How to Catch Live Bait for Saltwater Fishing

Using live bait is a popular way to fish. In fact, when there are not a lot of fish around, catching and using live bait for saltwater fishing is the preferred method to get fish biting. As a large range of lures are readily available and live baits can be purchased fresh from stores, the act of catching fish for bait seems redundant. So why do anglers still catch bait? It all comes down to a few things.

Firstly, it’s about the sport and the experience. You see, fishing isn’t just about the catch, it’s also about the chase. Secondly, fishing with live bait is required to catch large species of fish like trout, salmon, mulloway and large flathead.

But how do you catch live bait for saltwater fishing?

How do you get live bait for fishing

The right equipment is the best place to start. A yabby pump, bait net and cast net will get you started. But how do each of these devices work and what do they look like?

  • A yabby pump is simple device used to get yabbies, small crabs from the seabed and flats
  • A bait net is a circular net that can scoop the live bait close to the shore in the direction of the tide. Tip: Use breadcrumbs to attract the fish
  • Finally, a cast net or throw net spreads across the water and sinks. As you haul it back in, fish are caught in the net.

When you have your live bait, it’s rare that you’ll put it on a hook and throw it back in straight away. This is because big fish and live bait don’t swim side by side. Some anglers have built-in live bait tanks; however, you can use plastic tubs, changing the water regularly as you go to store the live bait when you move to a better location.

What makes the best live bait for Trout fishing?

Some fish make for better live bait fishing than others, such as minnow for trout fishing. But it does come down to what you’re fishing, where you’re fishing and what you expect to catch.

Gudgeon, sardines, pilchards and small mullet all provide great results for live bait saltwater fishing. And angler searching for a bigger catch like trout, tuna, marlin and mulloway, can use live bait such as mackerel, herring, mullet, pike and tailor to attract the species.

Where can I find bait fish

Finding the best spot for live bait fishing can be challenging. But there are a few hot spots across Australia. For example, you can find plenty of live bait options across the Gold Coast. From mullet and herring to yabbies, they can be found in large schools along this coastal area. Using cast nets have been useful in nabbing large quantities of herring for baiting.

Rigs & tips for live bait fishing

Want to know the best tips and rigs for live fish baiting? There are a few options and how you rig live fish does make a difference. You firstly want to make sure your fish is fresh and not tired when you rig it. This will make sure it doesn’t tire further once it’s back in the ocean. It’s also wise to limit the handling of the live bait to extend its lifespan.

So, is single or double hook best? The smaller the fish, the more likely a single hook will be used to secure it. The aim is so that the fish is secure but can still move naturally in the water. In this case, a hook to the shoulder is the best scenario.

Double hook rigs are ideally for bigger live bait but remember that a second hook can reduce the lifespan of your live bait. Other ways to hook rigs for live bait fishing is through the dorsal fin, nostrils, throat, anal fin and anal vent.

Does live bait work better?

We discussed earlier that live bait can be easily sourced through all good fishing stores, however anglers prefer to catch their own live bait as a part of fishing for sport and the adventure. So, does it work better?

Fishing with live bait does work better. Fish eat real food and live bait is just that. It also gives anglers the ability to catch larger fish, fish that don’t respond to lures and it adds to the entire experience of the fishing trip.

Let’s face it, if you’re going to catch a trophy fish, you best chance is by using live bait.

Try live bait fishing for Trout with Wahoo Charters in the Gold Coast

If you want to try live bait fishing, our fishing experts at Wahoo Charters in the Gold Coast have all the information you need to get started.

If you are looking for a fishing adventure, we have a wide range of charters and services available, including fishing with live bait. Our staff can discuss your options and the charter that will best suit your needs. Visit our website to find out more about all our fishing services.

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