Baits to impress your mates - Pilchard / Squid Hybrid

By NZ Fishing WorldNZ Fishing World
Baits to impress your mates - Pilchard / Squid Hybrid

Application: Straylining with various weights, running sinker rig, bottom fishing.


  • 1 x whole pilchard – recently defrosted
  • 1 x whole squid
  • 2 x hooks – sized to match the width of the pilchard (6/0 usually a good choice)
  • 4 to 6 foot trace – author’s preference is 60-lb supple trace. Lighter fluorocarbon trace is an option
  • Sinkers - sized to match the fishing circumstances
  • A sharp knife
  • Scissors or clippers to trim trace


1. Prepare a standard 2-hook trace. The author prefers to fix both hooks in place. The first hook is attached with a uni-knot while the second is snelled to the trace. Using a sharp knife remove and dispose of the squid tentacles.

2. Using a finger, create a cavity in the squid tube, large enough to receive the head end of the pilchard.

3&4. Insert the pilchard into the exposed cavity and push it as far as it will go without tearing the squid tube. The result should look like image four.

5. Place the point of the first hook the against the squid tube and in line with the lateral line of the pilchard, about one centimetre behind the head. Push the hook firmly through the spine line of the pilchard until the hook point and barb are clear on the other side. Rotate the hook to sit neatly against the bait.

6. Wrap the trace a couple of times around the pilchard and repeat the process with the second hook, this time from the opposite side and about 2/3rds of the way towards the tail.

7. Secure the rig with a pair half hitches snugly around the tail of the pilchard. This is to allow for correct presentation when under attack by smaller fish.

I first saw this rig demonstrated on an old-school Bill Hohepa TV show. I like to use it when my instincts tell me a bigger fish can be taken with a big bait, but the tiddlers are making short work of the current offerings. The squid tube helps hold the whole bait intact until it attracts the attention of something big enough to take it in one bite. 

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