Best bait for spotties

gettingbentwithbo

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Mar 7, 2009
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Bo
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Hey guys, taking my 2 sons (4 and 7) out in the harbor (newport) fishing this weekend and I want them to get hooked. Whats a good bait that spotties can't resist? They will be using little kids rods/reels and I am thinking some sort of bait and wait as they don't have the casting and retrieving down yet. Any tips to help them get on em appreciated! I use swimbaits when I am targeting spotties but they definitely aren't ready for that.
 
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Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
  • Jun 22, 2014
    1,451
    1,845
    No Grave But the Sea
    Name
    Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
    Boat
    Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
    Hey guys, taking my 2 sons (4 and 7) out in the harbor (newport) fishing this weekend and I want them to get hooked.

    If it were me...

    I would try to be targeting mackerel or anything at all that will bite and provide lots of action. Those ages are tough to keep focused so the more action going on the more of a chance you have to engage them in the sport and thus hooking them.

    Bring a couple sabiki rigs and some cat food.

    Just my .02.

    Good Luck!
     
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    HighWildFree

    Member
    Feb 16, 2018
    823
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    OC
    Name
    Erik
    Boat
    Spaghetti Madness
    Squid heads.

    Blood worms and ghost shrimp are great baits for the harbor as well. Lots of little fish to be caught, which are always fun for kids. Good luck.
     
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    cortezpirasea

    Pangero
    Feb 23, 2012
    2,218
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    la mesa, ca
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    Russell
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    21 ft panga Sea Moan/17 ft gregor Pirasea II
    X2 on the anchovies.
     
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    NaClAddict

    Member
  • Jul 18, 2008
    568
    448
    torrance
    Name
    Greg
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    22 glasstron
    Razor clams, shell on, on a leadhead. If you’re coming up with moss you’re in the wrong zone. Mud, rocks, and eelgrass rule for spotties.

    mackerel slabs are good, pack your own in rock salt. Ghosties, bloodworms, inkeepers all work great at times too.

    I used to hammer and paint tire weights to look like razor clams. Spotties inhaled them. Trolling deep divers or swim baitscan be fun for kids in the harbor too.
     
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    Bchbum54

    Newbie
    Oct 27, 2008
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    City of Orange
    Name
    Bayron
    Boat
    I Wish I had 1
    Mission Bay is a great place to take kids. If you rent a skiff for $70 I think? It's more than a fishing trip, it's an adventure. I live in Orange about a 20 minute drive to Newport but I always take my daughter and any of her cousins/friends to Mission Bay. Just a suggestion.
     
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    gettingbentwithbo

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    Mar 7, 2009
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    pacificscout

    Hey! You got any frozen ice?
  • Jul 28, 2012
    5,771
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    Fullerton
    Name
    Wally
    Boat
    16ft Scout EMBUSTERO
    1/4oz leadhead and bass assasin or chartreuse grub 3-4 inch.
     
    gettingbentwithbo
    gettingbentwithbo
    Can you bait and wait with it? I am hoping for something that I can cast for them and they will just hold it till they get bit
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    cortezpirasea

    Pangero
    Feb 23, 2012
    2,218
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    la mesa, ca
    Name
    Russell
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    21 ft panga Sea Moan/17 ft gregor Pirasea II
    IMG_20210424_124510908.jpg
     
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    dsl

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Nov 20, 2017
    1,287
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    California
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    Larry S
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    Landlover
    1/4oz leadheads, with a 2-3inch motoroil grub, with squid tentical
     
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    skrilla

    allirks
    May 26, 2006
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    San Diego
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    Len
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    Camo Whammo
    Believe it or not, deadstick a dropshot sandcrab if they're around. Almost as good as ghost shrimp but cheaper.
     
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    gettingbentwithbo

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    Mar 7, 2009
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    Noms

    Dirty taco maker
  • Aug 12, 2017
    223
    140
    San Diego
    Name
    Angel
    Boat
    15 foot tin can
    Don't over think it. Dropshot fresh squid, sardines or anchovy chunks. Stick to size 4-6 hooks. Salted anchovies or sardine will work if fresh bait is inconvenient to get. If you want to use plastics get any colored gulp mullet or sandworms. Spotties will eat anything it seems. I've seen people at piers catch them back to back with KFC chicken skins and hotdogs.
     
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    SaltH20Angler

    I'm not superstitious... cuz it's bad luck.
  • Aug 6, 2016
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    Christopher
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    I know a couple guys...
    A lot of good advice above.

    Sounds like a good opportunity to teach the boys to cast and retrieve. Almost guaranteed they wont miss the water on a boat.

    If you need a break from the tangles, go for a little troll action. The cheapo rapala type freshwater bass baits sold at Walmart have produced well for me on spotties trolling the harbor rocks in LB.

    Plus, if they are like my 4 yo son, they wont be too interested in the bait and wait game (unless using live finbait).

    My boy has more fun than anything casting/retrieving and fondling the grubs, weights, swimbaits, and any fish we catch. I dont fish when he is fishing as his tangles and snags keep me busy.

    This 3yo Aussie is putting the wood to the the fish.

     
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    Jeff Hannah

    HALIMOTO
    Sep 9, 2016
    49
    141
    Hb
    Name
    Jeff
    Boat
    Play the Red
    D1EED297-C235-4F17-8420-F04FC0C8EE6D.jpeg

    This is yesterday in Newport with live smelt a fish finder rig 10-12 lb and 1/0-2/0 octopus hook Gets them for me every time if not a hali which is what I’m going for but I catch a lot of spot ties biggest just over 21” ,so my vote is for live smelt with a bubbler
     
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    gettingbentwithbo

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    Mar 7, 2009
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    Bo
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    16' Starcraft SF SS
    View attachment 1275404
    This is yesterday in Newport with live smelt a fish finder rig 10-12 lb and 1/0-2/0 octopus hook Gets them for me every time if not a hali which is what I’m going for but I catch a lot of spot ties biggest just over 21” ,so my vote is for live smelt with a bubbler
    Where do you catch the smelt?
     
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    Noms

    Dirty taco maker
  • Aug 12, 2017
    223
    140
    San Diego
    Name
    Angel
    Boat
    15 foot tin can
    View attachment 1275404
    This is yesterday in Newport with live smelt a fish finder rig 10-12 lb and 1/0-2/0 octopus hook Gets them for me every time if not a hali which is what I’m going for but I catch a lot of spot ties biggest just over 21” ,so my vote is for live smelt with a bubbler
    That 21inch spottie is near record breaking size. Must had a big head and belly. Biggest I've ever seen in person was just over 18 inches.
     
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