How to Hook Sand Fleas as Bait

by Keith Dooley

Sand fleas, also known as mole crabs, are commonly found in abundance all along the beach. Sand fleas scurry along to locate an area at the point where ocean waves push in and then retreat along the beach. The sand flea then burrows in and waits to feast on passing plankton. Sand fleas are candy to feeding fish in the surf and make great bait for a variety of salt water game fish when properly rigged.

1. Place a 1/2-oz. sliding egg weight on the end of the main fishing line attached to the rod and reel. Slide a bead onto the line below the weight.

2. Tie a barrel swivel onto the end of the line with a Uni knot.

3. Attach a 1-foot length of fluorocarbon line to the barrel swivel with a Uni knot to serve as a leader. Choose a leader that is at least twice the pound test of the main fishing line. For example, use a 20-lb. test fluorocarbon leader when fishing a 10-lb. test line.

4. Tie a size 1/0 circle hook onto the end of the leader with a Palomar knot. Choose a 1/0 size or smaller hook, based on fish species and personal preference.

5. Hold a sand flea in one hand and the hook shank in the other. Insert the point of the hook up through the belly of the flea and out the top. Position the flea so it sits in the bend of the hook securely.

6. Adjust the position of the hook forward or back in the body of the flea so there is more or less of the sand flea positioned on the hook.

Items you will need

  • Medium rod with matched reel and line
  • 1/2-oz. sliding egg weight
  • Bead
  • Barrel swivel
  • Fluorocarbon leader, 1 foot length
  • 1/0 circle hook

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.