What Bait Do You Need for Your Salt Water Sea Fishing Trip?

You and your friends can’t wait for your next salt water sea fishing trip. You’ve invested a lot of money in a new rod, spooled up some fresh line and rigged it with your best tackle … and you’ve already scheduled a boat hire for your big adventure.

But don’t forget that your choice of bait affects your chances of a successful haul. Steer clear of very old frozen bait that is well past its best and should be in the bin rather than on the end of your hook. At Bluey’s Boat Hire we only use Gotcha Bait which is simply the best fresh frozen bait available. Choose from big or small individually sealed bags of pilchards, squid, blue-bait, white-bait, prawns and pippies.

Not sure what bait you should use? Consider the type of fish you want to catch on your next trip.


The fish that Port Phillip Bay is famous for and people travel from all over Australia to catch. Snapper are caught from 1/2 a kilo to over 10 kilos and they pull like a train. From late September to late March the big snapper enter Port Phillip Bay and are on the bite. The smaller pinky snapper will take a bait all year round and are the best eating as they are the perfect pan size. Best baits are pilchards or squid and for for best results, try a paternoster rig or a running sinker with your bait. The technique allows the fish to attack and run away with the bait while giving you time to prepare, grab the rod tight and hook the fish.

Australian Salmon

With their bright yellow fins and blue-green bodies, Australian Salmon make for a popular catch during the Autumn and Winter months. If you want to reel in some salmon, use pipis, squid or pilchards as bait. A paternoster rig or double-dropper, may help you get the most of your bait and allow you to swap hooks quickly in case a bite straightens your hook.


If you want a sporty fish that you could potentially bring to the table, you might want to look for the flathead fish. Flatheads have a wide, flattened and elongated body, and they tend to peak between October and March but can be hooked all year round. Flathead fish prefer pilchards, prawns and squid for bait, and the pasternoster rig will help you reel them in. A slow drift in the boat covers the ground at just the right speed for the flathead to pounce from their sandy camouflaged hiding spot … buried up to their eyes and waiting for a bait to come past.


Whiting grow as long as 50cm and can weigh as much as 2kg, making them a great catch for professional and new fishers alike. They have an elongated body, recognisable spots and a pale golden brown colouring. You can find them during the Spring and Summer months. If you want to catch these fish, use pippies or squid as your bait. Both the paternoster and the running sinker techniques work well on Whiting.


Also called the sea needle, garfish have a long, slender and laterally-compressed body that measures about 25 to 50 centimetres in length. Their green bones often discourage people from eating them, but the colour is harmless and the flesh tastes delicious when baked, smoked or barbecued. As they migrate throughout the year, you should look for them between November and July. Place pippies or prawns on a very small long-shanked hook about two metres under a float to catch them.

Do Your Research

The above fish species each have their own preferred bait. But if you have a different species in mind, don’t hesitate to do a little research about what the fish like to eat, as well as the best techniques to reel them in. When you take the time to learn about salt water sea fish, you increase your chances of catching an impressive specimen on your next trip.