Wednesday, September 15, 2010
2Dans Fishing – Radio Program 6 – Sunday 12th September 2010
Tackle Happy – Squid Jigs and Hayes Crab Pots
Recreational fishing for squid over the past decade has grown increasingly popular, these days there are squid fishing competitions, a plethora of rods designed for the purpose and more styles and brands of squid jigs than one could hope to use in a season.
There are two common species regularly encountered by squid anglers in Australia, amazingly there are over 300 species of squid worldwide. The Southern calamari squid (Sepioteuthis australis) and arrow squid (Nototodarus gouldi) are both caught throughout a wide range of Australian waters. Seek out locations in estuaries near rocky points with good boulder country covered in kelp, weed beds, as well as bridges and wharves where there is light illuminating the water. Offshore, squid of both varieties seem to turn up anywhere there is reef structure and are encountered in waters up to 100 metres deep. The arrow squid is also commercially caught well out to see by professional squid boats and are far more aggressive and swim a lot faster than the southern calamari squid. To fish for either species either cast squid jigs weighted appropriately for the water depth you are fishing and work them back to the rod tip utilising a few quick sharp lifts of the rod, then allow the squid jig to drop through the water column, this is usually when the squid will grab the jig. If you feel additional weight to the jig itself set the crown of hooks by firmly lifting the rod tip and winding the handle, keep the rod tip high and the pressure consistent. Alternatively bait up a squid spike with a baitfish and suspend under a float. A brand new design of squid spike called the ‘Squidator’ has been developed by two keen anglers from SA, it allows the crown of hooks to sit away from the bait and when the squid grabs the bait and starts to move away the spike slides down the line and the crown of hooks find their mark.
When it comes to prawn imitation squid jigs fortunately all the quality brands will catch squid successfully, it is well worth having a range of colours, sizes, styles and different sink rates to allow you to fish the various squid habitats. To get started with lets look at the basic outfit for squid fishing. In the estuaries a bream or flathead threadline outfit, consisting of a 2-4kg, 7 foot graphite rod, a 2000 size reel spooled with 4-8lb braid and a 6-10lb leader will work a treat. Offshore a heavier outfit consisting of a 6-8kg 7 foot graphite rod, a 4000 size threadline reel spooled with 10-15lb braid and 15-30lb mono leader will see you ready to cast larger squid jigs and fish deeper and come up with the goods.
For squid fishing enthusiasts here is a link to the premier Squid Fishing forum;
Here's a collection of my cheap and more expensive high quality jigs. You will notice that my high quality jigs are very low at the moment, that's because I fish them more and as a result have lost a lot of them to the ocean floor. Note that offshore the less expensive jigs work better than in the estuaries.
Here are links to the various brands of squid jigs available on the Australian market today;
Shimano Squid Jigs – available in Australia SOON
Shimano Squid Jigs - Riika
Shimano - egi/dandy
Shimano - Sephia Egi
Yo-Zuri Squid Jigs
Juro Oz Pro Tackle
Not only do squid make great meals fried, grilled, broiled, steamed or stuffed and baked, they are also awesome fresh bait for pretty much any predatory fish in our waters.
The above information should give you the basics for getting started and out onto the water catching a feed of tasty ‘ink-belchers’. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll happily try to answer your questions. So what are you weighting for, get the gear and get out there – Happy Squiding!!
CRABBING season upon us now!!!- Get yourself a Hayes Crab Pot
On the note of tasty feeds the crab season is upon us, whether you live north or south there are some delicious crustaceans to be had. Jeff Hayes from the Gold Coast has developed a new crab pot design with 4 slightly different versions depending on the duration of time you want to leave the pots in the water.
The great thing about these apart from being collapsible is that by simply turning the pots upside down the you can funnel the crabs out of the pot and into the waiting bucket or esky, no more finger pinching here…!
Check out the designs below, and if your local tackle store isn’t stocking them ask them to contact us and we can pass on the details so they can get them in for you,,,
Style Guide – Surface poppers for pelagics
One of the most exciting forms of fishing is casting lures and flies to hungry predators, when this is coupled with a visual element the exhilaration intensifies. Popper fishing as it is known in fishing circles involves casting and retrieving a floating lure of various sizes, shapes and styles to imitate a fleeing baitfish.
From micro poppers weighing only a couple of grams to huge poppers weighing 300 grams there is pretty much a popper for every predatory fish out there.
Surface popping is one of our favourite forms of fishing because you can literally watch the fish chase and strike the popper. From southern Australian pelagic species like yellowtail kingfish, Australian Salmon, tailor to northern species such as giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, queenfish and the mighty tuna species which inhabit pretty much all Australian saltwaters there is a species in everyone’s local waters. In addition there are massive arrays of estuary and reef species (which are not considered pelagics) which will also readily smash a well presented and worked popper – these include on the small end of the scale whiting, bream, flathead tobass and freshwater cod in the sweet water to northerly species like barramundi, mangrove jacks, coral trout, cod, red bass and more.
The basic premise is to identify structure that will hold your desired target species, start with ocean washes, harbour markers and pylons, as well as bombies, coral atolls and submerged steep drop-offs. Once you have selected the location cast the popper as close as you can to the target area and give it a few jerks with your rod, this not only starts the retrieve but also takes up any slack line between the rod tip and lure, then work the popper back towards you imparting bloobs and jerks with purposeful pauses. What you will notice when the fish turn up is that they will often chase or follow the popper but won’t strike at it (all that often) whilst it is moving, instead many predatory fish will wait until the popper is paused before attacking it. Ideally you need to find the balance between keeping the popper moving to keep the fish interested and also pausing it to get the fish to eat it.
There are a massive variety of poppers available on the market today, cup-faced bloopers, pencil poppers and stick baits represent the three basic styles of lure, from here there are so many variances you’ll just have to get out there and select and test which ones work best for the fish you are chasing. Sometimes different conditions, locations, times of the day and different prey species will determine which popper works best on any given target species. Ensure you have an array of popper styles to try on any given outing and make either metal notes or notes in your fishing diary for future reference.
Tackle for pelagic popper fishing needs to be strong yet light weight, ideally start by using a 7-9 foot threadline rod capable of fishing 30 or 50 or 80lb braid over depending on the size of the bruisers you hope to catch. There are many specifically designed popper rods from every manufacturer on the market, so pop into your local quality tackle store and have them take you through what is on offer. Couple the rod you select with a high quality threadline reel capable of holding 300 metres of the selected braid. Reel models like Shimano Stella’s and Saragosa or Daiwa’s Saltiga, Saltist and Certate ranges as well as the Tuff Tackle and Ryobi Safari offerings all stand up to the job and push serious drag pressures.
Because there is hours of casting involved in popper fishing the joining knot between the braid and mono leader needs to be smooth and able to run through the guides without too much clunking. Check out the link below for info on rigging and knots.
Where ever you in our fishy nation popper fishing is well worth the effort, not only can it connect you with some seriously hard fighting fish, it’s great fun and so visual you’ll want to get out there and do it again and again.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
It’s been tough to get out fishing in SA the last few weeks, strong winds mean a wild ocean. However in the breaks between the weather the King George whiting fishing on the Metro beaches has been great, and at this time of the year the blue swimmer crabs start to turn up in good numbers. So watch the weather forecasts and get out on the water.
Around Bunbury the whiting and herring are still biting as are the bream, the colder weather means the fishing has been better in the afternoons and evenings once the suns warmth has raised the inshore water temps a little. Use a steady flow of berley to get the fish eating and use flesh baits to increase your chances. Further north around Exmouth there has been some great fishing for bonefish and permit on the flats and this should continue until the water temps get to warm sending this highly prized fly-fishing specis back into deeper water.
Loads of squid around the Mornington Peninsula peirs and wharves, squid up to 2kgs. In the Port Fairy estuary along the rock walls the guys in the know have been catching good numbers of medium sized silver trevally and Australian Salmon on blade lures.
NEW SOUTH WALES
On the inland freshwater front, the dams, lakes and rivers from Orange NSW, down to the Victoria border and beyond are swollen to almost flooding in areas, with this much water around once the high levels subside the cod and bass fishing should really come to life. So make sure you have your lures stocked, your gear ready and stand by to hit the water. There are scattered reports of decent cod captures around Echucha, Victoria.
Back on the south coast around Tathra, Merimbula there have been good catches of Tasmania striped trumpeter, hapuka and blue eye trevalla.
Dan B managed to get out for a fish on one of the deepwater ledges of the Central Coast and caught some good sized silver trevally and Australian salmon, he said the salmon was a treat hot smoked, the silver trevally delicious as sashimi, both washed down with an icy cold ale. A few weeks back Port Macquarie experienced the arrival of the dreaded Chinaman leatherjackets, akin to a saltwater plague of piranha the aggressive schooling fish will demolish anything in the path. There have been some large specimens around 3kg and with the use of wire can be caught in solid numbers and are a welcome addition at the dinner table.
Southern Queensland around the Gold Coast and Moreton Island the inshore reefs have been bountiful for solid snapper, a bit wider on the jigging grounds big kings and amberjack have been testing anglers strength and knots. Scattered reports of blue marlin out wide have also been coming in.
As we always say to each other at this time of year, if the winter or early spring weather is getting you down, beat the blues and head to the north, the fishing rarely disappoints the weather is warm and the locals friendly.
If you have any reports of your own that’d you would like to share with nation email us; firstname.lastname@example.org