Many surf fisherman use a sand flea rake to catch sand fleas for use as live bait. Sand fleas, also known as sand crabs and mole crabs, are the preferred bait choice for fisherman looking to capture certain types of fish.
In the Gulf of Florida, sand fleas are prized by fisherman attempting to catch the Pompano and other game fish because they are attracted to these creatures. The sand flea rake allows individuals to reach these sand crabs buried in the wet sand along the beach shoreline.
Design of the Sand Flea Rake
Solidly constructed sand flea rakes are usually constructed out of aluminum sturdy enough to dig and pull through the heavy, wet sand and capturing them in a basket. The basket is filled with holes allowing the sand to fall through and leave the sand fleas.
The most common design of the sand flea rake consists of a rectangular basket welded to the handle that will usually be 48 or 54 inches in length, though this can vary considerably. Other models feature a triangular basket, but they are not as common or popular.
Make sure that you purchase your sand flea rake from a manufacture who uses a corrosion resistant aluminum or other materials that resist rusting.
Homemade Sand Flea Rakes
Many old school fisherman still swear by catching sand fleas by hand. Don’t worry, sand fleas do not bite!. And others still prefer to make their own homemade contraption to catch the sand fleas.
One of the more popular methods is to take a 5-gallon water jug with a handle and cut the top off. They will then drill holes in the bottom to allow the sand to fall out. I personally think it is easier to catch them with the rake and allow the next wave filter the sand out of the rake and leave the sand fleas clean and ready for baiting.
Another homemade method is to use wire mesh, rivets and metal scraps to assemble the rake. Personally, it seems like more hassle than it is worth when you can buy a solidly constructed one in the $40 price range. But, that is just me.