For the last four years I have targeted mainly Nat

Eric Cotton

Senior Member
For the last four years I have targeted mainly Natal Snoek.  They are extremely delicious to eat, also great to fight on light tackle.

The methods you could use are strip bait, or artificial lures like Rapala, Strike-Pro, Clark Spoon and the Onda Spoon.  The most successful methods I have found are the strip baits.

STRIP BAITS: I have used and made various traces for strip baits, but the trace that really works and produces good results for me is a fillet trace with a 7cm piece of thin plastic tube above the hook.



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Eric Cotton

Senior Member

1.  Cut an entire fillet off a sardine.


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Eric Cotton

Senior Member
2.  Turn the bait flesh side up and lightly slice the flesh in the centre, not cutting through the skin.  This will help you fold the bait onto the hook and plastic tube.


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Eric Cotton

Senior Member
3.  Thread the hook skin side first into the opposite end to the tail, the tail end must just touch the end of the plastic tube.


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Eric Cotton

Senior Member
4.  Then fold the fillet onto the hook and plastic tube with the flesh part only showing, and bind the whole fillet.  It is important to bind it straight and don't twist the fillet otherwise it will spin while trawling.


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Eric Cotton

Senior Member
You can trawl the bait at various speeds, 4-9kmh.  As the whole bait is well secured onto the plastic tube and hook, it gives the bait more stability while trawling at a faster speed, so you can cover more ground.

If you are not getting a hook up when trawling passed a shoal of Natal Snoek, best you pick up the rod and point the tip to sky.  When you see the fillet come to the surface, then drop your rod down to where it was.  This will make the Natal Snoek think thier prey is escaping and should turn them into a feeding frenzy.

My best times to target Natal Snoek are Spring Tide and Leap Tide.  Also early morning and late afternoon.

Hope this will help you as it helps me!!!


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Shot Eric.

I'll put that one in the memory bank.

Nice simple explanation and good pics.


We need more like this.^^..


Great report and presentation there Eric. I moved the thread to the bait presentation section where it will be stored and for all to see.

Eric Cotton

Senior Member
Yes the bigger one are more towards May onward, the best bait is then red eyes and with a trace simalar to the couta trace one single hook and one treble trace,the hooks being on a smaller size and dont insert the treble into the red eye, Got quite a few big one this year.



Great catches there bud,and nice presentation post, would you mind sharing how far behing backline do you pick up these beauties.

Cpt. Hook

Nice Article Eric, I like the tube idea. You got 5 stars for this.

Thanks for sharing your 4yrs of expereince.

I have 10 questions for you

1. At what depth range are you targeting the Snoek?

2. How far behind the boat do you pull your lures?

3. What other species have you caught like this?

4. Have you tried strips of Bonnie or other fish?

5. What other dusters, lure heads have you used succesfully in front of the bait, like Meanie heads, Williamson Feathers, Squids etc. And what coulors work best for you?

6. How many lines do you pull at once?

7.What breaking strain line do you use on your main line, on your leader and what trace wire do you use?

8. Can you mix some Rapalas or other lures in your spread, does it help?

9. Do you ever add any weight to your strip baits to get them running deeper?

10. What is the optimum trolling speed that works for you?



Senior Member
Hey Eric, what's happened boet? You got us all drooling for snoek and then you disappear - I can only hope it's cause you are out at sea capsizing the fish :)

Eric Cotton

Senior Member
Sorry Sorry Guys Only just looked at the article, after someone asked me why I'm not responding... FA let go through your questions, will try and answer them, if they don't make any sense you can phone me or Pm me.                                                           

1. In the early morning when it still a bit dark I like to start off pulling Rapplas and Magic minnows first and between 2-5 meter deep and that way I can see at what depth the snoek are feeding.

 2. My two outer rods baits are normally about 25-30 meters behind the boat and the bait is normally 1-2 meter below the water, the inner rods baits are 10 -15 meter behind the boat and you want the inner bait to be just about on top of the water. If the inner rods get a strike don't stop trawling and let the snoek run just past the outer rod bait and wolla you'll have all the rods on.

 3.This trace with the tube works well for Dollies as you can trawl fast and not worrying about the bait coming off easily.

4. Have used just about all the dusters I could find. The best one that works for me are the one with a small leads head and the medium size squids, works well if you want the bait to be on flapping on top of the water.

 5. When we are looking for the snoek, we start off with 4 rods and when they start a feeding frenzy, then we are down to one rod each. When they are jumping and smashing the bait fish it then best to stop and spin for them as they are powerful and load of fun on spinning stick. And will take any thing that presented to them.

 6. Like to go as light as possible as I can, we sometime go down to 4kg but most of the time I use 8kg Maxima ultra green. As for leader I try and not use them as the where the leader are joined it can get bitten off by other snoek while you are fighting the snoek you caught. When you are bring in your snoek you sometime see other snoeks following and eating what ever are around. .                                   


7. Speed everyday it a different speed, but like to be around 7-9kms.And when the swell are running then best to slow down.