Catching Garfish

Catching Garfish For Bait

Garfish is a popular fishing bait used for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Its small young version is the most used type of these slender, toothed, and long-snouted fish. You can rig these up and catch different types of medium to bigger-sized fish.

Here are some facts about this popular bait and some tips for finding and catching these valuable fishes for later use as bait and a nice seafood delicacy.

Some Garfish Facts

Garfish or the garpike or sea needle is a type of needlefish saltwater species. It is a long, slender fish found in marine and slightly salty waters. The fish looks silvery in appearance with a long thin pointed lower jaw and chin and small sharp teeth.

They are classified as pelagic fish, and they are usually situated near the middle and upper surface, and away from the lowest part of the ocean, and also around the shore. These fish can sometimes be seen leaping or flying near the surface. They are closely related to flying fish. While others catch the smaller younger garfish for sport and for bait, others catch them as food and also pets.

Garfish and the other Gar fish

You might get confused with the terms garfish and gar (or gar fish), as the first is the common fish species found in saltwater, and the latter is the somewhat related freshwater species with the same long, slender body, and a long alligator like snout with teeth.

Freshwater gar fish(in America) is stouter and not as slender with a slightly round-ended snout in moderate length. They can grow large in size and they develop thick scales as they grow bigger and older. While not as popular as saltwater garfish, they are caught for food, as pets, and less often, as bait for bigger fish, and are used live, or less often as frozen, with varying results.

Catching Garfish

While garfish are near the surface and can be pretty easy to catch for experienced anglers, it is easier with certain baits and techniques. They are plentiful during the summer season in the middle or near the surface of the ocean. When looking for spots, you can access them near ports, wharfing areas, or by using a boat and at not-so-distant fishing spots.

There are three main types of seawater garfish you may encounter: The long beak garfish species Belone Belone, the less often seen Belone Svetovidovi or short beak garfish, and the skipper garfish Scomberesox Saurus, also known as Atlantic Saury and the smallest known type among the three.

Rigging and Fishing Tips

For rigging baits, you can use live maggots, whitebait,  bread, or breadcrumbs with smelly fish oils added such as tuna, smaller fish pieces from mackerel and herring are also effective, as are lugworm, pipies, prawn, ragworm, prawns, sand worm, squid, and whitebait.

There are two recommended ways to fish for garfish: You can use a light floating rig that has lighter fishing weights and a slender floater near the surface of the water, or a sliding floater rig technique that uses a sliding float on the surface and a round or barrel-like weight below. These fishes have small mouths, and it’s better to use smaller hooks and baits, using some light tackle action, with occasional side pulls for a bigger catch. Often they are along with groups of mackerel and their big groups can mean the presence of these fish in the vicinity.