Almost every saltwater angler would love to have a live well full of pinfish. Nice sized pinfish are some of the best live bait out there... whether you are fishing offshore or inshore.
We have caught some of our largest grouper with pinfish while fishing offshore, while at the same time catching some of our largest snook using pinfish as bait when fishing inshore.
But of course none of it is possible without catching the pinfish first...
And the one thing that most of us hate is always have to throw a cast net to catch pinfish (especially when it is cold or early in the morning when you really don't want to be wet with salt water)...not to mention the grass and weeds that your cast net pulls in to the boat when casting for pinfish on the flats.
And when it comes to pinfish traps, they take up space on your boat, they can fall apart after hours (or days) in the saltwater, and they can take a while to actually work. Not to mention you have to drop it down in the water and go check on it later (which eats into your fishing time).
Well the good news is that catching tons of pinfish without a cast net or a pinfish trap is possible. In fact, it is so easy a 5 year old can do it.
Here is how you catch pinfish on the grass flats without an cast net or a pinfish trap:
Step 1 is to simply find any Berkley Gulp bait that is no longer usable (as in a Gulp bait you were going to throw out due to being ripped apart, bitten in half by a puffer fish, etc).
Step 2 is to cut that Berkley Gulp bait into a really small (fingernail size or smaller) piece. The smaller the better in most cases.
Step 3 is to find a small hook (couple of sizes larger than a sabiki hook size), attach a small weight, and attach it to any spinning rod.
Step 4 is to throw the hook (with attached Gulp bait piece) out over any grass flats where you know pinfish to hang out.
Step 5 is to hook up with a pinfish, reel him in quick, and toss the pinfish in the live well (watch the video to see the pinfish remover that Salt Strong uses).
Step 6 is of course to go Fishing and catch a big one using your fresh pinfish as bait.
One of the coolest aspects of catching pinfish this way, is that even your kids can do this. So while they are having a blast reeling up pinfish (for your bait), you could be checking out new spots to fish, tides, weather, rigging up your lines, etc (or even having a beer)
I can assure you that once you catch pinfish like this without having to use a big cast net or a pinfish trap, you won't go back to the old way.
This is just too easy, and you can see from this video that as long as you find a spot with pinfish, you can catch a dozen of them in less than 10 minutes (sometimes with the same Gulp bait), and never have to get wet or messy.
So yes, catching pinfish for bait can be done a rod and reel.
If you have any other ideas or tips on catching big pinfish, leave us a comment below.
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