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Fishing baits and how to best use them

As has been previously discussed, when fishing, bait presentation is one of the keys to catching fish. Very poorly presented fishing baits can almost guarantee you catch nothing even if there are fish about, so it pays to take a few seconds to make sure a fish will want to eat your offering. So I have snapped a few pics of rigging up some baits in a few of the ways that I fish them that work out pretty well for me.

Often success in fishing is simply a matter of knowing the correct approach that can be the difference between catching heaps and not even getting a nibble. Things that seem simple usually are especially if you know how to do them correctly, so that is what I will be showing you how to do here. I'm always harping on time in the water is what catches fish, well that is true if you have a bait that will interest the fish. However if that bait is acting in a way that has alarm bells ringing for the fish and calling for shields up then it might as well not be there. A few seconds ensuring you bait wont spin is time well spent, we aren't seeking perfection but a very good presentation is preferred.

Choice of baits is a matter of personal preference. Some people have secret baits they use for the big ones, others prefer to catch their own and in some cases use them live. Others are more than happy to pick up some frozen bait from their local servo and can at times have good results. That choice is yours do what makes you happy, whether that it is the easiest thing for you to do or that it is the most productive for your fishing. Which ever you decide on simply make sure you use those baits in the best possible way.

Marrying a bait up to a matching size hook or set of hooks can be half the battle. Little baits on big hooks can reduce natural movement, while small hooks in big baits can result in points and barbs been covered up and missed hookups as a result. There are times of course where it becomes necessary to use one of the above combinations, however a little bit of creativeness can mean they are still very effective.

Then there is the question of how much bait do we put on a hook. Once again the answer depends on a few things, target species, casting distance required, are there pickers about and the list goes on. In general if you need distance then keep the bait small and streamlined as possible. If you are chasing lazy fish in impoundments or very slow flow creeks and rivers then often big juicy offerings work best. It's true big baits catch big fish but so do small baits, which will come as no surprise to anyone that chases tuna when they are on tiny whitebait. Big jew will often pick small bream baits and give the lucky angler the fight of their lives on this gear. I have also caught some rather big tailor on yabbies and worms so you just never know.

Now there are a ton of baits I can include such as prawns, yabbies, worms, hardiheads, pilchards, mullet, herring, pippis, cut baits, live baits, squid, crabs, steak, chicken, bread and pudding baits and will will do so as time permits. You thinking some of these fish eat better than we do?

First up the humble old pilly. What doesn't eat this poor old bait fish. Whiting pick at the eyes and guys often getting caught on hooks to 5/0 meant for much bigger fish, bream love them, snapper can't get enough offshore, mulloway certainly partake at times and they are the standard offering for tailor in the surf. In fact because of their versatility and variety of methods they can be fished I am going to give them their own page.

Fishing baits and how to rig them

How to bait up a pilchard on gang hooks

Hooking pilchards on single and snooded rigs