OPINION: Fishing light to get the bite
FISHING is a pastime that requires you to have the ability to change tactics when necessary to ensure continued success. What works one day may not always be effective the next.
Having the perfect lure or bait and being in the right spot at the correct time is sometimes not enough.
Kayak angling is no exception and the use of lighter lines can be the difference in turning your empty esky into a full one.
There are many types of fishing line on the market and it can be quite daunting when being confronted with a wall of hundreds of different types of line at your local tackle store.
The following is a simplified guide to the types and sizes of line that I have found success with in the local creeks and rivers.
Braided main lines in my opinion are essential when using lures or soft plastics, they give a more direct connection from angler to fish with every small tap felt immediately at the rod tip. With finesse luring for bream, whiting and other smaller species this heightened sensitivity is essential and 4lb to 6lb braid is the way to go.
Targeting larger species such as barramundi and trevally or when fishing around heavy structure 20lb to 30lb braid is my choice.
Nylon or monofilament lines also have their place and are my preference when bait fishing for whiting and smaller species with 4lb to 6lb being ideal for this type of angling but it can be surprising just what can be landed with 6lb mono.
Ultraviolet rays however can weaken mono over time and it is important to replace it regularly.
Fluorocarbon is a great leader material with low visibility being one of its biggest benefits as it's nearly invisible underwater and is essential when targeting skittish fish. It has great abrasion resistance and is also more sensitive than mono. Leader sizes should be as light as possible with 6lb for the smaller species, 14lb for flathead and medium sized species and up to 40lb for the larger fish.
Fishing light also includes your tackle; and using sinkers or jig heads with the minimum amount of weight required will limit the chances of spooking them. Fishing un-weighted soft plastics can be deadly in targeting our freshwater species and when rigged weed-less can be cast into heavy timber or weed with confidence.
Combining these lines with the correct knots and using good quality reels with smooth drags will hopefully see you connect more solidly and to more fish.
The barra in the dams have been going off with large numbers being landed after dark. Its great to see so many kayak anglers enjoying the perfect conditions out on the dams this season and now that saltwater barramundi are out of the equation, I hope to see many more out there. Remember, if fishing after dark an all round light should be used and kept on at all times also a stocked impoundment permit is required if fishing the dams.