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:
- Look for wading birds
- Look for flashes in the grass
- Cast out a paddletail and try to feel the telltale pinfish bumps
- 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.
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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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.
any problems with people stealing your trap?
Who is the manufacturer of the trap you are using?
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.
Thanks for making time to leave the helpful comment WJ!
Excellent video and suggestions like Andy’s. Why were there 2 floats on the trap? I normally see 1.
Thanks Glenn! The small float came with the trap and it’s great for setting it in the canal near where I keep the boat. But when I drop it out on the open flats, I prefer to use a bigger buoy so I can see it better (and I just leave the small one on it too instead of taking it off).
Thanks , Joe
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.
Great idea Thom!
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.
Thanks for posting the helpful tip! Those grunts are one of my favorite baits for grouper and snook.
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.
I bought some new traps from a guy building them in Crystal River. Maximum size w maximum legal openings. Ans he builds them w a shirt rope and noodle attached. Sink them below the surface so thrives can’t locate them a s steal them or your bait. I’ve had 10+ traps stolen in the last two years
Iss this the guy from CR? https://www.shoppok.com/ocala/a,29,237935,Pinfish-Trap–small-crab–bream–baitfish—-60–Crystal-River-.htm
Such a shame that the traps are getting stolen! Sounds like an effective way to prevent thievery.
i fish inshore with cut bait mostly and as you say use paddle tail to find them if you are not able to see them. then i use light rod and reel with small bream hook and small split shot next to the hook. then add very small piece of gulp that got tore up or fishbites on the hook. i quickly catch one or two and start fishing for what ever as they are not far from where i just caught the pins. if i were to go off shore which is not likely i’d just catch as many as i thought i’d need and not waste time waiting on the trap to fill up. it is a real plus if you have kids as they love to catch them for you. 🙂
Great tip Roy!
Here’s a link to a video showing how that’s done for anyone wanting to see the rod/reel technique in action: https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/how-to-catch-pinfish/