If you’re looking for live bait to catch yourself, then you’ll want to try getting sand fleas! These tiny creatures are ideal when catching pompano and other fish species, found in most beaches. And because the sand flea is pompanos’ favorite food and main diet, you’ll most likely get a bite as fish will do whatever it takes to find and eat them.
But as the weather cools, is it possible to go catching sand fleas in winter? It IS possible, though you have to know the right tips! Read on to find out how you can catch sand fleas during the winter season.
Catching Sand Fleas In Winter: Is It Possible?
Generally, sand fleas are always around beaches, close to the top of the sand during warmer waters. But what happens when winter comes along, will you be able to still catch them?
Just like most animals and insects, sand fleas look for warmth as they are used to the hotter temperatures. They are most popular during late March to early April as spring comes and the weather warms up at an ideal temperature.
It’s still possible to find and catch live sand fleas in colder weather, though they won’t be as close to the top of the sand. Sand fleas are at least four inches deep from the surface as a way to stay warm, especially when the weather hits 55 degrees F.
How to Catch Sand Fleas In Winter
Now that you know that it’s possible to catch sand fleas as the weather temperature drops, how can you do so? Here are effective tips you can follow:
1. Using a Rake
Using a rake is the optimum option, and you can get your sand flea rake in your local store. Follow these steps:
- Look for a target area on the beach where sand fleas would be hidden.
- Position your sand flea rake with the opening facing away from incoming waves. Wait for the waves to come in.
- As a wave comes, pull the rake towards your direction, away from the waters. Drop the rake’s opening on the sand in a scooping motion. Be sure that you dig a bit deeper than what you usually would during warmer weather, as sand fleas are finding warmer places to stay in.
- Lift your rake and collect the sand fleas your rake caught, placing it in a bucket filled with moist sand.
2. By Hand
Catching fleas by hand is possible and a common method, but usually followed during warmer weather. If you do plan on using this method during the winter, wear proper protective gloves.
- Find an area where sand fleas are most likely around, under wet sand.
- Wait until waves draw back, then scoop a huge handful of sand, deep enough to find the hidden sand fleas.
- After scooping sand, dump the wet sand to a drier area. Sand fleas can’t burrow and hide under dry sand, so you can gather the crawling sand fleas, storing them in a bucket.
3. With a Net
If you have no rake, you can opt for a small net instead, which can catch sand fleas just as easily. Follow these steps when doing so:
- Go to an area where sand fleas are most abundant. They are most likely hidden under wet sand and you may not find their antennas popping up during the winter season. With that said, be prepared to do this method in different spots a few times before you catch enough sand fleas.
- When you’re on the target area, ready your net and wait for a wave to come in and leave. Once the wave leaves, stick your net deep into the wet sand (at least four inches), then scoop a big bulk of sand out.
- Allow the waves to wash out sand from the net and once it’s completely washed, you can find a few sand fleas to collect and store. Repeat these steps a few times if you haven’t found any sand fleas in the area.
The best option is to use a rake or net, as catching sand fleas in winter by hand can be quite uncomfortable. Do be wary that it will take a bit longer finding sand fleas, and that you should gauge the overall temperature. Just like sand fleas, it can be too cold to go out, making it dangerous for you to catch sand fleas.
If ever it’s too cold, skip the day and go for warmer days during the winter to catch sand fleas. You can also purchase live or frozen sand fleas in your local bait store instead, saving you the effort!
Beyond winter, there are many ways you can catch sand fleas during the spring and summer season! Learn more about these methods (which you MIGHT be able to use during winter) in this helpful video:
Wrapping It Up
Sand fleas make excellent bait for saltwater fishing species like redfish, sheepshead, and the pompano. Catching them is easy, but you will need to be more vigilant during the winter season. With the right tips, you can successfully catch a few you can use for your next ice fishing trip!
I hope that this article on catching fleas in winter helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and begin following these tips to get your live bait!