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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that the new regs are in effect we all need to think about using live spot/croaker much more often.I know that small spot and croaker work very well.I really dont want to have to buy them all the time.I have used the sabaki(SPELLN) rigs and have had to work too hard and produced too few live ones.I have a bull minnow trap but I believe that we are going to need bigger bait than bull minnows this year.I dont have a throw net yet.Any help with techniques/locations would be great.
I know that some of you dont want to give any secrets and I respect that.Any help would be appreciated and reciprecated.:helpsmilie:

Bobby Allen
 

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baby spot

work much better than croaker, also I like a strip of bluefish about 10-12 in long on a flounder rig with a nice size bullhead minnow ( makes it look like the minnow is eating the bluefish ( I guess) )

for the baby spot I just put a snapswivel on the end of my line and a six - eight inch dropper for a 1/2 - 1 oz weight and a #8 snelled hook right out of the snap swivel that way should the spot swallow the hook I just cut it off and snap another in place and save the spot. I used to use a 2 hook dropper until I noticed 90% of the fish were on the bottom hook...decided to use half the bait and half the hooks , got no where near as many tangles and still caught all the bait I needed

blood worms are the preferred bait but I have found as have others, fishbites in the bloodworm flavor work real well...in fact I have gone to using them to catch Pinfish for Tarpon bait and they outcatch the fresh squid 5-10 to one and they last a lot longer also AND they don't go bad in the sun or heat and keeping them in a plastic bag in my pocket is OK too.

hope this helps

I also keep my bait in 5 gal pails with 3/8 holes drilled all around the bucket with a commercial snap open lid (Got mine at BPS), I do drill 3-4 small holes along the rim of the lid and put a couple SS screws in to keep the lid from being popped off the bucket by water pressure
and I NOW drill two small holes near the snap open latch and stretch a small piece of bungee acros the top of the catch as the Pelicans have learned how to reach down and pop the unsecured latch, I also put a small rock or a lead weight just heavy enough to sink the bucket...keeping the baits in the warm surface water can be detrimental to the longevity of the baits
 

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Threadfin

In the past, you could catch all of the Threadfin you wanted using Sabiki rigs w/out bait... They usually were around by the end of May and stay thru August.... They aren't the hardiest baits, but they are easily caught, produce a lot of flash, and are fairly oily.. I use them live for anything from Cobia to Flatties, and cut works well too.... I usually just catch them as I need them when fishing a slick or near structure... otherwise, it's baby spot and croaker from the castnet or Sabiki's in shallow(2-5ft) water.. Chum/Bait any area for a bit then try a baited Sabiki to load up.
 

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otherwise...

Trap Bull Minnows and cull out the little fellas saving the large one's in a bait pen... Usually start catching them by the end of this month in tidal creeks... Just about any bait works.. Never met a Flattie that didn't like a nice Bull minnow snack
 

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Easiest is bread or some crushed up crab.... A good one is oatmeal soaked in menhaden oil or dog food....I usually use the bread or dog food, but the crab works GREAT if there are some nearby; you can crush and broadcast them throughout the area you intend to net.... low tide seems an easier go as the baits get concentrated and are easy to locate.... this usually holds true for Bull minnows and those' candy' mullet that show up in late April...
 

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I agree with Capt. Bob, a good 8-10" strip of blue fish works extremely well on a bucktail. For croaker which you can actually find in the spring unlike spot, I usually find them just outside of the inlet using a traditional bottom rig with blood worm fish bites. Bull minnows with 8-10' strips of clean squid are always a crowd pleaser.
 

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Chesapeake cocktail

The old squid/minnow combo(aka chesapeake cocktail) is definetly a favorite... I like my strip bait lengths a little smaller in the spring though, until the water warms a bit to make them feed more aggressively... In the fall, or when I'm wrecking for them, I like the longer baits... I can't wait til' they're around and we can get out after them....:fishing2:
 

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I have had great luck catching little spot in the creeks back behind long bay point. Use fishbites or bloodworms. They also hang around the little island in front of long bay point marina at the foot of the bridge. Ideally catch the fish on windy days and save them in a pen. I know a pen is out of the reach of most, but the locations I mentioned are still great if you are willing to start the day early looking for bait. Also, later in the summer the bunker start getting some size and they are all over Lynnhaven inlet. These menhaden are fragile but they work well too, if you can keep them alive.
 

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While live bait (spot, croaker, and mullet) works well for big flatties I have consistently caught large fish without using these live baits. For me personally, the closed season in March will probably have more effect than the size limits. Also, I no longer typically fish the area of the CBBT as the crowds and the competition are just too great.

Flounder are sight feeders and matching the hatch is important. In early season flounder seem to like smaller baits better, even the big ones. As the season progresses I increase the size of my bait. Early season I prefer the old fashioned squid/bull minnow combination. I fish humps near deep water but if it is warm for a few days in a row I move shallow. I might catch a lot of smaller fish in order to get my bigger ones but that's ok with me as I like catching fish, even those I am throwing back.

As the season progresses, I like flounder belly and as it gets hot I forget about the minnows. Bluefish or even croaker is a fair substitute. The key is learning where bigger fish live rather than worrying about the bait. Flounder are voracious feeders and while they can be finicky I have found that location is every bit as important if not more so than the bait.

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in the spring i like to use minnows and cut bait sandwichs in the shallows (catch minnows in traps anywhere there is tidal water crushed crab works best, blue fish, squid strips on a bucktail) the spring the flounder seem to be on the smaller side at least what i have caught anyway. so i tend to stay on the shallow water it warms up quicker (lynnhaven, little creek) watch the tides closely where to fish. once it starts to warm up i switch to jigging close to the pilons with live bait ( CAUGHT IN BACK OF CRAB CREEK NEAR #5 BOUY, I HAVE A FRIEND THAT HAS A BAIT TANK IN THE WATER AT THE END OF HIS DOCK I TAKE WHAT I PUT IN BUT MOSTLY PUT IN SO IT LAST ALL SUMMER WE LIKE TO USE FISH UNDER 6 INCHES I LIKE THE 3 1/2" FISH BEST) mile marker 8 and 12 seem to be crouded in the summer months so i tend to go search for any dip, hollow, rock or structure that my finder picks up again watch the tides and the structure if i see the taller point is on the down side of the current i try once but then mark it and come back when it switches around. i like to have the rod in my hand at all times the bites are very weak mostly it is just added weight let him chew on the bait for a while then set the hook. i think it was capt. paige who said its beter to loose the fish at the hook set than to loose it at the boat because of a poor hook set.
i used power pro green 50lbs with a 3 way 12 inches of drop to the lead (20 lbs) and at least 36" of leader (40 lbs) note the different lbs of leader for the lead rather loose lead than fish

thats how i do it anyway hope it helps

toby

ps i have sold my boat and maybe looking for a ride if anyone is in need a ho!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the comments.I too use the bigger bull minnows early in the season.I catch them at waterview in portsmouth mostly.I too like the ches cocktail.Again thanks for your input.
 
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