Lure retrievers

No one wants to lose their precious lures or flys, it’s a fact of an anglers life unfortunately. It’s amazing that many Fisho’s don’t bother to carry lure retrievers with them, it’s the last thing they think of.

You tend to use the lures that work best and eventually they will get taken by a fish or caught on a snag, or worst still cast off the line. I’ve also left a few on a car roof or cutting board. The ones stuck up a tree can be the most frustrating as they are in full view taunting the angler.

A decent lure saver is worth its weight in gold.

There are many designs of lure retrievers, they all work if you use them properly, the most difficult situation is when the current is moving quickly and you are too, but it can be done. Those fishing from the shore are in for an even harder time.

When a lure is worth over $20 it can mount up, it not only saves you money but it also means there is less pollution in the waters, hard plastic lures will last many years in a waterway. Not good!

Making your own Lures.

Making lures and flys is something that makes this pastime even more immersive.

I’ve posted this fellas site as he makes such stunning lures, it leaves me gobsmacked.

I’ve only hand carved my mediocre creations with a knife and some aradite…I’m a drummer in a former life, and a bit in this one, and so old drumsticks were used, not the best choice of wood, however they worked and caught fish!

I must get back into it…

One of my first attempts at lure making. Many years ago. It’s still works.

Bream…are they a beginners fish?

Some people call them rats of the sea, or stinkin bream, probably because they are so successful at survival. That’s not really something to be derided. It should be respected.

Bream can be one of the most fascinating target species.

Lots of anglers caught their first bream when they were kids and found it easy fishing. They seem suicidal especially when only small. They get tricker to catch as they get older and wiser, big bream are hard to catch, especially on lures, and that’s where the fun begins, for me anyway.

Bream from canoes are great fun.

They aren’t glamorous or that great on the plate, but they take you to some incredible waters in the search for them.

Best respect these prolific battlers, they will probably survive longer than us…

They can slam even big lures

Light tackle lures on the beach

Not much is written on casting ultra light lures from the ocean beaches. It’s quite effective and good fun, wandering the beach with a 2 metre 4 kilo spinning outfit isn’t seen much but it’s something we should be doing more of.

More suited to bream spinning but useful on a beach too.

Most anglers know that the shallows at your feet hold fish, the ones we are targeting are whiting, bream and flathead. Look for the slightly deeper holes on a falling tide as it’s easier to stand in the shallows and explore the contours.

I like using small vibes, they cast well and scoot along the bottom even with fast currents pushing it around. It’s generally not fast action it’s more like going for a long gentle walk in knee deep water and searching for fish…

I scored 4 flathead doing this recently when other Fisho’s didn’t get a touch on 4 metre beach rods and alvey reels.

Look for the drop offs

Finesse fishing is a great option next time you head to the beach, it does take self control not to take bigger tackle however.

Flathead are common in the surf
Continue reading “Light tackle lures on the beach”

Angling as therapy

I’m not at all qualified as a mental health expert, however I’ve seen over the years the amazing things angling has done for people’s state of being.

I’ve known fisherman who, when young, have escaped abusive households to ‘hide’ amongst nature. The world of people and the human artifice may be daunting for more people than we think. These individuals learn more about the other side of life because it’s so very different to the controlled world of man. That’s not to say they reject the human side it’s just perhaps a form of meditation and mindfulness outside the crappy things we have set up, like perceived success, money and dog eat dog mentality that is both the reason we have advanced so quickly and probably the reason we will ultimately fail.

Some say, ‘nature is cruel like people’, that’s true, the difference is that we have the intelligence to rise above the more primitive rules, some humans have been incredibly good examples of what we can be, not just the famous ones either. There must be thousands of examples of high moral decisions that go unnoticed and undocumented throughout history.

Depression is now recognised as something very real, I know several anglers that unwittingly combat these feelings by going fishing, even the thought of it can help their state of mind. It’s not important that they recognize it in themselves, many don’t, but they suspect something.

What lure? When & Why.

I thought it may be insightful if I examined what lures I used in a fishing session recently. It was a bit of a shutdown so I needed to explore different options and techniques that were available to me in the 4 hour lure casting session.

The five lures used.

The tide was falling upriver and that’s a time when the extremely shallow water can fire. I selected a popper called MMD Prawn, (top lure) to cover the quickly flowing flats, this is when Bream, Flathead and Whiting chase the bait that’s been forced off the safety of high tide. I got plenty of interest from fish but they weren’t hooking up, just swirling around it.

GT ready for release.

So the Cranka crab was utilised, I felt confident but it was ignored by the predators, if crabs aren’t the target then fish can turn their noses up to these amazing lures. I’d seen a few Herring darting in the shallows so on went the Rapala Ripstop, (bottom lure) probably the best imitation of a Herring I’ve seen. It was slammed immediately by Flathead and Bream…success!

Much of lure fishing is about observing the environment. It changes very quickly and is dynamic. As I drifted into deeper sections of the river I tied on a vibe, this lure bounced along the bottom looking like an injured baitfish, it was worked with current not against it. Two Giant Trevally resulted…

Can you see what’s happening here?

Stay alert.

As the tide was almost dead low now and overhanging trees exposed mangrove roots and knarly sections along the shoreline a weedless soft plastic was used to get in under the banks, it resulted in a smash from a Mangrove Jack that didn’t connect, still made me happy though.

Flathead do take Poppers.

In a tough session I managed to get dinner consisting of a big Whiting and a 50cm Flathead. Don’t overdo the changes of lures, be observant and don’t just change lures for the sake of it.

Noise and fish

Fish do get used to repeated events, after all its all about survival, they survive through learning behaviour just like us.

We were casting lures for bream in Lake Conjola on the South Coast of NSW some years back and were annoyed by the constant boat wash on a busy Sunday. I thought it would put the fish off feeding but it was the opposite! The wash on the shoreline disturbed the water and dislodged food and the bream took advantage of this. So we waited til a boat roared past and started casting our lures close to the turbid shoreline, almost a fish a cast was the result.

Whiting can be flighty but love a noisey lure.

Some people talk in hushed tones when fishing, thinking that their voice may scare away the quarry, I’ve not found this a problem. Talk away I say. In my local waters I am very very quiet, no motor or banging of the hull or paddles. Bigger fish are usually much more aware of sounds and even if they don’t scatter they often don’t feed if unusual sounds occur. Shallow water sounds travel far and wide and never drive your boat over areas you want to fish.

In busy waterways the fish population may well have got used to motor and hull sounds and will feed uninterrupted. In more remote areas be quiet and fish stealthily. You will catch more fish.

Mulloway will shut down if there is any suspicious sounds

It’s hard sometimes

You know…angling can be hard work sometimes.

I was chatting to another dedicated angler recently and he was saying how often friends would call him to take them fishing, they are the fast trackers. They generally haven’t learnt from the beginning, there has been no hanging old prawns off a jetty or learning how to catch eels or whatever from local creeks as a child. They want to catch a fish within the least amount of time and effort. This is more common now than ever.

Fishing is better when it takes a lifetime.

Time is money now and outdoor priorities have been disseminated.

I’d venture to say that catching fish is easier now than ever, just go online and learn where to go and the techniques involved. But there isn’t the deeper understanding that’s got from learning slowly and in increments, it’s all about getting that fish aboard and taking a glory photo that can be instantly boasted about. Maybe I’m just getting more cynical but when I sold a boat a while back it was to a young guy whose dad was buying it for him, he was setting it up to just go for Kingfish in the Harbour, with heavy braid, state of the art tackle and downrigger and techniques garnered online. He hadn’t even caught a bream in his life! This reeks of stunt fishing to me, where bragging is the name of the game.

As an old friend used to say…‘I weep for the future’.