"How to" Bait Tips

Bait tips

Ways to Make Fish Bait

/Bait Guide

How to Make your own bait pump

it helps you get some super bait!

Well, as you all probably know yabbies can be one of the best baits around. If you not really wanting to spend $50+ on a bait pump and more on a sieve, so you took matters into my own hands.


The first thing - get a cheap (under $5 from Bunnings) hand pump plunger - although this got me some yabbies, it is small and somewhat ineffective... so you can took it a step further.

Steps to make your own yabbie pump


Step 1. The first thing to do is get a piece of PVC piping. You can use 50mm pipe, which works well, but you may differ from this. I cut it to a length of 65cm.

Step 2. The next thing - attach a fitting over the top of the pipe which has a screw on it, you can get one from Bunnings or any plumbing store. The screw then has a cap which screws on to seal it up.

Step 3. Next thing - cut out a 50mm circle with a boring drill from the offcut from the pipe - the same with one smaller size (around 45mm) and glued them toghteger.


Got a rubber seal (45mm) and glued it into the ridge formed when the 2 different size circles are together to make the plunger.

Step 4. Got a 65cm long metal thread peice (10mm diamater) and drilled a 10mm hole both in the top fitting and the plunger made earlier. Then insert the thread into the hole in the top fitting and down the pipe onto the plunger. You can use 2 bolts on either side of the plunger to secure it.

Step 5. Next - cut a 15cm piece of alloy pipe for the handle. Dowling wood or some other materials will also make a good handle. I then secured the handle with bolts tightened either side of the alloy/wood.

Video Lessons

Blue Catfish Baiting Tips by Catfishing Pro

Chicken Liver "Chum Bait"

Another some super bait tips from anglers

Cheap berley buckets

Most people have a Napisan container sitting around the house somewhere. This is a good sized berley bucket with a few holes in it but you have to make sure the lid is secured. Make sure it is cleaned thoroughly.
by Nas F.

Unsnagging your lure

When your lure or jagger is snagged hold your line firm and wrap a six inch strip of lead around the line. Make sure the lead can travel freely along the line without coming off. Holding the line firmly in one hand thrust the lead down the line. Hold the line firmly until the lead reaches the lure then let the pressure off the line. Most times the weight and speed of the lead hitting the lure removes it from the snag. Wind in and see the results.
by Jordan K.

Two berley tips from Matthew D

1. When you want to get a berley down deep when fishing for bottom feeders, try this. Fill a large paper bag with your berley. Tie the top of it closed with a long length of thin rope or fishing line, to which you have also attached a surf sinker. Drop the bag over the side of the boat or pier, feed down the line, and let it sink to the bottom. Make sure you hold onto your end of the line! Wait a few seconds, then pull sharply on the line. The bag will split open, dispersing your berley over the bottom, and you can retrieve the sinker and bag remnants. A paper bag is cheap, and most importantly will also be biodegradable and won't harm the environment if it breaks apart.


2. A good berley for larger predatory fish can be made using pet mince/liver from the butcher. At around $2 a kilo it is cheap and easy to chop up and blend with tuna oil and pellets, etc. I have found it works very well fishing the surf.

Look after your bait

A fish's attraction to bait is partly visual, but mostly has to do with taste, smell and touch. For this reason, contaminants such as sun cream, insect repellant and some kinds of food such as bananas, onions and oranges, can turn fish off. Fresh and live baits work best because they secrete various chemical signals that stimulate fish to feed. These natural chemicals are, however, labile; that is, they become dispersed and destroyed on contact with air and water. Dead or cut baits lose their attraction very rapidly, while live baits continue to exude chemical strike triggers for a short time but as fatigue and stress mount the production of these attractants slows down, so counteract this by constantly replacing live baits. by Riley D

Picture wire for securing bait

Those of you who use fuse wire to secure bait fish to hooks may like to try this innovation of mine. Instead of using standard fuse wire which can tear the flesh, particularly if your bait has gone a bit soft, get hold of some multi-stranded picture-hanging wire. Separate the individual wire filaments and cut 15-20cm lengths of these to store in your tackle box. The filaments are much thinner and more flexible than fuse wire making it far easier to secure the bait to the hook. The 20cm lengths allow you to do a thorough job of it too, though it's up to you what length suits best. Try it - you'll like it!
by Lee S.

Making sandworms last longer

When using sandworms, if you want them to last all day and maybe a little longer, put them in container of water, preferable from the same area from where the bait was caught, but remember to change it before the water changes to a reddish color. Another way to keep worms is to wet a hessian bag and also keep them covered and cool. If you leave them in a container with sand they will just be cut to pieces in no time. by Alan McFayden

A super glue idea for mudeyes

When using mudeye for bait, use super glue to affix the mudeye to your hook. Blow dry the mudeye, place a small amount of superglue to the main body of the mudeye and attach your hook. Blow on mud-eye and hook to dry glue. This will enable the mudeye to stay alive in the water and swim therefore making a more attractive bait. This method is best used on a bubble float or other light float rig. by Stroudy

Berleying in the surf

To help improve your catch when surf fishing, try these two simple tips for berleying. They really work well! Firstly, use a plastic net/bag for a berley off the beach (e.g. 2kg onion or orange bags from supermarket). Simply place a berley of cat food, pet mince and tuna oil into the bag and tie it closed with a long length of rope. Tie the other end of rope to a stake which is driven into place up the beach, and throw the bag into the waves. Secondly, you can use a small old sock, and place a handful of berley into it. Tie this onto the star sinker on a standard paternoster rig, and you will have the same smell as the berley you're using up the beach, but the fish can only eat your baited hooks. Re-dip the sock into the berley or tuna oil before each cast. by Andrew

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Using leftover shrimps

If I have any shrimps left after a day's fishing, I take them home and soak them in the oil from sardines or tuna. Place the shrimps in an empty butter container and pour some oil from the sardines or similar stuff over the shrimps and either freeze or put in the bait fridge for next time you head out fishing. The oil seems to add to the scent of the shrimps and yellowbelly just can't resist them. by Tom S.


Homemade fish oil

Whenever I use a tin of fish, sardines, mussels or whatever, I keep the juice contents in a 2 litre bottle in the outside fridge. Next time I go fishing I soak the berley with this instead of water. Much better than tipping these juicey contents down the sink like I used to, and much better than using plain water to break up the berley pellets or bread or whatever you may use. You can still add tuna oil if you wish, but I have found this oil works a treat. by Matthew


Go to the supermarket and purchase the cheapest brand of bread crumbs. Place the contents into a larger plastic bag then add all the old used cooking oil that you would use to fry fish or whatever then shake the bag and toss it around so the contents mix well. After it is mixed evenly add small amounts of water then keep adding until you get a firm dough but not soggy! This is the best berley for gars, mullets and others because it's oily and you don't spend a cent for tuna oil which costs $8. by Steve

The ultimate Yarra River berley

If you fish the Yarra River for bream, mullet, snapper, flatties and mulloway this is a great berley mix. Get a bucket of chicken pellets from a pet food store and 8 litres of cheap tuna oil. Use one quarter of the pellets (crush them up), add one pack of wheat germ and one pack of bread crumbs, add water, stir until gooey so you can throw it in a ball, add vanila essence (few drops) and tuna oil. This is the ultimate Yarra River berley. by James A.

Preparing solid berley

A great way to prepare solid berley is to buy chicken pellets and mix them together with tuna oil in a bucket. When you think that the pellets are sufficiently coated, tip them out onto a sheet of some sort and leave to dry in full sun. Now you have berley that does not need to be mixed into some sloppy mess and you can use a bait sling shot to fire this lovely smelling berley out to where your bait is. This is great for fishing off a pier or shoreline but equally as good fishing from a boat. by David M.

Collecting worms in advance

During my early morning walks through the park at the bottom of my street I collect earth worms which seem to emerge during the night and then get standed on the bare earth of the walking tracks. They seem to be most numerous after rain. They finish up in my compost bin and will come in useful for bait when the grandson visits.

Making your own berley bucket

When fitting out my smaller boat I realised I needed a berley bucket as I fished offshore occaisionally. Not wanting to spend big money on gear for this boat I looked at my alternatives. Going to Reece Plumbing I was able to buy a length of 200mm PVC pipe. This cost around $15. I cut this to a length that suited my boat and attached it to a simple bracket. I also purchased an end cap for the pipe (around $7) which I bolted to the bottom. I then drilled several holes in the bottom and sides. I then attatched this to the stern. The trick is to have this at a level that it has sufficient water coming into it, and when the boat rises over a swell, the contents drain out, dispersing your berley. A berley bucket that is strong and costs a third of what the professionally built ones do. by Brad K.

Helping Bait Last Longer on Your Hook!

When using oily bait,such as Tuna or Sauries. I put my Tuna Fillet or Sauries on newspaper the night before and cover them in rock salt overnight in the fridge. Helps solidify the oil and smell in. Holds much better on the hook and doesnt go mushy quickly. Have caught lots of gummies using this method.

Flathead bait for gummy sharks

Use flathead fillets for catching gummy sharks, they are an awesome bait and hold the hook very well. They can withstand the nibbling of smaller fish and crabs, while still maintaining good presentation. If you are having trouble catching flathead, read down further and read the tip about using a fixed float and the bait about 1-2 feet off the bottom. I doubted this method, but tried it and it hasnt failed me yet. I'm advising it to everyone! by Jonny

Aftershave and bait don't mix

Just a quick tip for you all, as some of you guys might already know. When going fishing never put on aftershave, it's a proven theory that once you handle bait after putting on aftershave, you will not attract any fish!. We used this theory whilst fishing waters where your average catch was 100 fish a day (all released). Over 4 days we used this theory and on the days we put on aftershave, we caught nothing. by Joe G

Two interesting tips from David

Here's a couple of beauties that'll help you catch 'em. Firstly, uncooked chicken fillet with a touch of aniseed essence on it will make it irresistable to fish. The essense is hard to get hold of because apparently kids used to drink it to get drunk. Secondly, if you want a cool, cheap fishing lure that works, get a top off your stubby, fold it in half and clip a swivel on one end and a 3 pronged hook on the other, and there you have it. Works better with American bottletops as there's a variety of colors!by David G.

Berley recipe by John D

With most species, mixtures of chicken pellets and tuna oil will suffice. But in our waters I believe you can't go past a good dose of fish oil and fish pulp, as well as adding a few chicken pellets to make up the density and mass of the berley (bread is not a good berley as it expands 10 times its size when wet which then fills up the stomach of the fish, so then the fish won't want your bait). The simple recipe I have is to combine old fish frames and baits from my previous trip that are not so fresh, finely chop them in an old food processor (or mum's good one, but wash and put back before she finds out), add dry pellets and a small amount of water and tuna oil/fish oil if you wish. What happens here is the pellets absorb the fish oils instead of water, which makes for an more intense rich mixture. If you don't have the time or the equipment to take on such a task, for around $5 in Geelong you can buy a 3kg tube of fish pulp already made up.

Tips for Tassie Devil lures by Mark B

With the ever increasing popularity of Tassie Devils, anglers are finding more unconventional ways to catch fish on these brilliant lures.

TIP 1: When using a Tassie for the first time, try taking the treble off and replacing it with a single hook. These hooks 'bite' harder, and become embedded easier. They are not as easy for the fish to throw out of it's mouth, and you will find you have a less chance of snagging weed, etc. Adding a coloured bead between the lure and the hook can help stop the lure pulling into the rig, and can act as a valuable attractant, especially on a sunny day.

TIP 2: When buying a Tassie-style lure, change the end you can tie your hook on. Change your Tassie around, so that the front of the lure now becomes the rear. The shape of the lure will give it a deeper broader action.

TIP 3: More on Tassie fishing hooks. Some anglers are now putting two single hooks on their lures; one at the front of the rig, and one at the back. Placing a red, shiny chemically-sharpened No.6 on, as it will serve two purposes. One, as a hook, two, as a fish attractor - redfin and trout love that redness


Retrieving snagged lures when trolling

A cheap and easy to use method of retrieving snagged lures when trolling. Carry a strip of sheet lead anout 100mm by 150mm, the type used for roof flashing. When snagged, roll the lead sheet around the line and drop it down onto the lure. It will usually knock the lure loose. It is faster to use, particularly in windy or high current conditions, than many tackle retrieval methods sold in the shop, and far cheaper. by Peter T