Commonly used baits and how to prepare them.
Many people will shudder at the thought of using cray for bait, (a bit like using roast pork to catch a sausage) but the reality of it is, cray is an excellent bait for most species the surfcaster will target.
Shellfish eating species such as Lemonfish and Moki cant resist cray baits. Snapper and most other ‘fish-flesh-eaters’ will also happily scoff down a cray bait.
Its a very soft bait to use, and requires some patience to prepare it. The trick is to bind the bait into a firmer lump before you place it on the hook. Then once you have hooked it, bind it again if required.
Having cut off the skin and suckers from your occy legs (a very sharp knife is a great help here) split a section of leg into strips of a suitable size for the hooks you are using.
Pilchards: (and Anchovy )
If you’re using a whole pilchard as bait, consider using two hooks. One tied of on the end of the trace and one sliding. If you prefer to have a smaller bait you can cut your pilchard in half and use just the one hook.
Similar to Pilchard above, Cut a slice (finger size) with the skin still on and hook as per the Pilchard.
Remove the legs from one side of the crab. Insert the first hook into the centre-bottom of the crab and roll it out through one of the leg holes. Then insert the second hook through the bottom of the crab and right out of the top of the shell. Bind the legs to the shaft of the second hook.
Other Shellfish: (� Mussels, Tuatua, etc )
Similar to Cray above, bind the bait into a ‘sausage’ before threading in the hook/s