How To Catch Sand Fleas

Photo by Taryn Elliott

Fishing at the beach is a hobby that has been around for centuries, and is still going strong today! However, many people don’t like to spend the time or money going to a live bait shop to purchase necessary bait for fishing at the beach. Instead, you can easily find all the bait that you need right at the beach! This article will teach you how to catch sand fleas at the beach as live bait for fishing.

How to find sand fleas

Catching sand fleas at the beach is a good idea for bait if you want to fish at the beach. You can find sand fleas all over the beach, from the edges of the ocean to dry land, but the best place to catch them is where the ocean meets the beach.

Sand fleas bury themselves in wet sand and they typically group in colonies. As you walk along the shoreline, you’ll see little “V” shaped waves in the wet sand and sometimes movement – these are sand crabs trying to catch little bits of food that pass in and out of the ocean waves.

How to catch sand fleas

A flea rake will be your best friend if you’re trying to catch sand fleas in large quantities or if you go fishing at the beach often. However, you can also catch sand fleas with your bare hands. Here’s a step by step guide:

  1. Find a spot in the wet sand where you suspect sand fleas are buried
  2. Approach the sand fleas cautiously – they can sense you approaching and will bury themselves further in the sand
  3. Wait for the ocean waves to recede – this is when the sand fleas will be most exposed
  4. Use your flea rake or hands to scoop deep into the sand. Transfer the sand and the sand fleas into a container.

Storing sand fleas

It’s a good idea to keep your sand fleas alive for as long as possible, which can be done by recreating their natural environment. This should ideally be done before you actually catch sand fleas and can be done with a small bucket:

Add a few inches of sand to the bucket followed by fresh ocean water. Remove any large shells or debris from the sand.

The sand fleas will remove oxygen from the water, and they constantly filter out toxins from their bodies into the water, so you’ll want to change the water every couple of hours to keep them happy and alive.

Best time to catch sand fleas

If you’re looking to catch sand fleas in large quantities, the best time to catch sand fleas is at night. Sand fleas come out in larger numbers at night because the darkness gives them better protection from predators.

When catching sand fleas at night, you will definitely want to be using a flea rake and some sort of flashlight. If you have a UV flashlight, it will help illuminate the sand fleas and make it much easier to spot them in the surf. Most UV flashlights can be purchased online for under $30.

Freezing sand fleas

Any sand fleas that you don’t use can be easily frozen for later use. Some fishermen actually prefer to use frozen sand fleas over fresh sand fleas as they are easier to handle and hook. To keep the sand fleas from clumping together in the freezer, first put them on a flat tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes then put the partially frozen sand fleas in a freezer bag.