Many people say fishing is about luck. Sure enough, if the fish are not there, they are not there. But when they are on the bite you can do your bit with the right gear and bait to maximise your chances of a good catch.
The best piece of advice I have received, yet the most misunderstood was to “fish as light as possible”. I had thought from the start that fishing with light gear is only to catch small fish. It would make sense to think that the heavy gear should be able to catch both big and small fish and so my first fishing rod was quite a thick one. After lots of frustration with failed hookups, I decided to change rods to a much thinner and lighter rod. This not only improved my catch rate, but also made the whole fishing experience more enjoyable.
I also favour the thin, flexible rods, as they give more control and are easier to cast. Also remember to use gear compatibly with each other. In other words, the recommended weight range of a rod to be compatible with the reel which in turn will be compatible with the line. My current set up:
- Rod: Daiwa Heartland 7″
- Reel: Shimano Sedona 1000
- Line: Sunline Super PE 6lb
- Trace: Berkley Vanish 8lb
This set up would set you back about $250, but if you’re on a budget you can pick up a good Shimano combo from Anaconda or BCF and the like, for around $50-$100.
The type of bait you choose to use will usually depend on what species you are targeting. And as every other fishing enthusiast would tell you: “fresh is always best” . I have experienced this first hand when I went with a mate with a whole box of frozen squid intent on catching some jewfish. All night we only caught a massive puffer fish. Whereas a guy using fresh squid on the night was able to catch 3 (yes 3) jewfish in the one night! Here’s what I would generally use:
- Prawns: Bream, Snapper, Whiting, Tailor
- Pilchards/Yellowtail: Yellowtail, Pilchards, Tailor, Flathead (fillets or live)
- Mince meat & flour: Yellowtail, Pilchards, Bream
- Squid (would normally only use fresh): Jewfish (whole), Bream, Tailor