BEST BEACH FISHING BAITS
When it comes to beach fishing, you can pick up most of the bait options on the beach itself. You don’t need frozen baits from tackle shops to go beach fishing. I usually bring a bag just in case, but find all the bait I need right there on the beach. For this reason, it is a great fishing application for kids, who love to come with me and spend the afternoon helping me by finding bait.
Species of all sizes can’t resist taking beach worms. I have caught everything from Bream and Whiting, through to huge Jewies with these. I like using beach worms because it really takes a lot to get these to come off the hook. I usually buy these from the local bait shop because they can be tricky to catch. If you have the time and the patience it can be fun catching them on the beach, but I would go prepared with some beach worming pliers or the slippery things will slip out of your hands.
For a tutorial of how to catch beach worms, check out this video:
If you are chasing Bream, Dart or Whiting, then pipis will be familiar to you. These can be found all over Australia’s beaches and can be collected by looking for small white bumps in the sand.
The oily skin and meat of the bonito drives Tailor wild. The Greenback Tailor can’t resist these fish and come from miles around. They also attract bigger game predators like Sharks and Jewies. Cut the fillet with the grain, I usually use pieces of 3 or 4 inches on a 5/0 or 3/0 single.
Sardines are a widely available bait source and are perfect for casting and retrieving across schooling Tailor. They can also be left to sit in the water. They are an appealing meal for heaps of species, including Salmon. Keep them in a plastic container on ice, as if they thaw out they can become really soft. If I know I am going to be out all day, I usually salt them as well, to keep them at their best.
SALTING YOUR BAITS
I salt my baits down to preserve them and keep them fresher for longer, but also to stop them going soft. If I’m out all day, salting the bait down will keep it firmer and let me get more casts out of it on the hook.
You should start the salting process 3 days before you intend to go out on the water. First let the bait flaw to the point that it can be cut easily enough, fillet the bait fish, then half the fillets again lengthways so you have four strips from each bait fish.
Cover the bottom of a plastic container in rock salt and lay the fillets side by side along the bottom of the container. Then add another layer of rocks salt, then another layer of fish, and repeat until you are out of bait.
Put the container in the freezer for at least 24 hrs. If you keep it longer make sure you drain any water that collects at the bottom of the container daily. Once the process is finished, the bait will be much tougher and stay firmer for longer. It is now ready for the hook and you can take it out on the water.
What do you think? What baits do you prefer? Is there anything not mentioned? Share your thoughts and experience through the comments section below.