Bait isn’t a four-letter word
  |  First Published: July 2005

This month I want to talk about good old bait fishing.

My Dad, Barry, has had a few good stories coming into his shop, North West Fishing Tackle, over the past few weeks.

One of Dad’s good customers, Tony, came in to tell us about one of his recent trips to Split Rock Dam. With the weather cooling down, Tony was under the impression that the fish would be in the shallows because the sun keeps them warmer than the deeper waters. His trip proved this wrong.

He headed about 7am when the sun was coming up from behind the hills, beaming out over the dam and warming up things.

He dropped down a couple of shrimp and the waiting game began. After a good 10 minutes his rod tip began to bounce. The first solid fish of the day was caught, a nice pan-sized yellowbelly.

Much to his surprise, he bagged a couple of fish in around 10 metres of water.

After catching these fish he decided to do some exploring in his boat. He found a nice bay with some old tree snags in the middle. The water was about three metres deep.

Tony had five shrimp left. He dropped two of them down and in almost no time he had set the hook. He said it almost felt like a carp running but when it surfaced he discovered it was a nice 2kg yellowbelly.

Although it is pretty rare for me to use bait, sometimes I find it a good idea to have a line in while I’m casting lures.

When you are bait fishing you can use almost any kind of combo. The majority of the time I use a Live Fibre rod with a Penn Applause reel because this rig is very light and sensitive, enabling you to feel every nibble.

I’ve had most luck using fresh shrimp or worms when targeting yellowbelly, carp and silver perch.

I have found it best to not stick to the one theory; it’s best to have a go at everything because you never know where the big one is and when and how it’s going to bite.

The author’s dad, Barry Stubbs, with a nice pan-size Split Rock yellowbelly.

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