How To Easily Catch Pinfish In A Pinfish Trap


Everything eats pinfish.

From inshore redfish and trout to offshore grouper and snapper, tossing out a feisty pinfish is almost guaranteed to catch you a fish.

And there are many ways of getting pinfish.

You can buy them from your local bait shop, catch them with a sabiki rig, cast net them…

But one of my favorite ways is to catch them in a pinfish trap.

In this video, I’m going to show you the best way to do that, including how to find them, the biggest mistake most anglers make with pinfish traps, and what to put in your trap.

Check out how to catch them this way below.

Easy Way To Catch Pinfish In A Pinfish Trap [VIDEO]

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How To Find Pinfish

The first step to catching pinfish in a pinfish trap is to find them.

One mistake I see many anglers make is setting out their traps in dead zones.

They bait them up, set them out, come back the next morning excited to see what they caught, and are disappointed to find an empty trap.

No matter how enticing your bait is, if there are no pinfish in the area, you won’t catch any.

Here are four tips to find pinfish:

  1. Look for wading birds
  2. Look for flashes in the grass
  3. Cast out a paddletail and try to feel the telltale pinfish bumps
  4. Change depths if you’re not finding any (this is especially important if the temperature has recently changed)

On this trip, since it was right after a cold front, I found pinfish on the deeper edge of a flat.

How To Catch Pinfish In A Pinfish Trap

Once you’ve found the pinfish, it’s time to toss out the trap.

You don’t need any specific type of trap, and you don’t need any specific type of chum to put in it.

On this trip, I just used a standard chum block you can find at any bait shop, but cut mullet or ladyfish, or even canned cat food works well, too.

And ideally, you’d let the trap sit overnight.

Since we were filming some fishing tips on this day, I just let it sit for about an hour and a half, but I still caught almost two dozen pinfish.


how to rig pinfish for snapper

Using a pinfish trap to catch pinfish is really easy.

Just find pinfish by looking for birds, structure, and casting out a paddletail, then bait your trap, toss it out, and come back the next morning.

Have any questions about catching bait in a pinfish trap?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who wants to get better at catching pinfish in a pinfish trap, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Robert vose
11 days ago

What is the smallest pin fish trap I can use -it will be used in the channel going out to the bay? Thanks you

Eric Buck
5 months ago

Hey Luke. Great article. I’m a newbie, hence the comment on a two year old article. We are out of Dunedin. My youngest son and I are enjoying every mistake on our boat. A friend told us the trap to buy and where to drop with sardines. He’s done it twenty times and always has a full trap. We’ve done it twice, left overnight with sardines, trap has weight on the bottom and is clearly in the right place. We come back at 6 am to find most of the sardines gone and no pins. Any ideas at all we can try? Thanks!

David LaPointe
9 months ago

I build them for my brother who guides in marathon. Mine are 24” square x 16” high. 3lb rebar square on bottom, 20’ #10 rope and a 6” round buoy. They work very well.

Richard Fiorentino
2 years ago

any problems with people stealing your trap?

Joe Krauszer
2 years ago

Who is the manufacturer of the trap you are using?

WJ Edwards
2 years ago

I build my own using hardware cloth & electric fence wire. I like to make the double ended cylinder that’s tapered most any size I want. A can of oil sardines, Vienna sausages, cat food, just punch a few holes in them with can opener, work very well. Fish scraps work well, bag & freeze for later use.

Glenn Acomb
2 years ago

Excellent video and suggestions like Andy’s. Why were there 2 floats on the trap? I normally see 1.

Gerald Dexter
2 years ago

Thanks , Joe

Thom Ray
2 years ago

Final comment w request, Luke
How about a video or podcast on all the different methods for using pinfish as bait. Rigs. Techniques. Target fish. Tackle etc.

Thom Ray
2 years ago

I like to put my traps in sand holes in the grass flats. I’ve found by placing them in sand holes I also get a lot grunts in Adrian to pinfish.

David LaPointe
9 months ago
Reply to  Thom Ray

The grassy areas will usually produce smaller pins and a nice bonus. Crabs! Who doesn’t like to start out the day with a live well filled with pinfish and a handful of perfect bait crabs.


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