A bait trap is used to catch small bait fish such as juvenile mullet (commonly known as poddy mullet). Commercial traps are available for less than $10 and can be used effectively with simple fish attractants such as a couple of slices of white bread.
Deano reckons that the keys to catching poddy mullet are as follows:
Step 1 - Find a good location.
A likely looking spot - a nice shallow area where large predatory fish can't access the bait fish. At this spot (in Botany Bay) you can see the poddy mullet run (swim) away when you walk around the water's edge. Once you decide on a spot, start by scattering bread in the general vicinity you intend to place the trap. This will start to attract the fish into the general area while you prepare your trap.
Step 2 - Bait the trap
You can see from the photos that I have attached a few small sinkers to the bottom of the trap using silicon. This provides a rapid descent and ensures the trap lands the right way up.
To bait the trap, simply break some bread up into the trap. I find stale white bread is best because it seems to crumble/disperse better. With the bread in the trap, place the trap in shallow water (just enough to cover the top of the trap) and shake the trap side to side to break up the bread inside (this will create a milky solution as the bread disperses).
Step 3 - Burley the immediate area
Break up some more bread and throw it in the water in the immediate area around the trap entrances - this will help the fish find the way in.
Step 4 - take a step back and wait
Take a few steps back away from the trap. You don't need to go far - I have tested this out and poddy mullet will feed as long as you are at least 1-2 meters away.
As soon as you step back you should notice the fish start attacking your burley. Once they are feeding, it is just a matter of them finding the entrance to the trap. In my experience, I have come to believe that poddy mullet are really dumb! It's not they they don't want to go in the trap, it's just that they are too thick to find a way inside it. If the water is too deep, the mullet will simply swim over the top of the trap in circles wondering why they can't get to the bread. Once one is smart enough to find a way in, the rest seem to follow (the commotion from the first also pushes more burley out the trap entrance which kind of illuminates the way in for the others). It may take 5 minutes for the first fish to find its way in, but you will often find that a second fish will go in straight after the first.
Step 5 - The end result
One perfect size poddy mullet - ready to catch that 80cm monster flathead lurking in your local estuary!
making a poddy mullet trap[edit | edit source]
you will need
1 bottle(preferably rectangular bottle) 1 knife 2 snapper sinkers
how to make it
1. cut on one side of the bottle size of 20 cent piece 2.put snapper sinkers inside
how to use
1. put bread in 2. go to a shallow area of your estuary 3. put it in the water 4. throw little bits of bread around your trap 5. wait for the poddies
how to hook
push through the thin skin behind the bony lips
NOTE: poddy mullet hate the wind