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Has anyone ever caught any around here? I believe that I have found a lake that has them and but do not know what to use for bait.
 

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From a source, not me typing this:

What I like to use for tilapia is peas, corn or bread balls. I have caught them on small worms, wax worms. I even have caught them on small lures during their spawn. But this method has been the most consistent:

Once you find a lake, pond or body of water with some tilapia, buy some canned peas, corn or both. For the next few days, chum the lake or pond with the canned peas and corn in the area you see the tilapia. Now go get some frozen peas and corn. Keep them frozen even while you are fishing with them.

Using two rigs, put one piece of frozen corn on a small hook just free-lined (no weight or float), and on the other rig, place one piece of frozen pea on a small hook suspended below a float. You should be fishing in the area you chummed during the prior days.

Tilapia stay suspended so keeping the bait in front of them is key. If you see their beds, which are almost perfectly round, deep, bowl-like holes, keep a bait in the bed on the bottom and one suspended in the bed. I also like to move the bait to the edge of the bed or along the drop-off of the bed. Be patient and make sure your shadow does not scare the tilapia. I also like to fish with 8-lb. fluorocarbon as my line with no leader. Hook sizes should be # 4 or smaller. Sometimes I would use a tiny split shot along the line in order to cast the corn or pea. Many times I use my fly rod with a pea or piece of corn as my fly. I have also caught tilapia on a tiny white fly.
 

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It really gets to cold for them here. Before I moved to the river , I use to raise them in a one acre pond. They did well for about six years, then a cold snap killed them. It killed every single one of them. I had a stinking mess on my hands, with thousands of dead fish. Back to your question, I used small dog food pellets and bread for bait.
 

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I have been catching tilapia in Pensacola since I was a kid. They are here by the millions. I know of a few lakes that I have snagged Blue Tilapia up to 10lbs when they are spawning on the bed.
Their beds are giant white circles that they fan out. Huge big eyes that they catch every movement with. You have to hide in the grass to sneak up on them.

Bayou Chico is loaded with Nile tilapia. There is a guy who has a stocked tilapia pond in Brewton. You can pay to fish there.
Ask anybody that's thrown enough nets in the back of Chico. They will tell you about giant tilapia busting holes in nets. But if you really want to see some tilapia go here, the Pensacola Bird sanctuary and this is where the tilapia invasion began in Bayou Chico. Their pond is loaded with tilapia that flood into Chico on high waters.

Snake heads, don't get me started on them...
 

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I had no idea they were here but I did see them in an episode of dirty jobs and they were eating pond raised rainbow trout poop
 

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I had both blues and whites in my pond. I got them from a man that grew them in Andalusia in a pond that had pig pens over the water to feed the fish. He had a heating system on his pond to get them through the winter. I think mine all died in the winter of 96 or 97 ? I'm surprised to hear of surviving wild populations without cold protection.
 

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I had both blues and whites in my pond. I got them from a man that grew them in Andalusia in a pond that had pig pens over the water to feed the fish. He had a heating system on his pond to get them through the winter. I think mine all died in the winter of 96 or 97 ? I'm surprised to hear of surviving wild populations without cold protection.
As one man said
 

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I got them from a man that grew them in Andalusia in a pond that had pig pens over the water to feed the fish.
We have them for Wednesday night supper at church every couple of months. Everyone has heard my Dirty jobs trout poop story. Thanks for giving me a new one to tell!!
 

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I always thought they tasted fine just wish they were a little more private with their eating habits. I gotta figure most fish will eat a turd but tilapia seem to enjoy it
I've seen them use them to clean up after raising striped bass... i mean there's free food for em all over the bottom of those stock ponds ;)

Also I'm sure they have an endless supply of "food" coming from the birds at the sanctuary
 

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Most of the tilapia you see in restaraunts and stores are farm raised. On other fishes poop.


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