Saltwater Fishing: How to Catch Spadefish or Angelfish, with Fishing Video
The Atlantic spadefish much resembles a large angelfish, like the ones seen in aquariums. Only the spade is much larger and lacks the long, wispy, thread-like fins of the angel. The spadefish is silvery gray, with several black vertical stripes. They're native to the east coast of the US, especially in nearshore and inshore waters of the Southeastern states, where they're often called "angelfish." Young spades can be found in shallow waters, especially around piers and other structures. Older, larger fish are found feeding near reefs and wrecks in deeper water.
Spadefish feed on jellyfish, clams, and shrimp. The best baits used to catch them include small strips or pieces of shrimp and clams. If you can get some ball jellyfish, use little pieces to attract the spades. Don't worry - this type of jelly doesn't sting.
Use 15-20 pound test line, with a 30-pound leader attached. Spadefish have small mouths, so use a 1/0 hook and small bits of bait.
If you're in a boat, watch the surface for spadefish circling near the surface. Once the wary fish are spotted, cast beyond them and retrieve your bait through them. Don't get too close - you'll scare them away. Since they travel in schools, you're likely to have more than one hookup.
Once the fish takes your bait, set the hook quickly once the line becomes tight. If you're fishing in deep water for adult specimens, they could weigh up to ten pounds. And that's ten pounds of muscle and determination! Their flat shape aids them in putting up a heck of a fight!
Younger spadefish are usually abundant around piers. To catch one, lower your hook next to a piling, and try fishing at different depths until you locate the fish. Even a smaller spadefish, like those in the 1-3 pound category, are great fun to catch and will put up a challenging fight.
Spadefish are excellent table fare. Their flesh is mild and flaky, and the skin usually comes off easily. They're good fried, broiled, and grilled.
Read more about fishing and the beach:
- Saltwater fishing in the South
- Fishing Tips: How to Catch, Prepare, and Cook Bluefish
Bluefish are one of the best fighting fish in the ocean, pound for pound. Once hooked, the blue will make lightning-fast runs and will often break the surface in an impressive leap. They're found in large...
- Attack of the Killer Manatee, with Videos
Several years ago, my husband, Johnny, and I spent our summer vacation at one of our favorite haunts Amelia Island, Florida. We visit the area fairly frequently. For one thing, its beautiful and has...
- Saltwater Fishing: Free Bait
If you've done much saltwater fishing, you know how expensive bait is. Even when the fish aren't biting much, you lose a lot of fresh and live bait to crabs and catfish. You also have to change your bait...
- Fishing Tips: How to Catch Sharks, with Big Shark Video
Note: This article discusses shark fishing from a pier, the surf, the shore, or from a small boat. The tips provided are apropriate for bays, inlets, sounds, nearshore, and tidal creeks and rivers. Shark...
- Saltwater Fishing: Pier Fishing in Northern Florida
I think I was born to fish, especially in salt water. I've done it all - surf fishing, deep sea fishing, offshore trolling, angling tidal creeks and rivers from shore and from a boat, and casting from the...