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.


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
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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

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
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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.

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.

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.

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