Garden Snails

SC McCarty

Well-known member
#1
In the "Pier Fish of Catalina Island" article, Ken wrote:
"I also managed to hook a few opaleye using garden snails during an experiment testing different baits at Catalina in 2005."​
I have read of someone being very successful catching sheephead using garden snails. Does anyone have experience using them? How do you hook them?
Ken, did you publish the results of your bait experiment somewhere?

Steve
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Steve, The only place I mentioned it was on the articles about Catalina. The bait that hasn't worked to date is crawdads that I thought would be a natural for sheephead.. But no luck to date.
 
#3
I've had good luck catching mullet, opaleye and wrasse with snails and some uni butter with a sabiki. Crawfish do work sometimes. they imitate red crab if they are around. head on market shrimp work the best for me. ymmv
 

SC McCarty

Well-known member
#4
Steve, The only place I mentioned it was on the articles about Catalina. The bait that hasn't worked to date is crawdads that I thought would be a natural for sheephead.. But no luck to date.
I've had good luck catching mullet, opaleye and wrasse with snails and some uni butter with a sabiki. Crawfish do work sometimes. they imitate red crab if they are around. head on market shrimp work the best for me. ymmv
Thanks to both of you. The idea of trading a garden pest for fish is intriguing. Do you leave the shell on?

Steve
 
#5
I smash them and pull the meat out. (cut into little pieces) watched a old guy use whole mussels in the shell and he was doing good on sheephead. he would split them open leaving one half of the shell and hook some of the meat then let it down shell and all. thought it was a odd method but it worked real good for him.
 

SC McCarty

Well-known member
#6
I smash them and pull the meat out. (cut into little pieces) watched a old guy use whole mussels in the shell and he was doing good on sheephead. he would split them open leaving one half of the shell and hook some of the meat then let it down shell and all. thought it was a odd method but it worked real good for him.
I thought for sheephead and other fish that commonly crush shells (i.e. some perch) the shell might be a plus.

Thanks for the reply,

Steve
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#7
I've crushed the shell and used only the meat and I've partially crushed the shell and hooked the snail still inside the shell. Both ways seem to work. At Catalina it is sometimes hard to keep the small fish from eating your bait but the snails are pretty tough meat so seem to lasxt for a while.