Collecting Fresh Bait

Fresh bait always results in the best catches and usually saves you money.

YABBIES

(South East Queensland, New South Wales estuaries)

The humble yabbie is one of our most popular baits and readily available throughout most estuaries.

To catch yabbies you’ll need an Alvey Stainless Steel Bait Pump and Bait Sieve. Look for the telltale yabbie holes on low water sand banks. Insert the bait pump into the sand and draw the plunger back.

Repeat this pumping action three to four times in the same hole and release the contents of the pump onto dry sand or into the sieve.

The yabbies are found both shallow and deep, close to the water’s edge and further away in dryer sand. Trying different areas, you will soon know the best location and depth to draw the most yabbies out.

SAND WORMS

(Victoria, South Australia estuaries and beach)

Sand worms are excellent bait in Southern estuaries and when beach fishing. For best results, use an Alvey Bait Pump and Sieve on the last of the run out tide in areas where worm holes can be seen.

Pump until you have enough worms, but never take more than you need.

BEACH WORMS

(Queensland and New South Wales beaches)

Found on most beaches, this useful bait is best caught with Alvey Worm Pliers. These are manufactured from strong fibreglass reinforced nylon and are ideal for catching beach worms. When you see a worm in the sand (usually as the waves recede on a surf beach) use a pipi or piece of bait to encourage the worm at least 25mm or as far as possible out of the sand and allow it to get a grip of the bait. Then rest the jaws of the pliers on the sand near the body but well away from his head. Close the pliers as closely as possible without touching the worm. As the worm arches to pull on the bait, close the jaws gently and withdraw the worm from the sand. Sea worms are ideal bait for whiting, trevally and bream. Dragging an onion bag of fish offal is a good way to initially bring the worms to the surface.

WRIGGLER WORMS

(South East Queensland)

These worms are found mainly in the coarse grit sand of the Moreton Bay foreshores. A special worming fork (similar to a garden fork with extra prongs) is used and a strong back is required. It is usual to dig at low tide to achieve the best results.   (Check if restrictions apply where you are going to dig as these do apply to areas of the Moreton Bay Foreshore)

PIPI OR EUGARIE

(Queensland and New South Wales beaches) cockels (South Australia)

Pipis are usually found on the beach in clusters and best dug on a failing tide.

Work your feet into the sand to a depth of about 10cm feeling for the shells with your toes. On beaches travelled by four wheel drive vehicles, look for the raised lumps in the sand near the tyre tracks. Dig under these lumps and you will fill a bucket with eugaries in minutes. Again, don’t take any more than you need.

FISH BAIT

Another method of collecting fresh bait is by using the Alvey Telescopic Bait Trap.

Assemble your bait trap by extending it to its full length. Tie a cord through holes at either end and attach it to a float or stake if required. In turbulent water, provision has been made, for extra stability, to attach a sinker with nylon line through holes at each end.

Crumb a slice of stale bread and place your bait trap in position, preferably on a sandy bottom. To empty bait trap when full, remove end cap and pour contents into bucket of fresh or salt water.