Man Holds Fish


Be careful when you are jigging for bait with a Sabiki type bait jig as you may get something bigger than a six-inch herring.


One Saturday morning, I was on the Ngurupai (Horn Island) jetty in the Torres Strait. As usual I was catching some live herrings to bait up my line. I was using a six hook Sabiki style bait jig with size eight hooks and a 15-pound internal joining line connected to my 20 lb braid on my spinning reel fitted to a light fibreglass rod.

The ‘cloud of herrings’, normally under the jetty had, on that morning, moved to open water between the jetty and the boat ramp. Instead of jigging up and down, I had to jig the line as it moved more horizontally through the water. I was on the side of the boat ramp doing the jigging when I felt a Herring hook up. I began to wind it in when ‘wham’, something hit my line. The reel screamed with something taking towards the open water.

I played it for about fifteen minutes and then had a nice Queenie on the landing. The Queenfish had taken and swallowed the herring hooked to my bait jig, the jig hook being firmly in the herring which was now below the gullet muscle, and anchoring my line into the Queenfish. That’s the Queenfish pictured with Wybeni (Thursday Island) in the background.

I’m always on the ready now when jigging for Herring or other baitfish as I might catch something bigger on the bait jig. I haven’t yet in the last six years since then, but maybe one day.


Do you have any stories when fishing on bait jigs?

John Crozier

Over the last six years I have fished in popular Australian east coast mainly Queensland locations plus some outback Queensland rivers and remote areas.