THIS is not my favourite time of the year to fish – not that there is any lack of fish to be caught. It is hot and there are too many other boats on the water chasing fish, or bloody wake-boarders and skiers messing up the water.
When you are on the water mid-week most other times of the year you’re lucky to see three or four boats working a school of fish. But during holiday season there can be 40 boats racing around a school fish, occupants throwing metal lures in all directions. It’s not a place for the faint-hearted.
Apart from spooking the fish, it can be dangerous with all that metal in the air as a lot of anglers’ skill levels in accuracy and judging distance leave plenty to be desired .If you have ever been hit by a 40g lure, you will know what pain is!
So if you are new to casting lures at schooling fish, go down to your local park or paddock and learn how to cast low, fast and straight – or go out with a guide and ask him to teach you how to cast for maximum distance and accuracy with minimum effort.
You should not only know how, but where, to cast the lure and how to find and work the schools of fish. A day on the water with someone that knows how to work and catch fish can fast-track your learning curve so find a mate with expertise who’s willing to help or invest in some professional guidance.
As a fishing guide I take a lot new chaps out after their first pelagic fish on lure and fly. I always spend the first 30 to 40 minutes teaching them how to cast before I go within sight of a school of fish. Casting is like hitting a golf ball – it’s not how hard you cast, it’s the timing of the release.
This is one of the best times of the year to target bass. The best times to catch these fish are dawn and dusk – before and after the wake boarders and skiers are on the water.
Bass like smooth, undisturbed water as they are looking for any ripples caused by insects or other living things falling into water. This is the prime time to cast surface lures and flies at them. As the boat traffic starts to mess the water up, change over to diving lures, spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Or head to water where there is less boat movement.
I usually head up a creek or river that has a four- or eight-knot zone to find some quiet water because these places are sanctuaries from the speed demons. The farther upstream, the better.
Even better, drag out the kayak or canoe. Head for water that larger boats can’t get to. I must admit that I would much rather spend a January day fishing with a mate in canoe up a small creek or in a lagoon than out in the river in my six-metre bass boat.
If you don’t have a kayak, go put one on lay-by – you’ll never look back. The fish that you catch in these small waterways are usually a better quality and fight a lot harder.
Keep your eyes out for new lures and flies made by East Coast Fly and Lure that will be on sale in tackle shops in the Sydney area. Local fly and lure designer Mick Munns has started to produce the first of a range of lures and flies that will grow in numbers and range over the next few months. The first shop to stock them is the Australian Bass angler Penrith.
I have been using Mick’s lures and flies for three years now and have caught thousands of fish on them in fresh and salt water. The only thing that I am disappointed about is that everyone else will soon be able to use flies and lures that I have had all to myself. Mick is also teaching flycasting to new and advanced anglers. I was lucky enough to have Mick give me some casting lessons when I first started.
You can ring Mick on 0409911432 for further information his flies, lures and casting lessons.Reads: 489