How To Catch Whitebait For Saltwater Fishing (Quick & Easy)

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Want to know the easiest way to catch whitebait and a variety of other great baitfish for saltwater fishing?

All you have to do is chum them up and have a cast net to catch them with… but most importantly, you’ll need to know where to find them.

The biggest mistake people make when they try to do this is that they set up in the wrong spot.

They throw out their chum out at a random spot with blind hope that there will be some baitfish in the area.

The next biggest mistake people make is that they use the wrong chum (or prepare the chum incorrectly).

To help you save time and catch more baitfish, we put together this video for you.

In this video, you’re going to learn:

  • Where to find boatloads of whitebait
  • How to get them to quickly come up to the boat
  • The best type of chum
  • And much more

Check it out below.

How To Catch Whitebait [VIDEO]

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Here’s how to catch a lot of baitfish, step by step:

Step 1: Anchor In A Good Spot

This is the most important thing when it comes to catching bait.

Here’s where you want to go: the edge of a grass flat near a pass or inlet with some current.

Also, if you can find a pothole in this area, that will help you avoid pulling up a ton of grass when you toss your net out.

Step 2: Start Chumming

I like to use Purina Fish Food Chum, but canned cat food and other types of chum can also work.

Now, if you use a powdered chum, be sure to add a tiny bit of water in there before you toss it out.

It should have a mash consistency — not too liquidy or too powdery.

When I first start chumming, I’ll spread it out in front of me, but as more fish start to show up, I’ll start only tossing chum over the pothole where I want to throw my net.

Step 3: Chum Your Target Spot

After you set a wide spread of chum at first, pick your target spot to throw the net and keep all future chumming to that 1 location.

The wait time varies based on the currents, wind, and the spot you selected. Ut can be as little as ten seconds or sometimes over ten minutes… but if you’re in the right spot, they will come.

Note: If there are no baitfish after 15 minutes, then I recommend picking up and moving to a different location.

Step 4: Cast Net Over Target Spot

If you chum up a lot of baitfish, you don’t need a big net or even a good cast. The net I was using in this video is just an 8 ft net with 1/4 inch mesh (Black Pearl Invi-Series), and it got plenty of baitfish in just 1 cast.

Note: If you’re mostly catching your bait in the shallows like shown in this video, I recommend using a net with 1/4 inch mesh so that you don’t gill a lot of bait like the more popular 3/8th inch mesh will do.

Conclusion

tournament trout

If you want to catch a lot of baitfish, all you need to do is set up on the edge of a grass flat near a pass or inlet where some current is running and start chumming.

In a few minutes, you’ll have a ton of baitfish near the boat and you’ll be able to cast net them.

Have any questions about catching bait?

Let us know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who struggles to blackout the livewell, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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David Caldwell
10 months ago

The Barracuda Company on Salt Strong site has bait chum in 4 lb packages. I thought it was expensive but I would try it since my home made chum barely works. ((Purina Fish food-Menhaden Oil-Cat food)). I used 50 lbs of chum in a few years without much success. This Bait Chum is awesome. Use so little to get them in. The bait was going nuts. Had to throw my 6 ft net because getting too many. with the 8 ft net

Last edited 10 months ago by David Caldwell
Anonymous
10 months ago

Not sure what company made the chum that you threw, sounded like you said Purina?

A. Rollins
10 months ago

I’d like to see more basic ways to catch more kinds of bait. It’s too expensive for me to buy a boat and loads of chum to catch bait. The places described in this video, along the shoreline are usually found near a boat launch or a place where boat use them often, and bait is scarce due to the traffic. I don’t have storage or time for a bait trap. So, how about new places to net bait or to fish for bait from shore with a cheap self made chum? Maybe, good locations to find concentrations of bait near along the shoreline? Finding the bait means finding the predator, too. In other words…Where are some non conventional places to find bait? Meaning crabs and minnows.

Last edited 10 months ago by A. Rollins
Gray King
10 months ago

Great plan! Question for Jax types of areas where we don’t have grass flats. Definitely have the other two so I’d assume I’d look for something close to a depth change, oyster bed nearby, point of an island maybe instead? Thanks for the live bait tips!

Adam Bailey
10 months ago

Love to hear that bacon sizzling sound as you pull the net over the gunwale hahaha!!

Jason Kindt
10 months ago

Great video! I alway feel like I have to sabiki rig to get bait offshore around structure to consistently get bait unless I get luck to find schools. Was that the Tierra Verde bridge behind you that you we on the East side of? I cannot tell you how many times I have been by there to stop at Bait Bucket to get bait!

michael sullivan
10 months ago

Luke

Can you post a link for that particular chum?

Thanks

Gary Friedman
10 months ago

Great video Luke. In our area pilchards are some time hard to come bye. So we turn our efforts to pin-fish traps set on the edges of the grassy flats. I find its mostly hit/miss. Care to maybe do a video on traps for bait?????

Donald Donohoo
10 months ago

Sure wish I could throw a cast net like that.

Donald Donohoo
10 months ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Thanks ????

Anonymous
10 months ago

Thanks for the video! Would frozen dead shrimp work as chum? Do you think this would work to chum up bait on the beachfront shoreline?

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