Neptune Marine offers various types of bait bag materials to make your own bait bags. We’re a big believer in the use of bait bags in both fish and shellfish fisheries. As the bait bag is attacked, little bits of bait float off in the current creating a path, or bait plume, to your fishing gear. Your goal is not to feed the critters….make them bring more friends into your pots and traps!
Our bait bag material is tubular in shape and comes in a flexible orange plastic material and in a black tubular semi rigid plastic material.
Flexible Orange Material- Comes in rolls of 1,300 feet, or, in cut lengths. Mesh size is between 1/4″ and 3/8″. Big enough to insert a gloved hand. Popular in the blue crab trotline fishery and in the Dungeness crab fishery. Hog rings are commonly used to close off one end of the bag. Nylon line can be woven through the upper meshes to create a drawstring closure.
Price per foot – Full roll -$0.25/foot
Price per foot – Cut lengths – $.28/foot
Each roll weighs around 45 lb. Shipping to the East coast via UPS ground is around $75/roll, depending on your location. Figure $35 for shipping to the NW and $50 for shipment to CA.
BLUE CRAB TROTLINE FISHERY – A NEW APPLICATION FOR BAIT BAGS
While bait bags have traditionally been used in the pot and trap fisheries, another use has developed in the trotline fishery for blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay. Fishermen using traps to catch blue crab use the native razor clams for bait since it was the best bait. They would put clams in a bait container in their traps which attract the crab.
The trotline fishery does not use traps to catch blue crab. Fishermen lay out ‘trotlines’ up to 4,000′ in length with baits attached every 8 foot or so. They would use chicken necks or cow lips as bait and attach it to the trotline with short pieces of shock/stretch cord. The blue crab will bite the baits and refuse to release his meal as the trotline is pulled. The crab end up being captured by a retention net on the boat as the trotline is hauled and reset. The fishermen set their trotlines at daybreak and might haul their trotlines a dozen times per day before calling it quits after noon to sell their catch. While the trotline fishermen always knew that clams were the best bait, they couldn’t attach them to their snoods as was done with the other baits. This started to change around 2004.
What happened in 2004? Neptune started getting calls from a couple of trotliners from Rockhall on the Eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. They wanted to buy some of our tubular bait bag netting. Always a bit curious, Capt. Neptune asks how they are using it, assuming it was used in blue crab traps. Not the case. These fishermen were making small 9” bait bags with our tubular netting to hold the preferred bait,… razor clams. They doubled and tripled their catches compared to using the conventional baits! While it’s a custom among fishermen to keep innovations to themselves as long as they can, it’s hard to keep secrets on the waterfront for long. Especially if you’re using 500 orange bait bags on your trotline and catching more than the fishermen on both sides of your trotline! These fishermen, from Rockhall, Chestertown, Tilghman, Cambridge and numerous other ports, created an innovation that is ongoing. Neptune Marine intends to be part of this ongoing innovation by offering the best bait bag netting available.
We’ve heard from customers about their desire to have longer lasting bait bag netting. They also want a mesh size that allows ‘Mr. Crab’ to get his bite of bait and keep him interested. We have worked with our manufacturer to create a bait bag product that suits these desires. This pursuit has created what we call Trotline Tuff netting. We sell in 1,300’ rolls at $.25/foot, or, in cut lengths at $.30/ft. Shipping via UPS is around $70/per foll from Capt. Neptune’s location in the Pacific NW. It takes 1 week to transit the country.
We continue to work at creating a better bait bag for not only the trotliners, but other fishermen as well. In fact, the Trotline Tuff netting is now our standard netting sold to crab and lobster fishermen from Florida to the NW, from California to Maine.
This tubular material comes in a variety of mesh sizes and diameters. Common mesh sizes for bait bags are 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″. Diameters vary from 4″ to 8″. Bigger mesh, bigger diameter material is used in the Florida lobster fishery to hold cowhide bait. It would also hold up well to Dungeness, Stone and Blue crabs. Available in rolls of 100 feet, or in cut lengths if order minimums are met. Call for current pricing on specific sizes.
In addition to selling bait bag material, Neptune also offers the new vented bait jar from Scotty. If you have a problem with fleas getting after your bait, this is a good option to consider. Each bait container is .5 liter and has vents not only on the sides, but on the the lid as well. In addition to keeping out fleas, it also offers options if you plan a long soak and want to have some bait smell coming from your pot rather than none. Available in fluorescent orange. Priced at $2.75 each.