How To Catch Tilapia? (The Best Tips And Tricks)

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how to catch tilapia in a pond

If you’re thinking about catching tilapia, you might wonder whether it’s worth your time and effort or if better options are available.

Fortunately, there are many reasons to enjoy tilapia, so long as you know how to catch tilapia! In this article, we’ll share our best tips and tricks for catching tilapia and making the most of your experience on the water.

Who wouldn’t want to catch tilapia from their home?

It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s great exercise! Whether you are just starting or have some experience catching fish from your backyard, this guide will help you learn the best tips and tricks for catching tilapia in your pond or lake. Keep reading to learn about the best ways how to catch tilapia!


Where To Fish For Tilapia: Best Places


Tilapias are the Southeast US inhabitants and originated from the Middle East and African countries. Wondering how to catch tilapia? I will tell you about their whereabouts more clearly so you will know where to fish them. Here’s a glimpse of where they prefer being and what types of waters suit them.

image of the Tilapia fish in table

Saltwater doesn’t bother these fish; they mostly live in brackish waters or freshwater estuaries. You can search for them in brackish rivers, ponds, or canals. You are lucky to live in the states of Texas, Florida, and Alabama because you can find them in abundant quantities there.

How do you catch tilapia fish without knowing the perfect season to fish for them? Well, you cannot catch them if you fish them off-season. The best season to catch them is probably during spring or fall.

And the best time of the day is before noon or in the afternoon when the sun won’t be heating things to its fullest.


How To Catch Tilapia By Using The Below Steps


Are you too curious to know how to catch tilapia fish? I structured this guide stepwise for your convenience. If you read all of them carefully and understand the process clearly, you will be able to catch tilapia in no time.


1: The Best Baits To Use To Catch Tilapia


Because mainly a tilapia’s diet is herbivorous in nature, it is very tricky to set baits for them. Not everything will attract them to take the bait. But here are a few baits that a tilapia could never resist.

Peas: As tilapia love feeding on greeneries, it is evident that peas would make excellent bait for them. Attaching peas to your hook can be challenging. You will have to be a little patient, but once your bait is set, tilapias will run towards it.

Bread balls: You may think that bread balls aren’t plants or green, but trust me, they work well as baits. You must have fed them to fish or ducks at least once in your life; then, you’d know how much fish love them. Setting them on hooks is not hard, either.

Earthworms: Earthworms are baits that are loved by almost every other sea creature. Using them as baits is also straightforward; no fish would resist this bait. You can use live earthworms or frozen ones that are readily available at markets.

Corn: I love corn, and who wouldn’t? Tilapias love them too. Take some corn with you if you want to know how to catch freshwater tilapia without hassles. The best part about corns? Apart from baits, they would also work as a great snack for you.


2: Use The Right Tackle To Catch Tilapia


Tilapias aren’t that big, so you won’t need a very complex or heavy tackle if you want to catch them. Light tackles would work fine for them. A 6-foot pole is recommended; that must be lightweight with a spinning reel.

Tilapia fish in the farm

There is no need for braided fishing lines, as a monofilament line will also efficiently do the work. Use smaller hooks, preferably no.4 hooks. You have to make sure that your tackle is not extra heavy.

How to catch tilapia on a rod and reel that is heavy?

You cannot catch tilapia that way. Tilapias get spooked easily, and heavy tackle can make them run away. It is the main reason why anglers emphasize keeping your tackle and movements both light.


3: Fish During Spawning Season To Catch Tilapia


Do you know how to catch tilapia fish during the spawning season?

Let me tell you. The more the tilapias when they are spawning, the more there are chances to catch tilapias. Trust me; I am not joking.

image of Tilapia fish in the pond

Want to know why is that so?

The logic behind it is simple. Tilapias get aggressive and possessive about each other during the spawning season to protect themselves. When you suspend your bait in the water, they will quickly reach towards it to attack it.

Once they attack the bait, they’ll get trapped, making you have some delicious, fresh tilapia for dinner.


4: Focus And Fish On The Shallow Water


You won’t find tilapias swimming at the bottom of the ocean. Instead, they prefer moving in calm, shallow, and brackish waters from where they can easily find some food for themselves. Anglers recommend that you should fish for tilapias from shallow waters.

It not only provides them with suitable vegetation, but they can also find an excellent area to spawn when they’re in the shallow part. And as I have already told you, their spawning season is the best time to catch them.


5: Avoid Getting Close To The Spawning Beds


Tilapias aren’t that friendly; they are shy. They don’t want you to get too close to the spawning beds, which will spook them away.

Then how to catch tilapia on beds?

I am here to tell you. Fish near their spawning beds; don’t fish exactly there as you will miss the opportunity to catch them that way.

image of Tilapia fish

Afraid that you might disturb them even when you are a little distant from their spawning beds? Then I would suggest you fish from the shores. That way, you won’t be scaring the fish away and will get a perfect catch.


6: Experiment With Baits


You don’t need to be bound only to choose the baits I have mentioned here. You are free to experiment with baits. Keeping a tilapia diet in mind, you can also try insects other than worms.

And the vegetable options you have are endless. You can use sliced pieces of carrots, pieces of lettuce, whatever you get your hands on to experiment. Throw whatever vegetables you have in the water to test them as baits.

Just make sure they are chopped into tiny pieces. If you don’t want live or vegetable baits, try exploring artificial jigs. They are made out of plastic or silicone and are catchy enough to attract a tilapia towards them.


7: Handle With Care


Know well that tilapias have small mouths that are very delicate. How to catch tilapia with a fishing pole gently? Well, it is simple. Keep your movements slow and smooth instead of keeping them quick and hard, as rough moments can literally tear their mouths apart.

person holding Tilapia fish in hands

If you succeed in catching your tilapia, but you strike your rod roughly, chances are that your tilapia will fall off the fishing rod. It will only result in a waste of your efforts and time.


Best Tips & Tricks On How To Catch Tilapia


Tilapia is a slow-moving fish, but to get them, you must be really active. How to catch tilapia? Let me summarize everything for you and teach you the best tips and tricks to catch tilapia.

Go tilapia-fishing during their spawning seasons which are during fall and spring, because that is the time you can catch most of them.

Keep all your gear and tackle light, as catching tilapia is not that complex. You don’t need to spend your hard-earned money buying expensive baits for them as they’re not choosy.

For best results, ensure your baits are frozen, so they stick firmly to the hooks. Tilapias are cautious during spawning times, so even a minor disturbance can cause you to return empty hands. The catch and throw policy doesn’t work for tilapias, so every tilapia you catch can be an excellent meal for you.

Just kill the ones you catch, and cook them while they are still fresh.


Final Verdict:

Tilapias are considered staple seafood in many countries due to their abundant population. They are full of nutrients, taste excellent, are easy to cook, and even easier to catch. I have always loved having them at family dinners.

After this guide, now you won’t have to head towards your fish market to get tilapia fish meat. I highly encourage you to go to your nearest pond, river, or shore where you can find tilapia. Try catching them on your own.

You have learned to catch tilapia; trust me, catching it is not hard. Nothing beats some freshly cooked tilapia that you catch yourself. So what are you waiting for now?


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – Are tilapia hard to catch?

No, tilapias aren’t hard to catch at all, and many anglers suggest newbies start their angling by catching tilapias. Tilapias also don’t require extra fancy tackle or gear.

#2 – What is the best bait to catch tilapia?

Since tilapia are herbivores, the best bait to catch them is unarguably peas, corn, and bread balls. They aren’t attracted to expensive or fancy baits, so investing in them would waste your money. You should use vegetables instead, and for a better experience, make sure the baits are frozen hard.

#3 – Will tilapia eat corn?

A tilapia would love munching on corn. The options to use corns as baits are endless because of the variety of corns available. You can use boiled corn, frozen corn, canned corn, canned sweetcorn, a slice of corn on the cob, or even imitation corn.

#4 – Are tilapia bottom feeders?

You may think tilapia are bottom feeders because of their herbivorous nature, but they are not. They like being on the mid-level of the sea and love being in shallow waters. They also feed on the plants that grow in shallow waters, so the answer is no; they are not bottom feeders.