Armadillo Chitons

When targeting cracker it is often best to know what they are feeding on in the particular area you are fishing for them.

Fish feed on different baits in different areas of the coastline, so using Armadillo in an area that they are feeding on crabs often produces poor results. Generally crackers tend to feed on Armadillo, siffie, abalone, crab, crayfish, olicrock, limpet and periwinkle, redbait, rock and sand mussel and any shellfish they come across. With the current ban on abalone and siffie, it leaves anglers with the latter to use. Most anglers tend to use crab and Armadillo when targeting big cracker because periwinkles are small and difficult to make a big bait with and limpits don’t produce the same results but do still work. Baits like white mussel, redbait, prawn and crayfish also work exceptionally well for cracker but unfortunately don’t last very long when there are smaller fish around.

Most hard baits don’t have much smell. It is, therefore, important to use as much of the guts from the shellfish on the bait as possible to add to the smell. Anglers are only allowed 6 Armadillos per day, so make sure they are big ones so you can get more baits out of them. Six big Armadillo should be enough to make up 2 to 3 nice sized baits. I have used 3 Armadillo to make up this bait presentation. The bigger the bait the bigger the cracker. The best area to use Armadillo is obviously where you find them. That is exactly where cracker will be looking for them too – in their natural habitat.

There are not many fish that you will catch with a hook packed full of Armadillo other than maybe an eagle ray; duckbill ray; black cracker or poenskop. Most rock species will peck at the bait and clean off the tender guts of the Armadillo but once they get down to the hard mussel like flesh they tend to leave the bait and this is when the cracker goes to work. The best way to make up your hook trace is by using a 1mm section of around 30cm attached to a swivel with a lighter sinker trace of around 0.50mm to 0.60mm in diameter. This must also be relatively short in length –around 25cm – to avoid being snagged in the bricks. For your leader line you can either use 150 to 200lb braid or 0.90mm to 1.2mm nylon to avoid being cut off when the cracker picks you up and go for the first run.

Armadillos are normally found on the underside of rocks that are slightly submerged in the sand.

FISHING TIP... Use a nylon grapnel sinker in the rocks as they don’t shift around as much and are less prone to getting stuck in the bricks than an ordinary sinker.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Related Articles