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A Beginner’s Guide On How To Bait A Hook

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Baiting a hook is one of the basic yet most important parts of achieving a good catch. Learning how to attach different types of bait to your fishing hook can help you secure fish. There are some guidelines you need to know for when to use a particular bait so it's best to ask your bait shop or experienced fishermen for more specific local knowledge. Read on to learn the basic steps on how to bait a hook.

If You’re Using Live Bait....


Earthworms are used for freshwater whilst bloodworms or sandworms are used for saltwater fishing.

  • Hide the hook by cutting up the worm in half or piercing several smaller worms.
  • If you have large-sized worms, you can thread the worm along with the hook until the hook is covered.
  • Make sure to leave a length at the end to wriggle and attract fish.

Horse Mackerel (Yakka) & Slimy Mackerel

Yakka’s and Slimy Mackerel are used for fishing a variety of species. Pick the appropriate size for the species you are targeting. 

  • For trolling, hook the fish under its jaw all the way through the top, or through its upper jaw for especially large bait fish. You can also hook the bait through the nostrils. These methods will let the bait swim in a natural motion to attract fish.
  • If you're fishing whilst slowly moving, hook the bait on its back, underneath the spine to avoid paralyzing it. Doing so will make the fish swim more frantically attracting attention.
  • For freelining, hook the bait near the tail so it can swim forward. If you want the bait to swim downward, hook into the mouth all the way through the gills.


  • Prawns are used for shoreline saltwater fishing. They are eaten by a variety of fish including Bream, Whiting and even Kingfish! 
  • Attach the hook shallowly through the Prawn’s tail.
  • Remove a few segments of the Prawn’s shell to make the scent stronger.

If You’re Using Artificial Lures…

There are many different types of artificial lures and each type is designed to target a specific species and fishing method. You can find artificial lures that float, sink, or stay just under the surface.

  • If you're using a soft plastic, pinch the point of your hook to the lure's stomach so you'll have a point of reference.
  • Thread the hook through the mouth of the bait.
  • Push the end of the hook out through the lure's stomach.

When To Set A Hook

Setting a hook simply means planting the hook into the biting fish. However, you have to be sure that the fish really bites the bait before making the move. To tell the difference between an actual bite versus a bump of the line, follow these steps:

1. Look for common signs that a fish is biting. Some of the signs include:

    • Your bobber being pulled completely underwater
    • A tug or quick movement on your fishing line

2. Reel in gently but keep your line tight with the lure or bait to increase the sensitivity. This will help you feel the fish bite and better position yourself in setting the hook.

3. Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish a bite, a sudden current or a fish bumping into the bait. This is where it can be useful to know about the fish species you’re targeting. 

The more you educate yourself on angling skills and methods, the better you’ll get. Start with getting the right fishing equipment, check out DAIWA’s huge range of rod and reel combos, lures, and fishing lines today!

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