With my replaced fishing gear and 5 days late Dad and I finally got out onto the water for a fish today. We had a very slow days fishing and it just never really went off like it usually does. We probably caught 25-30 fish, but all were relatively small. The only fish of note were a nice little cod, a baby barracuda and a smallish snapper. All were returned to the water except for the cod, which will make our dinner tonight. Dad lost something huge, but the fight only lated for about 0.5 seconds. We fished 2 wrecks and a natural reef and were fishing with prawns and squid for bait. Because it was a slow day we didn't get the plastics out for a fish...
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
If you cut the handle from an old spoon from your kitchen, you can make two lures - one from the handle and one from the bowl (the bit you eat off). If holes are drilled through both ends of the bowl section and split rings attached with a hook at one end and a swivel at the other, an excellent spoon lure will result.
Similarly the handle can be drilled and fitted out with swivels, rings and hooks. The handle can then be bent slightly to give the lure some extra action.
These can then be painted all over or perhaps simply add an eye or some scales to make the lure more lifelike. A touch of red paint behind the eyes will represent gills.
While these lures seem crude they have been around for a very long time and they have been around for so long because they actually work!
Hopefully this picture will give you a better idea of the process (imagine this is the bowl of the spoon).
For more information about lure fishing why not pay a visit to the website http://lurefishingforbeginners.blogspot.com/.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Whether fishing with mono or braid always check the line for nicks or frazzles or areas of abrasion that will cause a weakness. After every fishing trip, or after playing out a nice fish, cut off about 50cms of line and throw it away especially if it is badly frayed or cut up.
There are 3 main causes/reasons for doing this
1. The fish goes deep, pulling the line across rocks, logs or other hard objects
2. The fish is big and the line will rub across its body or tail (especially bad if the fish has sharp gills)
3. other objects, such as the boat, a jetty, surface objects or dock, and deep snags may bump into your line.
These factors will cause abrasion, eventually causing the line to break. Trimming the line before this happens will potentially prevent you from losing a trophy fish. Take the time...it is worth it.
Note: some braids can become frayed over time, which is not usually a detriment to their strength - always err on the side of caution.
I saw my first striper (also called striped bass) in an Australian magazine that featured a local writer that had visited the US. From what I know they are a great success story and can be caught in many places that they did not originally habitat after translocation (please correct me if I am wrong). They put up a really great fight and are wonderful on the plate. Like many other species fishing for stripers is best at dusk and dawn. These great fish are definitely on the first page of fish I really want to catch.
This is a great video showing everything from catching stripers to cleaning and filleting them. It really is a must watch. Enjoy
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Dad was kind enough to find a store (or two) open today and offered to take me out and buy me a replacement rod to make up, in part, for the ones that were stolen. Thanks Dad! I also purchased a cheap combo to tide me over and get us back out on the water, hopefully, next weekend. It's going to be a slow process of building up my tackle supply again and I am still discovering things that were stolen, which isn't such a nice feeling. It also looks like the thieves also tried to activate our EPIRB from the boat so I am glad they didn't succeed at that!
I am grumpy, no scratch that, really really angry. Dad and I had planned a nice Australia Day holiday fishing trip all week. However, when I turned up Dads house today to prepare the boat (ie. tie all the rigs and make sure Dad has put the bungs in) I found out that all my Penn and Okuma rods and reels (some almost new) have been stolen - leaving me with only a couple of $20 supermarket special combos. So not only am I out of pocket for rods I can't really afford to re-buy at the moment - it's a holiday tomorrow so I can't get to the shops to replace the stolen rods anyway!!
So all that means - NO fishing tomorrow!!
Even worse is the feeling that someone grubby has been in your stuff and gone through your personal items - it really does feel like you have been violated! Not a happy Australia Day really! However, putting everything back in perspective I must say I live in a great country and have lots more than many others in the world.
If the person who stole my rods and reels ever reads this (and I doubt they will) make sure you look after the stuff - those rods and reels have many memories attached and I couldn't bear to have them lying on some pawn shop floor.
If you have had this kind of thing happen to you - or if you want to donate to my tackle restocking ;-) please leave a comment
I promise tomorrow will be a happier post
Friday, January 25, 2008
Technology is forever changing and being upgraded - for instance the CD is almost dead and DVD's are slowly going the way of the buffalo. Now after saying all that I don't think that the electric fishing reel is going to overthrow the "normal" fishing reel I think that it is one of the truly great inventions. It means that disabled people have much better access to fishing and it will certainly be useful for deep sea bottom bouncing and jigging. I have seen one of these reels in action first hand and was used by my mate with one arm after a mining accident - a truly amazing piece of equipment. The battery packs that these reels need are getting smaller and smaller all the time and are light enough to clip onto your belt.
I found a video to show you what I am talking about - it is obviously advertising material, but I think that it demonstrates the idea perfectly.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I found this great little video today doing my daily youtube trawl and thought I would share it with my readers. Choosing a rod and rell for your kids can be a hard task with many different styles available each with their advantages and disadvantages. This great video quickly describes the advantages and disadvantages of two popular types of kids combos.
If your kid seems to be really into fishing and excited about the prospect of heading out with Dad or Mum on the water I think that starting off with a spinning reel and getting them to practice is the best way. Kids excited about fishing probably won't mind just practicing for a while. If your kids are a little more unsure about the idea of fishing you really can't go past a closed faced reel because that will have them in the action straight away.
enjoy the video
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Before I start this tip I just have to say if your tackle store is happy to spool up your reel and has a line winding machine let them do it! This is by far the most efficient method.
When you're spooling up a reel, put a pencil/pen, through the center of the line spool and have someone hold it to keep some tension on the line. Tie the line to the reel with a (Uni-knot or Arbor knot) trimming off the tag end and make sure the knot is snug to the reel spool. One person should reel while another holds both ends of the rod, applying pressure as the line is reeled onto the spool. Keep the line away from anything that could cause abrasion and remember to never overfill the reel.
If you are using monofilament it may twist. If it happens while fishing from a boat, play the line out with nothing on the end, trolling behind the boat for a few minutes. Then simply wind the line back on the spool under pressure. A ball bearing swivel can be used to avoid line twist.
Adapted from www.fish4fun.com
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This knot is well known in muskie fishing circles and is well regarded as one of the strongest fishing knots tested when tied correctly. Luckily it is fairly simple to tie and can be tied in the dark with some practice.
1.Put 15cm of line through the eye of the hook.
2. Bring it around in a circle and put the end through again.Making a second circle, pass then end through a third time.
3. Holding the three circles of line against each other, wrap the end three times around the circles.Either hold the hook steady with pliers, or make it fast to boat's rigging or safety lines.
4. Holding strain on the hook, pull on both ends of the line to tighten.
This video is from where I spent my holidays - unfortunately for me I wasn't on the water fishing. The southern half of this country has some great fish even after years of overfishing and environmental vandalism. Currently Port Philip Bay is about to undergo some serious channel dredging to make way for mammoth cargo ships, which has anglers very unhappy. Apparently dredging will even occur where coral is growing, which seems like a really stupid thing to me!
If you are interested in reading more about the channel dredging you can find it here
Coalition against the channel dredging
You can also voice your discontent here - take action say no to dredging
Anyway enough of the politics - enjoy the video
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Well after one week away on holidays I am back feeling refreshed and ready to blog. I have heaps of great stuff planned for this year including more knots, recipes and tackle reviews. I am going to continue my routine of one new post a day so that all of my readers have something new each day they visit.
If you have any ideas or thing you would like to see please leave a comment.
If anyone is interested I had a really good holiday (no fishing though!)
Friday, January 11, 2008
Well that time of the year has come again - I am going on holidays. I am not leaving you completely and I will be back in a week, but if you really need an ultimate fishing blog fix I am going to leave you with the most popular posts of 2007.
1. How to cast a baitcaster reel
Yep these are really hard to master and I think that the number of page views to this post really proves that!
2. Fishing Knots and Rigs: Double Uni Knot
This is a great knot and I am glad that this information has been useful.
3. How to throw a cast net video
Almost as hard to master as a baitcaster and I think the amount of page views shows this!
4. Fishing Knots and Rigs: Snell Knot
I get heaps of visitors looking for knots and this is the second most popular.
5. Fishing Knots and Rigs: Bimini Twist
6. Fishing Tackle Review Berkley Gulp
People seem to like the tackle reviews: I have planned more for the future
7. Fishing Bloopers
Everyone likes funny fishing videos right?
I look forward to resuming most posting in a week.
If you have any favorite/memorable posts from this blog you would like to mention feel free to leave a comment.
The nail knot is a popular fly fishing knot and is used to attach leader butt to fly line or to attach backing to fly line. This knot can also used to make float stoppers. Just substitute a small straw or hard plastic tube in place of fly line and use rod wrapping thread in place of the leader material.
Many anglers suggest that this knot should not be used for big fish due to fact that the knot depends on the outer coating of the fly line for strength.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I have noticed a whole heap of people visit this website looking for tips on how to cast a baitcaster. So being a thinking man I thought that people might really appreciate a video that gives them some great tips and instructions for casting a baitcaster.
I really hope this helps some frustrated people out there, because like I said in my first baitcasting post my experience ended in tears. However, I am glad that I persisted because the rewards of using a baitcaster are huge.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
This is a great recipe instructional video and is well worth watching if you are looking for an interesting a delicious fish recipe. My wife tried the recipe with some of the reef fish I had caught and it really makes a great meal. My wife says it is a low difficulty dish and everyone should be able to make it.
The video is really well done and very clear so that you will be able to follow the instructions. Enjoy.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
For new fly fishers choosing the right equipment can be a daunting task. Over the next few weeks I am planning on bringing more fly fishing tackle tips so keep checking back.
Matching the rod and line weight is a key feature of a balanced fly fishing system and the foundation of good casting. Casting power comes from the relationship of line to rod. When you pick up the line from the water, the line "loads" the rod by adding enough weight to flex it fully. Then, with a properly timed cast, the flexed rod straightens out, driving the line foreword.
To help you cast more efficiently most fly lines are tapered. This taper varies in weight, diameter and thickness over the length of the line.
There are five main types of taper, each to meet a specific purpose
Weight-forward (WF) taper
These are the most popular and the best choice if you are a beginner
The first 30 feet or so of line is heavier because of its tapered front end
The rest of the line is thinner and is known as the running line
The weight-forward line helps with long casts and better precision even in windy conditions
Bass bug/saltwater (BBT) taper
This taper is much like the weight-forward design except that the front section does not run as long
This design helps with heavier flies, hence its use for catching feisty bass or bigger saltwater fish
Double taper (DT)
DT fly lines are preferred by seasoned fly anglers
These lines work especially well in making delicate presentations on small- to medium-size rives since the belly is at the center, with both ends gradually tapering
This makes the line highly economical too because when one end wears out, you can turn the line around and use the other end
This line won't cast as far or provide as much wind resistance as a weight-forward line
Shooting taper (ST)
ST lines cast farther than other lines so they are designed for fast-running rivers and in extreme wind conditions. The line portion (front section) is stout and short to form a casting loop.
Most anglers attach a shooting line on the running line using monofilament, braided line or a very fine diameter fly line
Level (L) taper
These lines are uniform in diameter throughout, making them the most economical
If you are a beginner don't try to save money this way. Level taper lines are the most difficult to cast so they really are best used by seasoned veterans, primarily for fly fishing with live bait.
Floating (F) lines
These do as they say--they float on the water's surface
Floating lines are good for beginners since they are easier to cast and handle
Floating lines also are a must for dry flies, but they can also work with wet flies, nymphs and streamers that are fished several feet below the surface
Intermediate (I) lines
These are a little denser than water so they sink slowly to present a fly just below the water's surface
These lines work well in shallow, weedy lakes and in choppy waters where you want your line to stay below the choppiness
Sinking (S) lines
These lines do the opposite of floating lines--they sink
They are designed for deep lakes and deep, fast-flowing rivers
Some manufacturers also put a Roman numeral after the S to show how fast their line sinks in inches per second. For example, an S II line sinks about two inches per second
These lines are best for wet flies, nymphs and streamers at a constant depth
Floating/Sinking (F/S) lines
These combine the two characteristics--the five foot-- to twenty foot tip or front portion sinks to present the bait while the balance of line floats on the water
Manufacturers display the depth and speed that the front part of the line sinks
This floating/sinking line gets your fly down while helping you maintain control, so it's good for fish such as salmon.
sourced from www.troutlet.com
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Fly lines always benefit from a few moments of care that will not only improve their longevity but increase their performance too.
- Always clean your line with conditioner - every trip
- Always stretch your line before use
- Always examine your rod guides for cracks
- Always match your rod to your line AFTMA (weight rating)
- Always store your line in loose coils
- Always store your line away from heat and light
This is just an amateur fishing video, but unlike many of the others it has some really good fishing action interspersed with the usual home video camera work (although I must say it is quite good). If you watch really early on you will see a reef fish being sharked, which has happened to me more times than I can remember and while it may seem a little gross it is the law of nature.
Sharks are a common occurrence on tropical reefs (if I was a shark that is where I would be) and can often be a problem. If you encounter them it is recommended to move to a new patch of reef. The fishing in this video is very typical of bottom bouncing on Northern Australian reefs, but there are still some great fish on show. Enjoy!
Saturday, January 5, 2008
This is one of the most common questions I am asked is how to rig a whole squid for pelagic fish. Rather than try to answer that question with words I have found a great squid rigging video that I am sure anyone that fishes with squid will find useful. The video is specifically focused on rigging a squid for swordfish, but the rigging technique will work with most pelagic species.
It really is a great video that shows the process very clearly (much more clearly than I could put it into words). I hope the video is useful and good luck when rigging your squid for bait.
Friday, January 4, 2008
I came across this post in one of my favorite fishing forums. I hope the original author (GraphixDude) doesn't mind me posting it here, but I thought it was a good reminder of ice fishing safety (of which I know nothing about - being from the tropics of Australia).
Ice fishing in Michigan.
Since I was a little kid, my uncle has taken me ice fishing every winter. Usually we go to remote lakes in the Allegan County area, and my uncle has a history of fearlessly fishing on thin ice either late or early in the season. This always made my mom nervous about letting me go with him.
I was about 12 or 13 years old, and we were fishing on a lake called "Hodge Lake"...a very deep lake with natural springs that feed it. There are spots in that lake where the ice is black in huge areas and it usually indicates thin ice.
There was a dusting of snow covering the whole lake and the ice was VERY smooth and slippery. The temperature was FREEZING cold with a very low wind chill. I was setting up tip ups in one section and my Uncle was setting some up in another area. For those that don't know these are devices made of 3 sticks - 2 that cross each other and one that goes verticle into the hole with the cross as a stand to hold it up. On the bottom is a spool of line and on the top is a little orange flag. You put a minnow on the hook hanging from the line, and when a fish bites, the little orange flag "tips" straight up so you know you have a fish. You usually catch big bass and northern pike on these.
After setting the tip ups, we got close to each other and started to fish with regular ice fishing rods....tearing the blue gills and perch up. Suddenly far on the other side of us one of the little flags popped and my uncle ran over to check it. About 35 yards from the flag (in a spot we hadn't yet walked) my uncle suddenly disappeared with a loud crack in the ice that vibrated the ice all the way where I was standing. Immediately my uncle surfaced and started to yell and claw for the edge of the ice. It kept breaking as he tried to pull himself up. I grabbed a long nylon rope from the sled we use to pull our stuff out and threw him the rope then walked backward to the edge of the lake to a tree....tied the rope then tried to get close to him. My uncle had the rope, but he was getting weak so I tried to get closer to him to help him. Just as my uncle was yelling at me to get back away CRACK - I went in too. Fortunately I had the rope in my hand still when I dropped into the cold water. I only fell in to about my armpits and relatively easily pulled myself back out.
Just like an Angel, all of a sudden this guy with a big ol beard appeared on the edge of the lake (to go fishing also) and saw the problem going on. He carefully made his way out on the ice a little ways and pulled my uncle out of the water with the rope.
Finally my uncle was out and we were all on the shore. I was wet and Freezing my butt off but unharmed....uncle was shaking like crazy and cold. The guy that helped us decided not to fish there on that lake needless to say. We had to leave our tip ups and the fish we had caught for fear of the ice breaking if we went out to collect them. We got in the truck after a million thanks to the guy that helped us out and drove the 10 miles from the lake to my Grandfathers house. There my uncle got his butt chewed out by my grandpa and my grandma made a big fuss over me. I will never forget the Chocolate chip cookies she made me that day!
I guess that is the most horrific thing that has ever happened to me while fishing though. I was pretty scared.
It took a lot of convincing for my mom to let me go fishin with Unc again, but over the years we have caught a ton of fish through the ice. Ice fishing is my favorite way to fish but you have to be very careful. Now we go every year to Saginaw Bay and catch walleyes a mile out on the ice.
I take no credit for this post
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I found this great article by Greg Vinall and while I have only posted the first part to whet your appetite - if you like where it is going visit his complete article here (it really is fantastic)
The day had been slow. For the fifth or sixth time I steered the canoe close to a rocky dropoff on the Hopkins Estuary and enjoyed the gentle drift afforded by a light breeze that was running parallel to the shore. It wasn't the best day for fishing, in fact I hadn't raised any piscatorial interest at all. It was bright and warm with plenty of boating traffic to create a disturbance in what is essentially a fairly small waterway. Perhaps if I'd been prepared to soak baits quietly in a deeper hole or under the shade of some overhanging vegetation I might have done better, but that would have been giving in. Instead I persisted in flicking small crankbaits at any rocky structure I could find along the steep foreshore.
I started trying to convince myself that I was happy just to be out here enjoying nature, the warm sun on my back and the song of a whistling kite overhead. Without really thinking about it I made yet another lure change, this time from a pink and yellow pattern with a black spot amidships to a small black deep diver with just a hint of silver scales. I deftly flicked the little lure into a small pocket behind a large rock, gave it a second or two to sink, then cranked over the little Chronarch baitcaster, gave the lure a couple of gentle twitches and idly began my retrieve. Whack! Two turns of the handle was all I managed before the lure was nailed by a stud black bream that proceeded to go berserk in only two feet of water.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
When I first saw this I must admit I was a little (read a whole lot) surprised. Barramundi a native Aussie fish stocked in Florida? But I wasn't seeing things it seems as though the iconic Australian sportsfish has been stocked in Osceola County Florida and is thriving.
(You can read more about the barramundi from my barramundi sportsfish profile post)
The ones in the video seem to be very lean and are probably only a few months old at most. However, you can see the potential they have with some spectacular leaping and a fighting style that could pull most freshwater fish backwards. We stock barra in our dams and they achieve mammoth sizes very quickly (see below) and it wont be long before the ones in Florida are really worth catching.
Average Size Barra
The Video Proof
I know some may not beleive me (I didn't beleive it myself at first) so here is the video. Enjoy the video and if you are in Florida get down to this lake and have a go at them - you wont be disappointed.