Bait fish are flatfish usually caught for human consumption as bait for recreational fishing. Species utilized are usually those that breed quickly and are fairly common, making them relatively easy to find and in frequent supply. Some of the most common species are yellow tail bluefish, black tipped bluefish, spotted trout, and channel catfish. They are sometimes also utilized as bait for big-game fishing. However, they can also be fished for sport and recreational purposes.
In most instances, bait fish are fished using a spinning method. It is usually necessary for the angler to use a long hair attached to a stocking or a spinner. The spinning motion causes the hook to become heavier and, in turn, draws the fish into the hook. This form of bait fishing has been used successfully by many experienced anglers for centuries. Other methods include fly fishing, casting, and catching bait fish off the shore using a net.
For the home fisherman, it may be easier to utilize bait fish when fishing for small fish such as minnows. Minnows and small crankbaits are perfect bait fish candidates because they do not have to be fished for to keep their weight down. Additionally, they have a tendency to stay close to the bottom, where they feed constantly. They make excellent baitfish when fished on a regular basis.
Bluegill, roosterfish and barracuda are some of the other types of bait fish that are often fished for. Bluegill, also known as bluegills, are found throughout most of North America, although they are particularly popular in the eastern Atlantic and the northeastern Pacific regions. These fish eat a variety of aquatic plants and invertebrates, including algae, clams, crayfish and crabs. Roosterfish, on the other hand, is found along the shores of the Eastern Pacific and Southern Atlantic Ocean regions. Roosterfish also feed off of small crustaceans, fish and shads.
On the West Coast, flatfish are caught primarily for their delicious, fatty mouthwatering. Flatfish are found from southern California to central Oregon and can grow to over five inches in length. Flatfish are often fished for sport, as their size and fatty mouthwatering make them great bait fish candidates. However, there are many species of flatfish that are prized for sport fishing. Some of these flatfish include the sardine, black fin tuna, gray snapper, king mackerel, bluefish, red snapper, albacore tuna, barracuda, wahoo and Dorado.
Best Baits for Fishing
During the spring and summer months, many experienced anglers fatten their livers to capture a number of the local resident bait fish like the small schooled trout. This is often done by hanging a small weight from a hook and waiting for the trout to bite the bait fish. The small schooled trout is very active during the spring and summer months, and they love to attack and latch on to smaller bait fish such as the red, black or white bass, small mouth bass, and any other smaller fish that swim near the water’s edge. To attract these trout, it is important to attach a small lure with a bright orange head to the end of a bodkin or small line.
During the fall and winter months, anglers fatten their livers to catch some of the larger bait fish such as winter trout or rainbow trout. Some of these baits can be fished at a depth of up to six feet, and they are sometimes fished with ultra-light tackle. Some of the best bait fish to use during fall and winter include small goldfish, silver dollars, and pike. Pike also like to feed around the shallow edges of lakes and dams, where they hunt for small fish and invertebrates. A pike bait fish should be fished just deep enough to allow you to maneuver it through the shallow water.
Spring and summer may not offer many options for bait fish for fishing, because the water has warm temperatures and there are not as many insects. When bait fish forage in shallow waters during spring, the baitfish will usually go after minnows and crayfish. However, in the fall and winter months, bait fish forage in deeper areas where there are many insects. Some of these baits include shad, perch, catfish, bluegill, grasshoppers, crayfish, night crawlers, and more. Baits come in many different shapes and sizes, and it is easy to know which bait fish forage where based on how large the baitfish are when fishing.