Dear Captain " Where and how do I catch blue runners for bait? "
Blue runners can be caught at any local wreck, reef or range marker. What I like to do is troll some small single hook mackerel spoons and tip them with squid. I slowly troll them towards a wreck, reef or range marker. If I catch a blue runner while trolling I then anchor and put out some chum. I then use a sabiki rig with approximately a 2 ounce weight clipped to the bottom. I also tip some of the sabiki hooks with pieces of squid. Blue runners love squid. The reason I use at least 2 ounces of weight is to keep the blue runners from tangling my sabiki rig. Even better is a single small gold hook, either a #4 or #6, with a split shot just above it and squid on the gold hook.
Blue runners can be found offshore and inshore in schools. They spawn offshore from January through August. The juveniles usually hang close to floating objects. You can also use shrimp for bait but it comes off the hook easier. Also keep your sounder on while trolling, looking for shows of blue runners below. Obviously if you see a show of fish on your sounder stop and chum to keep the school close to the boat and proceed to hook and line them. If it is a big school you can throw a 10 or 12 foot 5/8th mesh net on the blue runners. If I do not catch, find or see any blue runners while trolling towards the wreck, reef or range marker. I just anchor at some hard bottom, wreck, reef or range marker and try chumming blue runners to me. I would then hook and line the blue runners with one of the above rigs.
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