Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

I want to wish all of my readers a happy and safe new year with lots and lots of fish!

Enjoy this little fishing cartoon:

Sunday, December 30, 2007

How to clean a fish: Video (Fish Recipe)

Herb barbecued fish

Squeamish warning

This is actually a fish recipe for herb barbecued fish, but the first part perfectly shows how to clean a fish for the table. This is something that new fishers often have trouble with and I thought that it would be helpful to post a video of the process. I am hoping to find a video of the proper filleting process too - so keep checking back for that in the future.

If you watch the whole way through you will also find a great recipe for barbecued fish that I have personally tried and enjoyed. In my opinion nothing beats a whole fish cooked on the BBQ with herbs, spices, garlic and ginger YUM!



Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fly Fishing Tips - Woolly Bugger Lure

Uses

Woolly Buggers imitate lots of different trout food:

  • dragonfly nymphs,
  • damselfly nymphs,
  • leeches,
  • baitfish,
  • Anything that might be alive and edible.

If you fish lakes, you should have lots of these in your box, with a mix of colors and sizes. They can also be effective in rivers.

How to Fish

Count-down-and-retrieve or slow retrieve. Vary the retrieve until you find what works best at the moment: slow and steady, fast, strip-and-pause, or quick, short two-inch strips. Also, wind-drifting works well in lakes.

Fish at all depths until you find the right one, but most of the time you should be fishing somewhere between two to six feet deep.

Video Tips


Friday, December 28, 2007

Boat Ramp Etiquette

I found this great little article during my web surfing this morning and thought I would share it with my readers. I recommend reading the whole fishing and boating article here.


A good day on the water can be spoiled by a lack of ‘boat ramp etiquette’. This refers to someone who has insufficient consideration or understanding for other ramp users, isn’t prepared and takes too long to either launch or retrieve a vessel.

LAUNCHING
Prepare your boat before approaching the ramp. This includes loading all gear, checking fuel, removing tie-downs, fitting bungs, turning on battery switch, finding the key, etc. There is nothing more frustrating for other boat ramp users than watching someone drive onto the apron of the ramp and begin doing all the above jobs whilst everyone waits.

When you boat is completely ready to launch, get in line and wait for your turn to use the ramp.

Always check a boat ramp before reversing down it. Check for length of ramp, drop-offs, etc.

Carefully back down the ramp and get the boat in the water quickly and calmly.

When launching use a long rope secured to the bow to control the boat and clear other boats and trailers. On larger boats an additional rope on the stern will assist in windy or wash conditions.

Have someone on board to immediately start the boat and/or move it way from the ramp so the next person can proceed. Park your car and return to your waiting boat that has been moved away from the ramp (the sand or nearby jetty) is a good option.

RETRIEVING
Extra care and patience are needed when returning to the ramp at the end of the day. Tempers can fray easily after a day of sun and excitement. Children will be tired. Alcohol can cause unhelpful behaviour so try to stay calm and be as prepared as you possibly can.

Organise your gear whilst underway back to the ramp, not once you get there.

Approach slowly in congested areas for the safety of yourself and others.

Queue on a sandy beach if possible or make sure you identify who is before and after you. Honest mistakes can occur but good communication prevents unnecessary aggravation and “pushing-in”.

Unload passengers and have someone get the car and trailer and wait in the car queue until it is your turn, whilst you stay with the boat.

When it is your turn, move quickly and carefully to get the boat out of the water.

After retrieval, immediately move well away from the ramp before unloading gear and preparing the boat and trailer for the trip home.

Check tyres, lights, tie-downs, wheel bearings and couplings before leaving home and on arrival and departure at the ramp, also at any stops on the way (check bearings by touching the hub with the back of the hand - if too hot to touch - the bearing has failed).

As a quick check on the bearings, jack the trailer and spin the wheel. Any noise or roughness indicates trouble.

Boating Knots: Anchor Bend

Ok this isn't a fishing knot in the normal sense of a word, but is a knot every fisher that uses a boat and anchor should know. The Anchor Bend knot is used for connecting the anchor rope to the boat, which is probably one of the most important knots on the boat! It is easy to tie and is a very secure and safe knot for attaching the anchor.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Top Water Bass Fishing - Stanley Ribbit (Video)

I must admit top water fishing is fairly popular in Australia, but is no where near as popular as it seems to be in the US bass circles. This video shows off a new lure called the Stanley Ribbit and from all reports the lure is taking the top water bass fishing by storm. The lure seem to have an awesome action. After watching this video I have decided the next time I visit my local tackle store I am going to look for one or something similar. I am sure they will work on our Aussie fish too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My fishing list - All I got for Christmas

My fishing presents this year consisted mainly of hooks, sinkers, swivels and other terminal tackle that I really needed. At todays boxing day sales I was busy helping my wife ward off the bargain hunters and I forgot to visit the fishing section of my local department store and probably missed out on a bargain or two.

What I want to know is what fishy things did you get for Christmas?

Please leave a comment via the comments button.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fly Fishing: Fishing Cartoon

Christmas is coming up and I have no doubt that there will be a few youngsters casting for the very first time with their new rod and reel combo that Santa has brought them. This funny little cartoon reminds me of my first time casting with my Dad, although I didn't have such bad luck. Enjoy!


Fish Recipe - Steamed fish with vegtables

As promised I have decided to post more fishing recipes for those who love to eat their catch, or for people who buy their fish (there is no shame in that!). Todays recipe is steamed fish with vegetables and is not only an extremely healthy meal, but is really easy to prepare. My wife tried this and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it (I am a fried fish type of guy). I hope this helps you with your next fish meal!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Boating Terms and Definitions

If you are like me then, at some point, you have probably wondered what all those strange boating terms mean. When my old man told me to move to the starboard side of the boat for the first time (I was about 7 I think) I gave him a very strange look. When he explained what it meant I remember saying "why don't you just say right." That was the wrong thing to say!

If you are looking for a fantastic resource that will explain every boating term from ABAFT to YAWL then I recommend a visit to fintalk.com's boating terms and definitions.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rock fishing safety

In Australia (and probably other places as well) people are killed every year rock fishing in dangerous conditions. We can limit these tragedies by following some simple safety rules:

Thanks for the NSW department of primary industries for these great safety tips.

  • Never fish by yourself: fish in a group of at least three people and within sight of each other. If someone is washed in, one person can stay and help while the other alerts emergency services.
  • Inform others of your plans: always let friends or family know where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Wear light clothing: light clothing such as shorts and a spray jacket will let you swim easily if you are washed in. Jumpers may be heavy and difficult to take off.
  • Wear appropriate footwear: cleats, sandals and sandshoes with non slip soles suit different surfaces. Use the appropriate shoes for the conditions.
  • Fisher wearing a life jacket

    Fisher wearing a life jacket

  • Carry safety gear: wear a life jacket or buoyancy vest. Also bring something buoyant that can be easily thrown and held onto, to help you stay afloat. Carry ropes and torches.
  • Never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas: make sure you are aware of local weather, swell and tidal conditions before going fishing. Listen to weather forecasts or call a weather information line. Be aware that conditions may change dramatically in a short period of time.
  • Observe first, fish later: spend some time (at least 30 minutes) watching your intended spot before fishing to get an idea of the conditions over a full swell/wave cycle. Wave conditions can get worse as the tide changes - you should know whether the tides are high or low and coming in or going out.
  • Plan an escape route in case you are washed in: stay calm - If you are washed in, swim away from the rocks and look for a safe place to come ashore or stay afloat and wait for help to arrive.
  • Stay alert. Don't ever turn your back on the sea: if the waves, weather or swell threaten your fishing spot then leave immediately.
  • Ask for advice from locals who know the area: they can advise you of good, safe fishing locations.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fishing Video - trout and pike with an infaltable boat (float tube)

Now where I live we have crocodiles, big ones, ones that tip over small boats and attack outboard motors. So I wouldn't be trying what the guy in this video does where I live, but I am sure it is a lot of fun when the fear of crocodile attack is far away (the loch ness monster may be another story though). The feet dangling from the bottom absolutely blows my mind - I cant even imagine doing that!

Seriously this video has some great trout and pike fishing action and even though it is long it is professionally done and easy to watch. You will have to visit the youtube to see this video

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=yZaWojSz9es

Fishing joke of the week

Unfortunately I have been sick this week and didn't get to go fishing as planned, so in the space where I would have told you how my fishing trip went here is a little joke to brighten your day.

Fishing Joke
No one in this town could catch any fish except this one man

The game warden asked him how he did it so the man told the game warden that he would take him fishing the next day...

Once they got to the middle of the lake the man took out a stick of dynamite, lit it, and threw it in the water. After the explosion fish started floating to the top of the water. The man took out a net and started picking up the fish.

The game warden told him that this was illegal. The man took out another stick of dynamite and lit it. He then handed it to the game warden and said " are you going to fish or talk?"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs: Trilene Knot

The Trilene Knot is a strong reliable connection that resists slippage and failure.

The Trilene Knot is an all-purpose connection to be used in joining monofilament or fluorocarbon to swivels, snaps, hooks and artificial lures. The knot's unique design and ease of tying mean that it is a consistently strong knot with dependable connections. This knot retains 85-90% of the original line strength, which is above average. The double wrap of mono through the eyelet provides a protective cushion for added safety.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fish Recipe - Fried fish with rosemary

I thought I would post something a little bit different today and include a video for a fish recipe. This is one of my personal favorite recipes and is also a much more healthy way of frying fish. You can use many species of fish for this recipe. It takes about 5-7 minutes and is so simple that even I can do it.



I am thinking about more posts like this one. If you like this type of post then tell me about it with a comment!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fishing Video: King Salmon

This is an amazing video and really shows that fish are far from the top of the food chain. I have caught many fish that have come up as a half only, but I have nothing on what happened to this guy!!



Luckily the whale wasn't hooked, as I can only imagine the consequences of handling or gaffing such a beast!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs: Rapala Knot

The Rapala Knot is popular method to tie a lure to a line. It has the advantage of allowing the lures to move freely and unimpeded by the knot. It can be tied successfully in monofilament and fluorocarbon leaders.


This knot was invented by the Rapala company

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fly Fishing Tips - Fishing the Flats

I found this great article that I thought I would share it with my readers - If you are into fly fishing I recommend reading the complete article:

The flats are the shallow margins of the sea, fertile places where fish come in to feed, or cross over on their way to deeper water and other feeding grounds. The flats are significant for fly fishermen because much of the fishing involved on them is sight fishing and because of the tackle you can use on them. Fly fishing does have some limitations and the flats, apart from presenting you with many challenges, is the place where some of those limitations are the least apparent. Flats are found right around the country and can vary from offshore sandcays to gently sloping beaches. Flats species can be as varied as where we live - bream, and flathead are just two in the south and in the tropics they can range from longtail tuna to barra and permit. Where ever the flats you plan to fish are, there are some fundamental principle to successfully fishing them.

Most fish in shallow water are going to be shy and you have to see them before they see you- Polarised sunglasses are essential. Everyone has their favourite colour and brand and I prefer glasses in the red end of the spectrum - copper and tan are excellent. For me these provide the strongest contrast between the fish and the bottom and remove the blue light of the sky. Clear blue sunny days are obviously the best. I've used many different sunnies over the years, but the Aussie made Stalkers, are the best glasses I've ever used. A broad brimmed hat that shuts out most light is also important. I'm not at all a fan of baseball caps - some specially made peaked caps are good, and its important that the hat has a dark underside to the brim...

Read the complete fishing article

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Simple paternoster rig

I have been looking for a video that explains a paternoster or dropper rig in a simple way for a long time. While this video isn't perfect (I don't really trust simple overhand knots on the main leader) it does explain the rig and how versatile it really is. I use a variant of this rig for reef fishing - I tie about 5 spare leaders and put them in clip lock bags before going out on the boat and it is a simple matter of re-tying after you get broken off or snagged.

If you are looking for a quick, versatile and reliable rig then I recommend watching the video.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fishing Video: Lake Decker Bass

I found this great little video this morning with some real fishing action and thought I would share it with my readers. I have never visited the US or caught a bass (excluding an Australian bass), but I still love watching these videos. I could argue that there are better fighters or bigger fish, but the bass is a fishing icon and nothing can take away from what this great sportsfish has done for fishing.

I remember talking to a fishing guide who spent some time in the US. Asking him what he enjoyed most about his trip he had one word - bass. From then on I realised that this fish was something special.

Enjoy

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fishing Tips: Landing that big fish

A lot of fish are lost due to poor landing techniques. The first job is to clear the boats floor. Get the hoses, buckets, brushes, lures, and other rods out of the area. You don't want anything in your way while fighting, gaffing, or boating a fish.

Next, communicate! Crew and angler should talk to each other, especially if they're not used to fishing together. Landing a big fish is a team effort.
I you are the angler, yell out when you see the fish, or shout "color", and make sure the fish is under control as it comes up.

You should always stay directly in front of the fish - Remember "no angles, no tangles." You may have to make a few quick moves to keep the fish from going under the boat or tangling with another fish. Never be afraid of dipping your rod tip in the water. If the fish gets under the boat, you need to get the rod down as far as you can so the line will clear the running gear. Once the fish is under control, guide it into position and present it to the netter or gaffer. Never lift the fish's head out of the water, as this may cause it to react violently and break your off.

Fishing Boat - Sealegs

I was sitting in my office a couple of days ago reading my fishing magazine that had just arrived when I stumbled upon a review of the strangest looking sea craft/boat I had ever seen! So I thought I just had to share it with all my readers.

Sealegs is a New Zealand product and is basically an Amphibious Boat ie. a boat that you can drive on land, into and out of the water. Once you are in the water the legs fold up and you are in a regular boat! Its crazy, strange and extremely cool all at the same time! It would be great for a beach front land owner or someone that likes to launch their boat away from the crowds (or possibly someone that likes to fishing on the highway??) Enough with me explaining it though - you really have to see the pictures and the video!

You really have to watch the video, even if you only watch the first minute!



Saturday, December 8, 2007

Fish Profile - Bluefin Tuna



Typical Habitat

Bluefin are a migratory species that are believed to roam according to food availability, water temperature and spawning habits. Very little is known about their patterns. Some scientists theorize that Western Atlantic bluefin will migrate between North Carolina and New England, following schools of baitfish, until they reach sexual maturity at age four or five. After that, it is believed that they migrate to the Gulf of Mexico to spawn, and return to the NC waters in wintertime.

Angling Tips
Catching giants by rod and reel requires the largest of high quality reels spooled often with 200 lbs. test line. The two primary methods are trolling with rigged natural baits or artificial squids on spreader bars and bait fishing on anchor with live baits or chunks of local prey such as herring or mackerel. The movements of bluefin are highly variable and there are numerous ways to lose a hooked giant. Therefore, catch rates are typically low in this fishery. This fact does not diminish the enthusiasm shown among anglers. The expenditures by thousands of hopeful anglers pursuing bluefin tuna in Massachusetts is an economic force in itself. Smaller bluefin tuna are fished in similar patterns as the giants, with a downsizing of rod and reel size and line strength to match the target.

Eating Quality
If you are going to keep one for the table take care to bleed and chill your catch quickly. Tuna should be carefully gutted also soon after capture. The bright red flesh is excellent on the grill after marinating in your favorite concoction. Be sure not to over cook and dry out the flesh. This type of tuna lends itself well to sushimi and can be eaten raw using wasabi and soy to garnish and spice the ancient ritual.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fishing - What does it mean to you?

Fishing is one of those things where you can be sitting with someone in complete silence, but never feel closer. The day my Dad came home with a boat changed our relationship forever even though I didn't realise why at the time. Recently I was sitting out on the boat with my old man, we weren't saying much, but we never really do. It got me thinking about what fishing means to me. I bet when my old man has finally left this earth these are the times I will remember the most fondly. Now don't get me wrong I love catching fish and get pretty grumpy when we have had a bad day on the water, but the bonding I have had with my Dad, will in the end be what I carry for the longest.

If you have a son or daughter take them fishing - they could do much worse with their lives than quietly passing the time on the water. I know for certain that fishing has kept me out of trouble more than once. So go on get out there - you never know where it might take you.

So that leads me to my question - what does fishing mean to you...? Feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fishing Bloopers

I never know if this guy is just putting it on or he is a real a real dunce. However, I love watching his crazy stunts and laughing my head off. I am sure we can all relate to him in some way or another. I will never forget when my old man left the bungs out of the boat or when the steering was locked and we did circles about 100 meters out from the boar ramp for 5 minutes - if only I had a camera!

Enjoy this little video - if you like it leave a comment and I will post more of the silliness.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fishing Video - Mahi Mahi (Dolphin Fish)

In Australia we call them dolphin fish, but they come go by many other names like mahi mahi, and dorado. They are an extremely fast growing fish, which fight well above average on normal tackle often making spectacular leaps in the air. They often school around FAD's (Fish Attracting or Aggregating Device) or other floating objects and schools often remain in the same area for hours providing for some spectacular fishing.

As well as being an amazing sportsfish they are also a great eating fish and most anglers are more than happy to see one swing aboard. They often fight even harder once in the boat and can thrash about wildly. It is best to quickly get them into an ice box to cool down.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs - Arbor Knot

Name: Arbor Knot
Difficulty: Easy
Uses: Attaching fishing line to the reel (spool)

The arbor knot is most often used to connect line to the spool. I have used this knot exclusively for this job since I was a boy and I have never had a problem with it. It is very easy to tie and really doesn't require much of a learning curve.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tips for fishing new water

I came across this article today and had to share it with my readers. It is really worth a read for any keen traveling angler. I recommend reading the complete article.

By
Larry Elshere

If you love the sport of fishing, at one time or another you are going to venture out to a body of water you are not familiar with. You maybe going on vacation or pre-fishing for an up coming tournament event. It doesn't matter what species of fish you are targeting. It could be Bass, Trout, Muskie, Pike, Walleye, Cats, Pan fish or others. If you have a basic understanding of the fish, then you are going to be fine. The habit's of the fish do not very that much from one body of water to the next.

The same tackle you are presently using will be just fine. Before you venture to a new body of water, I suggest that you purchase a topographical map of the new location. Spend some time reviewing it. It is just as important for you to spend time in your living room, as it is on the water. The more time you spend in preparation reviewing the new water, the more success you well have. After you review the map and see the layout of the new water, you need to mark some areas on the map you feel will be promising.

Once you show up at the new location, have your map in hand, and talk to the tackle store and boat rental personnel, ask for their advice. They are more than happy to help you out. Ask how the fishing has been? Ask them about the species you are after, and where to go? Review the areas you have marked on your map and see if you have chosen some of the same areas. Find out what type of bait has been working the best for the fish you are after. If you don't have a lot of time to spend at the new water, you may want to hire a guide that specializes in your species...

Read the complete fishing article

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Knots and Rigs - Texas Rig

I remember rigging my first soft plastic bait. After 3 failed attempts I had a soft plastic bait that looked more like something drained from the oil rather than a well presented bait. It almost ended my association with soft plastics then and there, but I persisted helped by some great videos that anglers have posted on the web. Here is one such video - Introducing the Texas rig.



The Texas rig is usually fished by throwing the soft plastic as close to cover as possible with the goal of placing the worm as close to a bass as possible. Try to let the lure enter the water with as little noise as possible and keep some controlled slack in the line as bass will commonly attack the lure while it is sinking to the bottom.

If the bass does not hit on the fall, let the worm rest on the bottom for a brief period and then begin to retrieve the lure in a very slow, jerk and pause motion. Be careful to always keep a little tension on the line because learning this technique is a lot about learning to differentiate between the feel of the bottom and the feel of a fish. (wikipedia)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fishing Tips - Shallow trolling for trout

I came across this great article today and just had to share it with you. Even though I am not a big fresh water fisher I still love a bit of freshwater action (and no swell is always a bonus). I recommend reading the full article!

A lot has been written about trolling lures for trout. But little is penned about the under utilized shallows of a lake. Fly fishermen know about it - so why do so few lure trollers take advantage of the shallows?

The shallow margin of a lake is often where all the food is located.
This is because the light penetrates the water easier in the shallower water, which is essential for aquatic weed growth. This thriving weed provides food and shelter for insects and small forage fish. So it makes sense for larger fish, such as trout, to hang about these areas during times of hunger or opportunity...

Read Full Article

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fishing tip: Short Range Fly Casting for trout

(This is a great article I found that I wanted to share with all my readers - a visit to the full article is recommended.)

When it comes to fly fishing for trout most people seem very happy when they are casting around the 12-15m mark. What happens when the fish are closer?

Short range fly casting is an essential part of a fly fisher's repertoire however; it seems this is an area most people get into trouble. Why?

First let's look at the rod loading. To load your fly rod for any given amount of line requires a varied rod arc according to the amount of fly line off the tip of the rod. Simply put, "the shorter the amount of line the shorter the rod arc".
If you "do less work you will achieve more"

The old adage of ten and two will apply for a given amount of fly line but definitely not all scenarios. This variation is also dictated by the design of your rod and the particular fly line you are using.

A cast of 10 metres (approx. 30ft) when using a 2.7m (9ft) rod and a standard length leader of 2.7m (9ft) then only requires 4.6m of fly line, roughly one & a half rod lengths. In this case try a much shorter back cast stroke and then push the rod tip out to above your target. Remember not to direct the rod to the water or your fly line will crash, aim above the water!.....

Read Full Article

Fishing Video of the week - Shark (great whites)

Now firstly I must say that shark fishing isn't my thing. That is not to say I haven't caught my fair share of sharks over the years, but where I am from sharks are a pain not an angling target. I remember my old man pulling up a 3-400 pound (estimate) shark in our 14 foot boat and to say we were a little bit scared when the thing surfaced is probably an understatement.

Having said all that sharks fight well and some of the smaller specimens can taste fairly good too with the added bonus of no bones!

This video focuses on the great white sharks, which are totally protected in Australia and are a very dangerous fish. Remember to only target sharks if you have some experience (and a decent boat). Enjoy the video

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fishing Video of the Week - Tailor (bluefish)



Well tailor is what we call them in the country, but this fish can be found all around the world. They go by many names including: bluefish, blue, tailor, elf, chopper, snapper blue, snapper, Hatteras blue.

They fight hard and it is often spectacular with fish jumping many times during a fight. They have a nasty set of teeth that can bite through fishing lines and sometimes wire leader is used. They are a pelagic fish that form big schools and feed on small bait fish like sardines. They are often caught in white water and in the surf where they hunt their prey. They can grow very big and the specimens caught in this video are considered small. They are an average eating fish and should always be eaten fresh. Never freeze a tailor.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

How not to net a fish - video

In my last post I gave some pointers for landing a fish with a net (you can read all about it here). While I was searching for some good information I found a great video of what not to do when trying to net a fish. Hopefully this helps other people learn a little bit more about netting. I hope the poster of this video doesn't mind me showing all my readers this video.

I laughed at this video just a little, but I did feel sorry for the guy especially when he loses someone else's fish - possibly the worst feeling in fishing. It happens to all of us though!

Anyone with any experiences with losing big fish I would love to hear about it - feel free to leave a comment

Friday, November 16, 2007

Landing a fish - netting

Netting a fish can be a daunting task for a new fisher. I must give a shout out to my old man here who I still blame for losing me a nice Spanish mackerel because of his poor landing
technique - hey Dad!



Netting the fish

It is at the point of netting - that most mistakes occur. When the fish is played out, the net should be placed in the water, ready for use. At this point the fish will probably be wallowing or lying on the surface. Hold the net about 12in (30cm) below the surface and lead the fish towards the net. Never try to chase the fish with the net - it only scares them into making another run to freedom. Do not lift until the fish is completely in the net.

Sometimes, as the fish is lead to the net, it will suddenly find new strength and either swim off or change direction. Let it do so as trying to bully the fish with pressure that close to the boat will lead to many tears (trust me!)

Important points must be remembered:
Never move the net towards the fish but keep it still and lead the fish over it. (I know I've said it twice, but it is really important!) See below at what not to do.


(This post has been adapted from http://members.chello.nl/tmarapengopie/)


Monday, November 12, 2007

Techniques for catching smallmouth bass (video - including underwater shots)

This is a video well worth watching even if you don't catch bass (or live 1000's of Km's from the nearest bass). The video shows a technique that is deadly on many fish species - salt and freshwater.

Erratic movement of lures has often been used to create a frenzy and get a fish to bite and this video displays the technique perfectly. I have personally used the technique on many saltwater species in Australia and have found that predatory fish will almost always respond better to this technique when in feeding mode, but it still works when the fish are shut down. When fish are shut down I think sometimes they are just biting the little fish as a warning to get out of the area. Used correctly the erratic technique can "annoy" a fish into biting!

It is worth noting that erratic movement, like a big blooping popper, can tease the fish ready for someone with a fly rod or soft plastic to actually catch it - good luck finding a friend to tease the fish for you while you catch them though :-)

Enjoy this great little movie!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fishing Tips - How to cast a baitcaster reel

When I got my first baitcast combo it ended with yelling, tears and me making plans to pull off the baitcasting reel and replace it with a spinning reel. I would get tangles and birdsnests over and over - it was just too damn hard! Over the years though I have learned to cast these little reels and now I wouldn't be without one on my boat when short accurate casts are needed.

UPDATE:
Noticing the amount of traffic entering this website looking for baitcaster casting instruction and tips I have posted a video that has some great baitcaster casting tips and instructions you can view it at the brand new post How to cast a baitcaster reel (part 2)

If you are like I was when I got my first baitcaster then you might need some help and luckily for you there are some great websites that helped me learn that I am going to share with you.

How to cast a baitcaster:

FishSA.com - Basics in Bait Casting

Anglersnet.co.uk - Baitcasters for beginners

Ask an expert - Fishing: Baitcaster

fishing-tackle-repair.com - Basic Baitcaster Reel Setup 101

Good luck with your endeavors and remember never give up (even if you hit your little sister with a cast and make her cry*)

*the author denies that this happened to him

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How to launch a boat (without making anyone mad)

Ramp rage, as we call in in oz, is well an truly arrive at some of the popular boat ramps around the country. I have heard of stories from entirely different ends of the spectrum.

Firstly the good where people help out new boaties by showing them what to do and helping them launch.

And then the bad where people have thrown sinkers, punches and been thrown into jail over a slow launch or cutting into the waiting line.

The best thing we can all do is be patient with the new people on the ramps and give them a hand making sure they know what to do. We were all new at the boating game once. That extra 5 minutes is probably not going to mean you miss the fish of a lifetime.

This little video gives a couple of tips that are worth watching intertwined with a story about a slow boatie. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A picture tells a thousands words

While searching one of my favourite fishing sites this morning I came across this - Sometimes you don't need words to explain something.



The guy who took the picture tells it like this...
A picture tells a thousand words. That’s what they say but when I look at the picture of the $30,000 100 Series Landcruiser, belly deep in mud, surrounded by salt water and mullet all I can do is cringe.... Read Full Article

To see the video follow the link
4WD in the Mud Video

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This week the fishing video is of sailfish on a fly. Amazingly many people are doing this now and it seems to be a viable way of catching these beautiful fish. When I first heard about flyfishing for fish bigger than the rod I was thinking of little 6 weight trout rods, but these saltwater fly rods are built just as tough as the fish they catch. The video is a little unstable, but worth watching if only for the original sailfish strike about 10 meters from the boat! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

How to throw a cast net (video)

I remember my first cast net a a few years ago. Literally hours spent in the back yard, swearing each time the damn thing didn't do what it was supposed to until I finally got it right. It looks easy right, but just wait until you have your first go at it!

I thought that to help people out I would post a couple of videos that show various techniques so you can learn how to throw a cast net. For what it's worth the second video is the technique that I use and it took me about 10 hours (and about 600 swear words) to learn really well.

My Tips for throwing a cast net (so you don't end up swearing and the net doesn't end up in the bin):

  • If you can't get it right don't change everything at once. Make little adjustments to what you are doing and note when the net spread it is getting better (or worse).
  • Don't be afraid to ask around for a demonstration.
  • Remember that it will take some time and don't give up.
I really hope this video helps people out because throwing a cast net for the first time can be a very traumatic experience!

Good Luck



Friday, October 26, 2007

Perfection Loop - Fishing Knots and Rigs (Video)

Name: The Perfection Loop
Strength: Retains a high proportion of line strength
Uses: Attaching lures and flies to a leader
Difficulty: Easy

The perfection loop forms a strong yet compact loop in the end of the line. This knot will not slip and it has the added advantage of being very easy to tie. It is generally used for attaching leader to lures or flies as it retains a high degree of line strength. It can be tied in fluorocarbon and monofilament.

Instructional Video

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bonefish Los Roques - Fishing Video of the Week

I love catching bonefish, but all the ones we get in Australia are tiny compared with some of the monsters I have seen caught in some of the most exotic locations. Los Roques is a place that I have only seen on television and in my dreams. All indications are that Los Roques is one of those "must visit" fishing locations for bonefish. This video demonstrates that perfectly and if you can get over the annoying music (turn down the volume) and sit still for 10 minutes (should be no problem for us patient fisherpeople right?) then this video is worth watching. Enjoy - oh and if anyone wants to sponsor my trip to Los Roques feel free to contact me :-) lol

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Caring for monofilament line

Does anyone still use monofilament fishing line any more? Every fishing report I hear, read or watch these days is about braid. In my own fishing braid is used 99.9% of the time after I switched to it a few years ago I have never looked back. However, there are some situations where monofilament fishing line is still king of the fishing lines, not to mention much cheaper than braid!


Here are some important tips to keep your monofilament fresh so it lasts as long as possible and doesn't break when the big fish gets on*

(thanks to tackletactics.co.nz for these tips)

Sunlight weakens monofilament. Don't leave in direct sunlight when you are not using it. Pronglong heat weakens it. Never store your line (or your rods) in hot areas like car boots or a back car window, attics etc. The best place to store your fishing rods and excess line is in a dark, cool room, closet or garage.

Don't let your line come in contact with gasoline, oil, suntan lotion, or other harm-full chemicals. These cause monofilament line to break down or become brittle.

With proper care and normal use, monofilament lines ages. However, it's a good idea to periodically strip and replace old line. Two line changes a year should be sufficient - at the beginning and the middle of the season.

Last but most important be on constant guard against nicks abrasions or other weak spots in your line. You can detect these spots by running the line through your thumb and forefinger. If you find a rough spot, clip off the line above the bad spot and retie your bait. It's better to lose a few feet of line than to lose that trophy fish!





*this may have happened to the author more than once!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fishing Video - Trout (New Zealand)

After watching this video I am definitely considering booking my flights to New Zealand. Seriously New Zealand is the home of big big trout and catching a fish like the big one in this video is certainly a possibility not just a dream. I don't know what it is about the place, but the trout grow big there! It might be the land of the long white cloud, be full of sheep and be inhabited by people that can't talk properly (just a bit of Aussie teasing going on here), but the fishing, both fresh and saltwater, is red hot. I for one am sick of watching lucky Aussie fishing TV hosts catch big fish over there and it is something I am going to have to remedy soon! Enjoy the video

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Surgeons Loop - Fishing Knots and Rigs

I have decided to give the whole fishing knots and rigs section an overhaul and I have decided to go down the video route. Videos give a much better visual description than I can give with pictures and written descriptions as you can see every stage of the knot - leave a comment and tell me what you think about this new feature.

This fishing knot is great for when a quick, easy, yet strong, fishing loop. Loops are often used to hold sinkers or to attach leaders and traces. This knot can also be tied in the dark, which makes it one to learn for most types of fishing.

I use this knot at the bottom of my paternoster rig to hold my sinker. The benefit of this is that I can change sinker weight when required.



The guy in the video is using blue rope for demonstration purposes only.


This video is presented by http://fishing-live-bait.com

Friday, October 12, 2007

Beach Fishing - Finding the gutters and the fish

Finding the deeper water or gutters, the pockets that hold fish, is the key to finding fish along a beach. Some beaches are flat with only slight depressions; while others have distinct holes with severe drop-off's. In clear water and bright sun, look for the blue-green holes contrasting with the sandbars. In low light or when the water is discoloured, you need to look at the shoreline and watch wave action for clues. Buy some really good polarised sunglasses these are great for spotting gutters and fish. If you don't have sunglasses or arrive in low light look for sand walls that often form in front of the bigger holes. They can be three to four feet high.

Watching wave action and how the white water moves over the beach's contour is the best way to find good water. Along flat sections of beach, which are devoid of holding water, waves break then roll all the way to the shore. In sections with sandbars and holes, the wave breaks over the bar, rolls for a distance, then disappears. Where this wall of white water disappears is the inside edge of the hole. Watch surface bubbles to determine the flow's direction. This flow moves from the corner back to the deeper water in the hole's middle, or in the case of a very large hole creates a long section of moving, fishable water. Without wave action look for a current line indicating a sandbar with a drop-off on the backside.

Remember that you don't always have to cast a long way on the beach to catch fish. In a recent fishing trip I was catching decent bream around my feet! Try different length casts until you find the fish.

(Thanks to LBF Member: big smoove who wrote the original tip, which I have modified)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fishing Video of the week - Carp

In Australia these fish are an introduced pest. They have taking over the native waterways, muddying up the rivers and basically making it hard for the Australian freshwater sportsfish. They are causing so much trouble that it is illegal to return a carp to the water dead or alive. A carp fertilizer has now been developed called "Charlie carp" which puts the dead fish to good use. They were introduced originally to make Australia seem more European and they have also been introduced into our rivers by well meaning pet owners who could no longer care for their fish.

From what I understand the problem also exists in the United States and I would love to hear more about it.

However, after saying all that, carp are a popular angling target in Europe and they grow mighty big and put up a very strong fight. This great video is for all those people that like to catch carp.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fishing Joke of the week- You might be a fisherman if...

I have been a bit sick lately so the updates have been a little bit slow so I thought I would reward all my readers with a good laugh!

The fishing joke today come from landbigfish.com. Some people tell me that all I think about is fishing so if you are like me some of these are probably true for you too - Enjoy!

You might be a fisherman if...
1) You have a power worm dangling from your rear view mirror because you think it makes a good air freshener.

2) Your wedding party had to tie tin cans to the back of your bass boat.

3) You call your boat "sweetheart" and your wife "skeeter".

4) Your local tackle shop has your credit card number on file.

5) You keep a flippin stick by your favorite chair to change the TV channels with.

6) You name your black lab "Mercury" and your cat "Evinrude".

7) Bass Pro Shop has a private line just for you.

8) You have your name painted on a parking space at the launch ramp.

9) You have a photo of your 10 lb. bass on your desk at work instead of your family.

10) You consider viennies and crackers a complete meal.

11) You think MEGABYTES means a great day fishing.

12) You send your kid off to the first day of school with his shoes tied in a palomar knot.

13) You think there are four seasons--Pre-spawn, Spawn, Post Spawn and Hunting.

14) Your $30,000 bass boat's trailer needs new tires so you just "borrow" the ones off your RV.

15) You trade your wife's van for a smaller vehicle so your bass boat will fit in the garage.

16) Your kids know it's Saturday---Because the boats gone,

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fishing video of the week - Mulloway

Who said you can't catch big fish from the beach! This great little video I came across today really shows what Australian surf fishing has to offer. The mulloway is arguably the ultimate catch from the beach in the Southern areas of Australia and this is an amazing fish. This video is taken from Kalbarri in Western Australia and it is another of my favourite areas to fish! I hope you enjoy this video!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Knots and Rigs - Bristol Knot

This knot goes hand in hand with the bimini twist that I gave instructions for last week.

This knot is easy to tie and is a very strong knot. When tied correctly the bimini twist bristol knot combo can actually form a combination that is stronger than the main line! It is suitable for braid, monofilament and fluorocarbon. Most commonly the knot was tied with 20 turns, but recent testing has shown only 8 turns are needed for the best strength and that less turns may actually be even better for this knot!


1. Pass trace through the loop of doubled line


2. wrap the leader line five to seven times around the doubled line


3. Pass the leader line end back through the loop in the opposite direction from which it entered in step 1.


4. Lubricate and pull each end of the knot evenly until it tightens. Trim the tag end.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fishing Video of The Week - Dampier W.A.

This is a nice little video of guys from Dampier in Western Australia catching Golden Trevally and Queenfish on a jig. This was the area I grew up in and where I learned to love fishing so it has a special place for me. The Dampier Archipelago is one of the best fishing destinations I have had the pleasure to fish in. All the fish seem to be big and fight hard! Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs - Bimini Twist

A Bimini twist creates a loop at the end of the line in which it is tied, which can then be used to attach a wind-on-leader. The Bimini twist loop is famous for being stronger than the line itself. It is one of the rare knots that does not weaken the line in which it is tied.

The Bimini twist is usually known as an advanced fishing knot, but once it is practiced it becomes much easier and is a very important fishing knot to know.

Most people have advised that the more turns the better and commonly 20-30 turns is used. However, in recent testing by a popular Australian fishing magazine it is suggested that only 12 turns is the strongest combination!

I am presenting these knot tying instructions as a video and as a picture. This will hopefully help you tie a quality knot. Good Luck.




click to enlarge

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Catch and Release - Fishing how to:

Catch and release fishing is gaining in popularity in the media and in the fishing community at large, which is good news for our fisheries. Releasing what you don't need or want is one of the most important tools that recreational anglers can use to preserve and manage our fisheries.

If you intend to release a fish that you catch, there are important steps you can take which improve the likelihood of the fish surviving.

Landing the Fish. Over-exertion/exhaustion will kill many fish so use common sense. Using extremely light tackle might be fun, but if it prolongs the fight for too long it can result in death to the fish. The first key to proper release is to play the fish as quickly as possible.

The landing of the fish can also cause physical stress to the fish. A big nylon net with large-string netting can become caught in the gills of a fish and can split fins and/or remove the protective slime coating that stops disease. To prevent this use a catch and release net made of a fine cotton mesh or an environet that is certainly all the rage at the moment (see below). Using these kinds of nets will not only vastly improve the chances of survival for the fish, but often keep the fish very calm.

environet

Unhooking the fish while keeping the fish in the water is another viable option for catch and release. Many anglers lift the fish out of the water. This action deprives the fish of water and oxygen and increases stress. If you are going to lift the fish out of the water then the less time out of the water for the fish, the better. If you want to photograph your catch, have the camera ready and minimize the time that the fish is out of the water.

Releasing the Fish. There are some simple rules to follow in this area. The most important is to use care and be gentle when touching a fish. Don't squeeze the fish as you could crush its internal organs and/or remove its protective slime coating. The outer slime coating prevents disease and is essential for the fish's health. Remember if you really must touch the fish always wet your hands first.

As a general rule try to keep your fingers out of the fish's mouth and gills, and use pliers to remove embedded hooks. Try turning a fish upside down as this can calms it and will make for an easier release.

Fish with barbless hooks or with crushed barbs whenever possible. There are some great advantages to using barbless hooks:

1. If you hook yourself, the hook will come out without you having to visit the emergency room.

2. Barbless hooks penetrate a fish's mouth better than a barbed hook.

3. Barbless hooks are much easier to remove from a fish's mouth, making release easier.

If a fish swallows your hook, cut the line as close to the mouth as possible (without cutting the fish). If you are not using stainless steel hooks the hook will rust and dissolve quickly. If you are serious about catch and release, try to limit the use of stainless steel hooks unless they give a real advantage for your type of fishing.

Then you will need to actually release the fish. The best method involves gently holding the fish's tail and while supporting its underbelly, guide it through the water. This allow water to flow through its gills and the fish will begin to breathe. Face the fish into the current so that it can control it's breathing. The fish will usually swim away when it is ready.
Remember some fish, like tuna and other speedsters, often need to be speared back into the water so that the water can rush over their gills - refer to your local fish guides for this information.

If you found this article informative feel free to subscribe or leave a comment
AddThis Feed Button

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fishing Joke

This sums up how I feel today after a very disappointing fishing trip. Enjoy!

A Fishy Story

Two keen fishermen go on a fishing trip. They buy all the equipment: the reels, the rods, the wading suits, the rowboat, the car, and even rent a cabin in the woods. They spend a fortune.

The first day they go fishing, but they don't catch a fish. The same thing happens on the second day, and on the third day. It goes on like this until the last day of their vacation, one of the men catches a fish.

As they're driving home they're really downhearted. One guy turns to the other and says, "Do you realise that this one little fish we caught cost us fifteen hundred dollars?"

The other guy says, "Wow! It's a good thing we didn't catch any more!"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fishing Video of the Week - Snapper

This video focuses on one of my favourite fish to catch - snapper. These are the Australian and New Zealand snapper and are no relation to the snapper family of fishes from the northern hemisphere. In this video the guys are using snapper snatcher rigs - a specially made rig with fly type presentations on a circle hook. They are spicing these up with a little bit of bait and watching the fish hook themselves! They then go on to try these rigs with other fish and find that they work just as well. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Knots and Rigs - The Surgeons Knot

The Surgeons knot is a great knot for joining two lines of different diameters. It is particularly useful when you are using a light main line with a very heavy monofilament or fluorocarbon leader. It is also very easy to tie.

1. Lay the two lines against each other, overlapping about 20 cm.

2. Working the two lines as one, tie an Overhand Knot (granny knot). You will need to pull the leader completely through this loop to tie this.

3. Pull the leader through this loop again. ie. repeat step 2

4. Pass the other end through the loop.

5. Lubricate and clinch tightly by holding the four ends and pulling evenly.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Australian Sportsfish Profile - Australian Salmon


Profile
Australian Salmon are unrelated to the true Salmon of the Northern Hemisphere. They are also called salmont trout, bay trout, black backs, Kahawai and even Sambo. They are a salt water pelagic species that hunt bait in strong wave or current action close to the surface in the cooler and temperate regions of Australia and New Zealand. The Australian salmon is found in estuaries, harbours, bays, along beaches and rocky shorelines and also out on deeper reefs.

Fishing for them
Australian Salmon are a worthy angling target that often produces a high quality aerial display when hooked. They are a clean fighter and can be tamed on relatively light gear. Australian Salmon are most commonly taken on baits of fish flesh, whole pilchard, garfish on ganged hooks. They will also take prawns, squid and other beach fishing baits often used for different species. Large fish can be tempted with a live yellowtail or mullet. Australian Salmon like a moving bait and will often take a moving bait while an anchored bait goes untouched. For this reason lures are becoming a much more popular method of targeting this species. Surf poppers, metal slices and slugs, minnows, jigs, soft plastics, spoons, plugs and flies are all popular artificial baits for this species.

Eating Qualities
While there is no doubt that a skilled chef can make a great meal out of these the Australian Salmon is only a fair table fish. The flesh is often strong flavored and can be smoked like regular Salmon. Many anglers now release the Australian Salmon to allow someone else the enjoyment of catching this wonderful sportsfish!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fishing Video of the week - Ice Fishing

Now ice fishing is something I have always wanted to try, but I have always seen it as a boring event where you get very cold and catch very few fish. However this video made me stop worrying about a frozen butt and I wanted to get onto a plane and head to Canada or the Northern United States immediately!

In this video the fisherman catches a giant musky (muskie) while fishing for lake trout and this is an awesome fish , especially on light tackle. It does show one major problem with ice fishing though - what happens if the hole you dug isn't big enough for the fish! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs - The Paternoster Rig (with dropper loops)

No one really knows where the name came from, but the Paternoster Rig is one of the most used rigs in fishing. It works well in many situations, but is a great rig for reef and rocky areas.
Basically the rig consists of a sinker at the bottom with the hooks above it.

The Paternoster Rig


Now the dropper loops can be tricky to tie at first, but once you get the hang of them they are a breeze and you can whip up one of these rigs in no time. The dropper loop is best tied in leader line like monofilament and fluorocarbon.

The Dropper Loop
1 Form a loop in the line and turn one of the ends of the line through the loop for about 6-8 turns.

2. Pry open the middle of the turns and take hold of the other side of the loop and pull it through the centre opening (you can use a finger or matchstick in this place so that it is not lost).

3 Place the loop over a hook, door handle etc. (or get someone to hold it) and pull both ends of the line. This makes the turns gather together and tighten down on the loop.

4 Lubricate the knot (especially in fluorocarbon) and pull the lines until the knot is completely tight.

To attach a hook thread the loop through the hook eye and around the shank.

I hope that this little instructional post has helped you. Feel free to leave any comment/questions and remember you can subscribe to this blog for more fishing tips
AddThis Feed Button

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs - The Polymer Knot

The polymer knot is reputed to be one of the best choices for tying braid (some braid manufactures even print the knot on their packets). However, testing has found the polymer knot proved mediocre in most braids, breaking from about 40 -70% of the line strength. In saying the though the polymer knot is still a great knot for monofilament and is one of the quickest knots to tie.

1. Double about 10 cm of line, and pass it through the eye of the hook.

2. Tie a simple Overhand Knot (granny knot) in the doubled line letting the hook hang loose. Avoid twisting the lines.

3. Pull the end of loop down, passing it over the hook.

4. Lubricate and pull both ends of the line to tighten the knot.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Australian Sportfish Profile - Barramundi



Yesterday I posted a barramundi fishing video and so today I thought I would write a sportfish profile for this amazing fish.

The barramundi, or barra as it is referred to, is a special fish to Northern Australia. It is highly regarded as a strong fighting sportfish and combined with it's eating qualities makes it the most highly regarded catch in many northern regions.

Profile
Barramundi are a large growing estuary, river and billabong species that is often stocked in freshwater impoundments. They have an affinity for warm tropical water but can survive as far south as Brisbane. They have a large tail and thick shoulders, which means they put up a great fight often interspersed with the famous gill arching leaps into the air when hooked. An interesting fact about barramundi is that they change sex during their life. They are all born male and become females after spawning once of twice. Therefore Barramundi over 8kgs are almost certainly female.

Fishing
Barramundi are top predators and are taken in some of the most spectacular locations in Australia. They are ambush feeders and lurk in places where bait congregate. Most barra anglers fish snags, drop-offs and rock bars. Hard body minnow lures are the most popular barramundi lures altough soft plastics and spinnerbaits also have their place. Barramundi are tough on tackle and the angler must be prepared for this aspect otherwise you will end up losing more than you catch. Most people either buy lures with hooks and rings specifically made for the species or change the treble hooks on American made lures.
Barramundi are also taken on fly and many anglers use Dahlberg divers and Deceiver patterns and tease the barra into striking.
Live bait will also catch barra and this method is used in the colder months when the fish are less active. A live mullet, prawn or cherabin on the bottom of a hole or under a float is a popular method of catching a barra.

Protection
There are strict bag and size limits in every state to help protect this iconic fish. Check with the local authorities.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Fishing video of the week

This little barramundi video is obviously a home made attempt, but it is still worth watching as the action is indicative of what can happen in the far north Queensland rivers and stocked dams. I rate the N.T and far north Western Australia as the best wild barra spots, but you can't beat Queensland for stocked barra.
Barramundi are what many people describe as the ultimate Aussie sportfish. A fish that lives in both fresh and salt water and fights until the very end often with spectacular results. No wonder thousands of visitors a year come from all over the world to catch these fish.
This video was shot from Tinaroo dam, near Cairns, QLD. Enjoy

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs - Double Uni Knot

Sometimes called the uni to uni knot, the double uni knot is a fantastic knot for joining two lines together and can be used for lines with different diameter. Nowadays this knot is commonly tied between braid and a leader line (mono or fluorocarbon) and you must always increase the number of turns in the braid section of this knot and lubricate well to avoid chafing.

1. Overlap the two lines for about 15 cm. Using one end of the line, form a circle that overlaps both lines.

2. Pass the end six to eight times around the two lines (more can be used for braid).

3. Lubricate and pull the tag end tight to form the first knot.

4. Repeat the process using the end of the other line.

5. Lubricate and pull both lines to slide the two knots together.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fishing Tackle Review - Berkley Gulp

There is no doubt that soft plastics are taking fishing by storm, especially here in Australia. Fishermen that would use only bait now have bait free boats and go out with a box full of rubbers. The most talked about soft plastics in recent times aren't plastic (or rubber) at all. The are biodegradable are made in the US by Berkley. Yes I am talking about Berkley Gulp (although I did give that away in the title of this post). These fantastic lures are claimed to be so good that they are better than live bait, but are they?

My testing
I am a reef fisherman, in that I love reef fishing before all other forms of fishing. So it is in this area that I have tested the gulp range more than any other. I rig a gulp of two on a dropper rig and drop them down onto my favourite reefs. So far the results show that little fish still prefer bait like prawns, pilchard, squid etc. which I guess is not surprising. However, gulps certainly catch fish. As a trial during my last fishing trip I used bait (prawns) and my old man used gulp lures. I would have to say that the gulp lures did work, but the prawns still took the most (and the bigger fish).

I am very keen to keep trying these lures (especially ones that look like prawns) to see how they compare over a season of fishing. I have a feeling that they will start to become a greater part of my fishing life and the amount of bait I use will slowly be reduced. I will certainly keep you updated with my results.

Types
There are many patterns to choose from (grub, shad, goby, minnow, worms, squid, crab, pogy, shrimp, etc). I use the salt water models (because I fish in salt water) and I try to buy a few different colours and styles. However because they are used more like a live bait I tend to stick with natural looking colours.

Avaliability
Originally these little lures were very hard to get a hold of in my home town, but now they are literally everywhere. Even some of the bigger department stores and stocking them now and I wouldn't be surprised if you could find them in your local tackle store.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bait Profile - Prawns

Prawns are one of the most versatile baits available for recreational fishers. They can be used alive or dead, cooked or uncooked, baited whole or in sections. They can be used for most species and are especially good for estuary and reef fish species. In most situations prawns are used frozen and while they can produce very good catches in this form, live prawns are certainly a top bait.


How to catch prawns?

Most rivers, estuaries and lakes have prawn stocks to some degree. They are usually gathered at night using a bright torch and a scoop net or a drag net. They keep well in a well aerated bucket and keeping them cool is very important.
In the North and West of Australia they are also caught using cast nets, which is a particularly popular technique in the parts of the country that contains crocodiles. However, drag/seine nets are often still used in these areas (with caution)
Note: Always check local regulations in regards to nets.

Scoop Net ----------- Cast Net ----------- Drag/seine Net
(click to enlarge)

How to hook/rig a prawn?
Live prawns should be hooked lightly through the tail so that the hook does not pierce the internal organs. (see picture)


To hook a dead/frozen prawn the hook (the size depending on the size of the bait) is pushed up from underneath the last segment towards the tail and out through the top of the shell so the barb is exposed.

To hook a prawn piece (used to catch bait and small fish) use a very small hook and hook the prawn flesh through once or twice.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs - The Uni Knot

This is a favourite knot of mine and is best tied in monofilament and flurocarbon line. It is a very adaptable knot and can be used for attaching terminal tackle and is often used for attaching leader to line. It is reputed to retain strength fairly well, but when joining line to line the strength can be cut in half.


1. Pass 12cm of line through the eye of the hook. Create a loop and pass the line under the loop.

2. Make five loops over the doubled part of the loop (more for braid).

3. Pull the tag end (free end) to form a knot.

4. Lubricate and tighten until the knot forms at the eye of hook or swivel.

Note: when using fluorocarbon leader be sure to lubricate very well or the friction will weaken the knot.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fishing Video of the week

This great little video I found while searching youtube today is a very good example of some of the fishing action that can be had on jigs around Australia. We use very similar techniques here in South Australia for fish such as Samson fish and yellowtail kingfish as well as many other reef fish. In Northern Australia you can use the same fishing tackle and techniques for fish like trevally, queenfish and many of the tropical reef species.
If you haven't tried jigging yet then I suggest trying it out! If you don't have a boat then you could always go on a fishing charter. The bonus of fishing with a charter boat is that they often provide their own gear for you to use.