The Cunjevoi is also known as Cunjie and Sea Squirt. It is a short marine animal growing up to 30cm that attaches itself on rocks below the high tide zone along the southern coastline between Queensland and Western Australia. The body is tube shaped which is thick and leathery this is commonly called the tunic it is brown coloured and often covered with green algae. Cunjevoi will squirt water from the top when pressed or stood on this why it is often referred to as a Sea Squirt.
Cunjevoi as Bait
Cunjevoi is regarded by many anglers as the best natural bait for rock fishing. It is the favored bait for large Black Drummer, Silver Drummer and Blue Groper, the discarded or waste parts of Cunjevoi make excellent berley the scent attracting Bream, Trevally, Morwong and Snapper closer to general fishing area.
Cunjevoi is best presented either whole or cut in half with the top still attached to kept the bait on the hook while being cast. It is best used as floating bait with little or no weight around the washes or suspended above the bottom with a float. The hook size used depends on the size of the bait and the fish you are targeting, the best hooks for Cunjevoi are Suicide, Limerick and Kirby styles.
How to Collect Cunjevoi
Cunjevoi can sometimes be collected close to rocks or headlands after severe weather when it has been dislodged from the rocks and washes up on nearby beaches when the weather has calmed. However, it is most commonly collected from the rock at low tide the top is cut off exposing the red soft flesh beneath the harder top the rest of the Cunjevoi is generally not used as bait only berley. As with any natural bait only collect as much Cunjevoi that you need to use for your fishing trip. Cunjevoi are protect in some parts of the Sydney area these area’s are called intertidal protected area’s ipas for short NSW also has restrictions on the number of Cunjevoi you can take outside of the ipas areas’ which currently 20 in total no size limit.
*** Remember if you are fishing or collecting bait from the rocks have a friend with you and watch the water around you***