When it comes to fishing — whether you’re on a boat, offshore, on the beach or in the creek — there’s one bit of gear outside of your rod that’s essential for the perfect catch and that is the perfect bait! When it comes to live bait, it can be very easy and simple to catch.
To bait the bait you can’t beat fresh fish frames or whole fish. Mullet with a couple of slices on the side to release the scent works a treat.
You’ll need a worming bag but people also use onion bags or even an old stocking! Work the water’s edge with the fish, letting the water recede back and then looking for a little “V” in the sand or the little worms head.
You then move in with a finger bait, which is a piece of the main bait, and pop that near the worm which will arch slightly on the first go toward the fish flesh, and usually a little higher on the next giving you the perfect opportunity to squeeze and pull.
A tip: worms are very sensitive to movement on the sand so the key is to be light on your feet and also with your fingers. Nice and steady, position your fingers as close as you can to the worm. Wait for that arch. Squeeze and pull.
With location, work an area with your bait, have a good look. Give it you know two or three washes with the tide, if you don’t see a worm just keep moving along until you run into a couple.
There are two types of beach worm, the slimy and the stumpy. The slimy is a lot longer and skinnier than the broader shorter stumpy. It doesn’t matter which one you use for bait, they both catch fish!
If you’re not using your worms the day you catch them, keep them fresh by rolling them in dry sand. That way they’ll last for two or three days.
Pipis are another fantastic bait you can find on the open beaches, and the technique to finding them is a bit of fun too.
On the water’s edge, position your feet on the sand and swivel them side to side like a bit of a shimmy or a swivel. It’s called the “pipi pipi shake”. The water running against your legs should help churn up that sand under your feet. Go down to the bottom of your shins. If successful, you’ll feel the hard pipi shell underneath your feet.
Once you have one, you crack the shell and inside is the mussel meat. Thread that on the hook and just work gutters straight ahead.
Worms and pippis are best to catch mainly dart, whiting and bream.