Home Fishing Tips & Advice How to Fish with Sardines as Bait

How to Fish with Sardines as Bait

Sardines are a small streamlined fish with high oil content. They have a specific, heady scent that can appeal to sizeable predatory fish. Repeatedly used by anglers, sardines are a collective bait to up their catching a verity of game fish. Here’s all you need to know about how to fish with sardines as bait. 

Advantages of Using Sardines as Bait

One of the most gratifying baits to use, sardines are unusually prevalent for saltwater fishing. It will only progress your hookup ratio as well as pioneer new species of fish that you will not catch if you were to use, shellfish, worms, or minnows. For example, striped bass, giant catfish, and salmon are common fish to catch while baiting your hook with sardines. Anglers have also experienced catching rays, dogfish, and baby sharks while surf fishing.

Not only does your game improve will using sardines, but they are cheaper than the overused bait. With little money, you can get up to two pounds of fresh whole sardines. Two pounds is way more than enough to use for a day of fishing. You could always freeze the rest for the next trip. There are many methods of using sardines to improve your fishing game. 

Methods to Hooking Sardines as Bait

Tail Method

There are many methods on how to hook sardines; you want to ensure the bait makes it to the water during the cast. The Tail Method approach is attaching the hook to the tail; it is the most ridged part of the fish and allows the sardine to make it to the water during the cast. The bait is more likely to survive this way. When cutting the tail, it should measure between two or three inches, hook and line the whole tail, side to side. You need to pierce the rear fully and not only catch the highest flesh. Make sure to penetrate the bone of the fish and not only the meat; it is the only way to ensure the fish survives the cast. 

The advantages of using this hooking method: it is quick and easy. I won’t take you more than thirty seconds to fasten and secure the fish onto the line. You’ll be fishing in no time. Since the tail is small, it receives less friction in the air and wind during the cast: this will allow you to cast further out. When using cut sardines, it will release more oils into the water; it will interest more fish this way.

The disadvantages of using this method of hooking the tail: a fish could effortlessly steal your bait without getting caught, and you will need to rebait more often. Another negative is, you could find more unwanted fish (small game) more often than larger fish. 

Half Inch Method

Another highly used method to hooking your sardine is, cutting the sardine in half, just below the dorsal fin, then piercing the meat of the fish while keeping the point of the hook noticeable. Afterward, simply make a half hitch knot to fasten the bait to the hook; this will make it more resilient on the hook. To tie the knot, you want to curl the line to fashion a loop and thread the tail into the circle and pull of the line. It is super simple. 

The knot will assist as a shock absorber and keep the hook away from compression. The knot will take the heat when you cast off, keeping the bait on the hook. It is very proficient at hooking the sardine this way, but there, the lure is susceptible to sudden shakes and movements, causing it to drop into the water. This type of hooking is not recommended if you are going to surf fish or try casting too far. 

The advantages of using this hooking method: It is also easy to set up. This baiting method will get your hook in the water faster. It will also lure decent sized fish into biting. Lastly, the bait will stick to the hook better as long as you don’t cast out too far. 

The Disadvantages of using this method: it is not used for casting out far. The bait will unhook itself from the hook and be free from fish food to the wandering game. Also, small fish can tug the bait free without touching the hook, which you will have to bait more often; this is another negative about the half-inch method. 

Cube Chunks Method

The last method to bait your hook with a sardine is the cub chunks method. Using a knife to cut a cube-like chunk of sardine (avoid the head and tail), you want to make the cube cohesive so you can pierce it quickly and successfully. The fragments can easily crumble or come off the hook while casting, but this is a great and efficient way to use sardines as a bit if you’re not looking to cast out too far. This method is best used to catch pompano, snapper, surfperch, and bream, because of the size of the cubes. It is also challenging for the fish to steal and swim away. 

The advantage of using this method: the cut releases more oils into the water to lure more fish. Also, the fish will become hooked in one strike; it is hard for the fish just to steal fish without consequence, and an excellent method to catch a small or medium-sized game. When using this method, try to be on a pier or a boat, it is not recommended to use during surf fishing. 

The disadvantage of this method is, you cannot bait sardines this way if you are going to surf fish; the bait will unhook or crumble during the cast. Also, the small cube is not as appealing for more substantial fish; if you are looking for a bigger game, you want to use the half-inch method. Lastly, you will have to bait more often due to the cubes being so small; they can detach easy. 

Sardines vs. Artificial Lures

There are many types of lures to use while fishing. They all the different purposes, for example, a variety of species of fish, what kind of waters you’re fishing in, and refining your fishing game. It all depends on what is on the other side of the hook. Everyone has their preferences and experiences, but avid anglers like using live bait. 

Final Thoughts

Sardines are excellent use for bait; from the oils and scent they send-off in the water, and the type of game that can be reeled in, it is something to try the next time you go fishing in saltwater. Also, it will improve your game. Pick up the cheap bait and see how successful it can be.