Phote credit Jeff Woleslagle
There are several species of fish known as “croakers”, but perhaps the best known by this name is the Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus). The name comes from the sound it can make with its air bubble. Although it can only reach 24 inches, the Atlantic Croaker is a highly valued one.
Learning how to catch croakers isn’t difficult for several reasons. First, it’s a very common fish, with ranges from Massachusetts to Texas, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. And second, there are a variety of Croaker lures that seem to work well.
The croaker has an underground mouth and feeds so close to the ground. When thinking about the best bait for croakers, I’ve caught them on shrimp, but avid angler Jeff Woleslagle may use live and synthetic bloodworms, squid strips, or shrimp trimmings. For Croaker tackle, Jeff likes to use a two-hook rig with size 6 or 8 hooks. “To me, they’re the saltwater equivalent of a small bass,” he said. “They really fight for their size with whatever they have.” Indeed, any fish that deserves a comparison with the famous black bass is highly praised.
Another reason anglers love to learn how to catch croakers is because they are pretty tasty. However, if catching and loosening is the goal, consider circular hooks. The trick with the circle hook is to resist the bucking of the hook. Instead, quickly tighten the string.
A great way to learn how to fish for Atlantic croaker is to visit a coastal bait shop. This is where you can find great places to access fishing and learn all about license requirements and regulations. Then you can experience this spunky fish with just one bait and a light spinning rod and reel.
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After graduating from OSU with a degree in zoology, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and Michigan.