Texas Fishing Forum

Whole tilapia for saltwater bait?

Posted By: BTP

Whole tilapia for saltwater bait? - 08/13/21 02:31 AM

Newbie here. I went offshore on a non-charter for the first time a few weeks ago. On a lark I brought some whole freezer burned tilapia or maybe vermillion snapper (scaled and 5+ years old from a family that was moving so I have no idea) to use as bait. I was hoping for shark, but it barely hit the bottom before I ended up hooking a monster red snapper. I only had 3 fish and each time I hooked a big snapper. Has anyone else used whole tilapia as shark/snapper bait? I've not heard/seen/found much info on crossing fresh bait for salt water, but was wondering if anyone out there has tried whole tilapia for off shore? My local markets never seem to run low on them and they are relatively cheap, so is this out of the box thinking a legitimate option or just a fools errand? Like I said, I'm really new to this and the older lady I got them from wasn't sure what they were. I truly appreciate any constructive feedback or personal anecdotes.
Posted By: V-Bottom

Re: Whole tilapia for saltwater bait? - 08/13/21 03:30 AM

If you feed them, they will come...
Posted By: COFF

Re: Whole tilapia for saltwater bait? - 08/13/21 03:49 AM

I’ve seen people use chicken livers as bait in saltwater. And I’ve seen shrimp used as bait in fresh water. I think it boils down to meat is meat. Very few wild animals will turn down a free meal.
Posted By: jippedgenes

Re: Whole tilapia for saltwater bait? - 08/26/21 03:03 PM

I have a buddy that uses whole frozen bluegill from his little stock tank if he cannot get mullet or pins. He swears by em, I reckon tilapia would work too.
Posted By: Riverrat9

Re: Whole tilapia for saltwater bait? - 08/26/21 05:46 PM

Finding magic bait that doesn't live in the water you're fishing is a fools errand every time.

IMO the reason it worked is because I bet you were using a whole fish and others were using frozen squid and junk bait. Bigger fish hit bigger baits. Takes less energy for them to attack one fish versus many.
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