Hoopnetting Bait Ideas

Being such an avid Hoopnetter I’ve tried so many different types of baits. Crab and Lobster will eat just about anything when really hungry although my first choice is Mackerel. Mackerel is not only easy to catch, but also very easy to buy. Not to mention the fact that it is smelly and oily which makes our job much easier and much more successful.

Here is the trick, get your Mackerel and put it into a sealed container for a day or two. This really allows for the smells and oils to extract from the Mackerel and the lobster seem to go crazy for it. Please note that the goal isn’t to over do it! We don’t want our Mackerel turning rotten, that won’t attract anything at that point. Just a nice day or two and you’ve got yourself some great bait.

Attach the bait to the center of the steel hoop or directly to teh center of the netting material, whichever suits you best. Zip ties really make things alot easier so be sure to use them. Go through the eye socket and out the other and secure it on the net. Then take another zip tie and go around the base of the tail and the net and be sure to pull it as tight as possible.

If you cut slits into the fish or fillet the skin off, the bait will attract better but keep in mind that it will not last as long. I suggest doing some tests with various nets and the various bait tactics, ie fresh mackerel vs older mackerel and clits/fileted mackerel. This way you know what works better for your area. Keep in mind that if you do a poor job securing the bait to the net that your catch may tear off the net and go eat it somewhere else.

Some other bait ideas include, Tuna, Salmon heads and other similar fish.

Choosing Your Hoop Netting Bait

I have tried alot of different items for hoop net bait. I presume Lobster and Crab would eat almost anything when really hungry. My number one choice is Mackerel for several reasons. Mackerel is usually easy to catch or cheap to buy, smelly, oily and usually plentiful. If you let the bait sit in a sealed container for a day or two, it seems to work even better than when fresh. The commercial guys swear by it. Don’t over do it. More rotten is not better in my experience. Bait can be attached to the center steel hoop or directly to the center of the netting material itself. I use zip ties. Go though one eye socket and out the other and then secure it to the net. Take another zip tie and go around the base of the tail and the net. Pull it as tight as possible. If you cut slits into the fish or fillet the skin off, the bait will attract better but will not last as long. Try to make sure you always have enough bait before you start hooping. If you do a poor job securing the bait to the net, your catch may tear the bait off the net and go eat it somewhere else. Try other baits too. Others have had good results using Tuna, Salmon heads, etc.