Bait Review March
Dingly-dangly chokka blob
Chokka must be the single most diverse bait type on our coast. I could easily write a book on different ways to present a piece of squid on a hook.
For me, the most important points when using any bait type is to make sure it is the freshest bait you can lay your hands on and that you have maximum smell on the bait.
Never ever dip your bait in the water before casting. Fish are very fussy, and using fresh bait will always make the difference between catching a few fish or out-fishing the rest of the anglers in a crowd.
I used to fish for Leviathan Angling Club in Natal in the early nineties and we were very seldom beaten in any of the competitions, due to the fact that we worked as a team to collect and make sure we had the freshest bait on the day. We had anglers fishing for live mackerel and we always had fresh bay squid, thanks to Ricky Jacobs who owned a tackle shop a stone’s throw from where they used to net the squid every morning.
I had the job to net fresh mullet for each competition and the time I fished for them taught me to never settle for second best when it came to bait. I never use squid or sardine that has been frozen for more than a month if I can help it.
Of course, it does help living less than a kilometre from the hook factory, thus having a constant supply of fresh sardine, mackerel, redeye and squid on my doorstep.
Most reputable tackle shops have a good turnaround of bait so make sure to buy your bait from stores that are constantly getting in new stock.
This chokka bait has a few variations but this is one I have taught my son Daniel who is now nine years old and often out-fishes me when using it.
Start by cutting a few rings about a centimetre in thickness. Then split the rings in the centre where the clear backbone of the squid meets the flesh – it is very thin on this section.
Split the strip of squid at an angle, giving you two thin strips per ring and six pieces in total. Remove the clear backbone and smash the squid guts and ink sac into each strip, infusing maximum smell into the bait.
The squid gut contains a water sac full of smell and protein that triggers the fish to bite.
Once you have smashed the guts into the squid strips start threading them on, hooking them through the flesh two or three times per strip and leaving a small piece dangling from the hook. I use around three strips of squid per hook and normally use two hooks.
You can roll the finished bait in the ink and fluid to add extra smell. Push the bait float right to the eye of the hook. I use a red or pink float as this not only floats the bait but also attracts fish to the bait. I often find bite marks on the float itself.
Using fresh bait is far more impor-tant to the success of catching more fish than having a long cast.