Catching Bait Fish

Today I thought I would share with you some simple tips in catching baitfish.

What Does It Look Like?

  • The following two photos are an example of what you need to look for on your sounder.
  • These are a good showing of baitfish.
  • You can either stop and burley them to keep them with the boat – depending on how many you need.
  • For us we just stopped on top of them and dropped a bait jig to them with a tiny bit of bait on each jig.




Set Up

  • We set up an 8kg game outfit with a bait jig and 6 ounce snapper lead at the bottom for ease of dropping quickly down through the school.
  • We shortened the bait jig to only 3 jigs instead of the usual 6 as 6 slimy mackeral are hard to handle all at once on the deck.
  • You can use a handline particularly if you are burleying with a small hook and split shot or a threadline outfit.



Handle With Care

  • Try not to handle the slimy mackeral at all, avoid contact where you can. Try to slip off the hook
  • If one is bleeding do not put in the water with the others as it will contaminate the water and next time you open the livewell you will find them all dead.
  • Keep oxygen and water levels up to them regularly. This is the key to keeping your bait alive all day.
  • Yellowtail are a lot more hardier than slimy mackeral but slimy mackeral would be my first option as a live bait.


I wish you every success.

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