How to Catch a Croaker: Learning the Simple Steps to Catch This Fish

Another prized fish that usually lingers around the Atlantic waters is the croaker. Questions like why is it referred to as a prized fish and how to catch a croaker may have just popped into your mind.

The croaker is said to be the saltwater fish equivalent of a smallmouth bass. Aside from its succulent and delicious taste, many anglers and fishermen said that croakers will put up a fight when caught and that’s what’s makes the whole thing exciting.

Like a hogfish, croakers are also typically found in the Atlantic waters and along the Gulf of Mexico. They can be easily recognized because of their silvery and golden hue. In this guide, I will provide you with the steps how to catch a croaker.

Furthermore, I will also give you some tips that can also be an additional use for you.

What You Will Need:

How To Catch A Croaker

Of course, before we go through the procedures on how to catch a croaker, there are several things you need to gather. Here are the following particulars that you need for this task.

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    ​Barrel Swivel (Small) - this is attached below your sliding egg weight.

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    ​Sliding Egg Weight - this is positioned right above the barrel swivel.
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    Leader line - you will need around 18 to 24 inches of this and it should have a pound test strength same as the main line.
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    Bait Holder (Size #6) - you can use any hook of your choice, but this is the highly recommended option.
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    ​Bait - you can opt for any bait of your choice, but the most effective ones include shrimp, squid, and bloodworms.

How To Catch A Croaker: The Step-by-Step Approach

How To Catch A Croaker

Once the essential materials are complete for this project, you may promptly go through the guide as follows. Here are the steps on how to catch a croaker.

1. Start by rigging the line. A sliding egg weight can be placed on the main line. Depending on the water conditions, you can opt for a ½ ounce of weight and then you can adjust it if necessary.

2. A bead is placed on the main line below the weight and a barrel swivel is attached with a uni knot. Make sure the line is moist before tightening the knot.

3. For the leader, pick one that has a pound test strength that is equal to the main line. Use around 18 to 24 inches of leader and tie it to the swivel with a uni knot.

4. Using a size 6 baitholder hook, tie it to the leader’s free end. Place a piece of bait on the hook. This could be a shrimp, bloodworm or squid.

5. Cast your line into the water and give it time to make its way down to the bottom where the croakers are. Allow it to sit while you get ready for your catch.

To see how this is done, watch this video

What Are The Best Baits To Use For Catching A Croaker

How To Catch A Croaker

For a successful fishing experience when it comes to catching a croaker, here are some of the best baits you can consider and use to get the upper hand.

1. One of the best baits that are also locally available are squids. These are highly effective baits for catching a croaker. The grand thing about it is that is it is available in small boxes that can be found in tackle shops, seafood markets, and grocery stores and they are surprisingly inexpensive as well.

2. Another bait that you can opt to use when fishing for croakers is bloodworms. As their name suggests, these guys will bleed when cut. This is the reason why they are effective. Their scent will definitely attract and lure in croakers or any fish for that matter.

(Tip: Be cautious when handling bloodworms since they have a mouth that is equipped with sharp fangs and can attack to defend itself.)

3. Other inexpensive baits that you can opt for are shrimp, peelers or shedder crabs. All of them are readily available, and very easy to use as baits to catch croakers. 

All About A Croaker

How To Catch A Croaker

A croaker weighs around ½ to 2 pounds at an average and has a length of about 12 inches. Their most distinct feature includes whiskers or referred to as small barbels on their chins. This actually helps them in finding food on the seafloor by feeling them.

Adult croakers have a silver and pinkish to golden cast. On the other hand, young croakers display a silver and iridescent color. As the suggests, croakers emit a very distinct sound. This happens through the vibrations of their swim bladders and is done usually in time for spawning.

Croakers reach their sexual maturity within one year and the spawning season typically occurs during the fall. During this time, female croakers can release around 2 million eggs. Croaker larvae will move toward land and stay on mud or soft bottoms.

Watch this video and listen to the sound of a croaker


In conclusion, catching a prized fish like a croaker is very exciting experience especially if it is your first time. The task itself can be a bit daunting and challenging given that the croaker is one tough fish and will definitely put on a fight once caught.

Be that as it may, following the proper procedures and using tips and techniques to your advantage can make a big difference. With the knowledge that you have learned, make sure to use it with caution and much-needed attention. 

Do you find the procedures on how to catch a croaker easy to follow? Were the additional tips able to enhance your chances of catching a croaker? Do you have any other suggestions about this topic?

I would like to know your views regarding this article. Send your reactions and suggestions by leaving a comment below. 

John Morris

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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