Catching bait can be hard if you don’t know what you’re doing. What should you be looking for? Where should you look for it? How do you catch it? Lucky for you, we reached out to local fisherman Trent Newest and got his tips and tricks for catching bait in the Lowcountry.
What to look for
Popular bait in the Lowcountry includes shrimp, finger mullet, croaker, pinfish and fiddler crab.
Where to find it
During the colder months, shrimp and finger mullet tend to gravitate more toward deep water. However, since the weather is getting warmer, you’ll start to find them in the more shallow parts. Fiddler crabs are found in wet sand and mud, near the edges of salt marshes.
How to catch it
The most common method of catching bait is with a cast net. Cast nets allow you to catch multiple fish at once, making it easy to take what you need and release the ones you don’t. Make sure the meshing is 3/8 or larger, so that the bigger bait gets caught, and the really small ones are let go. Cast nets with less weight and smaller mesh size will sink slower and are best for catching small bait in shallow water. Larger, heavier nets are best for catching large fish in deep water.
How to use it
The most popular fish here in the Lowcountry is the redfish. You also can find speckled sea trout, black drum, flounder and sheepshead. You’re in luck because these fish feed on shrimp, finger mullet, and croaker — all baits mentioned above.
Throw a cast net
It’s not about how hard you throw, it is about how you throw. You need to move in a fluid motion, and remember, you’re not trying to open the net as you throw it. The net opens itself. Twist your upper body and lean into the throw. Lead the net with your dominant arm and follow the throw all the way through. Practice before you get on the boat.