How to Catch Pinfish for Bait Without a Net or Trap [Video Tutorial]

Published by Luke Simonds under ,
Last updated on: July 2, 2017

how to catch pinfish using berkley gulp

Imagine how great it would be to easily catch pinfish for bait without having to get soaked throwing a cast net or wasting time/energy loading a pinfish trap.

Some days it’s simply too much of a hassle to catch pinfish with a cast net (not to mention nothing is worse on cold mornings than getting soaked with salt water).

Moreover, most of us don’t have the luxury of having a pinfish trap sitting on a honey hole prior to your fishing trip either.

Which is why we put this article and video together to teach you a great way to catch tons of pinfish, while having tons of fun with your entire family.

Best of all, this can be done almost anywhere pinfish live, and it can be successfully done by even the newest and youngest anglers out there…

And as you’ll see at the end of the video below, casting isn’t even required…

How to Catch Pinfish on Hook and Line

how to catch pinfish

A nice sized pinfish caught on a small hook and Berkley Gulp

I’m not sure exactly why, but pinfish absolutely love to bite Berkley Gulp baits.

I fish for snook, redfish, and trout with soft plastic jerk baits 90%+ of the time, and I’ve experimented with every brand I can get my hands on.

Throughout the past 5 years of soft plastics fishing, baits from Berkley Gulp consistently get more strikes from pinfish (and game fish too, but that’s for a different article).

Fortunately, these Gulp baits are very tough allowing for them to withstand most of the pinfish and puffer attacks.

However, there’s always a time when either a Gulp Shrimp or Jerkbait is too beat up/ripped up to be used effectively for game fish…

But instead of throwing them away, I recommend saving them to use for catching pinfish, because it’s so much easier and cleaner than using cut shrimp, which was the method I was taught when really young that got me addicted to saltwater fishing (you will see what I am talking about in the video tutorial below).

Overall, pinfish are the easiest to find and the most common catch, but this bait catching method will also reward you with grunts, pigfish, croakers, and pretty much anything else that feeds on small shrimp/minnows on grass flats.

In fact, I’ve actually caught keeper trout and small redfish on these pinfish rigs.

“The Salt Strong Pinfish Catching Process”

The process is extremely simple… all you have to do is find a grass flat that is holding pinfish, and drag a small chunk of any Berkley Gulp on a small hook along the bottom (the smaller the size the better).

And you don’t even have to do any special retrieve… here are the three most common retrieve techniques I’ve seen work:

  1. Let it sit on the bottom
    • When on a good flat, you can often just cast out the line and let it sit… the very end of the tutorial video is an example of this in action
  2. Bounce along the bottom
    • This is my personal favorite method to use… I cast out and let it fall all the way to the bottom, and then slowly lift the rod up about a foot, and then let if fall back and retrieve the slack line before doing it again (it will most often get struck on the fall back)
  3. Drag along the bottom
    • This is the easiest method and is best for the really young anglers who are not ready for working the rod in the bouncing method (I’ve seen a 3 year old out catch us adults using this simple “slowly reel it in” retrieve method)

Click on the video image below to see exactly how it works (and stay tuned to the very end…you won’t believe what happens during my sign-off)


For a fun and rewarding family outing full of fish catching, this style of bait catching can be a great choice given its simplicity and the fact that even the youngest of anglers can easily catch tons of fish.

In fact, I’ve been on multiple island camping trips where we arm 3 to 8-year-olds with a few rods and some cut up Gulp shrimp, and they catch more pinfish and grunts than we could possibly even use… and they had an absolute blast doing it!

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about this technique of catching pinfish by leaving a comment below or sending an email to

Click here for tips on how to rig a live pinfish to catch a snook.

P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!

Having trouble CONSISTENTLY catching quality Redfish, snook, and/or Trout?

If you’re not happy with the amount of quality redfish, snook, and trout that you’re catching per trip, then you should join our “Inshore Slammer” family because you’ll quickly learn how to consistently catch slams throughout the entire year… even without using any live bait.

It’s one of the only inshore fishing courses guaranteed to help you catch more fish… if not, you never pay a dime.

CLICK HERE to learn about our exclusive Inshore Slammer course.

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54 Comments on "How to Catch Pinfish for Bait Without a Net or Trap [Video Tutorial]"

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Kenneth Hill

How do you attach that bullet shaped sinker so it doesn’t move up or down the line?


Can you tell me exactly what kind of Gulp bait you were using in the video ive seen strips as well as the little bites submerged in liquid.

Susan King

I’ve already shared this with my friends. I have subscribed a while ago and have watched a good number of tip vids.Also joined you guys on FB. Keep up the great work and tight lines to you!

George Iannetta

Heading down to Marco In a week want to try this method of getting bait what do you think of using an ultra light rod and reel ( I.E. A 4 Foot Perch Rod) for this style of catching the pinfish.

Great White

I go is light of 2 pound test/10 pound leader. U can have fun catching bait. Also works great with artificial’s, to catch keeper, trout, snook, pompano, and sheaphead ( 2 ) @ a time. ?? ?

Jeff Feldman

What was the yellow tool that helped to release the fish from the hook?
Thanks, Jeff

Barry Weiss

Took my son and daughter pin fishing and they had a blast! They wanted their own fishing rods so the next day we went shopping and they got rods reels and their own tackle boxes, what a great way to spend time with a child. In your video you used a simple dehooker to shake pin fish off the hook where can I get one? Thanks for a great video.

William Reid

You guys are doing a great job, enjoying every bit of your site!
Thanks for sharing, passing it on to my grandsons.

Joseph Simonds

Thank you for the kind words Bill. We are going to start pounding away at more fishing tips for kids next month as well so stay tuned. Fish On!

Ray Mulder

Has anyone tried this on Perch in the great lakes? Looks like it might work.

Brian Bowers

I’ve made my own hook out for larger toothy critters such as bonnethead or blacktip, but where can I buy the small one that you showed in the video on catching pinfish? Thanks

Richard Pasquarello

Such a easy way to catch bait. Have to try this method next time I’m down in Florida on the flats.

Jack Connor

EXCELLENT…..those cold days i dread the net

Jack Van Fleet

Your video shows to NOT touch the pinfish and how to remove from hook but How to re-hook for Snook ?

Tara Rinkel Homan

Sabiki rigs work for off shore pinfish. Kids and adults love bringing in 3-5 at a time!

Joseph Simonds

Absolutely. Sabiki rigs are great too. We just wanted to share another easy way to catch pinfish while getting even more use from Berkley Gulps. Thanks for the comment!


What bait did u used to batch pinfish??? Is it brekley gulp gum or what

Doug Zeeff

If everyone would start using those dehooking tools, there would be fewer trips to the ER due to hooked fingers. I wouldn’t go on the water without one!


I took my two girls (7 & 11) out in the bay at Cape San Blas, and followed what this video said…they caught pinfish as fast as I could bait their lines and take fish off the hooks. They had a GREAT time! Thanks so much for this tip!

Sheri Waldron

We dice up cheap hotdogs and catch plenty


Good video we catch ours with shrimp or squid sometimes bacon lol

Joe Hayden

Cool idea, gives me something to do why I’m chunk baiting for reds.

Raymond DeRosa

What exactly is that fish dehooker , where can it be purchased?

Mike Edenfield

Great video, my grand kids love catching pin fish and I get all the bait I need. Thanks

Richard Hoskins

Awesome video, I’m new to Salt water fishing and am always looking for tricks and resourceful ones like this are awesome


I use a similar method with multiple hooks to catch a few at a time. Like A HOMEMADE GULP sibiki 


I’m trying this with my kid.  It looks a lot more fun than any serious fishing.  She’s 5.


Can you catch these anywhere in salt water? My niece n nephew come to visit but the only fish we caught, other than bass n snook on my golf course, were channel catfish by key waiden

William Flynn

Awesome video, kids will love it!

Eric Zamora

Hey guys, great video. I tried this last weekend in sebastian and didn’t have any luck, but I think I just didn’t give it a chance. The pinfish weren’t in that particular spot and I just didn’t spend enough time prospecting with my 10-year old daughter to put her on the fish. She would’ve loved this though cause she doesn’t care what she catches (or what I’m catching for that matter!) as long as one of us is catching something. A few questions…what is the name of that tool you’re using to unhook the pinfish? How did you get the bullet weight to not move? How do bridges/docks compare to grass flats for habitat? Thanks! 

Jack Connor

oustanding luke

Luke Testing

Cool method. What color or type of Gulp baits do you use for catching the pinfish?