Fishing with Tony Lincoln | Fishing Bait

Fishing with Tony Lincoln | Fishing Bait

I'm regularly asked, ‘What's the best bait?’, and my reply is always, ‘What's your intended target species?’.

The golden rule when bait fishing most scenarios is that fresh is best, the fresher the better, with live bait usually delivering the best results.

Each species and location will usually have a bait that delivers better results than others. If we match the bait that a particular species is feeding on, at a particular time, at a particular location, we're in a better position for success. For example, if pelagic species are harassing and feeding on small baitfish, using worms as bait isn't the wisest choice. Likewise, fishing for whiting with pilchards is probably going to see us going home empty handed.

Once I decide my target species, I choose my location based on experience, research, or sometimes I'm just prospecting to see if the species are in that particular spot. I'll then choose my bait based on what type frequents that location or what I know my target species feeds on. Again, whiting like worms, pelagics like baitfish, etc. If I match the bait that naturally occurs in a spot, I'm more likely to be successful. The fish are there because the bait's there.

If we look around, there's a mountain of information that can assist us in choosing our bait. Are there small baitfish in the area? Are they being harassed or acting nervously? Are there crabs in the rock pools? Are there other shellfish in the area or worms?

If we choose our bait based on what we observe in the area, we're much further ahead than using whatever we could get. Make a conscious effort to look and you'll be surprised at how much is going on around you that's hugely beneficial to your success when thought about in the right way.

And remember, there's a definite distinction between fresh bait, frozen bait that's been thawed, or bait that's been sitting in a freezer for months.


Talk to old people, they know stuff you don't.

Talk to young people, they know stuff you don't.


  • Creeks and rivers are still a little dirty from all the rain, so better to fish away from these areas.
  • Prawns are very hot and cold.
  • Yellowtail pike have arrived off the jetties and inshore reefs.
  • A few squid starting to show up intermittently.
  • Tailor to 55cm caught at the southern end of the peninsula.
  • Squire, snapper and grassy sweetlip on the rocky points and inshore reefs.
  • School mackerel in Bramble Bay, off Woody Point Jetty, and around the corner to Scotts Point, (remember to stay out of the Green Zone).
  • Sand crabs at Scarborough and Deception Bay.
  • School and spotted mackerel wider in the bay, particularly the northern end towards Bribie and around the beacons.
  • Longtail tuna inside Moreton Bay.
  • Snapper, tuskies and pelagics on the artificial reefs inside Moreton.
  • Blacks, and always a shot at a blue, marlin (outside), plus mahi mahi and tuna.

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