A very chunky Mulloway in Winter

In the colder months many species of fish will bulk up, probably getting ready to spawn or compete for reproduction. Small lures work well during daylight and can be up sized in low light and night.

Low light for Mulloway

We cast lures for most of the day yesterday, the sun was high and it was a stunning day, but the fishing was slow. Winter is my favourite time to fish the north coast of NSW. The target species was Mulloway, the day before I landed a 10 kilo one at midday in bright sunlight, so it seemed like we had a chance, but after casting for 4 hrs we had only one hookup and a lost fish.

Small lures, light tackle, quality fish…perfect.

We decided to wait til dusk, it was cold so not that comfortable…no pain, no gain.

As the sun sat on the horizon the fish started to hunt and we started to hookup. That one hour on dark changed our day into one that will be remembered. Soft plastics worked, the fish hit slowly and felt like small ones initially, they were fit heavy Jewfish, very bulky winter models. They fought hard and released very well. Another special day because we waited that extra hour.

Whiting Glidebaits

These lures are large, very realistic, quite heavy and expensive…I needed to see if they were good at catching fish.

The Whiting Glidebait…very interesting lure.

The first thing I noticed was how badly they cast, trying it on baitcasters and threadline reels I couldn’t stop it spinning in the air when I cast, this limits the distance and is annoying.

I persisted and developed a slow retrieve that used small pulsating movements, it looked spectacular and suspended about a metre underwater. After about 15 mins of casting a 55cm Flathead slammed it, not a big fish but it must have been hungry to grab such a large lure…

Stay tuned for more updates as it gets into large flathead season.

Zen and the art of Cranka Crabs

I’ve mentioned these lures before…because they are absolutely amazing!

Big whiting in Winter…

They do take getting used to, in fact I reckon they have more in common with fly fishing than general lure casting. Many lure Fisho’s dismiss them as being boring to fish with as it’s a do nothing approach. This isn’t as simple as that sounds, the places you cast this lure are often ones where other lures are not that effective, ie, rock and rubble in the middle of rivers. They can be worked quite aggressively to get the attention of fish then just keep them still or drifting with the current, the species list is impressive and I find a Zen approach works best, it’s a lure that will outfish others when they are seemingly shutdown. Give them a go.

Luderick eat crabs too

Best way to lose a fish

The best and quickest way to lose a fish are the following.

* don’t set the hook properly, ( pretty obvious).

Have a landing device ready at all times

* not enough tension on the line

* to much tension on the fish will actually rip it out or straighten the hook.

Sharp hooks are essential

* cast into snags or knarley areas, often a risk that’s needed to get a decent hookup.

* blunt hooks

* old fishing line, or line that’s been across reef etc.

* best to have a net or lip grippers, or gaff if fish is destined for the table.

Casting to snags…do you want fish or not!

* be careful need end of fight as fish will often cut you off on boat or outboard motor, especially Kingfish.

* high sticking the rod during fight

* letting fish jump, looks great but can result in throwing the lure or bait.

Don’t let this happen
They often throw the lure

Letting fishes head come out of the water next to boat. They often shake their head and get more of a chance of throwing the lure or cutting the line. Flathead very prone to this.

Fish are often lost in the final stages

* not holding the fish securely when taking a pic, many times they wriggle suddenly and end up back in the water, funny afterwards but not at the time.

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
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