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Fishing with Jackson Ford

by Game & Leisure Boats 7 Apr 15:13 UTC
Fishing with Jackson Ford © Game & Leisure Boats

Offshore fishing with Jackson Ford

This short article outlines chasing one of my favourite table fish the Snapper and variable other species. I'll go through techniques to hopefully get you out and about and fish on the table.

The basic set up can be an 8-10kg 5-7ft medium boat rod, 4,000-6,000 size reel with either 30lb braid or 30-40lb mono. Techniques come down to how you would like to target these fish, my preferred and favourite way to do so is called float lining. This involves only two circle hooks preferably 5/0 to 8/0 size snelled depending on the size of your local snapper with either no weight or a little ball sinker added.

To use this technique correctly you will want to try your best to get as close to reef structure or reefy bottom as these areas will hold the fish, so having planned GPS marks beforehand will be a major part.(If you buy a boat from us I'll definitely share some of my better marks with you haha!) Snapper find slow-sinking baits hard to resist, so if you're in water that is 30m or less deep, floating lightly weighted baits back into the berley trail is hard to beat - Pilchards, fish strips, and Squid remain popular baits.

Now bottom bashing will catch you a range of different table fish, and the same rod set-up mentioned is fine or you can go heavier as you never know what will bite, the most popular rig is the paternoster rig which is very effective. Make sure you work out your drift lines as you want to be in the strike zones, so working out tides and wind is important to set up the correct drifts and then repeat after you've cleared the reef. You will catch a wide range of table fish doing so.

When Lure fishing for all sorts of table species offshore, use a 4-8kg 7ft medium rod, 4000-5000 size reel spooled with 20-30lb braid and 20-30lb leader. My favourite plastics is the Z man 7inch jerk shads rigged with a 1/2oz or 3/4oz Jig Head depending on depths and current as they are tough and stand up against all the toothy gritters. Sticking to your structure, simply cast out sink to the bottom and use a whipping technique and pause allowing the plastic to sink back to the bottom and repeat. You will get bites on the drop mostly but always be prepared to strike, you will catch a wide range of species using this out-fit and technique so good luck and happy and safe boating.

Jacksons inshore fishing tips

Chasing the humble old flatty on plastics, particularly around the Broadwater and beyond.

Basic set up can be a 2-4kg 7ft light weight rod with a 2,500-3,000 size reel fitted with 8-15lb braid and 8-15lb leader. Lure selection can include a range of soft plastics for flicking to hard bodies for trolling. I particularly love using the z-man 3inch plastics in paddle tails with a 1/4oz jig head varying on weight size with depths/current variations. Location when targeting and what to look for, stick to your shallow weedy sand banks, drop offs, rock walls and drains pouring off the flats as the tide drops. These locations will all hold flathead, the best technique for beginners and myself personally is casting out and simply doing a slow lift and hop retrieve all the way to the boat and repeat keeping a close eye on your line as you'll see a twitch when the flatty hits then strike.

When chasing flathead on bait, use a 3-6kg 6-7ft rod with a 3,000-4,000 size reel fitted with 12-16lb mono. Best baits that I have had great success on are pilchards, prawns and fresh yabbies. Set up will be decided on location and depths as you want to stick to the bottom where the flatties are lying. Very simple but effective set-up is a ball sinker around the no3 size, swivel and short leader to a 3/0 to 4/0 circle hook for the pilchards and long shank size 4 to 8 for the yabbies and prawns. Stick to your deep drop offs, close to any rock walls, structure as flathead will sit close waiting for prey.

Fishing for whiting on lures, set up can be a 1-4kg 7ft light weight whippy rod with a 1,000-2,500 size reel fitted with 4-8lb braid and 4-8lb leader. My most preferred lure selection is the bass-day sugar pens surface in the 70mm and 90mm sizes. These can be worked anywhere but particularly on your shallow weedy sand flats as whiting will be foraging for food, a slow twitch technique will get the nibbles and don't be surprised if a big flatty smashes your lure so be prepared.

Or when chasing whiting on bait, basic set up can be a 1-4kg 6-7ft light weight rod with a 1,000-2,500 size reel fitted with 4-8lb mono. Whiting love the weedy shallow sand flats or close to sandy drop-offs so stick to these areas. Best baits will be their most basic food source the sand yabbies and small crabs. Best to buy a yabby pump and have an endless amount of bait supply spread across the flats at low tide. Setups I've used and done well on is a small ball sinker, swivel an size 2 to 4 long shank hook with a short leader.

Bream fishing on lures, set up can be a 2-4kg 7ft light weight rod with a 2,000-2,500 size reel fitted with 6-8lb braid and 4-6lb leader. Now bream can be very tricky on lures but if you persist you will get the nibbles. Stick closely to structure, pontoons, bridges, rock walls and even on your sand flats you will find bream. Lure selection will vary on locations, I've had best success on small type hard bodies and plastics worked closely to structure, the Cranka crab 65mm 9.5g lure is ideal.

When chasing bream on bait, set up can be a 2-4kg 6-7ft rod with a 2000-2500 size reel fitted with 6-8lb mono. Stick closely to your bridge pylons, rock walls and weedy sand flats. Bream won't be too fussy with what they eat but best baits will be small prawns, yabbies, pilchards and squid. Use a small ball sinker, swivel short leader and no2 to 4 size long shank hook as bream have small bony mouths. Pay close attention to bites as they will have your bait stripped in no time.

Hopefully these techniques will get you out catching fish in no time.

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