Tips and Techniques – Live Bait Fishing Gold Coast
Using live bait while fishing off the Gold coast is a very productive way to catch fish. In fact, when fish are scarce or finnicky, catching and using live bait for offshore fishing is the preferred method to get a number of fish species on the bite. As a massive range of artificial lures, are now readily available in tackle stores and frozen bait can be purchased from various outlets, the need for chasing and catching small fish for bait seems redundant. So why do fishos still actively hunt and catch live bait? It all comes down to several things.
Firstly, it’s about the hunt and the overall experience. You see, fishing isn’t simply about the catch, it’s also about the chase. Secondly, fishing with live bait is helpful to catch high end species, like Cobia, Tuna, Kingfish, Amberjack, Mahi mahi, Mulloway, Mackerel, Wahoo and many other apex predators that roam the Gold coasts offshore waters.
But how do you catch live bait for offshore fishing?
How to catch live bait for your deep sea fishing trip
The right equipment is the best place to start. A good quality bait jig or a decent cast net is what’s required. But how do each of these devices work and where do you get them?
- A bait jig comes pre rigged from your local tackle store, there are several manufacturers. Most have 6 to 8 hooks with feathers attached, they are designed to look like small prawns and tiny minnows. Bait jigs are available in different patterns with various hook sizes to suit your target species.
- Finally, a cast net opens up and spreads across the water and sinks quickly. As you drag it back in, live bait fish become trapped in the net. Bait jigs are preferable for offshore bait gathering.
Where to get live bait on the Gold Coast
Finding a great spot for catching live bait isn’t challenging. But there are a few hot spots not far from the Seaway entrance. For example, you can find plenty of live bait on the 12 fathom reef, just one mile south east of the entrance. A further 2 miles east, the 18 fathom reefs also hold solid bait schools. From yellowtail to slimy mackerel, they can be found in large schools around this coastal area.
Once you have started to catch your live bait, it’s well worth putting a hook in one and casting it back in straight away. This is because large predatory fish often patrol these bait grounds in search of an easy meal. In addition, thumper Mulloway and Cobia are regularly taken in these areas.
Good quality fishing charter boats have built-in live bait tanks, complete with plumbing. However, you can use plastic buckets, tubs or similar changing the water regularly as you go to keep the live baits healthy when you head out wider to your favourite fishing location. A quality aerator or recirculating pump is a valuable asset to have on board. There’s no point wasting an hour to catch live bait if they are all dead by the time you reach the offshore grounds. You want them healthy and fresh when you reach the 24, 36 and 50 fathom grounds.
What makes the best live bait for offshore fishing?
Certain fish make for better live bait fishing Gold coast than others, species such as Yellowtail and Slimy mackerel make the best baits. But it does come down to what you’re fishing, where you’re fishing and what you expect to catch.
Yakka’s and Slimies, are readily available and provide great results for the saltwater fishing enthusiast. Both species are a streamlined fish that are easy to swallow by predators. However on some days they can be hard to find. Don’t despair, other species like Pike, mullet, bonito, frigates and Silver trevally are also on the menu for those higher up in the food chain.
Rigs & tips for live bait fishing Gold coast
Want to know the best tips and rigs for live fish baiting? Firstly catching the bait, a suitable spinning outfit between 4-15kg will get the job done. Ideally you want a soft rod tip to make feeling the bites a breeze and to aid in jigging.
Bait jigs are supplied with a snap clip attached to both ends. Before you unravel your brand new bait jig from the cardboard its wrapped on. Attach your line to one of the snap clips, then gently un wind the jig one hook at a time. finally you can attach a suitable sized sinker to the bottom snap clip. Carefully following this procedure will avoid a tangled mess.
There are a few options you can use to rig a live bait fish. You firstly want to make sure your bait is fresh and in good condition when you rig it. This will make sure it doesn’t tire further and die once it’s back in the deep blue ocean.
So, is single or double hook best? Bridle rig? Stinger hook? There are numerous ways to rig live baits, we will go into the various methods in detail in a future article. But basically double hook rigs are ideally suited for bigger live baits. But keep in mind a second stinger hook will reduce the lifespan of your chosen live bait. Other ways to hook live baits include through the top lip, in the shoulders or in the tail. Take care not to put the hook through the fishes lateral line.
Do live baits work better?
We discussed earlier that frozen dead bait can be easily sourced through all good fishing and bait stores, however keen fisherman prefer to catch their own live bait as a part of the adventure. So, does it work better?
Absolutely! Fishing with live bait does work better and will always produce more pelagic species than dead bait options. Fish eat real food and live bait is exactly that.
Let’s face it, if you’re going to catch that monster trophy fish, your best chance is by using freshly caught live bait.
Experience and learn about live bait fishing with Gold coast fishing charters in Main beach
If you want to try live bait fishing Gold coast, the fishing experts at GC fishing have all the expertise, local knowledge and information you need to get started.
If you are looking for a memorable fishing adventure, we have a wide range of charters and services available, including fishing with live bait. Our staff can discuss your options and the charter that will best suit your needs. Visit our website to find out more about all our live bait fishing Gold coast services.