These two bait types are among the best you can find to tempt a white cracker or big galjoen onto your hook. Over the years I have hooked many cracker on either redbait or crab, so putting them together makes perfect sense. In the water
it will look as though the crab is feeding on the red bait and the cracker will
be only too happy to have
a redbait/red crab sandwich.
In this article, I have used a double hook – something I wouldn’t ordinarily do but, as I am floating the bait, the chances of getting stuck are not very high. Also, this gives one a better chance of hooking the cracker on one of the two hooks, but stick to a single hook if that is what you prefer.
The redbait is used to conceal the foam that is cottoned onto the crab and some smell is added so that the fish will find your bait faster. I find I get far more pickups on a floated bait and also don’t get stuck nearly as often.
Find a deep gully with some working water and throw as close to the rocks as possible. Cracker tend to stick to the white water, as this is where most food
is washed off the rocks by the turbulence from the waves and it also makes for good hiding places for the fish.
Start by collecting a few crabs; I prefer the female crabs when fishing for cracker as their shells are softer and tend to work better. You can tell by the rounded carapace at the base of the body (as shown in the first photograph) – males have a triangular shape. I have used some soft-glow beads threaded onto the hook to allow it to slide up and down the line so you can position the second hook and keep it positioned properly.
Cut a piece of high-density foam and cotton it on under the belly of the crab, leaving the hook exposed for maximum hooking potential.
Place the second hook into the back
of the foam and cotton it on – this does three things: it floats the crab, ensures that the bait stays more secure on the hooks, and also keeps the hooks proud in the bait, stopping them from falling flat across the bait when the fish picks you up.
Once the hooks are positioned properly and the foam is cottoned on, top the foam with a generous-sized piece of redbait – I have used a fresh piece, but redbait picked up from the beach that has had time to mature works even better. I am not mad about the smell but the fish go crazy for it.