Baitball strategies

Ok, now remember that I am new to saltwater fishing, and relatively new to Australia, so that pretty much makes me a noob all around.

 So a few times now while out fishing, we've come upon an active baitball.  Problem is, we can't ever seem to cath anything around them.  I understand that just bc fish are actively feeding on bait, does not 100% guarantee, but I think I could use some tips on how to attack them.

 So give me your best shot!

How do you approach one?

Are there ways to tell what is feeding?

Do you cast or troll?

What lures?  or do you baitcast?

any and all help is much appreciated!  Thanks! 

hlokk's picture

Posts: 4290

Date Joined: 04/04/08

Went out two weeks ago and

Fri, 2008-05-16 15:45

Went out two weeks ago and there were baitballs busting off the surface. Casting at them with soft plastics and small minnows didnt work, but managed to pick up several bonito trolling around the area.

Apparently the fish chase the baitball up (hence why they bust off the surface) and wait for dead, sick or injured fish to fall out. So the way is to cast to the school with a sinking lure (say a chrome twisty or a jig, or a SP) and let it sink out of the school. 

Its probably a good idea to "match the hatch" as they say. I.e. use lures that look like the baitfish the school is made of (same size mostly). The twisties in about 10-30grams seem to match the size and colour of bait schools ive seen, but there are mulie/pilchard schools further out with bigger baitfish (and they can have more dark blue on them)

Need to get out on a boat again to try it, but not having much luck as of late.  



Always interested in someone to go fishing with

Leemo's picture

Posts: 3712

Date Joined: 22/02/07

tried hillaries ages ago and

Fri, 2008-05-16 17:32

tried hillaries ages ago and whitebait were busting the surface so i cast out a 20gm river2sea searock in whitebait colour. picked up a few herring and then i got one solid hookup and got busted off in a matter of seconds.
teaches me to use line heavier than 6lb :(


bludgin' since 94'

Posts: 23

Date Joined: 01/01/70

for me!

Sat, 2008-05-17 14:09

If a baitball is getting attacked they often head into the wind so approach them side on but just upwind of them. Dont cut them off or drivce over them, i throw slices like Halco silver or gold twisty lures in ie 15-30gram and i dont let them sink. Often letting them sink can miss the fish (not always) and they're often hitting bait on the surface so i retrieve quickly!

Trolling isnt as effective imo so cast-n-retrive at a distance is the stealthy aproach and small metal lures are the way to!


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