How to catch your own live bait for fishing

To increase your chances of catching fish you can try using live bait. Live bait can be easier to obtain than you might think and in this article we will discuss the different methods used to catch live baits of different types and the equipment required.

Different types of commonly used live baits

Probably the most common live bait used in Australia would be the beach worm. Beach worms can be caught up and down the coast of Australia and is in wide abundance. There are different bag limits in different states so consult your local fisheries department for more information. Worms can be tricky to catch, but once you get the hang of it, they are a great free bait source and work wonders for whiting, bream and dart. To learn more about catching beach works read our article on surf fishing. Pippies can also easily be caught along the coasts of Australia. Simply bury your feet in the sand at the waterline and more often than not you will feel pippies in the sand beneath your toes.

Poddy Mullet make a great live bait when chasing large species of fish in rivers and bay. They swim in schools in the shallows and are easily caught with a cast net. They are quite hardy and will survive quite some time in a bucket and also when rigged. They can be rigged a variety of different ways and for more information on rigging live bait view this article {link}.

Live prawns are my favourite live bait when fishing local waterways and the bay. They are easily caught with a cast net around boat ramps and jetties and will last a considerable length of time in a bait bucket with no aerator. Their natural movements send off signals to nearby fish and make them irresistible, however their soft shells mean even the smallest fish will attack them and easily kill them before larger fish get a look in. There are a number of ways to rig a live prawn which is covered in another of our articles.

If fishing in the bay or offshore for large reef fish or pelagics then the live bait of choice is slimy mackeral. These small but hardy live baits can be found around pylons, shipping markers or any other structure offshore. They are typically caught using a special jig that is attached to a standard fishing line. The jig consists of 10 or so small hooks which when attached to your main line and a sinker are dropped over the side into bait schools then jigged slightly. The motion will be enough to entice bait fish to eat the small plankton looking imitation hooks. Once caught, simply rig the bait appropriately and either drift baits behind your boat or dropdown for reefies.

Yabbies are an old favourite of mine, especially when fishing sandbanks or mudflats in rivers or lakes. Yabbies live in small holes in the sand and are an ideal food of choice for flathead and whiting. A lot of effort can be put in when collecting yabbies, but the effort is all worth it as many fish cant resist a live yabbie put in front of them. In order to catch yabbies you first have to find where they live. Walk the sandflats at low tide and look for large sections of sand with small holes. Use a specially made yabbie pump in order to suck the yabbies from the holes. It can take several pumps to get right down into the sand and get the yabbies out. When pumping the sand back out of the pump, it is best to pump into a sieve so you don’t lose any yabbies in the water. They can be hard to see at times, and watch out for their large pinchers they can pack quite a bite.

Blood worms another great bait that can source similar to yabbies using a pump. Again it’s best to search the mudflats at low tide looking for signs of yabbies and worms. Often bloodworms will live in similar holes to those of yabbies, and can be a regular bycatch when chasing yabbies in more muddier environments. Bloodworms, like normal works are a delicacy to whiting, flathead and bream.

Now we have covered the most common live baits used by fishermen but what use is livebait if you don’t know how to rig them correctly. Learn all about the different methods of rigging livebait with this recent article.