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.

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.

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.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs - The locked blood knot (clinch knot)

This is a very simple yet relatively strong knot for attaching swivels and hooks in line up to about 25kg. It is a very common knot and is usually the first proper knot fishermen learn to tie (usually after the granny knot fails for the first time).

1. Pass the main line through hook or swivel then double back and make four to six (more for braid) turns around the main line.

2. Pass the main line through the first loop and then back around through the large loop.

3. Lubricate and pull the tag gently until the knot comes into shape.

Hint: If you are tying this knot in braid always increase the number of turns.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Australian Sportfish Profile - Sailfish

The sailfish is a true sportsfish in all sense of the term. They fight hard and usually put up a superb aerobatics display.

Sailfish prefer warmer water and are a schooling species, working over bait schools in groups of fifty or more. Sailfish occur in warm waters around the world, usually between 30 degrees north and south of the equator. They are generally a blue water target, but often come close enough to land to be caught be rock fishermen when conditions are right.
In Australia sailfish are regularly caught as far south as the Queensland-New South Wales border and on the west coast their range extends south to Geraldton. However the greatest numbers of fish are along the tropical north coast.
They are often found cruising along the edges of reefs and current lines.

How to catch them
Sailfish take a wide variety of baits and lures, the only problem is finding the right bait at the right time. A list of baits, lures and methods to try for sailfish would include:

  • Trolled strip baits
  • Trolled squid
  • Trolled dead and live fish
  • Drifing (or slow trolling) live and dead fish
  • Various trolled bullet head luers, plastic squids
  • Saltwater fly
Most anglers use stand up tackle to catch sailfish. They can be taken on relatively light line and require a strong monofilament or fluorocarbon leader - wire is not needed.

Eating qualities
Sailfish are eaten in parts of the world, but most fish in Australia are released unharmed unless there is a record claim.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The true story of the duck eating monster

Weird fish Fact #1

For years a story was told around the Lake Washington area about a duck eating monster. On November 5, 1987 it was discovered. It was a dead fish that had washed ashore. The fish was a sturgeon that weighed 900 pounds and was 11 feet long (imagine fishing for that!). Washington State fisheries official Tony Floor estimated that it was 80 years of age. Although they don't usually eat ducks, sturgeons can live up to 100 years and can grow 20 feet long!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fishing Knots and Rigs - The Snell knot

The Snell Knot

This knot is a strong connection for attaching monofilament or fluorocarbon line to hooks. It is usually only tied in leader material

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Step 1

Pass the end of the line through the eye twice, creating a loop below the hook. Hold the hook and leader ends between your thumb and forefinger of left hand. Leader will hang below the hook in a large loop.

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Step 2

Take the part of the large lower loop that is closest to the eye and wrap it over the hook shank and both ends of the leader toward the hook's barb. (5-6 turns)

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Step 3

Use your fingers to hold the coils in place. Pull the line (extending from the eye) until the whole loop has passed under these tight coils and begins to tighten

Step 4

Lubricate and use pliers to tighten knot.

Photos from - Thankyou!

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Welcome to the ultimate fishing blog

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Hi I am a very keen fisherman from South Australia.
I have some grand plans for this blog I hope to include posts like:

  • Best knots and rigs
  • Fishing gear reviews and tackle tests
  • What's new in fishing
  • Fishing tips
  • Fishing videos and photos
  • and much much more...
Check back soon as I plan on keeping this site updated at least weekly!



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