Catching live bait in winter

Fishing with live bait in winter

Fishing with live bait in winter can be a good alternative to lures.

In winter or during a cold snap, the water temperature drops and it can be hard to raise a fish on lures.

My favourite live bait for barra during winter are prawns.

But fingermark/golden snapper readily take a green back herring or mud herring during winter.

On this trip to Hinchinbrook, the intention was to film our Locating Livies course.

But with Karen back in Cairns, I thought I’d sneak in a quick fish as well.

We would have some livies on board right?

What’s a man to do?

And in doing so made a quick Fishing with Live Bait in winter video for you below.




Fishing with Live Bait in Winter.

Our fishing with live bait in winter trip got off to a slow start as I misread the tide chart and was stuck an extra 20 minutes in the mud at Port Hinchinbrook.

Nowadays (2022) you'll need a good 1.5 m tide for a boat like our 6.5m and 1.4 m for a punt or smaller tinny.

Pays to check the tide times before heading anywhere. But for Hinchinbrook it is imperative.

If you want your livies swimming a bit higher use the paternoster or dropper rig.

And a bit lower the running rig.


Low tide at Port Hinchinbrook

Trip got off to a slow start as we got stuck in the mud at Port Hinchinbrook

Fuel pump repair on outboard

Finally got underway after having to re-prime the fuel filter.

Kahle pattern live bait hook

When fishing with live bait in winter, or anytime for that matter, I prefer to use the Kahle pattern hook.

Fingermark caught on live bait

Fingermark will take a live bait in winter.

cast net throwing

Part of the fun is collecting the livies.

Dugong with baby

Dugongs are a delightful distraction when the fishing is quiet.

Releasing fish

Fingermark release quite well when caught in shallow water. But they do suffer barotrauma in deeper areas.


You can always count on cod for entertainment when fishing is slow.

Catching a triple tail

Triple tail are voracious predators - especially near any flotsam or jetsam.

Salty dog custom fishing rod

Also got to try out my new Salty Dog custom fishing rod. Ron Farren has been making rods for me for 30 years and this one is another masterpiece. You can contact Ron via his Facebook page or on 0437 474 053.

Fishing on the fish

The key to fishing with live bait in winter is not just about using the right live bait. It's about fishing on the fish.

Our online fishing courses have been tried and proven now with students in over 60 countries.

Check out our Fish Smarter courses!


I hope you enjoyed our video on fishing with live bait in winter.

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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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