TheGreatestGoat wrote:Great tips phil and well done on your success this season, great to see the consistency.
I'd like to add a couple of my own. Last season i was pulling my hair out, maybe getting lucky on a fish every 5 or 6 trips. This season i'm getting fish, usually a couple most trips, certainly not to the extent of Phil but definitely a big improvement.
Some things I have changed up:
- Good bait, obviously freshly caught is great but I don't often have time to do that. In terms of pillies good freshly caught PPB pillies i've found absolutely towel up anything else. Vancouver bait supply has really good quality stuff, firm and fresh. Vtackle in Deer Park is another good option, they were freshly packing up the silvers as i was in store the other day
- Positioning your boat. Once you mark the fish, think about the wind and the tide and where the fish are, where the boat is and where your burley is going. If the fish are up tide of your boat and the burley is going in the opposite direction, you're probably not going to attract the fish. I usually aim to get the boat within 10 metres of the fish marked, with the fish at the back of the boat
- On the burley front I go a three pronged approach. Burley bucket on the bottom with pellets and tuna oil, throw out handfuls of pellets and cubes. The way I figure it is, burley directly under the boat with the pot, burley around the boat with fast sinking pellets, and a burley trail in the current away from the boat. A bloody smorgasbord in all directions.
Some other things I have been doing that don't directly catch fish but help me personally are (these are personal things more than anything):
- Be organised. I didn't used to be very organised. Now I try and prepare as much as I possibly can before being out on the water. Just helps being in the right mindset and feeling on top of things
- Give yourself enough time and extra. I find if you're rushed, you don't fish well. You take shortcuts. The other day I was, and I was against the clock to fish the optimal bite time at sunrise. Didn't have enough time to properly sound up, rushed the anchor job, didn't put myself near fish and didn't catch
Another thing I have been doing to figure out where to start looking is to think about where the fish are likely to be, what would I do if I was a fish. Sounds a bit airy fairy, but I figure that fish do things for certain reasons at certain times just like humans. Like if I was the wife of a bricky and I couldn't find him at 4.30 I'd probably check the nearest pub.
If the fish are grazing out deep in the day and in shallow at night then they have to travel between those two spots according to the time of day and tide. For example if the fish are sitting in the channel at low tide in the afternoon, then there's a high tide in the evening they're probably going to move with the tide in shallow to feed at night via the path of least resistance. So i'll have a look at the map, the contours of the area or shortest path and try and intercept them. I think if you watch Brendan Wing's videos (as much as I think he's a bit of a tosser), he always has a reason for being at a particular spot at a particular time and he explains why.
Your sounder is your friend, but i still think it's important to try and study the 'why'. Yes there are fish here, but why? If there are fish here and i'm not catching them, why? If there's no fish here today and there were yesterday, why? You won't get an overnight answer but I think over time, that data will hold true.
Also, I reckon treat fishing reports with a grain of salt. They are a self fulfilling prophecy in a way. Once word gets out fish are being caught in one spot, everyone goes there. There's then more reports from there because there's more people fishing. And it snowballs. It doesn't mean there's not fish elsewhere, it just means more people are fishing and more people are catching. A recent example was when Willy was firing and packed. I went up to Fawkner and there wasn't another boat, I caught fish. I went out a week later and Fawkner was absolutely packed, and Willy was empty. Yet I still marked plenty of fish around Willy. I don't think that it's empty because there aren't any fish, it's empty because Fawkner is now flavour of the month.
I'm inspired by my grandfather who left me his fishing diary when he died. Incredibly detailed accounts over years. Before you had the aid of a sounder. If you can learn that knowledge over time, and have the aid of new technology. You'll catch fish consistently for sure i reckon.
Also totally agree with what has been said in terms of sounding one or two good clean fish on the bottom. That's enough for me, not searching for trees, although I'll fish one if I find it
Just my 5 cents as a learning fisherman.