Spanish Sardine (domestic) (Sardinella aurita)
AKA: sardine, dean, herring, Spanish, pilchards, round sardinella, Indian oil sardine, Mathi, Chaala
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 of sardines.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”.
Uses: 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.