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Old 10-08-2010, 04:18 AM   #1
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Default Help catching Greenbacks, please.

Help Please from the gurus. Looking for how to consistently catch greenbacks with my bait net. I live in west central Fl, fish from Tarpon Springs to the Skway. My dilema is catching good bait consistently. How are you pros doing it? Would like some feed back on time of day, chum used and what kind of locations and water conditions. I have a quality net, its heavy, 10' and my ability to throw is pretty good. My problem is finding them and gettin them to the surface. first couple times must have just got lucky because latley I cant find them anywhere. Thanks.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:09 AM   #2
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Hey Man, I Live just south of your area in Terra Ceia. I fish from the Sky Way down to Sarasota. I catch my greenback on grass flats. I look for birds in the area, Diving birds is better but just birds hanging over a flat is fine. 2-4' is best because they can't go deep.

If it's light out I look for them flashing and "Kissing" the surface, it's very subtle but it looks like rain drops. If it's dark out still then I use chum.

I use can's of Jack Mac which you can get at any grocery store in a canned food isle. I mix the jack mac up in a bucket with bread. I anchor up on the flat and start tossing it out all over behind the boat. Greenbacks really respond well to it. I use a 1/4 mesh cast net for greenback as they get stuck in the larger nets.

Good luck.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:22 AM   #3
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It's that time of year. The pilchards are not around right now, you just have to work harder to find them, if you find them at all. Two places I usually catch them are the SE corner of Anclote, by the shallow water sign SE of the boat pier, and SW of Howard Park. Other spots are up around the stilt houses off the Cotee. Sometimes they are up shallow, less then 3' and sometimes deeper, 7-8'. I chum with Purina tropical fish food mixed with menhaden oil and water. Sprinkle this chum on the water a little at a time - keep hitting the same spot with the chum. Throw your net behind this spot, not on it, as the bait will be coming up current to get to the spot where the chum is hitting the water. Also, first light is the best time of day. At dark o'clock, you can throw in the blind, but after the sun comes up, don't throw until you see them flash in the chum. You don't need to get them to the surface to catch them. That's why your net is heavy. Should be a 3/8" net for all around bait. 1/4" won't sink fast enough and 1/2" will cause too many to gill, causing a Christmas tree which is no fun clearing. If you don't have them by 7:30 - 8:00, go fish with artificials.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:41 AM   #4
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Just curious - do you guys not use sabiki rigs for making bait? We gringos are restricted from using any kind of net in Mexico, but a couple of guys with sabikis can put lots of greenback macks and sardines in the bait tank in a pretty short time.

Different fishing where you are, I'm sure, but was curious if you use sabikis or not.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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Here in Swfl the bait is plentiful right now. Head to your nearest grass flat with about 4' of water. Arm yourself with a 3/8" 10' cast net, some kozy or purina fish food, a little menhaden oil and start chumming. Wait about 10 mins and throw, shake net into livewell and go fishing.

Yes we use sabikis for threadfins and pinfish not greenbacks here.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:44 AM   #6
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Try right along (almost under) the south pier on the gulf side of the Skyway Bridge. I've only been there once, and it was in June, but I don't think I've ever seen that big a haul come out of one throw. We weren't using any chum.
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:09 PM   #7
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Okay, are we talking "greenbacks" aka Threadfin Herring, or "whitebait" aka Scaled Sardines? Makes a difference.

In the early morning around the Skyway, you often find Threadfins and Scaled Sardines mixed up together.

As the sun get up in the sky, I've found that they go their separate ways: Scaled Sardines go hug the bottom, Threadfins stay suspended.

For Greenies, I cruise around until I find a school of bait, then either toss a net or sabiki.

For Scaled Sardines, which are closer to the bottom around the Skyway aftet the sun gets up in the sky, I use the sabiki exclusively (I like my nets ).

In in the shallows, I'll try and chum them up and toss a net.

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Old 10-08-2010, 02:42 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, alot of good info. Im heading out in the a.m. gonna be around the fish houses north of anclote and down to anclote. If anyone is out that way in the am, Ill be in a 24cc proline, stop and say hello. PB are you a captian in the area? You always seem to have alot of good info.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:02 PM   #9
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lots of good info already talked about. I have noticed when I go around the skyway that in some spots I just can't get the net to drop over them quick enough. I like the larger threadfins so I will try a few times to chum them to the surface (cheap cat food) and throw the net. I'll get lucky and land a few, but if it's too deep I assume they swim down and under the net. I'll sabiki them up from there and a few full lines and I'm set.
I think it was mentioned, but on the north skyway pier on the bay side I throw the net and it's only about 18-20ft in some places. I let the net get all the way to the bottom and I'm set for the day (usually one good cast). Recently though it's been all the scaled sardines or white bait which is a little smaller hanging around that area. Either way, good luck. I'll be out sunday trying for some kings off of the beach.
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