Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Basic Fly Casting

Learning to fly cast can be a difficult experience. I know of at least 3 anglers that spent thousands of dollars on fly equipment only to have it sitting in the back of their garage after a failed learning experience. Apart from buying their gear off them the only help I could give them was get on the Internet watch some videos about fly casting technique and start again (for the record none of them listened).

I must admit I learn best by watching other people, which makes me pretty lucky I guess. With the Internet I can watch how to tie a knot, cast a fly, bait a hook etc. and this makes learning new things very easy.

The following is the video I used to help me learn the basic fly casting technique. Remember that youtube has hundreds of videos like this so take a look through, have a practice and find a technique that works for you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Strangest fishing baits

A while ago I was looking around my favorite fishing forum and I found a thread dedicated to strange fishing bait people had used (or seen used). I was quite surprised by the number of non traditional baits that people have tried and just how successful they were.

I know in England it is normal to use Luncheon Meat (Tinned Ham) for carp and catfish, in some parts of Australia anglers regularly use chicken for bream and some Americans use only their hands to catch catfish - see catfish noodling!

I have also heard of potato, red meat and cheese being used as baits to varying degrees of success (although the health problems associated with fish and cheese should be considered). There was even a story in my local paper where two Greek anglers were pouring ouzo on their baits with extraordinary results.

What I want to know is have you ever tried a weird fishing bait and if so what were your results? Please leave a comment!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A bad days fishing is still a bad day

I must still be in a bit of a tizz over my blog disappearing from google and receiving very few visitors (sorry about that).

Sometimes it feels like all the bad days that you have avoided catch up with you all at once. I am sure you know what I am talking about. On these days it feels like you could win the lottery, but you would lose the ticket or maybe eat at the nicest restaurant only to be the only one that ordered the oysters and get food poisoning.

Sometimes these bad days even spread over to your fishing experiences. You might leave the bungs (plugs) out of the boat (guilty), forget the bait (guilty), forget to tie the anchor down to the boat (not guilty) or even worse.

This video shows what can happen when that "even worse" occurs. This video is entitled "how to ruin a Saturday" and just makes me want to cry for the guy!

The perils of being a fishing blogger (attention google)

Before I start this post I have to say this - don't get me wrong I love blogging for all my readers out there. This isn't a rant about you!

Sometimes working with the Internet can be frustrating. Over the past 3 days my blog has all but disappeared from google causing my visitors to drop back to the loyal few readers (thanks for sticking with me!) from almost 300 average visits daily. I can't for the life of me work out what is going on because I don't use shady tactics to promote the site nor do I use/steal content produced by other people (I write all this stuff myself).

Hopefully things will get back to normal soon because my confidence and enjoyment have taken a bit of a hit and I am looking for some good news!

If anyone is experiencing the same thing or has some advice please leave a comment.

Thanks for putting up with my rant. I promise I will get back to the fishing tomorrow.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuna fish cakes (Gluten and Dairy Free Fish Recipe)

My Mum suffers from coeliac disease, which is an auto immune disease caused by gluten that effects the stomach. The means that sufferers cannot eat gluten (wheat, rye, oats and barley) because the stomach reacts badly to it and begins to stop digesting food properly (in basic terms). It is estimated to effect 1% of the western world suffers from the disease and is often undiagnosed (or misdiagnosed) until adult life when symptoms such as weight loss, stomach pain and fatigue occur. It might sound like a problem, but with an adjusted diet most coeliac sufferers improve very quickly.

Gluten Free Tuna Fish Cakes
This recipe is dedicated to all the coeliac fish lovers out there, but anyone can enjoy this recipe because it tastes so good! It is my go to meal as it is very easy to prepare and the ingredients are almost always in the fridge or cupboard!

For this recipe you will need:
3 Large Potatoes
1 Large Tin of Tuna
Spring Onion
1/2 Cup of cornflour
1 Egg

The following video shows the preparation process quite clearly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How To Roll Cast - Fly Fishing (with video)

Fly fishing is a great way to spend a day - if you know what you are doing, but if you are new to the sport it can be almost as frustrating as golf. For new fly fishing anglers casting is probably the most difficult aspect of the sport to learn. Fortunately with the advent of the Internet learning good casting techniques is as easy as watching a few videos and trying the techniques for yourself!

The roll cast is used when obstacles, such as trees, rocks or other anglers, block the angler from making a normal back cast. This situation arises quite frequently (especially on smaller rivers) and the roll cast is a must for all fly anglers to learn.

How to perform a roll cast
Fortunately the roll cast is not as advanced as many new anglers believe. Actually a roll cast is simply an overhand cast with different timing! This video shows the technique for the roll cast in good detail and is very easy to follow. After watching this video I suggest heading down to your local park to practice this technique.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Spider Hitch - Fishing Knots

The spider hitch is a knot similar to the bimini twist. It creates a double in the line, which is easier to handle and tie. This also allows for stronger knots because a double line is stronger than a single strand of line when tied.

This is a very popular knot with big game anglers as it creates a very good shock absorber and has very similar attributes to the very popular bimini twist, but it is much easier and faster to tie. It is suitable for lines up to 15kg.

Personally I would always tie a bimini twist when I had plenty of time to get it right, but I have tied the spider hitch when rushed and it has performed quite well.

The reports I have read suggest it performs well for small sportsfish, but don't expect it to hold up with bigger game fish. For them you really should try to learn the bimini twist!

This video shows the process of tying a spider hitch very clearly - thanks to the creator of it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Boat Sinks - caught on video

Watching your boat sink must be up there with the worst things that can happen to an boater. In my many years of owning a boat I have only ever once been afraid that it was going to happen to me.

We had taken a couple of older friends out fishing in the usual calm weather we experience, but for some reason on this day the wind decided to spring up quickly from an unusual direction. We made it back to the ramp, but the waves were considerable and we quickly found ourselves washed onto the ramp with water coming over the back and no way to move the boat off the ramp. As I watched the water continue to flood the boat (it was actually so full that it was coming back out) I thought that this was the end of the boat! Fortunately a couple of young lads helped us out and managed to muscle the boat up the ramp where it was drained and put onto the trailer.

This video shows the sad end to a great boat. I haven't been able to find much info about what happened, but the whatever happened to the pink mullet it wasn't good! This is a very useful demonstration of the way smallish trailer boats sink and a must watch for anyone who wants to know.

How to make batter - fish recipe

After my post about how to make beer batter I got lots of requests for a plain and simple normal batter recipe. This recipe I have found for a batter mix is very simple and can be used for almost anything that you want to deep fry such as fish, pancakes or Yorkshire pudding.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g (4oz) Flour
  • 300ml (1.25 cups) Milk
  • A pinch of Salt
  1. You then add these ingredients into a food processor (mixer) and mix for 2 minutes (I told you it was easy! If you don't have a food mixer then you can beat the flour and milk together and then whisk in the eggs and salt.
  2. Let it stand in the fridge for 30 minutes and you are done!

If it still seems hard (or you don't like reading) here is a video explaining the same thing that I just wrote - enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Catching a sea snake while fishing (with video)

During our most recent fishing trip my wife caught a sea snake (which is the inspiration for this post). Fortunately for us is wriggled its way off the hook and we didn't have to debate who was going to take it off the hook for too long (for the record I was volunteered for the task!) I have previously encountered a sea snake many years before that also released itself - so I have been lucky!

Catching a sea snake is one of those things that you don't want happening to you when you are fishing in Australia - ever! The sea snakes that frequent our waters are the most venomous snakes in the world and one bite can kill a grown man in 10 minutes! I don't know about you, but I fish more than 10 minutes away from my local hospital!

This short video I have found is quite interesting. A British tourist fishing in Australian waters caught a cod (called grouper elsewhere) that had actually eaten a sea snake, and was still alive. I catch quite a few cod and they have the reputation of eating almost anything and I think a sea snake fits right into that category! Enjoy

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Double Centauri Knot - Fishing Knots

This knot is also called the double figure of eight knot

The Double Centauri Knot is an excellent knot for joining two lines that are similar in diameter (thickness). It is an easy knot to learn and is sufficiently strong for most applications because it creates less wear and friction than other knots. It is reported to retain 85-95% of the breaking strain of the line.

The following video shows the process very clearly and is easy to follow.

In this video the instructor is using the Double Centauri Knot to join a leader to a bimini twist, which is one of the most popular methods of attaching a leader to the main line. The bimini twist is an advanced knot, but one every keen angler should become familiar with. You can find a demonstration of the knot at my post - how to tie a bimini twist.

Biggest Carp Ever Caught (with video)

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that carp are not my favorite fish in the world. Don't get me wrong they are a great angling target in their rightful place, but they actually illegal to catch and release in my country (Australia) and must be disposed of away from the water because of the environmental impact.

There is heaps of (mis)information about the biggest carp ever caught, but it seems to me the world record carp was caught by Graham Slaughter (what a great name!!) of Britain. His carp weighed in at a whopping 88.6lbs and is believed to be the only carp caught over 40 kilos in the world. To put that into perspective the women Chinese Olympic divers weigh in at around 37 kilos!

Here is a picture of the world record fish (click to enlarge)

It is an amazing fish and I have never seen anything like it. It looks like it has been seriously pigging out on anglers baits for years and years without doing any exercise!

Here is a video of the previous world record carp, which weighed in at 87lb 2oz and although it isn't 40kg it is still a great fish. The video is well worth a watch if you like giant carp!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How to fish a FAD

What is a FAD?
FAD's are classified as anything that attracts or aggregates fish, which gives rise to the term FAD (fish aggregation device or fish attracting device). They have been around for thousands of years and reports of anglers using FAD's date back to 200 BC. Mediterranean fishermen tied reeds together and floated them to attract mahi mahi and islanders of the Pacific and Indian oceans used rafts and palm leaves to attract tuna and other tropical fish.

In modern times Hawaii was the place the modern FAD's gained popularity and now many governments and fishing organizations in different countries have sunk large objects with special floats and buoys attached to attract fish.

Which fish are attracted?
In tropical waters baitfish are the first attracted and this brings in the medium predators like mahi mahi, tuna and other tropical fish. These species, in turn, attract big predators like marlin and sailfish.

How to fish the FAD's
You would think with all the great fish these attracting devices bring that the fishing would be easy, but it still takes careful preparation to catch the fish. Many anglers troll a spread of lures around the FAD, which can be a very successful method. Most lures types will catch fish. Other anglers like to cast lures (such as metal slices and surface lures) towards the FAD and crank the lure back to the boat quickly. Bait fishing can also be good around the FAD's and live bait caught in the area is usually the preferred option.

It is important to remember that fish can hold off the FAD slightly and it is not necessary (or polite) to park your boat right on top of the FAD!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Reef Fishing Video - Insane Action in Australia

This video is definitely amateur and it's noisy, but this fishing video shows some of the most insane reef fishing action that has ever been captured. It sounds a bit like my boat when the fish go off - I am known for being a little bit noisy myself (OK a lot noisy!) Congrats to the boys on the boat - it looks like so much fun! Apparently many fish were released, which is also great to hear.

This video was filmed on the great barrier reef and is fairly typical of the reef fishing available on the largest reef in the world. It really is a great fishing destination and all serious anglers should get there at least once in their lives. There are many fishing options available including everything from the ever popular reef fishing to serious sport fishing for grandeur marlin!

I really enjoy reef fishing, probably because the fish hold all the cards early in the fight and because you never know what you are going to pull up. The reef is also home to some of the best eating fish available! I hope you enjoy this great little video.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fishing at the olympics

It is safe to say the most of the world is in Olympics mode (I have even noticed a drop in visitor numbers to this site!) So while the blog is a little deserted I thought I would put up my arguments for and against about fishing being included as an Olympic sport!


  • Most countries participate in the sport of fishing in some form.
  • It is a traditional and ancient sport.
  • Each Olympics could have a different target species.
  • It would raise awareness of angling and what anglers do to care for the environment.
  • It would encourage the continued growth of catch and release fishing.
  • Animal rights activists would be against it.
  • It doesn't make for great TV (this is debatable I guess).
  • Transporting all the necessary equipment to the Olympic country could be a chore (although it can't be much harder than transporting a horse or a drunk athlete!)
  • It isn't a traditional Olympic sport.

Hopefully the IOC is listening/reading to my thoughts and we will see fishing at the Olympics one day!

Of course this is all just a bit of fun, but feel free to tell me what you think - please leave a comment.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tensioning Knot - Boating Knots

The tensioning knot is less well known than many other popular marine knots, but it should be one that every keen boater learns and knows. This knot can be very useful for many different things and has saved countless people from sticky or dangerous situations because it is fast to tie and very reliable for when tentioning is required.

This knot can also be a fast alternative to the truckers knot for when speed is needed or the rope is too short. This knot can be used for anything from tying down the boat on the trailer to fast locking off the rope on a boat where tensioning is needed.

I found a great little video showing the process for tying this knot, which is easy to follow and should have you tying like a professional in no time!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Best Tides For Fishing

Which are the best tides for fishing?

I get asked this question a lot. Maybe more than seven times a week and I have a pretty standard answer - "that is a loaded question." If the person asking seems really serious I then go on to explain a few things that just might help them discover the best times for fishing.

What are tides
Tides are the movement of water (rise and fall) in the ocean caused by the tidal forces of the moon and sun acting on the oceans. Tides can move a lot (spring tides) or very little (neap tides) and in most parts of the world there are 2 low and 2 high tides each day. You don't need to understand the real specifics of it, but it helps to know that tides effect fish in various direct and indirect ways:

  • Tidal current pushes food into different areas
  • Tidal current can make it easier or more difficult for fish to swim/move into new areas.
  • Tidal current creates new channels and gutters for fish to stalk their prey
  • High tide exposes fish to new areas with potential food sources (eg. rock pools)
What tides are best for fishing
I am going to be a little vague here, but it really depends on what you are fishing for. Many anglers suggest the 2 hours before and after the high tide and other suggest the opposite. Some anglers suggest fishing big tidal movements (no run no fun - as the saying goes) and others prefer the littlest of tide movements.

Be sure to ask other anglers in your area for their advice, but don't be afraid to experiment yourself. If you do this it is a good idea to keep a fishing diary to look back over and work out the best tides that have been successful for your particular target species.

After keeping a dairy for years I now live by this motto - the best time to go fishing is when you have time to go fishing!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Connecting braid to monofilament - Fishing Knots

One of the most common questions I get asked is how to connect the braid main line to a monofilament (or even fluorocarbon) leader material. I usually respond with a double uni knot (uni to uni knot) which is suitable for most fishing situations, but if they are truly serious about fishing they should learn the bimini twist knot coupled together with a lesser known knot called the bristol knot. The reason the bimini twist is recommended is that is created a loop or doubled line, which gives tremendous strength to the connection.

To make it easier for all of you I found a great video demonstration which shows one of the best methods for attaching braid to a monofilament leader. In this method the instructor the video uses a bimini twist and a reverse albright (also called a worm knot), which provides a strong, worry free connection.

These knots are slightly more advanced and can seem very complicated, but it is certainly worth the trouble and time taken to learn these fishing knots.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Free Downloadable Fishing Games Guide

Fishing games can be a popular way of passing the time when the weather turns bad, you can't get on the water or you just want something to do in your free time at work - sorry boss! I myself have even been known to play fishing games on the odd (often) occasion!

There are many online fishing games that can be played directly through your web browser (generally flash games) or downloaded onto your computer and installed (like regular programs). There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of games such as availability, quality of the games, accessibility and more.

Online fishing games
Generally online flash games are simple games that are fun for a short time. They can be played with a mouse and are usually defined by their simple game play. However, these quick, easy games can be quite fun and addictive and are well worth a look. Another great advantage of online fishing games is that there are many available and they are easy to find with a quick web search. While doing the research of this post I found heaps of these games and some are really fun - and best of all free!

Downloadable Fishing Games
There are many downloadable fishing games available although there are less of these than online games. These games tend to be of better quality than the other variety, but most of them are only available as free trials with limited features (called demos) before you are asked to pay. However, there are some great free fishing games worth a look such as big mouth bass 3D and others.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cleat Hitch - Boating Knots (with video)

The Cleat Hitch is an essential knot for all boaters to learn. This knot is used to attach your boat to the dock and if you want the boat to stay in place (which is pretty important when you think about it!) the cleat hitch is the knot you will want to use. It is strong, easy to tie, and even more importantly, easy to untie for when you want to leave the dock. Most, if not all, boaters will use this knot and if you are new to the boating scene make sure you have a practice run or two before leaving the dock.

Many boaters also use the cleat hitch to attach the anchor rope to the cleat on the boat, but personally I feel that there are better knots for this situation.

The video gives a very good demonstration on this important boating knot and is quite easy to follow.

I am planning on adding more boating knots in the future and if you found this post useful or want to make a suggestion please leave a comment.