Ahhhhh yeaaaaah, the Ol' secret handshake strikes again.
Exactly why more PB'ers need to become completely self-sufficient
on the water, especially making their own LIVE bait. IMO, any PB'er
heading offshore should be able to catch their own finbait.
That would includes Sardines, Mackerel, Smelt and I'll throw in Squid.
They're probably pissed at you for catching that big Halibut from their bait dock. LMFACO! :7
Same way, with a bait catcher, they are def harder to make but sure are beauty when you can. Mostly at night under the light if you can find them. I actually caught one last weekend, a perfect, 4" man, they are a thing to behold right out of the ocean, like a different species all lit up.
Some years tthey are in the harbor.
Also, you have to cast on them as they are really boat shy which is why they mostly wrap them at night.
I prefer to use my own snag lines with nothing but silver hooks for Sardines.
I used to tie and use nothing but my own.
I'm getting back to that slowly.
2 Tuesdays ago I snagged some of the nicest Sardines using this method.
We were fishing out of Dana Point.
The guys next to me were hammering the Mackerel.
They were boiling and foaming everywhere!
I would drop further down under the Mackerel.
I managed 20 to 25 Sardines in the 8 inch range.
The Sabiki rigs with the smaller hooks work good also.
You have to find where they are in the water column.
If they come on the meter in a thick school this also helps.
Here's a picture of a tank of Sardines and Spanish Mackerel.
These were caught close to the bottom in 80 feet on the NE corner of Santa Cruz Island.
Flatty Matty, myself, and the ALLCOAST owner snagged this stuff.
Over 60% was Sardines.
Here's a full load of very small Yellowfin Coaker and Smelt using
my own tied snag line.
Nice load of Spanish Mackerel on the small Sabiki.
Here's a full load of mini-Mackerel using my own tied snag line.
Load of bait (Spanish and mini-Macke, Smelt, mostly Sardines)
using my own tied snag line.
I think dropping down when you see something on the meter is the real trick.
Both of these meter shots were 4 inch Sardines.