Menhaden Catching, rigging for rockfish
After pulling the common lures around Cape Henry the past 3 days and only catching 2 fish I was thinking of targeting Menhaden as a bait. When I was kid in Maine the Menhaden (Pogies) as we called them ran up the rivers and the large blue fish and stripers were right behind them. We used a weighted treble hook and snagged a few threw them in a garbage can full of water and then went fishing using them as live bait. Can this method be used here? I marked some very large bait balls and have heard of some folks snagging these baits with striper lures so snagging a few should not be a problem, but is it legal? I guess if you had the right cast net it could be done but usually the bait was in 30' or more of water, not sure how effective a cast net would be.
Never fished Cape Henry so don't know if it's legal, but it probably is. I did just that for the first time last year up north in the ocean with good results, probably around 20' of water. If you plan on keeping the fish don't rerig, just open that bail or freespool as soon as you snag one and let him drop down below or on the edges of the bait ball. Most times the fish will be on the edges or behind the school looking for those baits that fall behind. If you're not gonna keep em just bring the bait in, rerig with an 8/0 circle (larger if you have them) right behind the head on a short leader with a barrel swivel and an egg, and drop it right back down. Same bait, same bass, same instinct as up north, don't see why it wouldn't work down south just as well unless the bass are more spread out this time of year. Be interested how you do.