'When fighting either a tailor or salmon keep an eye on whether the fish is going to jump. They are very good at throwing the lure'
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Tips on how to maximize your hook up rate by striking.
1 When fishing for mulloway, when should you set the hook? This can be a real point of contention with anglers who fish for mulloway. Personally, along with many other anglers, I am a firm believer of, that if the fish has got the bait in its mouth I will let it run for about 2 to 4 seconds and then strike. In other words, as long as it take me to get to the rod and lean back. Ok, I may have missed the odd mulloway or two, but who’s worried. Not me!
2 As stated before I am not the best at beach worming, but I do manage to get enough for an outing or two. One thing that I have learnt when beach worming is to make sure that I have some sand between my fingers and the worm itself. The tiny hairs that they have on their body will feel the touch of your skin before you realize it, making the worm retract back into the sand. Once you have hold of the worm you may find that you will have to go for a second grab on the worm’s body, so that you don’t pull the worms head off.
3 When I am using a running sinker down onto a swivel and a leader, I will make sure that I stop them line from going off the spool just a second or two before it hits the water. This will allow the bait to project forward and not get tangled up around the main line as it sinks to the bottom.
4 When I am fishing for mulloway off the beach I will set my rod up in a rod holder. If I am using a strip of fresh fish for bait I will use a double snooded rig and both of the hooks will be pinned into the bait. The reel will have the drag set fairly firm and it will be in gear. When the mulloway hits and takes off with the bait, most of the times both hooks will be inside its mouth and with the rear being in gear it will set the hooks for you.
5 Winter time in Sydney is a very good time to target silver trevally off the rocks and they respond well to a berley trail of bread as they tend to stay a bit wider off the rocks. Try using a medium sized peeled prawn as bait. You will need to look for an area that has a deep drop off and not a lot of cabbage and weed. Most of the fish that I catch while fishing off the rocks will weigh about to about a kilo. The rig tends to be a 00 ball sinker that is right down onto a number 1 to 1/0 hook.
Silver trevally can at times be a bit tricky to hook, as they will pick up the lightly weighted bait and continue moving on through the berley trail. If you haven’t felt a bite or a slight pull and you haven’t being snagged you will need to slowly wind in the line. Once you feel a bit of weight you will need to strike as the fish has most probably swum towards you?
6 Have you ever found that when using soft plastics or hard body lure and a fish grabs hold of the lures, but fails to hook up. This could be because in a spit second or less the fish has realized that the thing that you have offered it is not real and let’s go of it. I have also had this happen with bait as well. To get this fish to hold onto the lure for a longer time allowing you to set the hooks you can try applying some type of scent. It can be sprayed, whipped or dipped onto the lure. Just make sure that you put the lid back on as it will get everywhere.
7 Time and time again I have heard and read of other anglers stating that you should keep the rod in a loaded position so that when a tailor or salmon jumps out of the water they don’t throw the hook. As far as I am concerned this is completely wrong. The last thing you want on your line is tension when the tailor or salmon jumps. Tailor and salmon will jump and cart wheel all over the surface and if you have to much tension on the line it will compound the pressure and weight that the lure is currently exerting on the fishes mouth, causing the lure to fly free of the fish. The next time that you are fishing for tailor or salmon and you have one of them jump out of the water, don’t pull on the line as you may have the fish throw the lure or hooks
8 Many anglers when fishing will wait for that feel of the bite of the fish. To keep myself in front of the bite I will always be watching for any sudden movement in the line. There has been many a time I have seen the bite of the fish well before I have felt it. This can be especially so when fishing for bream and trevally.
9 When fishing for luderick with a stemmed float I will always allow a couple of seconds before I strike at the float. This gives the luderick time to get the hook in its mouth and me time to take up any slack line that may be between the reel and the float.
10 If you are fishing off the low lying rocks you can use the wave and wash motion to help you land the fish at your feet. Get the timing wrong and you are at risk of losing that fish. If the wave or wash starts to pull the fish away from you, most of the times you are better off just dropping the rod tip or winding the reel backwards (Alvey side cast) to allow the fish to go back into the water away from anything that can cut the line. Then when the wave or swell comes in again start the process over again to land the fish.
by Gary Brown
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12:37 PM Tue 25 Jun 2013GMT
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