Monthly Archives: Sep 2012

Using Paddle Crab For Bait.

[singlepic id=52 w=320 h=240 float=right]I’m often asked what is the best way to rig a crab for bait. I’m not sure about “best”, but this is the way I do it.
Firstly, it helps to have small crabs rather than monsters like this! >>

You can catch plenty of them in a collapsible  opera-net. Just put a bit of old bait in the bag and drop it into any shallow water around here and you will have a bucket full of them in no time.
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I find adding some lead weights to the bottom of the net helps keep the thing from rolling over in the surf. Also some people push a rod-stand or stake of some kind through the net to hold it down.

If you catch big crabs you can still use them, you just need to chop them up into smaller bits first.

Assuming you have smaller crabs for bait, this is how I rig them on a pulley rig with two hooks.
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 and trace to the shaft of the second hook with bait elastic.
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If there are paddle crabs in the area you are fishing, you may need to add floats to the rig (as above) because the live crabs will quite happily eat the bait crabs from your hooks..

Spring success

Perfect conditions at Ocean Beach

After a week or so of westerly winds the surf at one of my favourite places, Ocean Beach HB, has finally settled down and that means Gurnard fishing time!
Its common knowledge among the locals that you need a week or so of flat calm conditions before the Gurnard will venture inshore far enough to be a viable surfcasting target.
So on Friday afternoon Mark Roberts and I headed out there loaded up with suitable baits (cray and skipjack) but I also packed the crab pot to nab some fresh crabs for targeting Lemons.

Conditions were perfect, flat calm, clean, low tide around 4.30pm so just heading into dusk.
A healthy Kahawai was the first fish to hit the beach, then a Gurnard, then another Kahawai and a second Gurnard. I was a happy man 🙂
Things went a bit dead around slack water which is not unusual, but Mark picked up a fat Lemon shark just on dark.

Releasing Lemonshark pups

At this time of year female Lemons are usually full of pups, and this one was no exception. A quick caesarean section and the eight fully formed pups swam off on their own, hopefully to become surfcasting targets themselves in a year or two.

We headed back up the beach once it got dark as we had noticed a couple of areas coming in, where the tide would cut us off and trap us there. Plus I wanted to get home and cook my Gurnard..

I ventured out again on the Saturday afternoon but the northerly wind was pushing 20knots and making fishing difficult. I had decided that morning to try a different rig when targeting the gurnard, so instead of my usual pully-rig I made up some simple double ledger rigs with smallish hooks. Two baits must be better than one right?

Well they worked a treat, but instead of bringing in more Gurnard, I was catching Kahawai two at a time!
I think the northerly wind and slightly rougher sea had pushed the Gurnard back out to deeper water.

Carpet Sharks are in plentiful supply at the moment.

Also succumbing to the ledger rig was my first ever Carpet Shark. It wasn’t my first for very long though. Another two Carpet Sharks were caught and released by the time I’d decided to head home.
So I finished the Saturday with five Kahawai (released two) and three Carpet Sharks (all released)
An excellent weekend’s fishing 🙂