What are blueys?
A ‘bluey’, or as it’s originally known ‘Pacific Saury’, is a sea fishing bait that was first introduced to the UK sea fishing market around 2006 / 2007 as a similar bait to mackerel and herring.
This bait is extremely oily and is slightly tougher than both mackerel and herring. They are a popular bait for targeting whiting, dogfish and rays.
Why use a bluey as bait?
The increased toughness on the skin of this bait and the intense fish oil means that it holds more liquid in than mackerel or herring. The smell of the oil remains in the flesh and washes out slower than other similar baits.
Rays are a ‘scent feeder’ – this means they they are attracted to smells first rather than by movement or visually, therefore blues are an ideal bait for ray fishing.
Are they a better bait than mackerel?
Blueys are extremely oily and definitely contain more liquid than a typical mackerel. It is clear to then assume that they put out a bigger and better scent trail than mackerel, and combined with their firmer skin (when compared against mackerel), the scent is held around the bait for longer.
Sea anglers often report than blueys are the bait that have made the difference and caught them a large cod when mackerel was not catching, although nothing takes away from personal experience and this is something that you should try out in your area of fishing. It is also worth noting that this species of fish is not a native inhabitant of British waters, and many anglers like to fish with natural baits that exist in the local area as fish will be used to feeding on these.
What is the best way to keep the bait in good condition?
As is common with other fish baits such as mackerel, a Bluey will turn to mush when it thaws out, so it is important that it is kept cool. This can be done by using a small insulated bag containing ice packs.
When you are ready to use your Bluey bait, open the insulated bag and prepare the bait on your rig, then whip the bait using bait elastic. When the bait thaws in the water, the bait elastic squeezes the juices of the Bluey out slowly through the skin, leaving the meat of the fish; maximising bait attraction.
Can blueys be used for any other type of fishing?
Yes! Bluey can be used when fishing for pike, used as a deadbait or on a slow retrieval.
Can I use blueys in a cocktail bait?
Yes. Wrapping a Bluey in a squid is a popular cocktail combination bait.
Where to buy blueys?
Blueys live in the Northern Pacific Ocean and as such, can only be purchased by the British angler from either bait suppliers or by some speciality food shops.
Blueys purchased from a shop are typically supplied in packets of 3 or 4 individual fish that are pre-frozen.
It is worth noting that it is likely that this fish would have been defrosted at some point since it was originally frozen, usually during it’s journey to the United Kingdom. As such, it is worth whipping the bait onto your rig using bait elastic (more details further down this page). This is to ensure that it does not simply fall of your hook when it enters the water and defrosts as the bait may be loose and bait elastic will keep it on your hook.
How long can I store blueys for?
Blueys can be frozen and stored for many years in everyday domestic freezers. They can simply be picked from the freezer prior to going fishing and prepared to be used when you reach your mark. The ideal bait for if bait stocks are running low in the middle of winter, or for sessions at short-notice.