Light Tackle Rigs & Baits

As my experience with fishing broadens, I will be adding rigs to expand the section, but I will be covering bait and lure rigs for mostly smaller species that are found in South Australia, and the bait that is generally recommended for each rig or targeted fish species. If you would like more detailed information on catching any of the listed species below, have a look at our Fishing Articles page!



Bait: Gents, small pieces of bread, or the black stomach part from a cockle.

Rigs: Rig 1, Rig 2, Rig 3 – I personally find a pencil float with a trace long enough to sit in the top half of the water column, with size #8-#12 longshank snelled hooks and one or two small split shots to get the hook down to be my best setup.

Soft Plastics: No. There are small rubber and fluorescent imitation maggots (gents) that you can buy online, but after a season of attempts I caught precisely zero fish with them. Not recommended.

Hard bodied lures: No


Tommy Rufftommyr

Bait: Gents, cockles, small strips of squid.

Rigs: Rigs 1 & 2

Soft Plastics: Normally less than 50mm lures on a very light jighead.

Hard bodied lures: Halco Twisty 3g or 5g metal blade lure, 45mm poppers or other surface lures.


King George Whitingwhiting_kg

Bait: Tenderised squid tentacles, green prawns, and sandworms.

Rigs: Rig 1,  Rig 2

Soft Plastics: Sandworm style soft plastic lures on size #4 circle hooks

Hard bodied lures: No


Yellowfin Whiting or Sand Whitingwhiting_yf2

Bait: Beach worms, blood worms, raw prawns, pippis

Rigs: Rig 1. The consensus amongst local anglers seems to be the running sinker rig with a swivel down to a #6 or #4 longshank or baitholder hook as the best rig option for these fish.

Soft Plastics: Sandworm or bloodworm soft plastic lures. As these soft plastic worm lures are quite long and the fish quite often nibble the end off, you can try snelling one hook with about 20cm of leader below the hook, and then attach a second hook with a normal blood knot about 6-10cm below the snelled hook. The bloodworm can now be run through both hooks.

Hard bodied lures: Small poppers or walk-the-dog style hard-bodied surface lures. Whiting will actively chase prawns as they skip across the surface, so a small lure to imitate this will often draw any Whiting from around the area in shallow water


Australian Salmonsalmon

Bait: Whitebait

Rigs: See hard bodies lures below, out of any Australian fish species it seems that Salmon is caught almost entirely with lures.

Soft Plastics: Minnows, single-tailed grubs and worm-style soft plastics in natural colours.

Hard bodied lures: Metal lures like the Halco Twisty, anywhere from 20-55g. Running 20lb braid main line with 16lb fluorocarbon leader. The smaller juvenile Salmon Trout and the occasional full sized Salmon can also be caught with surface lures such as poppers and other surface lures.


Dusky or Tiger Flathead


Bait: Live mullet (for the big fellas), Pilchards.

Rigs: Rig 1, Rig 2

Soft Plastics: Anywhere from 50mm to 110mm (2″to 5″) lures on jigheads ranging from 1/16oz to 1/2oz, worked across the bottom with a slow, jerking retrieve. Pauses of up to 15 to 20 seconds between jerking motions and as little as a few seconds can be effective.

Hard bodied lures:


Squid aka Southern Calamarisquidpic


Bait: Fresh pilchard on a squid spike with the fish head facing down towards the spines of the lure.

Rigs: Rig 1 with float, Rig 2 with no float (your lure can be attached directly to leader or by using a snap swivel, allowing for quick changeovers of your lures). I have tried an assortment of methods for attaching jigs to line, and I have found that the Breaden snap connectors are by far and away the best snaps for squid jigs, and for SA readers you are in luck, there are local eBay sellers that sell these snaps at very reasonable prices and ship very quickly. As of the most recent update (6/7/2015), the 2 South Australian sellers of Breaden snaps are: Eging-2-Perfection and Extreme Eging, with the latter selling the snaps slightly cheaper. Some pics of the product:

Breaden SNAP attached to squid jig Breaden SNAP










Soft Plastics: No

Hard bodied lures: Squid jigs ranging from 2.0 to 4.0 weights. It is recommended to have an assortment of jig colours and sizes, as different water conditions and the squid’s preference on the day mean there is no jig guaranteed to catch squid. Additional info courtesy of Yamashita Down Under:

Squid jigs have 2 different colours.

1. Under tape colour and 2. outer cloth colour.

1. Under tape colour relates to the time of the day you are fishing. For example Red and Glow under tape is very suitable in low light conditions. Gold, Silver and Rainbow under tape are suitable for day time conditions.

2. Outer cloth colour choice depends on the water colour and squids activity. For example pink and orange outer cloth are suitable when the water is dirty or when the squid are active. (These colours are good first choices) Natural colours are suitable in clear water or  where there are many baitfish. Olive, brown, purple ans blue are suitable when the squid are nervous and wont react to bright pink and orange colours.
Please refer to the following table for best colours for different conditions.

yamashita squid guide

Yamashita have provided an excellent YouTube video that runs about half an hour, which will teach you everything you will ever need to know about catching squid. The presenter’s Japanese accent is tricky to understand, but you get the hang of it.



One thought on “Light Tackle Rigs & Baits

  1. Pingback: Cast & Retrieve – SA Fishing Knowledge Base | Cast & Retrieve

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