Bonnet heads advice

My 9 year old son wants to catch a bonnet head. Does anyone have any advice.? Best rig? What types of areas / depths do they prefer?

We caught several, last week, off of the IOP pier, upper teens to 20# range. Thought my daughter had an IGFA Womens record, but was short a bit. Quartered Blue Crab was the preferred bait, but whole large shrimp works, if you can keep the pesky bait thieves off of it. High tide to a couple of hours past seemed to be the best bite, although, we had runs, no matter the tide cycle.

These fish were caught in six feet of water or less. Carolina rig, three ounce, flat, lead weight, four ought circle hook.

Low tide you can see them finning the banks,. Fish Creek mouths that meet the main river. Cruise the bank looking for fins and then creep up and cast in front of it with just a bait and hook and let it find it. I’ll drag it in from off the bank not to spook them. Closer to the inlet the better.

The key is shellfish. As said above shrimp is good, quartered crab is guaranteed.
Super fun to catch on inshore gear

________________________ 1966 13' Boston Whaler "Flatty" 2018 Sportsman Masters 207 #predatorsstriketheeye

Nice!! Someone asks, we offer advice! Just like it should be…:smiley:

Thanks everyone.

There’s an article in the July 2020 edition of the Carolina Sportsman magazine on catching them.
Matches what everyone here has been saying.

Glad sight is back up!

Haven’t done it in a bit, but on the Crab many times you could ask a local crabber for a couple to fish with. You want them live. Keep em on ice to keep fresh. If they have soaked for a good bit on the hook replace with fresh. Any Black Drum or Spot tail in the area will also be attracted to this bait. I’ve done it with top shell on or off. I remove the legs and quarter with scissors. IMO frozen crab will not work.

Like 40inch said, creek mouths work well. Now is the time. Good luck!

The last one I caught was on a tiny piece of shrimp. If you bleed them and ice them down they make excellent fish tacos. It rivals any other fish for table fare.