by Gary Brown
The trick to catching more fish is to maximize your fishing time and spend more time catching rather than fishing.
Try floating a lure down your berley trail
Okay, I love fishing as much as the next person. But believe me I love catching fish more.
In this day and age when many of us are flat out working, bringing up kids, baby sitting grand kids, plus much more we tend to be very time poor and for some of you going for a fish as much as you would like to do is extremely difficult so you tend to try and cram as much fishing into the time you have spare.
Sure it’s great to be out in the outdoors in that fresh air and sunshine just whiling away the hours while trying to catch a fish or two, but when I go fishing I love to catch fish. So rather than spend hours upon hours chasing fish I prefer to maximize my fishing time catching fish.
So how do you maximize your precious spare time to spend more time catching rather than fishing? In this article I will give you a few ideas that I use.
Have you ever tried to cast a light weight medium to large floating/ diving hard body lures off the beach and the prime area is out of your casting ability. I have! So why don’t you try finding a likely looking gutter or channel that has a rip at its edge. Direct your cast into the rip and leave your reel in feel spool mode and allow the lure to go out with the rip. Once you have let the lure out to that prime area you can’t normally reach, stop and start to retrieve the lure back to you. The type of retrieve will depend on the type of lure you are using at the time.
Now it doesn't have to be a floating diving hard bodied lure. It could be a lightly weighted soft plastic drifted out through the rip. Or if you think about it, what about when you are sitting in your boat berleying. Why don’t you cast out a lightly weighted soft plastic and work it back through the berley trail to the back of your boat. Try it the next time you are out.
Superlines have been around for a number of years, and it is their much smaller diameter that appeals to me when I am using a threadline when fishing off the beach. How many times have you cast off a beach and within a few moments you will find that the bait and rig are being pushed sideways and it’s nearly back to the shoreline?
This can be overcome by fishing with a braided or thermofused line as the smaller diameter of the line will not create as much resistance, therefore allowing the water to pass over the line, spending less time pushing the line sideways. Therefore not dragging it as quick back to the beach allowing you to spend more time with the bait in the prime fish catching position.
If I am targeting bream, flathead, dart and trevally off the beach or the rocks I prefer to have myself as mobile as I can. This is achieved by only having the minimum about of gear. My tackle tray will consist of film containers with number 1 to 3/0 hooks, ball sinkers ranging from 00 to number 3’s, small swivels and snap swivels and a couple of small metal lures (in case the tailor or salmon show up).
This along with my bait (beach, blood or tube worms, pink nippers, pipis, and strip of mullet) will be carried in a shoulder bag. This bag is also used for holding the fish. I will either use a threadline or side cast reel mounted onto a four wrap rod. This then enables me to move about as the time either comes in or goes out and the fishing conditions change.
It has always been a firm belief of mine, that anglers who don’t use berley when they are bait fishing are not right in the head. Well, that’s what I use to think until I started to teach other anglers how to fish. I found that most of the anglers that I taught in my classes just didn't know how, where and when to berley. So they just didn’t bother with it. The trick to successful using berley is to have the correct combination of ingredients, make sure that the consistency of the berley is released at a little at a time and not all at once (you want to attract the fish not feed them), using the flow or current of the water to your advantage (don’t take the fish away from where you are fishing) and the timing of when the berley is released and how often.
If you missed it and would like more information on how to go about berleying go back to my two part article on Berley- An essential technique when it comes to bait fishing.
Many anglers think that cubing is only meant to be used by offshore anglers who are fishing for yellowfin tuna while either at anchor or drifting. I use the method of cubing off the beach, rocks, offshore and even in the estuaries. I have found that the most critical part of cubing is the size of the cubes that you put into the water. For example if I am targeting bream off the rocks with half pilchards I will cut the cubes into about 1cm pieces and I will have enough pieces to fill the container that I have on my belt. Just before I cast I will throw out into the wash about six pieces of pilchard cubes. Then about every three to four minutes I flick out a couple more pieces.
So how does this save you time? While at home when I have some spare time I have partially thawed out a couple of blocks of pilchards and cut them into cubes. These cubes are then put into freezer bags (about 50 in a bag) and re frozen ready for me to take out when needed.
The trick to catching more fish is to Maximize your fishing time and spend more time catching rather than fishing.