The blue sprat Spratelloides robustus is what Australian fishos usually call bluebait.
The blue sprat looks similar to the larger Australian sardine Sardinops sagax (better known simply as pilchard or mulie), but bluebait are smaller.
Bluebait occurs in the shallow coastal waters of the southern half of Australia, forming large schools.
It is a popular baitfish but rarely harvested by anglers, instead usually being bought as a frozen packet bait.
Being oily and soft, bluebait is a great fish attractor, but it easily falls off the hook.
Salting toughens the fish, but may reduce its effectiveness.
Small sets of ganged hooks work well with this bait.
The size of bluebait may vary, so choose your hook sizes according to the size of the bait.
This baitfish can also be used as a half-fish on a single hook, but being soft they are easily picked off a hook.
Bluebait is ideal for catching flathead, tailor, Australian salmon, silver trevally, bream, school mulloway and more.
Another popular bait in Australia is whitebait.
Read more about bluebait here.
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