How to Fish for Tilapia

How to Fish for TilapiaTilapia are a species of freshwater fish prized for the dinner table. Although some seafood lovers might describe the taste of tilapia as bland, it is the relatively neutral flavor of the fish that gives chefs a great deal of creative latitude when preparing it.

Anglers also enjoy some flexibility in the methods they employ to catch this popular fish.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Medium-weight rod and reel spooled with 12- to 15-pound test line
  • Tackle
  • Access to open freshwater
  • Fishing license
  • Bait
  • Lures
  • Worms
  • Old bread
  • Cheese spread in a can
Step 1
Hunt for tilapia in shallow, slow-moving water in southern and sub-tropical regions. Fishing from the banks or slow-trolling in a boat along the shoreline are good strategies.
Step 2
Tempt tilapia with nightcrawlers and earthworms by hooking a live worm through the worm's collar, pushing the barb through the other side. Leave the hook exposed.
Step 3
Cast near the shoreline where there is a fair amount of structure, such as rock formations, submerged branches and dead shrubbery by using a bobber float to mark your position. If a spot does not produce fish after a few casts, move on.
Step 4
Try different baits. Form bread balls using old, slightly wet bread and a small amount of cheese spread from a can to give the bread balls some taste and make them last longer on your hook.
Step 5
Form bread balls to the size of a large grape and spear one onto a hook, burying the barb inside the bread ball. For added durability, you can freeze bread balls overnight before your fishing trip. Hooks will still penetrate the bait with ease, and they''ll hold up better in the water.
Step 6
Cast artificial lures to tilapia. Jigs and deep-diving crankbaits, which have a metal, spoon-like lip on the front, can be deadly during the hot summer months, when the fish move to deeper water.
Step 7
Set the hook gently on a strike. Hooks tear out easily from tilapia lips, which are like a crappie's thin mouth, so the fish must be played delicately on rod and reel.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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