Spanish Sardine (domestic)
Oil Sardine (imported)
AKA: sardine, dean, herring, Spanish, pilchards, round sardinella, Indian oil sardine, Mathi,
Sardines, or pilchards, are common names used to refer to various small,
oily fish within the herring family of Clupeidae. Sardines travel in large schools usually close to shore and
are popular around the world for food, bait, and as additives to other products such as fertilizer. They
are caught mainly at night, when they approach the surface to feed on plankton. There are many species
The sardine harvested in the Gulf of Mexico is the Sardinella aurita. A herring that has a slender,
elongated body. The back is bluish gray, sometimes greenish; sides silvery to brassy. Sizes
usually range up to 10”.
The oil sardines are harvested in the northern regions of the Indian Ocean. The body of these sardines
is particularly elongated even to the point of being subcylindrical. They have a slightly rounded belly and
have eight rays on their pelvic fin. They are not as shiny as our domestic sardine but are a tough and
very effective bait.
Everything loves to eat sardines and they are great bait either alive or cut, trolled or fished on
the bottom. A widely used natural bait in Florida. Best for any bottom types of fish such as groupers
and snappers. Sardines also work well free lined to king mackerel and cobia. Sardines can also be
stripped to catch small schooling fish such as chicken dolphin. While trolling fishermen chum by cutting
sardines into 2 or 3 pieces and slowly feed the pieces into the water.
To use Sardines as bait anglers may twist the center of the body to open up the fish or cut it in half, this
allows other small fish to come and nibble on the sardine and attract the larger fish to the commotion.
Or hook the sardine though the eyes or up through the head from the mouth so the hook is exposed.
For catching large fish use a double hook system or double up sardines on a single hook.
Sardines are also ground to use as a chum.
Whole Fish – 1lb bags
Whole fish – 5 lb boxes and bags
Whole fish in bulk boxes
Ground as chum in 7 lb boxes