Occy sock saves the day

Snapper well hooked on occy
Vijay Nikora Raj continues his sound advice for surfcasters this month with his take on using octopus for bait.

A little write up on a bait I rate one of the best in the surfcasting game (Occy). Many of the top guns around the country and top surfcasters I have the pleasure of fishing with, will all have occy (octopus) in their bait bins. You may think, how is something that has no smell to us when fresh, so appealing to predators in the ocean, like whopper snapper?

Beats me—but they love it. It’s a bait that takes a bit of getting used to and is hard to source if you are not a diver or do a lot of rock hopping. In some cases it’s gold, especially for surfcasting competitions.

Once you have peeled off the outer layers of the tentacles, you expose beautiful white flesh and release the flavours. I feed a small pinky finger size tube onto my hook as if I’m putting a sock on the hook, then cotton up.

Occy bait ready to sock it to them

It’s also nicknamed the ‘heave and leave bait’, as it could sit (soak) out there for hours before you get onto a fish. And 90% of the time, it is a good solid snapper.

I don’t know why, but mostly the bigger snapper take the occy baits, while your second rod with anchovy baits is firing, catching more but usually the smaller fish.

And if you’re getting plagued by pesky small kahawai, they won’t touch the occy bait so more time for that big red to come by.

Occy bait does the job for Vijay

Here’s an example. I was fishing a surfcasting comp a couple of weeks or so ago and had two rods out. One rod had a mixture of cray and anchovy baits, while the other had occy on it. All day, crabs hammered the baits, with the softer anchovy baits only lasting 10 minutes before getting smashed. The occy bait, however, is so tough crabs take a hell of a long time to get it off and I ended up catching two snapper while they tried. Occy saved the day!

It’s a bait that requires patience and some nights it’s not their flavour. It just catches the bigger fish in my opinion. Check out my Facebook page: Off the sand-Chasing tides NZ

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