Are Florida Fishing Bait

David Lawrence
• Sunday, 27 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Cast nets having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch in fresh waters of the state unless specifically prohibited. No live nonnative fish, except variable platys and fathead minnows, may be transported to or between waters for use as bait.

saltwater fishing florida bait baits sheepshead
(Source: fishinglidokey.com)


Whole pickerel or bream or parts thereof may not be used as bait for trot lines or bush hooks or any method other than by rod and reel or pole and line. Pan fish less than 4 inches in total length raised by a licensed aquaculture facility may be purchased and used for bait.

For most anglers, red fishing in Florida is high on their bucket list for plenty of reasons. Once you’ve fought and landed a trophy over 20 pounds, you’ll understand why this species of fish is atop the list of “favorites” for anglers of all skill levels and backgrounds.

Great spots to look for and find reds are usually where rivers spill into the ocean, flats and marshes, oyster bars, and just about any bays or sounds in the state of Florida. During colder weather, you can usually bet that redfish will move away from the shore and venture into deeper channels and around reefs or shipwrecks.

They will slowly move in closer to the shallows once the weather warms and you can count on the Grand Finale of red fishing to take place in late October, November, and December. One of the main reasons redfish became so scarce was the ease with which most anglers can catch huge numbers of reds in a short amount of time.

Since redfish is a species of bass, you can’t go wrong using anything that remotely resembles a bait fish to catch reds, especially when they are in the shallows during the late season. Redfish will annihilate anything that includes poppers, spoons, buzz baits and everything else top-water during the late season.

fishing florida destin surf action
(Source: www.youtube.com)

There’s nothing like watching a giant redfish home in on a top-water plug and strike with amazing force and precision. Couple that with their surprising ability to bend a rod and yank off half a spool of line in no time and it will become clear why reds are the king of the shallow water fisheries in Florida.

Reds will hit just about anything that normal shallow-water game fish go after such as live shrimp, minnows, and especially mullet. Most seasoned anglers know that there are some specific tips you’ll want to stick with for catching reds throughout the year and most will agree on a few tried-and-true methods.

Large redfish have keen senses and will spook easily if you make too much noise and move in too quickly. Search here for what you want (ads also appear) Good fishing bait makes all the difference in how successful you'll be in catching that legendary trophy saltwater fish.

Some sport fishermen may think that live bait fishing is a lot of trouble, but there's some excitement to be had if you do. There's a chance that this could have an impact on the effectiveness of your bait, with the local saltwater fish you're targeting.

They make excellent bait for just about any saltwater fish because they're shiny, and active on the hook. Mullet, herring, pilchards, thread fin and pinkish are relatively easy to find, and are some of the best bait for saltwater fishing to catch and use.

king mackerel kingfish fishing charters clearwater florida cobia snapper goliath amberjack grouper fl
(Source: www.fisheyesportfishing.com)

They'll give you a pretty good idea of where the bait fish are, and how deep they're swimming. If you see seabirds circling the area, or pelicans and terns diving, you'll know there's live fish bait in the vicinity.

You'll find them schooling in the open water, and if they're jumping, larger game fish are chasing them. Bait fish also like to congregate under piers, bridges and towers, and around structure such as reefs and shipwrecks.

Chumming brings some bait fish to the surface so you can use a cast net to catch and store them in your live wells. A quick easy fix for chum is to use large cans of cheap, stinky wet cat food.

Even if you're on a Florida Keys vacation with limited resources, it's easy to make and you'll be pleased with the results. The effectiveness of this process means that you're targeting different species of saltwater bait fish at various depth levels, increasing your odds of catching good fish bait.

The oil won't be able to sink down, filtering through the layers of water attracting fish at different depths. Traps are considered easier to use and since you don't have to use chum, you'll find your boat stays cleaner.

sheepshead fishing icw florida sheeps around fiddler crabs
(Source: www.floridashorefishing.com)

Using bait traps also means you don't have to deal with the occasional difficulties that come with handling a casting net. One of the better fishing safety tips you'll get is to remind you tie your casting net to your boat.

That way if it does catch the current you won't lose your net or your arm in the process. Unfortunately many saltwater fishermen don't know this important safety tip, and the ocean is riddled with lost nets.

They're hung up on shipwrecks and reefs and are a serious threat to fish, sea turtles, and other marine life. This link to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission section on net restrictions will give you additional information so you can ensure you're compliant with Florida fishing regulations.

Once you've caught your bait for saltwater fishing, you want to keep it alive and in good condition. When Florida Keys fishing, you should also make sure that your rental boat has at least several large bait wells.

These portable live wells are small, but if nothing else they'll let you transport the bait fish you're going to use that day. Make sure you buy enough portable wells to comfortably and safely transport the number of bait fish you're bringing along.

mahi giant fishing bull trip pound florida
(Source: www.youtube.com)

For bait fish to survive, they need to have enough oxygen which is why an air pump system to keep the water aerated is important. The right temperature, the right amount of light and ample oxygen are key to your bait fish staying alive.

Please remember to check with the local Fish and Wildlife department to ensure the Fishing Spot is open to the public, and respect all signs indicating private property or restricting access. Make edits, update details, share reports, and record your catches with photos, locations, and much more.

Are you still wondering about bait launchers and other devices you are not allowed to use when fishing in Florida ? You can’t use a bait launcher in Florida, but what you CAN do is to fish fairly without harming the species or anyone around you.

But they can be quite dangerous devices, which is why safety legislation shave been made in some areas and states. I hope that this article answered your question, “are bait launchers legal in Florida ?” Now that you’re familiar with the restrictions, learn more about the fishing rules and regulations of your state.

Call them speckled or spotted, trout fishing in Florida is plentiful and can be caught by anglers with any skill level. In the northeast section of the state, the waters surrounding the St. Johns River are legendary for producing boatloads of trout.

shellcracker fishing trip
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Using scented soft plastic baits pegged on jig heads just heavy enough to reach the bottom, anglers should follow the tide from the small creeks as it falls into the open water. Gator trout, usually solitary fish as opposed to the smaller schools, have a reputation for being easily spooked and will test the ability of the most seasoned anglers.

The southern tip of the Florida peninsula finds anglers targeting these trout from the downtown Miami metropolis on Biscayne Bay to the remote, dark waters of the Everglades. Tampa Bay speckled sea trout often get to sizes that rival their east coast counterparts.

Trout in the northwest area of the state tend to follow the steps of their northeast brethren by orienting themselves along the narrow mouths of creeks and rivers. Anglers here have pretty much perfected the popping cork method and employ it to catch staggering numbers of nice trout.

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1 www.farmersalmanac.com - https://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/fishing
2 www.floridagofishing.com - https://www.floridagofishing.com/species/species-seasonal-calendar.html
3 www.takemefishing.org - https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/when-to-fish/fishing-almanac/
4 myfwc.com - https://myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/fishing-tips/seasons/