Discover Murray River
Discover Murray River
Thanks for using Discover Murray River

Bait for Fishing on the Murray River

Murray River Fishing

Fishing | Fresh water fishing guide

Freshwater fishing and Guide for the Murray River - NSW/Victoria
Recreational fishing licence fee - NSW
Recreational fishing in the Murray River - South Australia

This information is reproduced from "River Murray Fishing and Boating Guide" South Australia


A good knowledge of what constitutes an attractive bait is very important to successful river fishing, It can be said with a great degree of accuracy that anything that walks, crawls, files or swims, can be used with some degree of success.

When you consider the number of winged insects there are you will understand the tremendous possibilities opened up for bait as there must be some hundreds of varieties in this division alone.

Then there are the things that crawl such caterpillars, worms, etc., again in great numbers and varieties. Then, of course, there are mice, birds, rabbits and goodness knows what else. Add to this the crustacean and molluscs which normally reside in the river and you will have some idea of just how wide a bait range is available to you (note: use of frogs is prohibited as bait and large fines apply).

You should, however, sort some of these bait varieties from a seasonal point of view because it is during varying times of the year that one bait is better than another, During flood or high water it is preferable to use worms, bardies or pellets grub because the high water washes these from their natural home. During low water, flesh of animals would be a good bait because it is during these times that the animal or bird will perish or drown in its endeavor to get at the water. Again, when shrimp is plentiful, this should be used. This also applies too Yabby or freshwater Crayfish.

In other words, it is a case of using what is most plentiful in each area, Mussels dug from the muddy and sandy bottom should be used in areas adjacent to the mussel bed. Earth worms or wriggler worms should be used close to where they are dug and by so doing you will improve your chances of a bag.

There are a few successful natural baits which must be transported to the river and notable among these is the Mt. Lofty scrub worm. This worm is usually as thick as ones finger and could be 4 or 5 ft. in length. They are found in restricted areas around Mt. Lofty and constitute an extremely good bait.

Another bait worthy of a mention is gents and, although they are usually viewed as a salt water bait, be assured that their potential in the Murray is great.

Whole small fish are another thing which will attract large end and Callop and, for that matter, any carnivorous trout which has taken up residence in the locality in which you are fishing (there are quite a number of rainbow and brown trout in the Murray but they are widely scattered). These are entirely carnivorous and have been washed downstream some thousands of miles from the trout areas of New South Wales and Victoria or have come upstream from stocked streams around the Finnis area (Lower Lakes). Small Redfin, Congoli or small Bream could all be used with varying degrees of success in such areas.

Experiment with bait by all means and you will probably come on a few that are not mentioned here. Believe me, the most successful river anglers are those who attempt to widen their knowledge of bait, in particular, by personal endeavour.


Berley can be used in the Murray either from a boat or from the shore. It will bring fish for some distance to your chosen position but it will take time. This is because of the usual slow current or flow rate of the river, Berley should not be thrown loosely into the water - rather it should be secured in a berley bucket or onion bag which will retain all but the smallest particles, whilst at the same time allowing the smell and juices to emit from the bag and be carried at liberty in the current.

A good mixture for river Berley is the following:

Small pieces of meat, a small number of grasshoppers, worms, grubs, fish entrails, small chopped pieces of fish, rabbit entrails and a couple of loaves of sliced bread or specially prepared Topcatch. Put this mixture into an onion bag together with a stone (to ensure the bag sinking), attach by a length of rope to the boat or bank and occasionally jerk on the rope. Make absolutely sure that you can retrieve both rope and bag quickly for, in the event of a large cod or callop taking the bait, it could quite easily run the line around the rope and break free in its struggles.

Fishing | Fresh water fishing guide

Freshwater fishing and Guide for the Murray River - NSW/Victoria
Recreational fishing licence fee - NSW
Recreational fishing in the Murray River - South Australia


Tell your friends you found this at!

Copyright Discover Murray 2022. This site or any portion of this site must not be reproduced, duplicated, copied, sold, resold, or otherwise exploited for any commercial purpose that is not expressly permitted by DISCOVER MURRAY.

The Murray River's largest online community and information guide

About Us
About Discover Murray
Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions
Tourism Marketing
Website Design : Brand Action
Join Discover Murray
Advertise Your Business
Contact Us
Send an Email to Operators
Register a Free User Account
Submit an Event for Free
Check These Out
Kayak and Canoeing
Murray River Events & Festivals
Water Level Updates
Murray Darling Basin
About the Murray River
Houseboats for Sale
Murray River Towns
See All Murray Mallee Towns
Albury Wodonga (NSW/VIC)
Yarrawonga Mulwala (VIC/NSW)
Echuca Moama (VIC/NSW)
Swan Hill (VIC)
Mildura (VIC)
Renmark (SA)
Mannum (SA)
Murray Bridge (SA)
Search Discover Murray

Discover Murray River
© 1998 - 2022 Discover Murray River