Latest Posts

Best Tips For Catching Spadefish

Spadefish is an underappreciated fish with an irresistibly tender texture and mild flavor, perfect for cooking up in any number of ways.

Spadefishing requires using bait and chum that match its preferred habitat, such as shipwrecks and natural ledges. A weighted chum basket filled with chopped clams may provide the most success when fishing spadefish.


Spadefish are schooling fish that frequent wrecks, reefs and pilings during the summer. Although resembling angelfish in appearance, spadefish can be distinguished from them by having two dorsal fins as opposed to only one. Their diet includes clams, shrimp crabs and other crustaceans found on reefs bottom surfaces and mid depths.

Spadefish can be easily caught using a small circle hook paired with a clam, as these fish love them! Cannonball jellyfish also make excellent bait; their dome-like structure means that they do not sting; these range in size from ping-pong balls up to the size of grapefruits and typically sport a rusty hue – easily found at most grocery stores and are an easy catch!

Spadefish feed on many kinds of shellfish such as oysters and mussels; you could try using pieces of squid as bait. When hooking spadefish, use an extremely small, sharp, and sturdy hook – these creatures are extremely strong fighters who will put plenty of strain on your line if not handled carefully!

Once you have the necessary equipment, the next step should be choosing your location. Search for structures over 20 feet deep that are close to shore; spadefish can often be seen near jetties and other navigation structures.

Anchor upcurrent of the structure you’re targeting so that chum bits flow to where the fish are. Anchoring on structures such as islands or towers may also work, though any sudden shift in current may require you to move your boat quickly.

Once in position, begin chumming with pieces or whole clams of any size as bait to attract spadefish to you. A piece of squid may also help draw them in closer. As soon as the spadefish comes within range of your hook, put your hook on it and begin fishing! With any luck, one may bite right away but even if not, keep trying; who knows when the fish might decide to show itself and make itself known?


Spadefish are drawn to shrimp, clams and other forms of marine life such as mussels; however, nothing lures them like jelly balls. These firm, mushroom-shaped jellyfish are easily found near inlets and tide lines and can be easily chopped up as bait for spadefish chumming or bait fishing – they feature translucent domes, rusty hues and short tentacles; one jelly ball will attract an entire school of finicky spadefish for hours!

Crabs are popular bait choices for spadefish because their mouths tend to consume anything they come into contact with. Shrimp and squid also tend to remain on the hook better than most small baits; some anglers use floats as an indicator when fishing for spadefish; however others simply drop their bait in place and wait for an eventual strike; keeping an inflated bait above sand or rocks that spadefish frequent may also help.

Simple is often best, such as using a 6-foot piece of 20-30-pound line with an 1/8-ounce weight suspended 18 inches above a 3/0 live bait hook. A barrel swivel may also be added for greater weight savings.

Most anglers typically employ either a size 1 or 2 livebait hook when targeting spadefish, depending on its size and species. When keeping close to these fish it’s essential not to get too close as this could irritate them enough for them to throw the hook back out or straighten it. These species tend to fight hard so having a powerful drag system in place is essential.

Spadefish can be caught year-round, though the ideal time of year to do so is from mid-April to the end of June. Spadefish are plentiful along coastal bay wreck and reef sites and make an excellent target for anglers looking for a fun yet challenging gamefish fight. Be sure to bring a large landing net as spadefish’s small mouth and odd body design allows it to quickly pull your line free with just a strong tug; additionally a heavy landing net may help land these hard fighting gamefish easily!


Spadefish are great fighters, yet can be challenging to hook. Their schools of fish often linger in the water before nibbling your bait for several seconds before actually becoming hooked – which requires patience and the use of small circle hooks like those used for trigger fish to get more strikes and ultimately more bites!

Clams, mussels and other mollusks make excellent bait choices for spadefish fishing, with jellyfish being particularly effective as bait. Spadefish seem particularly drawn to jellyfish, and you will often find them suspended over wrecks and reefs where there are lots of jellyfish floating about. If you aren’t having luck catching spadefish yet, experiment with different baits until you discover which ones the fish like best!

When fishing for spadefish, always rig your hook with a swivel to prevent the line from twisting under your boat. A split shot may also add weight. Furthermore, using a swivel will keep baits close to where they should be and will prevent them from floating too far from structures you are fishing over.

Once you find a location with spadefish, anchor upcurrent of any structures. Allow the current to drift your baits into position; or smash some clam shells and add them as chum for added chumming effect. Spadefish usually reside over wrecks or reefs located 20 to 80 feet underwater and they often congregate near pilings, buoys, and bridges.

If you want to target spadefish, use a #4 or #6 hook (they have small mouths) on 15-pound test monofilament leader for best results. As spadefish are known to pull hard and straighten regular hooks easily, using quality hooks and heavy monofilament leader is important; additionally swivels may become straightened out from normal sizes swivels by these fish!


Spadefish offer an exciting fight on light tackle, and make delicious table fare. Common in the Atlantic ocean, spadefish provide a tasty alternative to reds, trout or sharks when fishing for dinner. Though simple to catch, subtle tactics may make the difference between one spadefish being caught and many.

Spadefish anglers recommend using a medium spinning or baitcasting rod spooled with 12- to 17-pound monofilament line. Medium action rods with soft tips are recommended. Experienced spadefish fishermen note that while these fish may appear delicate eaters, they’re anything but. Spadefish have been known to put up quite a fight, bending light-tackle rods with ease. Hence it is wise to equip yourself with strong gear.

Spadefish bites require various baits; on the East Coast, the most popular option is cut clam strips into strips the size of Band-Aids. Canned squid is another effective option while shrimp cut into smaller pieces may also prove effective.

Anchor your bait close to the structure you’re fishing; this way, your chum will travel directly towards any schools of spadefish that may gather near it. If your baits are too far from it, your chum may never reach these schools of spadefish, making it impossible to hook one.

Spadefish can often be seen schooling near structures, particularly when jellyfish float nearby. When small jellyfish schools float nearby, spadefish will follow them as they move through the water; similarly, they have also been known to enjoy nibbling fresh cannonball jellyfish that has been cut up and presented on hooks as snacks.

Young spadefish can often be caught at beachfront piers; as they mature they migrate offshore. Most of the action for this species happens offshore at wrecks and reefs, though nearshore sites such as Light Tower Reef often hold concentrations of these fish too – it tends to be less crowded than other reefs too!

Latest Posts

Featured Posts