How to catch right bait to get that big one

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By Danny Allen

Well folks, from week to week I dig around in my back pocket to find a topic to cover in “this week’s article.” This week’s idea came from a picture a new client of mine took of me while I was catching bait. 


So this week we will cover live baits and the fish you can target with those baits. 

Let’s start with baits used from being caught with traps or digging on oyster bars. The fiddler crab is easily located close to the landline edges. They are good for mainly sheepshead but can catch redfish and flounder. The pass crab is caught by trap and will catch many species. Cobia, tarpon, permit, flounder, black drum and redfish are the highest quality of species they attract.

Around the channel markers is usually a small white bait called thread fin or razor bellys. Those are tough to keep live but great for tarpon and redfish. A small mesh cast net that sinks fast is the best way, making sure to not throw on the current side or you’ll get your net tangled in the marker. 

That same net can be used to catch mud minnows which are around the beaches of the islands. Mud minnows are great for redfish and trout. By chumming up a flat you can draw lots of pinfish to the back of the boat which is a easy target for a big fast-sinking cast net. You can also take a sabiki rig on your rod and catch multiple pinfish on each cast. 

Pinfish are one of the greatest all-around baits. You can target about every species inshore and offshore with the pinfish. Basically if you would like to catch anything in our waters use a pinfish. 

My most used bait in my charters is the mullet. That’s mainly because the mullet is a great cut and dry redfish bait. Redfish are my favorite species to target. Find you a point with some current and a deep spot and you will find mullet.

The BBRC had its July event last Saturday we had 17 teams show up to battle the storms and the slow summer time lure bite. The team of Holloway and Crews picked up the win with a 11.84 pounds. The club has two events left before the Team of the Year award is handed out. As of now, the team of Drummond and Hawkins are in a good lead.

That’s all I got this week. Hope my bait tips help ya ‘out on the salt ... 

Capt. Danny Allen can be reached at gulfcoastflatsfishing@gmail.com or 352-215-3686.