Spadefish Fishing Guide

Spadefish are nimble creatures that are almost always mistaken for angelfish by divers, but they are a favorite for local fishermen in the waters of Virginia. The Atlantic spadefish is a beautiful fish with a pattern of black and white stripes just like zebras and have a deep-bodied and laterally compressed physique (a reason why they’re often mistaken for angelfish.) They are known as a common inhabitant of the southeastern coasts of the US. Read on to catch more information about this nimble and attractive fish!



Where to Find Spadefish?

You may be wondering where you can find the pretty spadefish, but just like any other common inhabitants of the Virginia waters, you can find them in areas where they feel safe and sound, like a reef bank or a wreck, like Chesapeake Light Tower, Tower Reef, and Plantation Light and many other inshore fishing spots Virginia Beach. Just take note that this fish can be commonly found beside coastal structures. Spadefish found in these waters can reach a length of 36 inches and can weigh up to 20 pounds.


Best Time to Fish for Spadefish

Spadefish are commonly found in between June and September. This fish is the easiest to catch when the water is calm and there is a low current because you can easily see them treading the surface of the water. Take advantage of this by strategically placing your bait. Make use of the sunny days and days that are not too windy as you’ll be able to easily hook a spadefish on your line.


Methods of Catching Spadefish

Make no mistake, the spadefish is a favorite amongst game fishers because of its nimble and “fighter” characteristics. This fish puts up a great fight when reeled and is finicky with anything that touches the water around it. You can use clams and mollusks to your advantage as spadefish are greatly attracted to this type of bait. Jellyballs are also commonly used as bait to catch spadefish. In order to successfully catch a spadefish, you have to cut pieces of your bait. The bait can be shrimp, crushed clams, jellyballs, and other mollusks. Before hooking the bait, consider the size of your hook. Since spadefish generally have small mouths, it is advised to use smaller hooks. But still, consider that this fish is a fighter and will most certainly break your line or even straighten your hook, so go for a hook and line that is strong and durable.



Prepping, Cooking, and Eating Spadefish

A spadefish’s off-white flesh is tender and mild. But of course, let’s start with the prepping. You can clean a spadefish in two ways; you could first remove the gills then remove the subsequent organs quickly or you could simplify the entire process by removing the head.


There are many ways to cook spadefish but grilling and pan-frying remains to be the top option for spadefish consumers. You can augment the mild taste of the fish by experimenting with sauce, spices, condiments, and other ingredients you can utilize. Overall, you can easily prep, cook, and eat your catch, making your spadefish fishing session worthwhile and enjoyable!


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