Bait varieties and where to find them

1 – Pilchards  – Commonly found in 1kg bags and 2kg blocks in tackle store freezers pilchards are used both offshore and land based as a whole or cut bait to target most carnivorous fish species around Australia.

2 – Prawns – Commonly caught live in most estuary systems or found fresh and uncooked in fish co ops or pre packeted in tackle store freezers prawns are generally used land based as whole, live, peeled or cut baits to target an enormous variety of popular Australian fish species.

3 – Worms – Commonly found buried beneath beach sand or river mud in two main varieties the sand or beach worm and the blood worm are used land based as a whole, live or cut bait to target quality bread and butter estuarine and beach species such as bream, whiting and flathead. Worms can also be conveniently located in most tackle store freezers and live tanks.

4 – Squid – Commonly found around inshore reef systems and weed beds as well as tackle store freezers squid is generally used both offshore and land based as a whole and cut bait to target many of  Australia’s popular fish species.

5 – Octopus – Commonly found around inshore reef systems and weed beds as well as tackle store freezers octopus is generally used offshore especially around central Western Australia as a skinned and cut bait to target a large variety of popular demersal fish species.

6 – Jets or Maggots – Commonly located in tackle store fridges and freezers maggots or jets as they are some times referred to are generally used as a land based bait to target smaller, finicky species such as garfish.

7 – Mullet – Commonly found swimming along ocean beaches, head lands and estuary systems mullet can be used both offshore and land based and is a popular bait when cut into pieces for a wide variety of popular Australian fish species. Whole, fresh mullet also make excellent large shark baits!

8 – Green weed – There are commonly two separate varieties of green weed typically used land based to target vegetarian species such as the black drummer or rock black fish and the luderick, they are string weed and cabbage weed. String weed is generally used in calm, estuary situations and may be located at the base of sandy ocean rocks or in storm water drains whilst cabbage is used out on rough, ocean rock ledges where it is most commonly found.

9 – Cunjevoi – Commonly used land based as a cut bait to target rugged, rock fishing species such as drummer and groper cunjevoi may be located at the base of most central and southern east coast rock ledges on a low tide during calm conditions..

10 – Ox heart – Commonly found fresh in butcher shops or frozen in packets at the tackle store ox heart is generally used land based as a cut bait designed to target small school whiting.

11 – White bait/blue sardines – Commonly used both offshore and land based as a whole bait designed to target small to medium sized carnivore species such as snook, tailor, silver trevally and herring. These small fish are generally commercially harvested in a similar fashion to pilchards and are generally only available as a fresh, frozen bait found in tackle stores.

12 – Tuna heads – Commonly used offshore as a whole bait for crayfish and crab traps tuna heads also make great large shark baits! They can be found in most tackle store freezers at certain times of the year.

13 –  Boney herring – Commonly used land based as a whole, live or cut bait throughout central W.A to target larger estuary species such as mulloway and large bream. Unfortunately recent laws have restricted anglers from jagging or throw netting their own boney herring baits with the only option now being the tackle store freezer.

14 – Spleen – Commonly found in local butcher shops or tackle stores spleen is generally used in estuary systems as a cut bait for crab traps. A proven bait that all the old boys swear by when mixed with mullet!

15 – Abalone gut – Commonly used land based as a cut bait to target a large variety of ocean rock dwelling species abalone gut can be found in most reputable tackle store freezers.

16 – Crabs – Commonly found along most rocky shore lines crabs are generally used both land based and offshore as a whole or cut bait to target a large variety of ocean rock dwelling species.

17 – Cockles – Commonly found buried beneath the soft beach sand at low tide cockles are generally used land based as a whole or cut bait to target a large variety of beach and rock species such as bream and whiting.

18 – Bread/dough – Commonly used as a land based bait to target fish with odd feeding habits such as mullet and luderick. Bread can be obtained at a bakery and dough must be made from flour, water and some cheese.

19 – Mud eye – Commonly used from both shore and boat as a whole, live bait by anglers targeting brown and rainbow trout the mud eye can be found along the edge of freshwater streams and waterways beneath weed and other damp structures such as rocks and logs. A mud eye is actually the larvae of the dragon fly before it hatches!

20 – Artificial bait – Commonly found in jars or packets on tackle store shelves artificial bait can be used to moderate effect on a wide variety of both salt and fresh water species.

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[What The Fish]