How to Fish With Croaker for Bait

How to Fish With Croaker for BaitCroaker are a saltwater game fish species typically found off the Carolinas and Virginia coast down through Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. Croaker average in size around 1 foot long and are a favorite among many anglers as a cut or live bait fish. One particular fishing method involves presenting smaller croaker in the 3- to 4- inch length range, rigged live, to attract and trigger a strike from larger waiting fish.


Difficulty: Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Circle octopus hook
  • 3- to 4-inch croaker
  • Scissors
  • Sliding egg weight
  • Barrel swivel
Step 1
Tie an octopus circle hook to the end of your main fishing line with a Palomar knot. Tie the Palomar by feeding 6 to 7 inches of line through the eye of the hook so that the free end exits on the point side of the hook. Turn the line back through the eye and pull it up alongside the main line forming a double line. There will now be a loop on one side of the hook and a double line on the other.
Step 2
Continue tying the Palomar knot by forming an overhand knot with the loop and doubled line and pull the loop around the bend of the hook. Moisten the knot and pull tight. Trim excess line from the free end of the knot with scissors.
Step 3
Hold the circle hook in one hand and a 3- to 4-inch croaker in the other. Insert the point of the hook through the bottom of the croaker's jaw, up and out just above the nose of the fish.
Step 4
Cast the croaker from the boat, pier or shore lineto areas where larger game fish may be holding or feeding. Allow the croaker to swim freely and move with the current in the water. Loosening the drag on your reel will allow the bait to take additional line if this is desired.
Step 5
Allow a fish to take the bait and turn before you set the hook. Setting the hook properly requires that you raise the tip of the rod while at the same time reeling down on the line. Maintain pressure on the line as you reel in the fish.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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