Note from Ryan: This post was originally published on August 4th of 2015. I figured now would be a good time to re-publish this post, because there has been growing interest in the forum about raking your own sand eels.
This past Friday morning I received a text message invitation from MFCC member "frankzappa" asking if I would be interested in raking up some sand eels.
I have always wanted learn how to rake sand eels so I jumped at the opportunity.
We launched Frank's 14 foot tin boat at 4:30PM.
Our plan was to rake sand eels 1.5 hour before until 1.5 hour after low tide.
The wind was blowing at a moderate speed, and although we were in a protected bay, we still paid attention to the chop, and wakes created by larger boats.
After a nice cruise we reached our destination, which can best be described as a Cape Cod "tropical paradise."
Frank maneuvered the boat around the sand flats until he found the perfect spot.
It was then time to go to work.
We both grabbed rakes and began scratching up the sand flats all around us.
I soon had a couple sand eels on the rake. Success!
Then Frank started hitting them hard. He had found a sweet spot right next to the boat, where a large number of sand eels had gathered.
We stayed in this general area for the entire trip because there was no need to move. The sand eels kept filtering into the sand beneath our feet.
We tossed the sand eels into a basket which was tied to a belt.
This convenient contraption was designed by Frank and is not available in tackle shops!
Sunscreen, sun glasses, a light t-shirt, bathing suit and some sort of footwear to protect your toes from crabs is a good idea.
By the end of the tide we had filled 2 plastic bags with a couple hundred sand eels.
Both Frank and I have plenty of fresh bait for stripers and fluke!
I hope to give these sand eels a try throughout this week.
How You Can Do This!
Raking sand eels is a lot of fun, plus it's simple! Fresh sand eels make great bait for striped bass and fluke.
However there is a learning curve involved, which is why I created the following 5+ minute video which includes more information about the technique, gear and best areas.
Thank you Frank for sharing your expertise! Myself and the rest of MFCC really appreciate it.
Click play below to watch.