Bluefish are an extremely hard fishing fish and their ferocious nature makes them the piranha of the ocean. These are fun fish to catch! Bluefish typically swim in schools so when you start catching blue fish there is often lots of excitement. Blue fish have sharp teeth so it is a good idea to use a wire leader. Bluefish respond well to chum during the day or night and are often targeted by party boats.
The size of blue fish vary greatly any can be commonly caught from 6 inches to 20 pounds. Bluefish are an abundant fish although there were population concerns in the early 1990’s. These fish migrate all along the east coast of the USA from the tip of Maine to the Flordia Keys, inshore and offshore! Bluefish are also prevalent in the gulf of Mexico.
Cut Bait or Live Bait
A 6/0 Mustad hook is a great size for an average 1 to 5 pound bluefish.
AFW steel wire is great way to make cheap bluefish rigs without and special tools required. All that should be needed is a regular of pliers, a swivel, hook and piece of wire. For bluefish 20 to 50 pound wire is best. Use 50 pound wire if you think something bigger might eat the bluefish!
Barrel or crane swivels are needed to make the rig.
This is what the rig should look like only it will be much shorter, a 2 to 30 inch length of wire is best. The swivel would be within the loop on the opposite end of the hook.
Cut bait is listed as number one because it always works! If a properly sized piece of cut bait is put in front of a bluefish it is going to bite. Small bluefish can be caught using a small piece of fish, squid or shrimp. For bigger blue fish I would recommend a piece of fish, about 1/5 of a bunker. For really small bluefish a wire leader if probably not even needed if the reel is spooled with 20 pound or stronger fishing line.
Notice this rig is basically a shark rig with a smaller hook and shorter length of wire being used.
Mutzuo 8/0 Snagging rigs for catching bait fish like bunker.
One fun way to catch big bluefish is to snag a bunker with a snagging rig and then having the bluefish come and eat the injured fish. This works for striped bass as well. The bait ball of bunker needs to show signs that predator fish are around for it to work good though. It is usually easily to tell if bunker are being chased. Once a bunker is snagged the bail needs to be opened so the bunker sinks below the school to where the predator fish are lurking. This is a fun way to fish but is actually quite difficult in practice because the snagged bunker can swim or drift too far away from the other bunker. Snagging a fresh bunker or bait fish to then use as cut bait is always a good idea when fishing for bluefish.
Acme Kastmaster Lure with Buck Tail
Kastmaster spoon with tail works great for casting from the surf, from a boat and can be trolled. This make this a top lure for bluefish in any situation!
When fishing in shallow water of when there is surface action a Kastmaster spoon is a great choice. These can be reeled slow to get deeper in the water column or fast near the surface. These can also work well when trolled. A plug like a bomber would work well when there is surface action as well however the weight of a Kastmaster makes it so the lure can be cast further than most plugs. Bluefish teeth can really scratch up expensive plugs so a spoon is a good option when targeting bluefish.
Storm Swim Shad
These come in sizes 03, 04, 05, 06. These are 3 to 6 inches in length respectfully. Use storm shad size that corresponds to the size of bait in the area. For bluefish less than 2 pounds use a three inch and for blue fish over 2 pounds a 5 inch swim shad is a good choice. These are very similar to the Tsunami swim shad jigs which also work great.
The swim shad is a go to for stripers and bluefish. Bluefish tear into the rubber an frequently bite of the tails of swim shad. Otherwise it would probably be ranked as the second best lure. It can be reeled in quickly near the top of the water or jigged on the bottom which makes this a very versatile lure. I have had good luck with the peal white and shad patterns.
Just in case you do not believe me about bluefish teeth here are two jaws that we preserved. Notice the teeth are connected into the jaw bone unlike shark teeth which are completely in cartilage. These were from two older bluefish and were actually missing about 25% of their teeth, mostly in the lower jaws, which I found interesting.back to menu ↑
Silver Diamond Jig 2 to 6 ounce with red, green or white single tube skirt and single hook.
If you are not sure what depth the bluefish are at a diamond jig is a good option. These are fished by casting out and letting the jig sink all the way to the bottom then retrieve quickly. Reeling it in a part way and then dropping it back to the bottom multiple times during the retrieve works good if the fish are closer the bottom.back to menu ↑
When fishing for striped bass with umbrella rigs a major concern is bluefish tearing up the rig. Umbrella rigs are expensive and bluefish can damage the swim shad very quickly. They can bite off the tails, cut into the swim shad and cut of the mono lines. That being said they do catch lots of bluefish! I would recommend bringing extra swim shad, hooks and swivels! Below is a link of a basic umbrella rig and parts needed to replace cut off swim shad.
In setups I have fished with that have five swim shad all the shad have hooks. There is no guarantee the fish is going to bite the trailing shad. This also allows more than one fish to be caught at a time.
A pretty sturdy pole and reel are needed to use an umbrella rig. A 20 class trolling reel is minimum. Lead trolling weights help get the umbrella rig to deeper depths.
Five shad umbrella rig. This is a basic rigs that works well at attracting and catching fish while trolling.
Six inch swim shad body, without a hook! To make an umbrella rig or replace the swim shad these shad bodies are needed. Common colors are black/white, white, white/red and yellow.
8/0 Mustad 2407 saltwater hooks. These hooks go into the shad bodies that are used for umbrella rigs.
Swivels to attach swim shad to the umbrella rig.
One pound trolling weight to get a umbrella rig to a deeper depth while still being able to keep a fast trolling speed.
Thanks for visiting Global Fishing Reports. I hope these suggestions help you catch more bluefish!
If you have any suggestions for top bluefish lures and baits, leave a comment below!