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Castnetting Ballyhoo at night is tough sledding!

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Castnetting Ballyhoo at night is tough sledding!

Old 08-06-2019, 06:40 AM
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Default Castnetting Ballyhoo at night is tough sledding!

I am in need of some advice from the experts. I am sailing the Caribbean and finding good ballyhoo reliably for sale or import is proving impossible. Bought a 8’ net and have tried chumming during the day with no success. Tried at night and things are better but very slow and only averaging about 25 good hoos an hour. We are basically driving around a touch above idle in the dinghy and casting at schools that are trying their best to get away.

Anyone know if you can chum at night to bring them in closer? I may also need to use a specific flashlight that doesn’t freak them out. The LED I have makes them go berserk.

I am catching one or two a throw so I need to find a better approach - this is going to be exhausting to fill the cooler
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:45 AM
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Chum is your friend. They will come and you should catch 3 dozen or better per throw. Never had to fool with them at night.
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:56 AM
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Well,speaking from my experience in the Keys ballyhoo would not show until sun up.This was bait fishing at night with a bait light w/chum.Gogs and runners yes but not ballyhoo.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:18 AM
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Chum and the ballyhoop at https://theballyhoop.com/
If you're not catching them this way they ain't there.
You can catch singles with a tiny hook and shrimp
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DarcizzleOffshore View Post
Chum and the ballyhoop at https://theballyhoop.com/
If you're not catching them this way they ain't there.
You can catch singles with a tiny hook and shrimp
Said by a person that can throw a cast net damn well.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DarcizzleOffshore View Post
Chum and the ballyhoop at https://theballyhoop.com/
If you're not catching them this way they ain't there.
You can catch singles with a tiny hook and shrimp
^^^this plus anchor up instead of drifting. Someone above said to target them during the day which is how catch them - there’s better/hardier bait at night if you have a sabiki.

btw - I’m not an expert
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:50 PM
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In Australia (where we call them garfish, same thng), the best way to catch them is at night is with a scoop net. I did this for a living for a while when I was younger. You need a long handled scoop net, say 6'6",, with a fine enough mesh they won't slip through. A good spotlight, and look for them either wading the beach or out of the dinghy. You need to scoop them HEADFIRST--the only way this works. Try from behind, they'll sense it coming and scoot every single time. Disclaimer--don't try it on a full moon. Too much ambient light. We used to drive around the bays waving the spotlight over the water, they'll give their position away with a distinctive splash as the light hits them. You can get a lot in a short time if they are schooling well.
I still catch them by line , nowadays, to use for sailfish bait. Our big Indo-Pacific sails we get along the Ningaloo coast, where I camp and fish for an extended holiday each year, just love their local fresh gar. Single 8/0 or 9/0 Owner circle in through the mouth, out through the top of the head, rubber band the beak to the shank, done. No skirts, no rigging. Use that for trolling skipbaits or on the heavy spin gear as switch bait. Picture below is of a mornings catch , probably an hour and a half, using no10 and no12 hooks under a pencil float, baited with tiny pieces of fish belly, tuna, mackerel or mahi works fine. Cuts up nicely if you use the dividing lines in the stomach wall. I have tried sabikis, and they just won't catch much, unbaited. My favorite hook is the Gamakatsu Octopus in the sizes mentioned, terrific conversion rate, just keep a a little pair of cheap s/s longnose pliers handy for the odd one that hooks deep.





Good size sails where we fish




HTH

Last edited by ranmar850; 08-06-2019 at 05:54 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:09 AM
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by muskrattown View Post
Said by a person that can throw a cast net damn well.
LOL, thanks. They are super skittish to the cast net unless they super balled up...which don't happen in PBC too often, also cast net really kills them quickly.
Must anchor as someone said and I neglected to mention.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:40 AM
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Wife just bought me a Ballyhoop. Makes for really nice baits that aren't beat up. I love mine.
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:46 PM
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If cast netting...anchor the boat, turn on spreader lights, chum if necessary (often isn’t), wait a while to let them gather, toss net.

If dip netting, two guys on bow,one with powerful hand held spotlight, one with long 6ft plus wide mouth dip net, one guy driving, boat in gear at idle, once in range, dip net individual Bally’s headfirst.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:33 AM
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hoop net 100%.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:33 PM
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If using the Hoopnet with chum, you’ll end up with the net full of chum pieces and hard to clean.

The guy from Piros tackle recommended some baitfish food, which looks like tropical fish food pellets. And doesn’t make a mess on the hoopnet.

plus if you are not using chum after catching bait, then you don’t have to deal with the chumbag

Fish Chum Mojo Dry Offshore Saltwater Fish Chum Aquatic Nutrition

Amazon Amazon
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JoseG View Post
If using the Hoopnet with chum, you’ll end up with the net full of chum pieces and hard to clean.

The guy from Piros tackle recommended some baitfish food, which looks like tropical fish food pellets. And doesn’t make a mess on the hoopnet.

plus if you are not using chum after catching bait, then you don’t have to deal with the chumbag

Fish Chum Mojo Dry Offshore Saltwater Fish Chum Aquatic Nutrition

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CPLKNDR..._ObXuDbB2RVX7M
No thanks on that price.

https://shop.sunsetfeed.com/purina-t...ry_Code=80_05_

Purina® Tropical Fish Starter/Grower Chow Pond Meal 50lb

Purina® Tropical Fish Starter/Grower Chow® is a complete, micro-mixed diet in meal form. This is a nutrient-dense formula for dense culture and for rapid growth of pond culture freshwater fish. The high level of fish meal results in a highly palatable formula. Works well for both carnivorous and omnivorous species.
  • Protein 45%
  • Fat 12%
  • Fiber 4%
  • Phosphorus 1.30%
  • Type of Feed: Complete
  • Form of Feed: Meal
Popular as bait chum
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:29 PM
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Got a buddy that swears by that hoop-net,but its seems conditions have to be damn near perfect.Always something,very little current,shy bally.Not sure where that guys bait fishing in the above video but I rarely see schools that large,especially in the mid-later winter months.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Lu 1967 View Post
Got a buddy that swears by that hoop-net,but its seems conditions have to be damn near perfect.Always something,very little current,shy bally.Not sure where that guys bait fishing in the above video but I rarely see schools that large,especially in the mid-later winter months.
Hopnet works... unless you are throwing a castnet, regardless of conditions, you'll get more ballyhoo with hoopnet than sibikis or gold hooks...

There are some tricks, if there is little current, you tie a water bottle to the frame to keep it in the surface. Sometimes the ballyhoo get hoopnet shy, so I pull the chum out and they'll come in closer, just gotta have patience.

I use it today on zero current, I picked up 30 ballyhoo in 10 mins.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
No thanks on that price.

https://shop.sunsetfeed.com/purina-t...ry_Code=80_05_

Purina® Tropical Fish Starter/Grower Chow Pond Meal 50lb

Purina® Tropical Fish Starter/Grower Chow® is a complete, micro-mixed diet in meal form. This is a nutrient-dense formula for dense culture and for rapid growth of pond culture freshwater fish. The high level of fish meal results in a highly palatable formula. Works well for both carnivorous and omnivorous species.
  • Protein 45%
  • Fat 12%
  • Fiber 4%
  • Phosphorus 1.30%
  • Type of Feed: Complete
  • Form of Feed: Meal
Popular as bait chum

Yeah, it's cheaper by the 50 lb bag, but I've read that it goes bad in a couple of months and it could bring rats. Wonder if this could be frozen.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JoseG View Post
Yeah, it's cheaper by the 50 lb bag, but I've read that it goes bad in a couple of months and it could bring rats. Wonder if this could be frozen.
It will chum the shit out of some fire ants.

What I do is go in with some other guides and we split it up. I have some buckets with the rubber seal in the lid that I store it in. It keeps fine for a good while sealed up. I use it primarily for pilchards except when I'm in the Keys. The hoo really come to it and as you said it sucks even throwing a cast net on a pile of meat chum. We just pick up the chum block and bring them up close with the fish meal..

The local feed stores around me have started breaking it down into 5 and 10lb plastic bags by request of many fisherman not wanting to store the large quantities. Comes out to around a buck a pound.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:38 AM
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another vote for the hoop. if you can pancake a fast sinking 12"er that'll work as well
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
It will chum the shit out of some fire ants.

What I do is go in with some other guides and we split it up. I have some buckets with the rubber seal in the lid that I store it in. It keeps fine for a good while sealed up. I use it primarily for pilchards except when I'm in the Keys. The hoo really come to it and as you said it sucks even throwing a cast net on a pile of meat chum. We just pick up the chum block and bring them up close with the fish meal..

The local feed stores around me have started breaking it down into 5 and 10lb plastic bags by request of many fisherman not wanting to store the large quantities. Comes out to around a buck a pound.
have you tried using rice?

my brother had a couple of 100 lbs bags of rice he was throwing away due to bugs on them. I thought about cooking rice to mix with oats
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