Live Bait Wrap-up: A Few
**Credit for the photos in the Baitfish Profiles goes to the D.E.P. Division of Marine
services, Office of Fisheries Management, and to the artist, Diane Rome Peebles.**
There are many other small fish that can be used as live bait in salt water -- several
varieties of pinfish, killifish, mutton minnows, chubs and any other fish that fits the
size of the bait that you want. Also, remember this: if you try a new bait alive and
nothing seems to want to eat it, you can be very successful by filleting it and using it
as a cut chunk or strip bait.
Baitfish are seasonal; therefore Ill often cast net baits like mullet and
menhaden when theyre abundant, then freeze them for use during the winter. Most of
the baitfish are gone then, and your fresh-frozen bait will be of better quality than most
of the frozen stuff you buy in the tackle stores. To maintain the quality of your
soon-to-be frozen bait, do it like this: Soak it overnight in a brine solution of two
pounds of salt to a five gallon bucket of sea water, well iced down. Freeze it the next
day in Ziplock bags (2-3 pounds of bait per bag), to make it easy to use on future trips.
If you dont care to go to this much trouble, then freeze the bait immediately - it
will still be superior to most store-bought frozen bait. Most of the pre-rigged frozen
baits are very costly for what youre getting - we see very few of them around this
Remember, take only as much as you need and plan to use. Let the rest go alive, and
leave some for tomorrow.
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