If you’ve ever heard someone talking about menhaden, bunker, bug-head, fat-back, the main hero of that story was a fish also known as pogie. Another name used by Native Americans for this fish is munnawhatteug – in translation, the one that fertilizes. Pogies are about 15 inches long, eat planktons and many underwater species absolutely love them – from tunas, swordfish to lobsters.
That’s why it is quite useful to learn how to use pogies as bait. In this article, we’ll go through the main things you need to know for successful pogie fishing, especially if you’re just a fishing beginner and could use every beginner fishing guide you can find.
Why Use Pogies
There are no many better options than pogies baitfish. They are oily and tasty, which makes them basically irresistible to many fish species. For instance, stripers consider pogies as a real treat, and they can smell their oil from a big distance.
That’s why you’ll have to be patient, but once they start coming, you should get lots of catch. Also, females lay around 300.000 eggs yearly, so by using them you won’t hurt the ecosystem.
Living In Large Groups
Pogies are easily scared, so they love to move along in a big group as possible. Most pogies could be seen near the shoreline, but it is not unusual to meet them a mile away into the sea. They look for safety by moving in large groups, but this also makes them easy to locate and chase by predators. All they have to do is to run into a large group of pogies and the lunch will basically serve itself.
How To Keep Pogies Alive In The Live Well
It does require a bit of knowledge, but it is not as hard as you may think at first. If you have moderate experience, you should be able to pull it off without a problem. First of all, you’ll need lots of air circulation. Besides good ventilation, the second thing you’ll need is cool water. Not cold, but cool.
Another thing you should know is that you need to live well. If there are corners in your life well, there is a great possibility they will hit that corners repeatedly, which will eventually affect pogies life spawn in your life well.
How To Get Pogies
Some bait shops may provide pogie baits, but most often than not you’ll have to catch them by yourself. The reason is that they won’t survive long when captured, but on the bright side, you won’t have to worry about their freshness. The easiest way is to cast the net in the batfish pods. If you do it well, one cast should be more than enough for your trip.
Pogies Fishing Techniques
There are many different techniques you could try out, so feel free to be creative with pogies and if some special technique gives the best results, follow it freely. In case you’d love to try something that has already been tested and proved to be working, here are a few tips and suggestions you could try out.
Live Pogie Anchored Fishing
If you prefer anchored fishing, you could use pogies on a freeline, as well as on the bottom of the bait pod area, and wait for the catch to bite. Another option is to go to a site and toss a pogie bait near the hideout and let the food chain do its work. If you’re patient enough, the reward will come sooner or later.
Pogies And Trolling
Another way to use pogies is by trolling. Start from the breakers and go about two miles into the waters, the slowest your vessel possibly can. As your boat moves, pogies should be freelined behind the boat. It is also recommended to place them at different depths.
Before you start your voyage, use a plastic skirt to place it on the nose of the pogie. This way the fish will be even more attracted, while it will also serve as a protection of the pogie’s nose and mouth. If you move too fast the pogie could get its mouth ripped off and drown, or it may stop moving in circles, which is not their natural movement. All you need to achieve is to go fast enough to keep your bait behind your boat and prevent it from going in front.
Another trick you could use is to use menhaden oil you’ve previously bought, spill it along the side, and help their smell spread.
Tarpon Fishing With Pogies
Some may find this type of fishing repelling, others will rather skip it, but tarpon fishing using pogies as bait during hot summer days is one of the techniques that is becoming more and more popular in recent years.
You’ll need lots of fresh but dead pogies and also several live pogies. Anchor your boat near the deep edge of the location you’d love to test. When you find your perfect space, take two live pogies and freeline them on two rods. Then move to the rear end of your boat, take two live pogies and fish them on the bottom.
Now comes the nasty part. Take a dozen of dead pogies and cut them up. Then, throw it overboard. This way their odor will spread with pogie parts and oil, and it will most likely get the attention of tarpon. Once it moves up, it will spot the live baits and bite. If you’re lucky, you may end up with some even bigger and more delicious catch than tarpon, so you should always be prepared when tarpon fishing with pogies.
Globo Surf Overview
Pogies are not as popular as they maybe should be, but if used right, there is no question that it will pay off using them as bait. This article should be more than enough to help you start your pogie bait fishing career. Over time and as you gain experience, you’ll learn all the tricks, but for now, if you wonder – yes, you should try it out as soon as possible. Use your fishfinder or ask around where pogie schools are, cast the net, and try it out. You’ll be surprised at the outcome.