing on my rods (4-6 usually, baits put all different depths - but always 2 rods out FAR). I have fished super fresh shrimp / fresh clam (both killed right there on the beach, can't get fresher than that), salted shrimp, salted fresh clam (in kosher salt the night before in the fridge), fishbites (all flavors: EZ flea, shrimp/crab/clam in all colors, IMO, bloodworm), even small crabs (e.g. live fiddlers). I have caught on all baits and sure I catch plenty of mullets & pomps on shrimp & fishbites, but if I want "real pomps" (over 2-3 lbs) and mullet almost the size of lower slot puppy drum live fleas will get it done 10:1 compared to other baits at the beaches I frequent. If bait stealers are thick (and peck the fleas off the hook) then I go to fishbites by necessity, not by choice. I used to be a die hard shrimp fisherman and didn't believe in fleas for a long time as I never really gave them a try - then fished only fleas for a year and my catch rate went down but I could not believe the quality of fish I was pulling in. Never looked back. When I'm not lazy I will tip my flea with fishbites but no real need IMO when the water is clear. On the flat beaches I fish a flea put waaay out and this will pull in the largest mullet and pomps (4-5lbs) I have ever seen from this beach. On steeper beaches I'll keep it closer in. YMMV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,630 Posts
Flea gods, how are you fishing them? I've tried naked fleas, two fleas at a time, a big gob of fleas, fleas far out and close in. Fleas with just a little orange fishbite to simulate eggs. Have been doing this for years and am yet to catch a fish on a flea. My go to is a postage stamp sized piece of cutbait, cut in the shape of a flag, hooked in the wide end. Most always catch with the piece of cutbait. Don't recall ever having a bite on a flea.
Fishing with no steel, just knots, either double drop or a river type rig. Tiny circles.
Please give up your secrets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,640 Posts
Flea gods, how are you fishing them? I've tried naked fleas, two fleas at a time, a big gob of fleas, fleas far out and close in. Fleas with just a little orange fishbite to simulate eggs. Have been doing this for years and am yet to catch a fish on a flea. My go to is a postage stamp sized piece of cutbait, cut in the shape of a flag, hooked in the wide end. Most always catch with the piece of cutbait. Don't recall ever having a bite on a flea.
Fishing with no steel, just knots, either double drop or a river type rig. Tiny circles.
Please give up your secrets.
That's about it. I use 25 lb fluoro, 2 #4 Owner Mutu hooks, and a 3 oz sinker on light bendy rods.

One rod about 10 feet out especially at high tide on sharp sloping beaches, one in the trough, one on the bar, one behind the bar.

Sounds like a case of needing to fish where the fish are. You can't help but catch whiting/sea mullet doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Flea gods, how are you fishing them? I've tried naked fleas, two fleas at a time, a big gob of fleas, fleas far out and close in. Fleas with just a little orange fishbite to simulate eggs. Have been doing this for years and am yet to catch a fish on a flea. My go to is a postage stamp sized piece of cutbait, cut in the shape of a flag, hooked in the wide end. Most always catch with the piece of cutbait. Don't recall ever having a bite on a flea.
Fishing with no steel, just knots, either double drop or a river type rig. Tiny circles.
Please give up your secrets.
If the ocean is nice I like fishing an ultralight rod with just a pinch weight and a #4 mutu light hook. Medium sized eggy fleas hooked through the claw and out the back, then i pinch the butt to get more scent going. Wait until you feel the weight of the fish and come tight and reel her in. Don't try to set the hook on the bites. Cast right in the trough next to the shore. The fish are eating the fleas as they are washed out by waves
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
309 Posts
Medium sized fleas with a small piece of orange ez flea on a river rig. in close or on the edge of a rip current.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
Some fisherman use too much weight, they throw a little to far past the edge and it stays there .... use a lighter sinker, like 2 or 2.5 oz and the current will move it to the edge and it'll lay there where the fish are, if it washs up increase your weight a little ..... don't worry so much about slack in your line ... it'll straighten out when the fish takes it .... the wind can also play a big part in moving it to the edge ...... if you're several foot out from the edge or the drop you may not catch a thing ..... the fish are facing the wash or running into the wash to get fleas .... they don't have eyes in their tails ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,290 Posts
"they don't have eyes in their tails "...

They also do not have mail boxes....I learned 55 years ago from a Flounder Fisherman who took pity on an 11 year old Garbo fishing Kitty Hawk beach with a two hook pyramid sinker hold it in place rig. He handed me a handful of Flounder Belly cut into long triangles and showed me his Flounder Rig. It was one thin Aberdeen gold hook on a two foot trace and a 1/2 ounce egg sinker. This Flounder pro would walk every morning fishing the first Drop almost exclusively and every morning he would have some nice Flounders in his sack he carried on his belt. He walked generally a mile or so each fishable morning. He is long dead likely as I am now his age. He was the Flounder Man....just flicked his bait behind the wave and let it drift.

Too many people these days set up CAMP and stay in the same spot all day long. The Fish move in and out and down the beach unless you have a secret cut in the bar scoped out and I ran into Fish like a Girl parked on one a few years back, the cut formed into a 20 feet hole right on the beach on Ramp 43. Water was Clear and Blue and some nice fish came out of that hole until it filled in with storm swell.

River and Fish like a Girl and her assistant Husband Bronzie wrote the book on this style of fishing the Flea thing I mean for Pomps and Sea Mullet. They designed rigs rods and put the time in when Garbo was off doing something else......like bumming Sea Mullet Heads....
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top