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Sardinops sagax

Is there a bait more popular than the ubiquitous Western Australian Pilchard? Probably not. While seen as a legitimate human food throughout Europe, the vast majority of Australian Pilchards are caught specifically to provide bait for fishermen.

Since the fish travel in large schools offshore and are only captured via netting - it is not practical for recreational fishermen to target Pilchards - so they must be purchased.

Usually provided frozen (they are also sold salted), Pilchards possess an oily flesh that is attractive as a bait in itself and is also useful as a berley.

Fished either whole or cubed, there is practically no limit to the species that will take Pilchards as bait.

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