Catching needlefish can be very challenging, especially if you don't know how to do it properly. Needlefish are also called slimies because of their slippery skin and fight like crazy once they're hooked, so you'll have to be quick and efficient in order to catch them successfully.
How to Catch Needlefish
Here are handy tips on how to catch and cook needlefish that will hopefully make your next fishing experience more successful.
In many areas, needlefish is a popular sport fish for a good reason. They are hard fighters and put up a great battle when hooked.
Some anglers don't like fighting a needlefish because they have needle-like spines in their dorsal fin and it can be painful if you get jabbed.
When fighting a needlefish, be sure to grab it behind its head or by its body instead of touching its dorsal fin. Needlefish can be kept as pets in home aquariums, but keep them away from other fish which might get stuck by their sharp dorsal spines.
Where to Find Needlefish
Like many other species of fish, needlefish are happiest when they're able to find enough small organisms and crustaceans to snack on.
If you can find a large enough body of water that’s teeming with bait, then your chances of catching needlefish should increase significantly. In addition, be sure that your line is long enough for you to easily reel in whatever you catch.
A combination of these two variables will allow you to feel confident about your ability to catch a needlefish quickly and easily no matter where it chooses to hide.
Best Bait for Needlefish
When it comes to fishing for needlefish, using shrimp is your best bet. The fish have a natural preference for shrimp, so you'll catch more with larger bait. Some anglers swear by whole fresh shrimps and others prefer just tails or heads.
Either way, make sure your bait is fresh before casting out your line. Also, keep in mind that using any form of lures or bait other than shrimp will significantly reduce your chances of catching one of these pretty little fish.
You can also use squid or anchovies as secondary baits, but they should be used especially if no pipefish bite; otherwise, you run a high risk of scaring them away.
What Do Needlefish Eat
If you want to know how to catch needlefish, you'll need to know what they eat. Catching needlefish with bait is one of those old-fashioned techniques that still work.
These fish are often found over seagrass beds and reefs, so targeting them around structures can be a good tactic when fishing with lures or live bait.
Be sure to have enough sinker weight in your rig, as they don’t fight very hard and can easily get away if your setup isn’t heavy enough. Needlefish are also fond of large shrimp such as pinks and mangrove snappers, which can make a great choice for attracting them while fishing in open water.
Rod and Reel Choice
Just about any type of fishing rod will work for catching needlefish, but a medium-action spinning rod is most popular among anglers.
Depending on how close you are to fish and whether or not you're using live bait, a light action spinning rod or a medium-action casting rod will do as well.
An old-fashioned cane pole with a small hook will work in some cases, too! Make sure your line is strong enough; needlefish tend to be strong fighters and are capable of breaking off very thin lines if they so choose.
As for fishing reel options, consider an Abu Garcia Black Max graphite reel with sealed bearings. They’re affordable and can take a beating without failing. Line choice depends on how far out you plan to cast and how deep your fish are swimming.
When the Fish Are Active
It will also be important for you to know when the fish are most active. Needlefish tend to be active in warm waters year-round, but some species are most abundant during certain times of the year. During these peak times, you’ll want to hit locales where needlefish are sure to congregate.
Look for places with large populations of bait fish''”needlefish feed mostly on small fish and shrimp. In general, schools of smaller fish tend to travel closer together in warmer water than they do when it’s cold out, so keep an eye out for marine life that looks as if it’s crowded together.
Many anglers also focus their efforts during sunrise and sunset – needlefish tend to feed more aggressively at these times because they’re actively avoiding predators that hunt during daylight hours.
Can You Eat Needlefish
Are needlefish good to eat? Yes, they are. Once you've known how to fish for needlefish, caught one, and properly prepared it, they are certainly delicious. The meat is firm but tender and fine-grained.
It can be served on its own or flavored with a light marinade of lemon juice and pepper. Needlefish may even help with joint pain due to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids! They have been credited as an aphrodisiac for centuries as well!
Needlefish is a good fish to eat but keep in mind that they can also be wormy so make sure to clean them and remove the worms before cooking.
In most cases, anglers tend to release the fish back into the water after catching one and taking a snapshot. Needlefish are tough to catch and are therefore used more as fun sport fish than food.
How to Cook Needlefish
Needlefish is a type of saltwater fish. It can be eaten fresh or smoked, and it has an excellent flavor similar to mackerel.
It also requires little effort in preparation and only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. You'll need to season them before cooking, though, or else they will taste too salty.
When you're ready for a tasty meal that's easy and quick, try adding needlefish into your diet plan. Be careful not to overcook needlefish as it tends to get tough when cooked for too long.
Needlefish are some of the easiest fish to catch but they fight like beasts. Are needlefish good bait? Yes, they are as long as you're careful when handling them.
When fishing for needlefish, make sure that you're well protected because the fish has razor-sharp teeth and their pointy jaw can easily pierce your skin.