Fishing with lures has a number of advantages over fishing with bait and can add to the skill and satisfaction of fishing.

*Modern lures and soft plastics catch fewer small fish.
*Lures lip hook fish more often.
*Overall, the size of fish caught will increase and injure fewer fish that are released.



Use suitable tackle and line weight to ensure fish can be landed, the quicker the better. Fish that are then released have a better chance of survival.

Please move location if you are catching mostly small fish or switch to using lures such as soft plastics or slow jigs as these are less likely to hook small fish.


The size and condition of fish change during the year. Learn how to target other species as the seasons and availability change.

When bait fishing, fish actively.

Hold your rod and keep in touch with your bait, ready to set the hook once bites are detected. This way smaller fish have less time to swallow the hook. Set the hook slowly if using circle hooks by smoothly lifting the rod as the fish runs away.

If fishing with bait use big baits on big hooks preferably size 7/0 or larger.

Try using Target appendage hooks as these are more difficult for small fish to swallow. They are especially useful when long lining and can be excellent for rod and line fishing as well.

Use non-offset circle hooks whenever possible as circle hooks predominantly hook fish in the lip instead of the gut. A research study in the Hauraki Gulf found the survival rate of lip hooked snapper was around 90-95%, for fish caught in depths between 14 and 20 meters.