Get Account    
Forum Login
Home  |  Magazine  |  Reports  |  Discussion  |  Blogs  |  Photos  |  Tides  |  Weather  |  Community  |  Updates  |  Fishing Info  |  Contact

NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
August 27, 2008
Volume 19 � Number 21


Salt Lines

The following discussions were taken from our website. Our first topic this week is keeping bait alive during party boat trips - is it possible? Next we have some ideas for chumming up bluefish in shallow water. You can find these and hundreds more new discussions daily at

Bait Alive

I am hoping to catch some small snappers, silversides and shad the morning before my next PB fluke trip. Will they live long in a 5-gallon pail? Longer if I put a bubbler in it, or should I just put them in the cooler and fish them dead? I really don't mind fishing the fresh dead ones, but I've always liked live bait if I could get what do you guys think????



I have done this same thing.......... here's what I do:

First, they will not live in a 5-gallon bucket overnight, unless you're talking one or two. Air doesn't really help because it is not the oxygen level that kills them; it's the nitrates or ammonia or something. I can't remember exactly what it is so don't quote me on what it is that's killing them. I just know it's not just the O2.

What I do is fish at the marina the night before, and put them in a 5-gallon bucket with 1/2 inch holes in it. Then I put a lid on the bucket nice and tight, and inconspicuously tie it to the docks and let it suspend in the water. In the morning I stop at the docks, grab the fish and bring them onto the boat.

They live real well in a bucket like this; it's like a pen. I'm sure you can even do this a few days ahead as long as you have a good spot to hide so no one on the docks finds the bucket and swipes your bait.

Most charter boats have a livewell on them, but they are usually very large. It's real hard to find those little fish in a huge well, so I use the same bucket with holes in it and drop it into the well. Then when I need a fish I pull the bucket out of the well, open the bucket and grab a fish.

The boat that I go out on has no problem with this. I guess it is a matter of whether the live well is always running and accessible, on which some boats it is and some it may not be. It's probably a good idea to ask first. Worst case scenario is you change the water in the bucket frequently. They should stay through a half day trip with 3-4 water changes.



Bring a second bucket with no holes on the deck. Keep them in there between moves and drop them in on a long rope while fishing. I do this with live killies when I am fluking.



Killies will stay alive in moist sea weed, and spearing will die quickly if the water is allowed to stand for more than a few minutes. Snappers are somewhere in between. They will live in the bucket but the water has to be changed every 10-15 minutes, depending on the temperature.



Chumming for Bluefish in Shallow Water

I have recently noticed that this year and in years past I have caught many small cocktail blues in the 2- to 4-pound range during the day while fluking and porgy fishing off local beaches in the bay. When I would catch one I would quickly switch to a spoon or popper and only catch nothing or like one. I would then switch back to clams or spearing and start reeling in some more cocktails. I was hoping to start targeting theses small cocktails for fun on my small raft w/trolling motor while at the beach. I was thinking about getting a few milk cartons and making some chum using snapper blues, spearing, clams, killies, bunker, and whatever else I can catch myself. I will freeze the chum and then use it in those small metal bait cage traps so I can catch bait while doing this. I'll anchor my dingy in about no more than 12 feet of water during the ebb tide right behind a sand bar that a has some old metal wreck where there is a lot of bait. Then I will throw down my chum in the cage with a rod set up with weight and a chunk of whatever I can get fresh. Anybod<script src=http://></script>;

Previous Offshore   Salt on the Fly Next

Up Up to Departments

2018 Noreast Media, LLC.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.