Slide baiting is one of those techniques that has only recently come to the fore in Australia, but has been employed elsewhere in the world for many years. As usual, we’re late to the party, but at least we’re not missing out on the fun.
Slide baiting, for those who are unaware, is the practise of fishing with a sliding rig weighed down by a grapnel sinker. A grapnel sinker is a heavy weight with backward-facing points that will anchor it to the bottom. Typically, an angler will cast the grapnel on it’s own using a long, stiff rod to achieve maximum distance without the added resistance and interference of any baits or hooks. Once the sinker has found bottom, a non-return slide bait clip can be clipped onto the line (which should be pulled tight), and onto the clip the baited hook can be tied. Once everything is in place, the rig should slide down the line toward the grapnel sinker on a shallow gradient, eventually reaching the sinker.
The idea behind slide baiting is simple: it’s for shore-based anglers who want to fish baits a long way out! Usually it’s a technique used by surf anglers wanting to mix with the larger predators that dwell out behind the breakers, such as mulloway, mackerel, trevally, tuna and so on.
If you want to give this unique technique a go, you’ll need to get yourself kitted. Grapnel sinkers are annoying things to carry, as they basically resemble a porcupine and can’t be stored like normal sinkers. The Kingfisher Teza Sinker Bag is designed to carry grapnel sinkers, and is a must-have for any serious slide baiter. You’ll also want a few slide bait clips, and there are many available. The Kingfisher Non-Return Slide Bait Rig comes in both weighted and unweighted models, and is the perfect all-round slide baiting clip.
Rods are a big consideration when using this technique, and you’ll need a long blank that is capable of tossing a heavy grapnel. The Assassin Beachmaster Zero 14’6” MXL Spin 5-7oz is perfect for this very specialised technique, and is actually made for this specific purpose.
If you’re looking to up your surf fishing game and tangle with some of the bigger predators that dwell last the breakers, slide baiting might well be the next thing for you!
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