Skip to content
💲FTC Disclosure: is part of the Amazon Associates affiliate program and affiliate programs from other companies. If you purchase via links on our website, we may earn a commission. We try to make all our reviews honest because we appreciate amazing content. !

Home » How to Catch Sand Fleas: Top Tips to Store and Hook Sand Fleas As Bait 

How to Catch Sand Fleas: Top Tips to Store and Hook Sand Fleas As Bait 

Here is how to catch sand fleas (i.e., mole crab or sand crab) for fishing. You will also discover the following: why sand fleas are good for baiting fish, types of fish that eat sand fleas, beaches in the US to catch them as bait, the best time to catch sand fleas, strategies to find sand fleas as bait at beaches, how to keep and stores sand fleas fora long time, tricks to freeze or keep them alive, different ways to hook sand fleas as bait, and all you need to know about artificial sand fleas lures and baits. 

Why are sand fleas good bait for fishing? Are sand fleas good bait for fishing? Yes, Sand fleas are excellent bait for fishing because they can attract and lure different fish species such as pompano, redfish, sheepshead, etc. Many fishermen suggested that sand fleas baits are very effective for fishing because they are delicious and many fishes will always like to take a bite. 

Why are sand fleas so great for fishing pompano? Sand fleas are such a perfect bait for catching pompano because the fish love to swim off the beach because this is where they get sand fleas with ease as a meal, and it is why anglers need to catch as much sand fleas as possible to use them as fishing for bait.


Must Read Articles

Top and Latest Tools to Catch Sand Fleas for Bait

The TRANSCEND Fishing Lures and Bait 


Generic Sand Fleas Bait Catcher (Stainless Steel) – Tool for Live Bait


TRANSCEND Pre-Rigged Jig Head Soft Fishing Bait and Lures


Berkley Gulp Sand Flea New Penny  


Pro-Cure Sand Flea (Mole Crab) Super Gel Super Gel


Berkley Gulp Sand Flea (Natural Mole Crab) 


Sand Flea Rake with Long One Piece Strong Handle {Sharp Teeth with Curved Handle Design}


TRANSCEND Pre-Rigged Jig Head (Premium Shrimp Bait/Lure with VMC Hook) 


275 Pieces of Fishing Lure Set (Pencil Metal Jig Hook)


What Type of Fish Eat Sand Fleas?

Are sand fleas good bait? What kind of fish eat sand fleas (sand crabs)? Sand fleas are excellent bait for catching the following fishes: black drum, pompano, flounder, stripers, sea mullet, sheepshead, red drum, flounder, striped bass, and croakers. Some suggested that sand fleas are an excellent bait for early morning fishing than other baits for great results.

Sand flea baits are excellent for use with bass fishing rigs such as Carolina rigs, Texas rigs, Drop shot rigs or any standard two-hook bottom rig. It is the reason many people learn to catch sand fleas in Florida as bait because it is the bait often used in southern waters for fishing in the US. 

Beaches To Catch Sand Fleas for Bait in the US?

Where are sand fleas found in the US? What beaches have sand fleas for baits in the US? Which location and beaches are sand fleas found in the US? Sand fleas live on sandy beaches in the coastal areas, and you can find them in desert marshes and regions in the United States, including the Atlantic coast. These crustaceans will always ride with the high tide and quickly burrow into the sandy beaches. The Orchestia agilis (an amphipod) is the most common species of sand flea found on California beaches. Below are the best fishing destination beaches to catch sand fleas as bait in the US today: 

  • San Diego, California
  • Destin, Florida
  • Thousand Islands, NY
  • Chesapeake Bay, MD
  • Lake Shelbyville, IL
  • Outer Banks, NC
  • Lake of the Woods, MN
  • Lake Austin, TX
  • Columbia River, OR
  • Martha’s Vineyard, MA
  • Kona, HI
  • Kobuk River, AK
  • Lake St. Clair, MI
  • Florida Keys, FL
  • California Delta, CA
  • Colorado River, CO
  • Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Bighorn River, MT
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Charlestown, South Carolina
  • Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  • Montauk, New York
  • Galveston, Texas

What Is the Best Time to Catch Sand Fleas for Bait? 

What is the best time to catch sand fleas for baits? The best time to catch sand fleas is during the outgoing tide as the current waves recede to the ocean. You will see their colonies digging down and burrowing into the sand at the points where water comes together with the ocean shore. 

Why are sand fleas so active at night and difficult to see during the days? Sand fleas live, feed, and breed on sandy beaches. They are swamped at night when they are out to look for food, and you can only see them during the day at the points where the water meets the shore (i.e., close to the high-tide mark) as they are trying to stay buried deep in the sand. This is the point they get food (like seaweed) from animal matter and decaying plants that wash up on the shore. 

What Season of the Year to Catch Sand Fleas As Bait?

What time of year can you catch sand fleas for bait? It is possible to catch sand fleas all year round, especially at the surf zone ( i.e., points where the current of water comes onto the beach sand) on a beach. The best season and months my Dad catches sand fleas on the Southeast Florida coast is between September and early December of every year. But some people believe they are more available to catch when the water is warm in the early spring. 

Can you catch sand fleas for bait in winter? Where do sand fleas go in winter? Sand fleas are always on the top of the sand when the water is warm. Therefore it is a different situation to catch sand fleas in winter. Though it is possible to catch them, the problem is that they prefer to go deeper in the sand in the winter. Hence you can see them easily. 

They usually go as deep as five inches from the surface to warm. The best way to catch them in winter is to use a net or sand fleas rake. It will be difficult, dangerous, and very uncomfortable to use your hands to catch sand fleas during the winter months. You may even find it too cold to venture into any beach to see winter sand fleas.

How To Find Sand Flea At The Beach?

Where can I find sand fleas for bait? What is the best time to find sand fleas for appeal at the beach? The best time of the day to find sand fleas at the beach is very early in the morning or towards the evening time. The reason is that they are more active at those times of the day than in daylight. You can easily find the colonies of sand fleas burrowing into the sand as soon as the water hits the shore. Below are my hints on the best method and tricks to find and catch sand fleas at any beaches:

Tips and Tricks to Find and Catch Sand Fleas at Beach

Also, the best moment to sight and see sand fleas is when the tide waves recede to the ocean (using the outgoing current or tide to sight sand fleas).

Never catch sand fleas at a crowded beach. Sand fleas will quickly burrow into the sand as they feel the vibration of people moving at the beach, thinking you are a predator.

You can use the sun’s reflection on the beach to find sand fleas colonies. As the wave arrives at the shore and recedes, the ray of the sun will shine on their eyes as they stay far, gazing at the point where the ocean wave meets the coast. You will see their reflection before they burrow in the sand.

As soon as you find them, it would help if you were fast because they can feel the vibration of your foot coming to them.

How To Catch Sand Fleas For Bait?

Sand fleas can be found and caught in shallow salt water, though they are much more common in various freshwater and beaches worldwide. You can always find sand fleas near the shore of most lakes and on the United State Atlantic coasts (i.e., intertidal zone). It is important to note that you can also buy live, frozen, or artificial sand fleas for your fishing trips. 

The good news is that it is straightforward to catch sand fleas on most beaches in the United States. What makes it easy to see sand fleas on the beach’s coast is the kind of food (i.e., organic matter like plankton). They burrow into the sand to eat or escape predators around the beach.

What are various ways to catch sand fleas for bait or your consumption? You can catch sand fleas with a flea rake, net, or your bare hands with a strong bucket. 

How to Catch Sand Fleas with Flea Rake

The best way to catch as many sand fleas as possible is to use sand fleas rake. You can get your sand fleas to rake in your local stores or buy a good one online from Amazon. Please watch this video to see the steps to catch sand fleas with your sand fleas rake: 

How to Catch Sand Fleas at the Beach with Net

Using a net is another great option to catch sand fleas fast without the fleas rake. A great small net will see as many sand fleas as possible in minutes. You must be ready to enter the beach and feel the sand fleas with your feet in the water. See how to use the net to cat sand fleas fast: 

How to Catch Sand Fleas with Net at The Beach

How to Catch Sand Fleas with Your Hands

The last simplest method to catch sand fleas at the beach with your hands is more tedious than the two previous methods. Please watch the video below to learn how to see sand fleas with your bare hands at the beach:

Easy Ways to Catch Sand Fleas Fast

How To Keep Sand Fleas Alive?

Can you keep sand fleas alive? There are many ways to keep sand fleas alive to serve as great fishing and bait. Materials you need to keep sand fleas around: 

  • Three buckets (Paint plastic bucket will do); one bucket should house the sand fleas, and fresh aerated water from the ocean and the third will store the ice.
  • Some ice (frozen water to ventilate the sand fleas)
  • Ocean/Salt water (Water from where you catch sand fleas).

How long will sand fleas live in a bucket? Your sand fleas can stay alive in a bucket for nearly one week. Ensure they are not kept inside water, and rinse them off with fresh ocean or saltwater a minimum of once a day. This is to wash off their waste in the bucket. The waste will kill them if you keep them too long together inside the bucket with their waste. Ensure the bucket is left open without the lid to keep them aerated inside the bucket. 

You can keep sand fleas alive for as long as a week if you follow my steps below:

Steps to Keep Sand Fleas Alive for Bait/Fishing

  •  Step 1: Make tiny holes in one of the plastic buckets (ensure the hole is small not to allow sand fleas to drop from the bucket)
  • Step 2: Have enough water kept and taken to your home if you are not close to the beach. The water must come from the same ocean/salt water where you caught the sand fleas. But any ocean/salt water should do. 
  • Step 3: The first thing you do is to put some ice in one of the buckets 
  • Step 4: Insert the bucket with holes inside the bucket that house the ice blocks (the function of the ice is to keep the sand fleas cool at all times). Ensure that the sand fleas bucket is far enough from the ice.
  • Step 5: The third bucket is to store the freshwater. You must bring out the sand fleas once a day by pouring fresh water to rinse off their waste. You then return the bucket with the sand fleas on top of the ice (without touching the ice).
  • Step 6: You repeat the process daily to keep sand fleas alive. It won’t be easy to do this beyond a week because they need to eat organic food. You can watch the video and process as explained below:

Tricks And Tips to Keep Sand Fleas Alive for Days

How to Freeze Sand Fleas For Bait

Do frozen sand fleas work? Can you freeze sand fleas for bait? Freezing is one way to keep and preserve sand fleas for bait all year round. Yes, You Can Freeze sand fleas for bait. But direct freezing of sand fleas will not work. You have to do the cleaning, blanching, drying, and storing via freezing to get great sand fleas for bait you can use even in winter when they become gold to get for bait. 

Using sand fleas as your bait is one of the best ways to catch as many pompanos and other fish species as possible. Some once said that the best bait to catch any fish is using live sand fleas, and the second-best option you have to see as many fish as you ever wanted is using frozen sand fleas. 

This is the one great skill you need to learn to catch, blanch, and store sand fleas via freezing for bait as a fisherman. It will help achieve great fishing results in winter when they become more costly to buy in stores. 

Below are the steps required to preserve sand fleas via freezing:

  • Thorough rinse off sand fleas with water (using a host for 15 minutes to flush the sands, waste, and dirt on sand fleas works great)
  • Blanch sand fleas by adding them to boiling water. The evidence that they are done and okay from blanching is seen in them floating to the top, becoming orange in color.
  • You then remove and put them into well-iced water to store the cooking. 
  • You can then bag and put them in the freezer until you need them.

Blanching Sand Fleas for Bait 

What is the importance of blanched sand fleas? Why do you blanch sand fleas for bait? Blanching sand fleas for bait enables the hook to stay on correctly when fishing. If blanching sand fleas before frozen will also stop and slow down the enzyme action that can cause them to lose flavor, taste, color, and smell as bait for fishing. Blanching sand fleas will also eliminate the microorganisms, and surface dirt, turn the color to orange (making it visible and attractive to fish as bait) and make the packing process great for appeal, either for sales or personal use for fishing. 

Therefore, freezing sand fleas is a way to keep your baits all year round and for the long term so that you no longer need to catch sand fleas daily as bait for fish. They are also complicated to find in the winter season. Hence freezing sand fleas will help you avoid buying costly appeal in the wintertime. 

What color sand fleas bait attracts fish? Why does the color of sand fleas bait attract fish a lot? 

Fishes love the taste of sand fleas eggs; its color is bright orange, and it is well visible to fishes easily. Blanching sand fleas will automatically turn their bright orange, making them a great attractor as bait. Fishers use bright orange colors as attractor beads to their fishing lines. 

What to Observe While Blanching Sand Fleas 

At first, as soon as you pour sand fleas for cooking, you will observe them going down your cooking pan and covered with water. You will know well-blanched sand fleas as soon as they flow above the water. It would help if you only packed them only when they are floated. It indicates well-blanched sand fleas ready to be dried, frozen, and prepared to store for a long time.

Ensure that blanched dried sand fleas are well bagged before putting them in the freezer. It depends on the size of your bag. Smaller bags can contain between 20 to 25 sand fleas that can quickly be taken for fishing in winter. They are gold and expensive in winter; you can also sell them in stores at great prices. 

How to Hook Sand Fleas for Bait

How do you use and hook a sand flea for bait? What is the process to hook sand fleas as bait? There are different ways to hook any sand fleas and bait for fishing. One major thing to consider for firm hooking of sand fleas for bait is the size of the sand fleas. You have to use the hook lightly on the sand flea’s body and use the tail location of the sand flea to move up the body just above the telson, which looks like the tail at the back of the sand flea. The hook will be pinned facing the head just to ensure that the sand fleas should be able to disperse their eggs as you pull the hook to retrieve the bait. 

What is the best hook size that is great for sand fleas? What kind of hook do you use on sand fleas to fish out pompano? Using 1/0 hook size is the best and the most preferred size for fishing pompano. Ensure you go for water with a clear spot to see just enough schools of fish. 

Steps to Use and Hook Sand Fleas for Bait 

What attracts fishes to eat sand fleas and makes it easy to cash as bait is the orange color of sand fleas’ eggs. The proper combination of a good blanching and storage of sand fleas and attractor beads on your fishing line will ensure an excellent fish harvest. So, you can use orange beads plastic (or fluorescent orange bobbers) on your line before implementing the hooking process. 

Check out the video below to learn the four ways to hook and use your hook on sand fleas as baits:

4 WAYS to Use and Hook Sand Fleas for Bait – Video 

Artificial Sand Fleas Bait

What is an artificial sand flea bait? Artificial sand fleas bait is handmade or manufactured sand fleas that are a facsimile of real or live sand fleas. This is a fishing bait that is designed to attract and lure the attention of fishes that are predators. The production of artificial sand fleas may involve using the color, movements, appearances, and behaviors of sand fleas to appeal to and entice the fishes that are predators to strike and take the bait. 

What is the purpose of the artificial sand fleas bait? The artificial sand fleas attract predator fishes to your line as bait; they are small objects shaped and produced as a replica of actual sand fleas that are often used for fishing. It is attached to the fishing line after proper hooking of the appeal. There are all kinds of lure and fish bait in online stores, such as spinners, crankbaits, plugs, jigs, spinners, fly traps, and spoons. 

Is our artificial sand fleas bait good? Artificial sand fleas bait or lures are great for catching all kinds of fish. Many anglers love it for many reasons ranging from cost, time, rate of capture, etc.; the hard plastic or metal sand fleas bait can catch multiple fishes without getting damaged because they are very durable. 

Our plastic sand fleas bait or lure well? The Soft plastic type of sand fleas’ baits can not withstand wear and tears. Hence they can get damaged easily. But, you can get it in online stores at a low price.  

Is Artificial Sand Fleas Bait Better than Real Sand Fleas (or Live Bait)?

Is natural bait or fake bait better? Artificial bait will not last forever but can be reused more than live bait in many instances. You will also need to purchase live or natural sand flea baits or process your own, especially during the winter fishing season in the US. Live or natural baits can be very costly and scarce in local stores during winters. 

Should you go for artificial or live sand fleas bait? Artificial sand fleas baits will give instant results that can result in a massive catch because they are strong, highly durable, and can be used multiple times. Don’t forget. You don’t need to do the dirty work of blanching and refrigerating the artificial baits. Hence, most anglers prefer artificial sand flea baits to be natural or live baits for fishing in the US. But you need to know how to hook them to make it attractive to lure and catch the targeted fish. Many people find it challenging to use artificial sand fleas baits. 

Factors that Determine When to Use Artificial or Live and Real Sand Fleas Bait

Cost of Artificial Sand Fleas

It is more costly to purchase artificial sand fleas than to catch your sand fleas for bait. 

Size of and Numbers of Fish You Catch 

Using live and natural sand fleas bait will earn you a more significant catch than using artificial bait. Though, the making and production of artificial bait are getting better by the day. But many fishermen concluded that you could catch bigger fish using natural and live bait. You must admit that getting live sand fleas processed as bait also takes time. 

Control and Mode of Usage

Unlike real and live sand fleas, you can easily control and manipulate artificial baits. Usually, the hooking is done pre-shipping and manufactured with the tricks. The artificial lure is used to manage the natural and live bait behavior that can be used to your advantage for fishing.

Other Advantages of Artificial Sand Fleas Baits

  • Fast and Better Hooking 
  • Great Offshore Success
  • Quickly Casting at Rough Surf

Conclusion: How to Catch, Store, and Hook Sand Fleas As Bait.

You now know the strategies you can use to catch and store sand fleas as bait. You can now catch sand fleas at beaches in winter and summer, during the days, and at night. Also. you also know different tools you can use to get enough sand fleas baits, as shown in the various video on how to catch sand fleas at the beaches in the US. 

Another great thing that was well explained is how to properly keep and store sand fleas throughout the season as bait and for fishing purposes. The necessity of blanching and freezing the sand fleas and how you can keep them alive for up to a week for your fishing purpose. You can also decide on the best artificial sand fleas you want to use for your fishing and the skills and tricks you can adopt to hook them for a great catch.