Since starting writing these bait articles, I have tried to be mindful of not promoting the use of bait types that are under threat or in short supply.
I have thought long and hard about doing this article as the octopus is becoming more scarce – as are most of our fish species.
The most important tip I can pass on to fellow anglers to help preserve our octopus population
is that the octopus is very similar to lizards, in that, if they lose a leg they grow a new one.
So, knowing this when you next feel the need to use an octopus leg, just remove one or two without killing the animal – it will grow new legs within a few weeks and will still be able to breed and keep the species from being completely decimated.
Octopus is especially good bait for kob, black musselcracker and steenbras and a duckbill won’t swim past a leg without having a bite.
Octopuses are very intelligent creatures and are quicker to teach tricks to than a dolphin. Within minutes, they can figure out how to remove the cap from a coke bottle containing a small crab so as to remove the crab from the bottle.
Crabs and crayfish make up the majority of an octopus’s diet and you will often find a pile of crabs hanging around a rock pool with an octopus in hot pursuit. When possible, rather use squid as alternate bait and think twice before killing an octopus.