View Full Version : anyone use baited traps to catch baitfish?

05-15-2008, 09:01 PM
I have fished the Bay since the mid 80's. Back then, you could go out to Oyster Pt., Coyote Pt., Burlingame shoreline, and many other places and catch shiners, bullheads, and mudsuckers all day if you wanted to.
Nowadays, I still like to use those same baits. When I take my five yr old daughter with me she catches the baitfish with her little Barbie pole. The thing is, those baits are so hard to come by. She usually catches a few shiners for me, but bullheads and mudsuckers seemed to become scarce. Back in the 80's it seemed some parts of the Bay were literally carpeted with bullheads and infested with shiners. It's not that way anymore.
So now I come to the question I posed, does anyone use minnow/fish traps to catch bait? It is legal in the Bay only for shiners, bullheads, and mudsuckers. I am thinking about buying one and was curious if any sniffers use one. I don't think I have seen anyone use one lately.

Here is a pic of my fishing buddy on a recent trip to BP. This was the only shiner she caught that day.


05-15-2008, 09:14 PM
She is getting big 8-) What about a throw net for bait? I never seen anyone using a baited trap in the salt around here. I always see them using a throw net.

05-15-2008, 09:22 PM
She just turned 5! She'll be in Kinder in the fall already. I'm lucky because she loves to fish.
I do see alot of people use throw nets, however, I'm leaning towards the trap cause it's alot less physical and to be honest, I don't see too many guys using the nets do too good on getting bait.

05-15-2008, 10:03 PM
I think the last time I seen her she was around 2. There has been a couple of times I seen them get alot of bait in the nets at oyster point but not alot and I never had any luck at it. I have some crawdad traps that look alot like the minnow traps. If it is legal we will have to try it out. I casted out at that one spot we met up in Burlingame the other day for about 20 min at lunch time but didn't have any luck.

05-15-2008, 10:31 PM
I soaked bait there too a couple days ago for about an hour and a half for nothing also.
Yes, crawdad traps will work too, and it is legal in the Bay.

28.75 Baited Traps for Shiner Surfperch, Pacific Staghorn Sculpin and Longjaw Mud
Suckers. In San Francisco and San Pablo bays and their saltwater tributaries, and in the open
ocean and the contiguous bays of Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties, traps not over three
feet in greatest dimension may be used to take shiner surfperch, Pacific staghorn sculpin and
longjaw mudsuckers. Any other species taken shall be returned to the water immediately.

05-16-2008, 06:18 AM
What bait would you put in the traps?

05-16-2008, 08:57 AM
I tried Crawfish traps and baited umbrella nets in Tomales Bay with minimal luck. One day I was checking my trap at Lawson's Pier when a kid walks up and asked what I was doing. I explained I was trying to catch bait.
He asked if he could use my bucket to put some fish in. I said OK.
I watched as he took the bucket to the boat dock filled it with water then filled it with Shiners with one toss of a cast net. It didn't take me a second lesson.
Bought me a net and about wore my lawn out learning to throw it , but it was worth it. Beats the heck out of anything else I have tried. ;)

05-16-2008, 11:21 AM
For bait I have read that bread works. I would also try shrimp, mussels, worms and anything else that might attract the little baitfish.

You know I might just get both the net and the trap. More options might mean more bait.

05-19-2008, 03:15 PM
OK, made up my mind, I'm going with a six foot cast net. I was at BP today. A guy walks up and on his second cast makes bait for the entire day with a grab of about twenty perfect sized shiners. He gave me one but I still got skunked. He did admit that he got lucky today as it usually takes more work to get the bait. A little later another guy walks up to the same spot and with a little more work makes his bait for the day with more perfect sized shiners. Saw only two keepers landed today, it was a little slow on the action. the two keepers were landed about a third of the way down the pier on live chovies.

05-19-2008, 09:17 PM
Panfish Popper has a throw net. We got it after seeing people catching tuns of bait with it. I got the trowing part down OK...Not great but still having trouble finding the bait. It can be fun for the first 10 throws.

05-19-2008, 09:33 PM
MB, take it with you if you ever go to BP. there are shiners there, you have to be persistent, I have seen guys get lucky and net em quick and have seen guys put in a lot of work, but they get their bait in the end.

05-19-2008, 09:43 PM
I have been out at oyster point and candlestick when there is bait all over under the pier but that is never the time I have the net :-[ We only remember it when the bait is gone ::)

05-21-2008, 07:11 AM
Shorethang, I think I was parked net to you one monday. The green for ranger with the pole racks on top, I remember your daughter with the barbie pole. I started my daughter out with the same one and take her out as often as possible. There was a guy close to you trying with a cast net looked like a beginner. Did he have any luck?

05-21-2008, 10:02 PM
Hey vatoloco,
next time come by and say "wassup!?" there were two guys next to me, one guy with a baseball cap, he's no beginner. He's a regular at BP since the, well I won't say how long but he's a good fisherman. A little later another with a castnet came up to him and asked to show him how to cast the net. He gave him a couple of pointers and that's when I left. As for the regular, yea he did pretty good, when I left he had about 8-10 nice little shiners in his bucket.