Posts Tagged "free live bait"

Free Fishing Bait – Mussels

Posted on November 26th, 2012 by The Bloke

One of the purposes of fishing has always been to procure your own supply of fresh food at no cost. This is partially defeated if you have to purchase bait or lures. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some advice on how to obtain some fresh bait at no cost and minimal effort.

If you have ever looked at the pylons of a jetty (or “pier”), you will have noticed that they are covered in small shellfish called mussels. Whilst it isn’t recommended that you eat them yourself – as they accumulate heavy metals from the constant water traffic that they are exposed to in such a location – they make excellent fresh bait, provided you know how to gather them off the pylon.

This is where we use a little ingenuity to create a tool to remove and gather the mussels from the pylon:

1) Take an old nail rake (or better yet, a slightly more hardcore curved-teeth variant called a bow rake – pictured below)

2) Cut a section of chicken wire (pictured below) about one-and-a-half times the width of the rake

Both of these items can usually be scrounged from somewhere at no cost whatsoever, or at worst might cost you the equivalent of a packet of bait at a garage sale or swapmarket.

Now, you will want to fashion the chicken wire around the back of the nail rake in a basket shape. You may need a short length of wire to fasten the chicken wire basket onto the rake handle. If you have a bow rake of the type pictured above, this job will be easier. Your finished bait rake will resemble – if not aesthetically, at least functionally – the commercial bait rake pictured below, which sell for around $75:

This is a very handy tool to keep in the shed or the boot of the car. When you scrape the mussels off of a pylon using your bait rake, the mussels will be collected in the wire basket. You are then free to pry them out with an oyster knife, break the shells open with your favourite blunt object, or simply boil them open to obtain the fresh bait inside that fish will absolutely love.

If you’re a regular jetty fisherman or you fish around rocks that have plenty of shellfish on the submerged section, you will never be short of abundant free bait on your next fishing trip.