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Sand Flea Rake or Not to Sand Flea Rake

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Sand Flea Rake or Not to Sand Flea Rake

Postby The Fish Hunters » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:12 am

That is the question: Probably Paul has the answer to this one.

On beaches from Jekyll to SI should I go Rake or Bucket method to collect fleas? Bucket and shovel is much more cumbersom to carry. But are MOST of the beaches soft enough to just use a rake? Any particular brand or style or anything?
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Postby bartyb » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:11 am

The good Sand flea rakes are custom jobs, My current one in not as good as the las one I had, I know a guy who will weld you up an aluminum frame, B&M sells the bags, You have to assemble it,but it's well worth it, One swipe,if you know what your doing,anf you got fleas for days.

The store bought all metal kind will serve the purpose,but i dont reall like them, You will take forever to get a box of fleas...with mine, I can get enough for a couple of days in one swipe.

I only rake on the softer beaches, Vilano,Flagler etc...The hard beaches are not as easy to get fleas out of and the seem to be more spread out.

Dont worry about sand fleas right now, Winter is coming, they'll be gone soon,and you really dont "need"them for anything but Pomps which are going to be gone soon to.
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Postby The Fish Hunters » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:12 am

Ok. Thanks B. But I will be making a few trips down to Linda during the winter.
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Postby FishinMortician » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:59 am

Ok Hunter, although the Oracle has spoken, I shall try as well.

I am going to design a rake at some point, but till then...

There are some things that make one purchased rake better than others. The screen is very important. You want diamond shaped holes, not squares. Squares clog and don't let the sand sift through as quickly. The rake should be wide, at least a foot. It should have a leading edge that is sturdy enough to dig in and take scoops.

When it gets cold, use the Amelia Island bucket shovel deal.

Fleas catch more than just pompanyo, and I ain't so certain that the pomps are good as gone either. I was catching the really big ones last year up until about christmas. Maybe this year is different, but....

I bought my rake at Sports Authority ( they actually thought they were for scooping golf balls out of lakes ). I think mine was thirty bucks. It is about fourteen inches across and sturdy. I ordered one over the net once, and it was about ten inches across and it broke when I was scooping. Paid forty for it.

I like fleas because they are easy to use, carry, keep, and they catch nice fish. They don't work for bluefish which is another reason I like them. This past summer I put away several containers full. Brined them and they look as good as new, but don't work as well as live.

BTW- I heard they migrate out at sea, maybe they do, but I have found them on our beaches during cold weather as well. Also, beaches that have healthy populations of fleas seem to produce fish pretty well. Remember I said that fish can't see sandflea eggs, but rather smell them.

Having spent my entire spring/summer/fall digging and fishing with fleas- almost exclusively, I have learned alot about their behavior. I think I brought bait with me about five times ( not counting tournament day ). I brought instead my rake and my castnet. It was nice heading to the beach with no bait, but requires effort once you arrive. A few times I spent longer than I wanted scrounging bait, but I always seemed to be able to aquire what I needed. It was something I had to force myself to learn, and I did so by leaving the salted shrimp at home.

Get a purchsed rake, and make sure you have plenty of bait with you such as clams and shrimp, and you will have the best of both worlds. Cast out your brought bait, and then dig fleas.

I am pretty sure I will catch fleas this winter, just have to look where you know they would never be. :lol:
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Postby Surf Fish » Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:10 pm

Sand flea rakes were designed to give people who can't catch fish something to do while they are fishing.

God gave you two hands and two feet. Use them.

Besides that, you only need 4 sand fleas (if you're fishing with two rods) because the fish up here don't eat the damn things anyway.
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Postby bartyb » Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:50 pm

I kind of have to, somewhat, in a roundabout sort of way.a little bit, have to kind of agree with Jim

while I had a super duper 38" wide custom aluminum sand flea "net rake"(not the one Nick has) that would fill a 5gal bucket with fleas in about an hour, it's kind of like having a 14' cast net for finger mullet. For the average fisherman, any old sand flea rake will get you enough for the day and then some, In short order. The key is knowing how to see the beds of sand fleas, It gets hard to impossible once it gets cold.

On a side note, While I really like to have them on hand whenever I can, I have probably had the lowest % of catches of surf species on sand fleas. My #1 surf baits are fresh cracked unsalted clams and fresh killed crab knuckles. Sand fleas come in behind fresh shrimp on the production factor.
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Postby Surf Fish » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:05 pm

Personally, I rate sand fleas as bait right behind a Cajun Thunder with a rubber worm on a 10' flourocarbon leader.

I've dug up a bunch of them, and I've stuck hooks in them and tossed them into the ocean, but I honestly can't remember catching the first fish with one. Maybe fish elsewhere eat them things, but around here they flat don't work.
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Postby bartyb » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:07 pm

...ever put a sand flea UNDER a Cajun Thunder...Or maybe it has to be a Gulp sand flea under a Cujun Thunder 8) hmmm Popping sand fleas :lol:
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Postby hklbery » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:11 pm

bartyb wrote:I kind of have to, somewhat, in a roundabout sort of way.a little bit, have to kind of agree with Jim.


mmmm ... that reads like Jim sort of, almost, somewhat, more or less has the GPS coordinates of your firstborn on a nuclear warhead :shock: :shock: :shock: :twisted: :P :lol: :lol:
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Postby seajay » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:57 pm

The best method out is called Madam Palms and her Ten Daughters. Put them together scoop and toss in a bucket. Then Peel a fresh Shrimp put it on a hook thoss ito the Surf. Then Crack open a Large Clam put on hook thoss into the Surf and Catch fish.
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Postby The Fish Hunters » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Well, what I've got to say about fleas is I've followed Paul's reports, I followed everyone's reports "religiously" and glean all the information from them. Compile, sort, store and synthesize. When I say I've learned alot from all of you I'm not kidding. Anyway, Paul has been able to find fleas year round. He's shared his secrets of how to find them, what clues to look for. He searches for fleas EVERYTIME and ALWAYS seems to find them. He also has had great success catching all kinds of species on fleas. Guess it goes back to confidence. If you don't have confidence in a bait, then you shouldn't use it. He's got great confidence in fleas and they seem to work well for Paul. They work well for Paul. Don't remember what commercial that was.

You're right barty, a regular old rake should give you enough for the day.
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Postby Surf Fish » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:52 pm

No, I don't think confidence has anything to do with what bait works.

I think it's more to do with natural food supply.

While there are sand fleas up here, they are not found in huge numbers. Maybe that's why we also suffer from a lack of PVC fish.

I've seen plenty of reports of Whiting caught on sand fleas, but up here you'll catch 200 Whiting on shrimp before you catch one on a sand flea.
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