by Gary Brown
As a kid I didn’t read much, except for anything to do with fishing. It didn’t matter whether it was a book, magazine, the latest fishing article, just as long it was to do with fishing. One technique that I picked up while reading an article by Mark Frendin was how to use a plastic practice golf ball as a casting weight. The idea is to use a paternoster rig and attach the practice golf ball to the bottom loop where you would normally tie on a sinker. Before you cast you would fill the golf ball with moist sand. This sand would give you the casting weight that you would need to get it out the required distance the weight of the sand would make it sink for a while, that is until the sand has leached out. The golf ball would then act a float.
Don't forget to spice up those squid jigs with a bit of scent
Have you ever thought of using a metal lure as a sinker weight? If I am fishing off a beach for flathead, bream or whiting and I know that there is a very good chance of a salmon or tailor being about, I will substitute a heavy metal lure for the sinker. If you miss the bite and you know you may have lost your bait you can start a medium fast retrieve off the bottom and start spinning with the lure. If you link about it, what are you going to get snagged on? You also have a chance of catching a flathead or a mulloway.
I was reading an article by Shane Murton and he was explaining how he uses a balloon to get a bait out the required distance when chasing sharks. The next time you want to suspend a bait try blowing up a party balloon (not to big) and letting the tide of wind do the rest. Now if I am fishing off the beach or rocks and there is a gutter or deep hole that is too far out of my casting reach and the conditions are very calm and there is an offshore breeze I will tie on a balloon and send out a live bait to whatever may be cruising along that gutter or hole.
Pink nippers are a great bait and if you are constantly getting what you think are bites and you are missing the fish and you only coming back with the tail. You will need to change the length of your hook so that the bend of the hook now comes out of the head of the yabby. Also don’t forget to put a half hitch around the tail of the yabby with your line.
When I have targeted snapper, mulloway and tuna over deep offshore reefs I have always put a lumo bead straight above the hook. It wasn’t until about six to seven years ago that I started to experiment with them while fishing off the beach or rocks, especially when there was a lot of phosphorescence in the water. When fishing off the beach or rocks at night I will always have a torch with me to help me see what I am doing. Try shinning your torch onto the lumo bead for about 30 to 50 seconds before you cast it out. The bead will glow in the dark or dirty water. It is just the same when you put a small piece of pink or red tubing on top of your tube, beach or blood worms when chasing whiting.
When targeting bream and drummer off the rocks I will use a variety of baits. One of the techniques that I use is to thread a half a piece of cunje onto the hook and push it up the line. Then I will cut a crab in half and thread the hook through the body and out through one of the leg sockets. This combination of using two baits is deadly. As the smaller fish will pick at the cunje, creating a bit of berley and commotion. This in turn will attract the attention of a bigger fish. The crab leg will also help hold the cunje onto the hook.
When fishing I like to keep as mobile as I can and to do this I need to have only enough tackle for the fishing session. To help me do this I collect as many clear film containers as I can from one of my local photo shops. I then label them as to what I have put into them and the store them in a tackle tray. Before and after each time I use the hooks I will spray a couple of shots of Inox into the film container where the hooks and swivels are kept. This will stop them from rusting and it will not put the fish off from biting.
Have you ever been chasing squid with a squid jig and they just keep letting go of it. Try putting a fish attractant like the spray on Gulp liquid or Squidgy S factor on the jig. I have found that the squid take a second go at the jig.
Have you ever found that when you use a set of ganged hooks you will tend to get a lot of line twist? To help minimize this line twist try rigging your sets of ganged hooks with either a swivel at the top or don’t use a hook with a turned down eye. Use hooks with a straight eye for the top one.