How to

Summer fishing strategies

FISHING is an activity that rewards planning and this becomes increasingly important during the summer holiday period when the crowds descend on popular water ways resulting in increased pressure from recreational activities. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to improve your results dramatically and the following tips should help your chances of success this holiday season noted below.

Satellite images and weather forecasts

Holidays are a great time to explore new spots, especially when the popular grounds are crowded or if you want to get off the beaten track. I usually start scouting for a new spot by looking at the weather forecast to see which way the wind is blowing and gather some insights on what the wind and tide are doing throughout the day. I will then look closely at satellite images to find suitable locations. When reviewing the satellite maps, I firstly look for spots that will be out of the wind as much as possible. I’ll then look to see what impact the tide might have for example if the spot looks shallow on the map it might be tough to fish on a low tide or might not be accessible on a high tide. The satellite image also helps pinpoint access to new fishing spots and allows you to determine whether it’ll be a long trek in or a simple walk. Finally, satellite images give away plenty of information on fishing looking structure including shallow areas that drop away into deeper water along with bends and rocky points in waterways the might disrupt the tidal flow and act as an ambush point for predators.

Timing is key

In waterways that are impacted by tidal flow, the change of tide is widely regarded as an optimal bite time. Tidal flow funnels baitfish and crustaceans that are not particularly strong swimmers along a body of water. This flow of water acts like a conveyor belt of tasty morsels for predators. To collect their prey, predators need to swim into the current, expending energy which needs to be replenished in the form of eating more food. To avoid expending energy, predators will often sit idle out of the tidal flow and once the tide slows around the tide change they’ll become more active and feed more efficiently using less energy. Similarly, the baitfish and cetaceans being dragged along by the flow will find themselves able to swim and direct their movements as the tide slows, often caught out in areas where predators roam. These factors create an opportune feeding time around the change of tide. Similarly, the change of light near sunset sees prey throwing caution to the wind as the prepare to roam around under the cover of darkness; predatory fish sensing the increased baitfish activity will feed vigorously while they can still see before darkness envelopes the waterway. Similarly, once the veil of darkness is lifted at sunset, baitfish and crustaceans that were meandering under the cloak of night will be caught out as they scramble to a safe space with hungry predators that didn’t feed overnight become active once the light levels rise and they can see  their prey.

Fresh is best

Frozen bait is okay if you are in a bind and have little time or access to a quality bait supply. Fresh bait is a better alternative as it maintains its natural look, feel and taste and is not tainted by freezer burn whilst maintaining its integrity better than thawed baits which can be a little soft. Live bait is the pick however as noting can mimic a natural presentation better than the real thing. Remember to use baits that are a common food source of the fish you are chasing and ty to pick bait sizes that will match the size of hook you are using. Remember to keep your bait cool and out of the sun when out fishing store and between outings you can store your bait in an airtight container tucked are in the bottom shelf of the fridge.

Keep it simple

A mistake that many anglers make is to over complicate their fishing trips by taking too much gear and tackle. I’ve made this mistake plenty of times and over the years have been consolidating what I’ll take for a day out on the water to a manageable kit that’s easy to carry and maintain. My holiday fishing gear comprises a small tackle tray loaded with a couple of different sized swivels, three or four different hooks plus a small selection of sinkers plus a few lures or squid jigs. This slips easily into a shoulder bag which also houses a small spool of leader material, a pair of braid scissors plus a small PVC tube that I can stick in the sand to hold my rod temporarily if fishing the beach. A lightweight seven or eight foot rod plus a reel loaded with 10lb braid will cover most river, lake, and light surf applications and I generally only take one rod if fishing the shore with any backup gear tucked away in the car in case the original plan and location changes. Keeping things simple means you’ll have a comfortable amount of tackle to carry and can spend time focussing on fishing rather than on second guessing which rod or rig to use if you bring to much gear!

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