Spadefish are one of the most under-rated sportfish in our region: they’re present in large numbers over wrecks and fishing reefs close to shore all summer long; they make for great table fare; and they fight like a gigantic saltwater bluegill, turning their broad body sideways to tug like there’s no tomorrow. So, how will you target them? Chumming is the trick.
- Leave the dock with a mess of sea clams, a mesh bag, and some small number-one or number-two hooks on 20-pound leaders.
- Anchor up directly over or very slightly up-current of the wreck or reef you’re targeting.
- Smash several clams together to crush the shells, drop them into the mesh bag, and hang it over the side.
- Slice some clam into small, thin strips about the width and length of a paper clip, and use them to bait your hook.
- Drift the offering back along with the sinking chum bits; try one line with no weight, one with a split-shot or two, and one suspended four of five feet beneath a float.
- Every 15 or 20 minutes smash two more clams together and add them to the chum bag. Also give the chum bag a yank every few minutes if it’s calm out, to keep some chum flowing steadily.
For more information on targeting this species, also see Spadefish and Triggerfish at the CBBT.