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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: West Hempfield, PA
For live bait, whatever is legal, swims, and is a little smaller than the fish you are targeting!
Offshore in the gulf, when fishing for AJ's, we'd use 5#-8# live chubs and hardtails for live bait. 20/0 circle through the dorsal fin area of their back, a couples of lead, and send it down to the bottom over deep hard bottom structure of next to a rig leg. Lock up the drag, set the rod in the rear gunnel rod holder, and when the rod doubles over, gun the boat for a hundred yards or so to clear the rig or structure and fight the 50# to 80# Amberjack....fun times!
On the beach, used lots of live mullet, whiting and croaker, the bigger the better (up to 18") for sharks and bull reds. Amazing what a bull red can fit in their mouth. Live pinfish worked for trout, red snapper, flounder, reds, and they come in all sized, depending on the hook size and the size of the piece of shrimp you use.
We used loads of live shrimp for bait on the Texas coast too...bonus was, if you had a bad day and the shrimp were big ones, you could eat your bait on after a quick sear on the grille at the end of the day.