Anyone used Salmon as livebait?

I'd like to give it a go from the beach for sharks this Salmon season. I've heard of people doing it and I can work out how to set the hooks up but I was wondering what the story is with a sinker. I would have thought a Salmon is strong enough to pull anything short of a brick wherever it wants to go. Any advice would be much appreciated.





Posts: 908

Date Joined: 06/05/12

It depends on the  size of

Sun, 2013-03-03 15:33

It depends on the  size of the Salmon you are you using how you would rig it. if your thinking a big Salmon , My feeling is no sinker and use a balloon rig. hook size will depend on bait size .also  Im not sure about the big ones but the small ones 500g etc dont stay alive long.  I would simply use a fillet anyway as the small and blood will atract any sharks in the area. Bung a couple of 14/0s in there and hang on !! ......... Keep it Simple IMO.

MattMiller's picture

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Date Joined: 15/06/09

Slide Bait

Sun, 2013-03-03 17:06

is the only option.

Do a search on here as there are numerous threads and helpful advise on how to setup for slide baiting.

Posts: 359

Date Joined: 17/07/07

friend of mine

Sun, 2013-03-03 17:51

years ago in esperance,they used to catch salmon and put a hook in it and let it go in the surf.they used to just used big handlines.the salmon would swim itself back out and the sharks would have lunch.they then used to pull them in or for the really big ones they`d tow them in with the 4wd.

Buz's picture

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Did it once down at Yeagarup

Sun, 2013-03-03 21:25

Did it once down at Yeagarup and like Keg said just put the wire trace and big hook near the tail in the back of the salmon and let the thing swim back out. No balloon or sinker. Shark eventually found it :)

In saying that though we knew the sharks were there, so it probably wouldnt be the best method if you want to set it out and wait for ages for a shark to come along.

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Date Joined: 12/03/12

last season me and a mate

Sun, 2013-03-03 22:07

last season me and a mate were fishing and hooked up to a salmon that just wouldnt give up. turns out that the salmon was a live bait for some guys about 250m up the beach. tough little buggers

woody's picture

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We do it all the time down

Mon, 2013-03-04 04:21

We do it all the time down here in Esperance with salmon up to about 4kg, 10 foot 400lb steel trace with a 14/0 hook on the end and a 12/0 that slides to udjust to the size of salmon you are using. But you do have to walk with it, up and down the beach as they don't always swim straight out, can be a PITA sometimes.

Posts: 98

Date Joined: 14/08/12

Thanks Guys

Mon, 2013-03-04 12:45

Thanks for all the replies guys. I reckon freelining them is the go then. Just have to make sure I burley first to bring the sharks in.





Chris fish's picture

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Date Joined: 23/02/11

 Been doing it heaps, we use

Mon, 2013-03-04 22:14

 Been doing it heaps, we use salmon as big as we can get them ( up to 10kg) and small rays and small sharks as live baits off the big surf beaches down here in Albany all the time. Takes half the time for a swimbait to get eaten over the same bait just sitting there dead. Mostly bronzies 2-3m eat them so it's a good bit of fun on the 24kg gear. We use 3m of trace and 2 very big hooks and let them swim around. If its a calm beach we put a small balloon at the end of the wire to keep salmon moving around and not just sitting there.


always looking for a new challenge!!

Posts: 98

Date Joined: 14/08/12

Interesting. So would you put

Thu, 2013-03-21 11:54

Interesting. So would you put the rod in a holder or do you walk around with it following the livebait around? How much line do you let the live bait take?




Posts: 290

Date Joined: 12/10/08

 We use them back in NZ ALL

Thu, 2013-03-21 22:31

 We use them back in NZ ALL the time, one of the best live baits for BIG Kingfish.


Usually fishing off the rocks we would just hook them up just infront of the dorsal fin. Hook facing forward. They are so good because of their slim body, easily swallowed whole by a bigger preditor, and because they stay alive for so long. Usually best around the 1-1.5kg range. But have used and heard of 3-4kg models being smashed easily.

Hook them up on a trace of 80-200lb depending on the area you are fishing. Or use wire trace if you fishing for big sharks and change to a circle hook from a normal livebait hook. 1.5-3m leader length, attached to a ball bearing swivel and then to mainline. Blow up a coconut sized balloon and attack to the mainline end of the swivel via rubberband.


Slide bait they work great too. Might just want to keep to the smaller ones, or make sure you have a real solid sinker in place.