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Threadfin Herring

Another of my favorite baits is the Threadfin Herring (Opisthonema oglinum) or commonly known on my coast as the greenback. It has a very long thread-like fin at the back of its dorsal that accounts for its name. Again, like most baits, it has many regional names depending on where you live. It grows to 12″ according to the books, but I have never seen them over 8″. The greenback is usually found only when the water is fairly warm and is easily seen when on the surface. It has been my experience that they do not come to chum like whitebait…..

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Spanish Sardine

Here’s my all-time favorite bait for just about everything on the Gulf coast! Spanish sardines (Sardinella aurita) are members of the herring family and have a slender body, bluish or greenish back, white belly and very silver sides. They grow to about ten inches – and will fill your bait well with loose scales very quickly. You must have a good water flow to keep them healthy – especially during summer when water temperatures are high. Everything loves to eat sardines and they are great bait either alive or cut, trolled or fished on the bottom….

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Silver Trout

The silver trout (Cynoscion nothus) is a wonderful bait for most species of gamefish. I love to use them primarily for king mackerel and barracuda, but they are great bottom fish bait as well. Like most of the fish in this series, silver trout are at the lower end of the food chain and so make good bait for nearly anything in the Gulf of Mexico….

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Scaled Sardine

One of my favorite baits is the Scaled Sardine (Harengula Jaguana). On the west coast of Florida, we call them whitebait. In other areas there could be many other names from pilchard to greenie. They are distinguished by their sharply pointed, keeled belly. Scaled sardines grow to an average of six inches and are great baits no matter what size you catch for almost all species of fish…..

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Blue Runner

Blue runner, hard tail jack, yellow jack, yellow mackerel and runner are all Caranx crysos. Whatever name you attach, they’re great bait for larger fish. They are very hardy in the baitwell and can swim surprisingly fast for long distances on the hook. They commonly grow to 12-14 inches but are said to reach 20 inches…..

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