Cocktail time

Fresh paddle crabs will catch rig and snapper

Most fisher folk mull over their choice of and use of baits from time to time. This is time well spent if you want to catch more fish. Your bait is that tempting morsel that fish say ‘yeah’ or ‘nah’ to. In other words, success or failure, or fishing and catching, to you.

Surfcasters usually have their go-to baits depending on the species targeted. They’ll stick to their octopus, squid, mackerel when targeting snapper. If chasing rig they’ll go for paddle crab and mussel. In suitable conditions, pilchards and anchovies can be strapped to more resilient bait species.

Fishbites to add to the mix.

There is now a new contender in the cocktail mix. It is an imported product called Fishbites—a synthetic alternative to cut baits, with a mesh interior and scented exterior that dissolves into a scent trail. Easily cut to size with scissors it a can be put in the cocktail mix. Available in several flavours. I am looking forward to testing it next season.

Bait forms the vital link between fish and fisher so take good care of it. Use ice and a chilly bin at the beach.

Only a small number of fishers go to the trouble of giving their targeted species the real treat of a cocktail. My observations over recent years tells me that these few anglers feature well up in the results of surfcasting contests on the West Coast. Spying on their fishing spots, I have observed the scraps of cotton and bits of bait they sometimes leave behind. Use bait elastic to secure the elements of your cocktail together, especially when one component is on the soft side and remember, fresh is better.

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