Family Clupeidae, HERRINGS
AKA: Whitebait, greenbacks, greenies.
Description: solid back with dark streaks, usually single small dark spot at upper edge of opercule and sometimes one at shoulder.*
A highly prized bait fish for all game fish and they can be caught with a cast net or sabiki rig. To read more about catching whitebait please read Catching Whitebait. They are mostly inshore, but they can be found offshore. The whitebait arrive in the spring when the water reaches 72 degrees and spawn in August. They can be found through out the winter in the residential channels in Aripeka and south. The typical place to find whitebait in our area is the Aripeka channel, Bayport Channel and occasionally in the Hernando Beach channel. You can also find them in many of the grass flats. When the water is very calm, you can see the whitebait flipping on the surface. If you find a grass flat that holds whitebait make sure to mark the location and date, chances are they will return to the same grass flat every year.
Family Sparidae, PORGIES
Description: small mouth with incisor-like teeth; distinctive black spot behind the gill cover; body bluish-silver with blue and orange-yellow horizontal stripes, yellow fins.
Most of the inshore area, grass flats, channels and backwaters. Pin fish are the choice grouper bait. But also works well for most other game fish. Pin fish can be easily caught in traps or hook line, but they are a bit fast for a cast net.
* Identification Information From: myFWC