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Discussion Starter #1
Once again I must state that I'm new to the board, but I've always enjoyed Pier and Surf fishing. I keep hearing people refer to "Bunker" What in the world is it? That word has never come up in my fishing circle, but if it'll help me catch more fish I'll try it.

(Is it chum?)
 

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yea threw me off for awhile also....they talking about bait fish...think menhaden are called "peanut bunker"..."bunker"... and i think silver sides also..not sure on that one..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks

That's why I love this board, you learn something new all the time. I will become a top class angler yet--P&S'ers get ready for a new angler of the month (my time is coming)
 

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Them silver sides aren't the same as bunker(menhadden, alewives) Lots of people call them shiners around here.
 

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Yup, bunker=menhaden. They call them peanuts when they're small.

The fish are filter feeders that grow up in the estuaries and then head into the open ocean when they become adults. They travel in schools of hundreds of thousands and are a very important forage for almost everything that swims. It's a killer bait for stripers, cobes and drum.

Here are peanuts:


The fish are extremely oily and give off lots of scent.

Silversides are a different fish. They are translucent with a bright metallic stripe down their side. They look like this. There were thousands of them washed up on the beach last winter during a striper blitz I lucked into.
 

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Lingo.....

Hey there.... Here's my take on the bait name game.
Menhaden is the common name for these bait fish. However, they are also called the following>>>
"peanuts" , 'peanut Bunker', fat backs, 'bunker', 'trout candy', and chum....... 'Peanuts' is used when they are small, 2" to 6", any bigger and call 'em any of the other names. One of the best live and cut baits going, and a MAIN staple of most predatory species in the Bay....... Unfortunately, 3 miles out in the winter, the foreign boats come and net them by the millions for, of all things, pet food..... This is another very touchy subject and really will dictate the future food supplies for the Bay's inhabitant's......

The problem with these fellas is keeping them alive. They need A LOT of freshly circulated water and a round livewell. If in a square or rectangular bait well, they aren't real bright and will repeatedly run into the walls injuring or killing themselves. They work well dead also, just freeze 'em with some salt in a ziplock for your next outting.......... Hope this is helpful

Zigh
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:D
 

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OK I thought Fat back was mullet-Not to be confused with the the slang name they give to roundheads-which, not to add to the confusion,is awesome Drum Bait.

So I hope all confusion is cleared
 

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Every once in a while this comes up. "Bunker" is just one of the names for menhaden. They go by alewives, bunker, moss bunker, and several other names depending where you are. As stated by others, they are a great bait. You can usually find them by docks, and can castnet them if you are good enough. Larger ones may swim by piers and inlets in massive groups, and with one good throw with a castnet, you can have enough bait for the year. They can range from 1 inch to several pounds. They rarely take hook and line, but I have caught them that way. I have also caught them using sabaki rigs, but it seems that cast netting them is the way to go. Hope this helps.
-Anthony
 

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Discussion Starter #9
menhaden huh

I don't have a cast net---Can these be purchased at your local bait shop--And then again how many will I need to add to my bait bucket for a four hour fishing trip? And the last question is whats the going price? I take it you simply come up with the hook from the bottom lip and come back through the top to bait your hook
 

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castnet.....

They run $15 to $30 bucks for a standard one 3' or 4'..... They are easy to learn to throw and can be found at most all tackle stores, Sport's Authority, and Wal-mart/ Super K stores...........
Try and avoid areas with rough bottom and snags.. The beach is a good shot as are any of the marinas at night... Good Luck

Zigh
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Menhaden in;
Va. bunker
Nc. Fatbacks
Southern Nc. Pogies

As Sand Flea said, they start in the creeks, the ones that are not eaten there go into the bay and are eaten by other fish. The lucky ones that survive all that are scarfed up by the Menhaden boats, and they are not all forgieners, the boys in Reedsville get their share.
Every thing that swims and has teeth eats Menhaden. They are like Hay to Cattle.
 

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Sand Flea...now ya got me thinking...

sand flea said:
They call them peanuts when they're small.


Here are peanuts:




Now I'm wondering what I've been catching with a cast net in the James near Richmond (below the fall line) ??? Always thought they were Threadfins...
 

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hooking the bait......

I like to hook them just above and behind the eyes when I'm after large Flatties using a bucktail. I think the side profile and flash increases strikes... When I use them live or on a fishfinder rig, I'll hook them as you suggested, thru the bottom lip and thru the top........ there are few fish that swim that can pass by a live 'Peanut'..........

Zigh
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Discussion Starter #14
It's obvious being that this is pier and surf that I do not own a boat (at this moment) with a live well. If I were to purchase a couple of dozen of these--How long can I expect them to live in a bucket
 

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not long, but......

I was thinking you could place a battery operated air pump(inexpensive) in a full five gallon bucket and easily keep 2 dozen alive.. Just refresh the water every once in a bit using your normal bait bucket........... whaddya think?! Or, use 'em dead....That'll work too

Zigh
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battery operated pump

Nope kill them as fast as keeping them on the sand.I believe they need larger air bubbles or faster moving current.

Caught a few months ago @ Great Neck passge and had them in a bait bucket(the yellow one's you tie on )They died in less than half an hour in that too.The peanuts are truley not as strong as there bigger brothers.
 

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You can keep them alive in a bucket with an aerator, but you can't put too many in at once. I would suggest keeping less than two dozen in a 5 gallon bucket. Me and Jason caught a few last week at breezy point and put them into a bucket. Some stayed alive.
-Anthony
 

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last time i was at rudee's inlet i was in a boat at the mouth of inlet by the ocean jetty....i caught a ton of bunker with a cast net.......4 ppl on boat... 2 of us were using gudeons and 2 were using bunker... the 2 that were using bunker was catching grey trout and croaker ..nothing esle......me and other guy using gudeons were catching flounder only...i couldnt catch greys:(.....i kept the bunker alive with aerator...they lived for a couple hours...rudees inlet is a good place to catch bunker
 

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I posted a thread (on the "Boating Board") about cast-netting some last week out of Crab Creek to fish the Lesner. They didn't stay alive long in either a floating minner bucket or an airiated 5 gal. bucket but next time we hope to have an overhead spray type airiator in a large cooler to improve things. They still caught fish dead ( 5-6lb. pups and 8-10lb. Stripers). I hooked them from under their gills and brought the hook out of the top of their head right between their eyes and fished them on a 2' leader in a good moving current with a fish-finder rig. It made them at least look something like they were swimming.
 
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