Octopus Leg Bait


Hiya Guys,

Octopus is one of the most underrated, but most versatile bait. For Rock & Surf it can be used to target a number of species including: Kob, Steenbras, Poenskop (Black Muscle Cracker), Elf (shad) and ever Yellow Tail.
Octopus is also a favourite of most Flat Fish and when presented whole it makes an excellent shark bait.
Octopus can now be purchased as bait commercially, but you can also harvest your own bait from rock pools or reefs on the low or spring tides. Octopus is easily stored and can be kept frozen for long periods of time as either whole or stripped bait.

The bait is best used fresh, like Chokka, if the meat has a pinkish tinge in colour then its old and possibly not the best to use as bait.
Octopus can be used either stripped clean of its tentacles or used as it is. Both methods prove, but I do prefer the stripped leg as my favourite bait.


Pic 2

Completed Trace

This setup will be fine for Kob, Steenbras, Black Muscle Cracker and Elf (Shad). To target smaller reef fish you would be required to scale down to a lighter hook snoot and a single hook in sizes 2/0 and 1/0.


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Pic 3

To strip the Octopus leg of its skin and suckers you will require a sharp knife and a pair of pliers.


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Pic 4

Cut along the length of the leg just behind the line where the suckers join onto the flesh of the leg. Make sure your cut does not go to far into the flesh. Once cut away you will be able to pull back and peel off the tough skin from the flesh.


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Pic 5

The whole affair of pulling the skin off can become a snotty tricky affair and I like to use the pliers to grip the skin while holding the flesh. Another trick is to cover the whole leg with beach sand. This allows for a better grip on the bait and eliminates the use of pliers. A word of advice is to always have a bucket of water and a clean cloth at hand.


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Pic 6

The Octopus leg stripped of its suckers and skin and now ready to be rigged onto the hooks.


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Pic 7

Insert the main hook into the leg and run it inside the bait like a worm. Judge how far you would like to present the hook and push it out through the wall of the bait. Thread the trailer hook in the same way and push it through the side of the bait.

Make sure you push the trailer hook through the bait in an opposite direction to the main hook. Feed the line until the two hooks became aligned and tight inside the bait.

Not to much cotton is required as an Octopus leg is very tough and resistant to peckers and the small tooth brigade. What you want to do is to secure the top of the bait as best you can by tightly adding bait cotton around the bait and then the main mono line.

Work your way down to the first hook (trailer hook) and tightly wind your cotton around the bait and onto the shaft of the hook. Wind your cotton around the gape of the hook and again around the bait. This will secure and anchor the trailer hook in position and prevent the whole bait from slipping down and bunching up on the main hook.

Work your way down to the main hook and as with the trailer hook work your cotton down the bait over the shaft, around the gape and back onto the bait.


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Pic 8

The completed bait well presented on a double hook trace, ready to whirl and ready for almost any good catch.


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Pic 9

With a small variation the rig can be fished with fixed sinker. If conditions also allow the use of a bottle sinker then I like adding a wire clip to secure the bait when casting.

Tight Lines,

Trophy (aka Brett Harris)


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Mooi so Trophy, pressies wat ek gebruik het vir hierdie Elf (Shad)van 93.5cm wat ek by De Hoop vas getrek het, my hoekstrop was 57kg floro carbon (1mm) met 'n 8/0 hoek....

Seekat poot is exellent, maar moet reg aangebied word vir die tipe vis wat jy wil vang!!!

Vas Pappa......

Ps: julle raak seker al moeg om elke keer die foto te sien,maar ek kan nog nie oor die vis kom nie......lol



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Hiya Tuna, Galjoen

I recon that when its stripped the bait allows more smell into the water.

I have mainly used the bait for Kob and Steenies and wil always strip it first. I have caught many Elf as 'bycatch' while fishing for these two species.

If I'm going for Flatfish or Shark I leave it as is. These days it's always on the slide anyway. In this case I slide the whole Occie as is, or simply remove the head. Tuna much like your Occie Side baits.

I have never fished for Black Muscle Cracker, but what I'm told is that its best to leave the leg as is and to rig it bunched up as much as possible?

Galjoen how did you rig your bait to catch that beauty?


Fantastic presentaion trophy!

just today i bought a couple of legs and gave them ago but this trace is definately something im going to try sometime soon!


Excellent post trophy....

My bloodworm presentation looks exactly the same with the second hook being fixed tho, and the hook sizes scaled down a little...

As for cleaning the occie in sand or with the pliers...

Tear the skin from the bottom/thin side up towards the top/thicker side... Bigger pieces come off in strips than from the top down.... In the sand you can pull off the suckers with ur thumb and forefinger without cutting the leg at all...

I had a large white musselcracker on at Gouritz with occie leg.... TWICE!!!

IF fishing amongst the rocks i tear off pieces of skin and some suckers leaving some teared pieces of skin and suckers on the leg, and a shot or 3 with the tjokka mallet helps as well. The idea is that the occie leg should look as if it's been washed around between the rocks a bit. These skin, sucker flaps also attract the larger blacktail etc creating a bit of consternation around ur bait, possible attracting the bigger fish's attention.

an occie leg cut down the middle almost all the way through, folded open and the 2 halves cut again almost all the way through and folded open, smashed pap with a tjokka mallet makes an ultimate blob bait. A strip of this with sardine has accounted for an elf or 2 in langebaan...

Quick Bite

Senior Member
@ Trophy- nicebait,

just quick question - would u not suggest putting the bait other way aorund- ie- putting the thicker part of the leg first???


Hiya Quick Bite,

I often catch my fish on the trailer hook which shows that some fish do start eating the bait from the thicker side. I have not noticed a huge difference. Most size fish will simply inhale the bait in one shot into their mouth. Only the smaller fish will mouth the bait a few times.

If you want to rig the leg that way then you end up with the 'tail' dangling from the top, trailer hook, down. Octopus is a very tough bait so it will not pull when casting, but if I do rig it this way it's normally on a fixed rig with the bait clipped to the sinker.

I also have added a small section of white foam to the top of the bait. This will lift it slightly off the bottom, keeping it away from crabs and giving the bait a little more movement.

If you are gettting good bites with no good pulls then simply scale down to smaler hooks and lighter hook snoot (thinner diameter).

Also play around with the lengths. A rule of thumb I always use is this, the calmer and clearer the water then I go running sinker with longer and lighte rigs. In strong working water coloured I go shorter and fixed sinker.



Katonkel Tom


Great post bud!! Just one thing when the guys fish for the black musselcracker(poenskop) they add a fresh cutlet of fish to the leg, makkie, elf or their favorite streepie fillet!

Tight Lines guys



Nice one,Trophy!Ockie leg does tend to get overlooked and is far too underrated as far as baits go.I rate Chokka Head & Ockie Leg about my favorite baits owing to success rates achieved with these baits.

Fished the 5th Jan this year,in my brand new Sealine Shirt,and still not sure if 'I was too sexy for my shirt' or the Ockie leg that attracted a Big Cob i caught at Wolfgat,LOL. Maybe it was the combo using both.

Anyways,after fishing with Chokka for about 2 hours,as soon as I changed to Ockie leg at exactly 12 noon,which must've been Joe's lunch time,my rodstand got bent out of alignment barely after Ockie hit the water.

So,I definitely echo your sentiment with regard to the use of Ockie leg as a useful and most successful bait.Also,it's very durable,and will stay the distance far longer even with peckers around.

Just need to find where I can source it myself,and closer to home.I've caught Ockie previously at Danger Point,but it's bit of a travel unless making a day of it.