Have you ever wondered what the best bait is for surf fishing?
If so, then this blog post is just for you. We’re going to talk about how to catch sand fleas and use them as great surf fishing bait. They are easy to find, easy to hook, and fun to fish with. Plus, they can be used all year long!
I’ve been catching sand fleas in NC for years, and they have long been my favorite bait for when I’m surf casting. They’re free, fun to catch, the kids love playing with them and most importantly they catch fish.
Some of the species that I’ve caught, with sands fleas for bait, include Flounder, Bluefish, Spot, Croaker, Sea Mullet, Skate, Dogfish, Pompano, and Drum.
What are Sand Fleas?
Sand fleas, commonly known as mole crabs or sand crabs, are small crustaceans that are seen all over beaches along the ocean. Since Sand Fleas are widespread in various Surf-Fishing areas, most people wonder how to utilize these abundant creatures as bait when surf fishing.
Sand fleas are a great option to use as bait when surf fishing and provide the convenience of not having to leave your final destination in order to catch bait.
Some species such as black drum, redfish, sheepshead, and flounder are known as primary targets when using sand fleas. As you can imagine, sand fleas live in the sand, therefore, are a natural kind of bait that ocean fish are used to encountering. We always encourage using bait that you can find in the same habitat in which you are fishing.
Best Way to Catch Sand Fleas
The best way to catch sand fleas is by using a sand flea rake. If you don’t have a sand flea rake then using your hands is a viable option or perhaps even a bucket.
This sand flea rake includes teeth that allows you to dig deeper into the sand and scoop up more sand fleas into the basket.
I recommend raking immediately after the waves wash away from the beach and if present target the areas where holes appear in the sand. The holes are an indication of where the sand fleas are and a result of them digging further into the depths of the sand.
After raking, your rake will most likely be filled with sand so you will need to dip the rake back into the water without tipping it and letting the crabs get out. Once the sand is removed you will hopefully be looking at a rake full of mole crabs.
If you come up empty simply try moving forward and backward in reference to the ocean until you strike gold.
Once you come up with a healthy amount of sand fleas dump them into a bucket with about 4-10 inches of ocean water.
How do you store the sand fleas for a few days?
If you are going to keep the sand fleas for a few days, I recommend rinsing them off in fresh water and then storing them in a container with a wet towel or moss. You can also place ice on top of the container if you’re going to be keeping them for more than 12 hours.
Best Time to Catch Sand Fleas?
The best time of the day to go sand flea raking is after the sun has begun to set and/or during an outgoing tide.
How Do You Fish Sand Fleas?
There are a few ways to fish sand fleas.
The most popular one is by using a surf rod and light tackle. Another way that people use sand fleas for bait is by rigging them on a jighead and using them as live bait. You can also use a Carolina rig when fishing for redfish with sand fleas.
Last but not least, you can also use a bait caster and fish sand fleas on the bottom.
In conclusion, sand fleas are a great bait to use when Surf Fishing and can be easily caught with a sand flea rake or your hands.
How to Hook Sand Fleas When Using as Bait?
I recommend hooking them from the underbelly to the outside of the shell with a small circle hook. Stop penetrating with the hook as soon as the barb penetrates the shell and the hook point is hidden. waters where there might not be any waves breaking at all.
I couldn’t have made better videos myself, I want to share these two from Black Tiph. Take a look.
In conclusion, sand fleas are a great bait to use when Surf Fishing and can be easily caught with a sand flea rake or your hands. They are found in the same habitat as the fish you seek in the surf which is always a plus. After reading this, we hope you have a full understanding of how to catch sand fleas and are rearing to get out to the beach and fill up a bucket or two.
We hope you found this article helpful. For more tips and guides on finding fishing gear check out some of the pages below: