Use only small pieces of worm, just enough to cover the end of the hook. One good sized bloodworm should yield several spot baits, and it's not necessary to put a fresh piece of worm on every time you bring in your line. Fish each worm until its gone!
If you are fishing from the beach, the rod only needs to be heavy enough to adequately cast your bottom rig and an ounce of lead. A heavy rod can easily overpower the fish, and a light, one handed, seven foot spinning rod provide tons of fun. When the fish are plentiful, two at a time catches are not uncommon, and a double header of keeper spot will make you appreciate their fighting ability.
Like all bottom feeders, spot bite best with a rough and dirty ocean. Flat calm days, with crystal clear water are better spent pursuing other species such as bluefish, mackerel or flounder.
Spot fishing is fun, but spot eating is excellent! An ocean caught spot is a sweet tasting, delicate fish, best appreciated when fresh.
The most often used method of preparation is scaling, gutting, removing the heads, and then pan frying. The only drawback is the annoyance of picking out the tiny bones. If the spot are plentiful, I like to keep only the largest fish, and fillet them.
A careful hand and sharp knife will yield a surprising amount of meat. I'll dredge them in House Autry seafood breading mix, fry them quickly in canola oil until brown and crispy. These tasty little "spot chips" are small in size but big on flavor!
My introduction to fishing in the ocean was provided courtesy of a diminutive but feisty little fish that devoured the bloodworms I was fishing from the Steel Pier in Virginia Beach. The spot were not big, but I caught them two at a time until I grew tired of cranking up the fish. I've loved them ever since.
Appropriately named for a distinctive mark just behind the gills on either side of its body, spot can be caught just about along the Atlantic Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Georgia. On the Outer Banks They arrive around late spring and are caught throughout the summer into fall.
Bloodworms are expensive, however there's a reason for the cost. They are salt water marsh worms that live only on the coasts of New England and Canada. They are harvested in that cold country, packaged, and delivered to the bait and tackle shops.
Bloodworms are hardy, but if left out in the sun they will quickly die. Be sure to keep them out of the water that collects at the bottom of your bait cooler, fresh water will also kill them. Most coolers come with a small tray that fits on a ledge near the top of the cooler. I've drilled several 1/4-inch holes in my tray. When the ice melts, the water drains through the holes. The worms remain in the plastic bag they came in from the tackle shop and I place the bags on top of the ice.
Little Fish, Big Fun
Summertime spots are small, averaging about 4 or 5 to the pound, but the "big" fish appear with the arrival of the first late summer or early fall northeast storms. The shift of the wind to the northeast cools the water and provides a signal. It's time to migrate out of the Chesapeake Bay, down the Atlantic coast.
These fish aren't giants by any means, and a big spot only weighs from 12 to 14 ounces. A one pound spot may be considered a trophy, and will earn an award in the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament.
The large fall-run spot are called "yellow-bellies" for the golden-yellow color their undersides. Yellow-bellies are the targets for true spot devotees who stand shoulder to shoulder on the ocean piers when schools of the spot are coming through.
Spot tackle is simple. Surfcasters, boaters, and pier anglers all use a basic high-low, two drop bottom rig. Hooks must be small, usually #4 or #6. If your hooks are too large, you will miss a lot of bites and waste bait.
Just about any small piece of bait will catch a spot, but the dependable favorite is a tiny piece of bloodworm. Shrimp and bits of squid will also produce.