Watch and learn
  |  First Published: April 2004

BEING a junior angler doesn’t always mean that you can’t catch fish as well as adults or learn and use the same techniques.

I’ve been fishing since I was about three or four and I’ve done a lot with my Dad and his mates over the past 10 years. I’ve fished the rocks, beaches, rivers and from various boats with Dad but also with other people sometimes. These days my Dad usually fishes the rocks or from his boat and I still enjoy going fishing with him most times.

I prefer to fish from the boat because I’ve always liked boat fishing. It gives you good access to fish, no matter where they are, because you can follow or find them in a boat.

My favourite form of fishing is outside in the boat chasing marlin, mahi mahi or kingfish. As you can see, I like chasing fish that fight hard and grow big because it’s exciting. My Dad likes chasing these fish but also likes fishing floating baits for snapper and throwing lures at salmon and bonito.

So far I’ve hooked and landed a few good fish from Dad’s boat, including the biggest kingfish and snapper along with a 70kg mako shark that grabbed a marlin lure one day. I fought that shark for 10 minutes and we released it because it was only hooked in the lip.

An hour after catching and releasing the mako shark, I hooked an 80kg marlin while live-baiting for mahi mahi around some traps about 10 miles out. I don’t think I was too popular that day because Dad never hooked a fish and got outfished by me, even though I was seasick because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before.

Dad had to arrange all the gear and set the lures but I just happened to get all the fish. The same thing happened a few weeks ago when we were fishing for snapper. My Dad and his mate Roger spend a lot of time fishing for snapper but on this day they caught only a few small ones while I caught the best fish of the day that went about 2.5kg. I got it on a bottom bait while they were fishing floaters down the berley trail. I was pretty happy about catching that fish but they were a little annoyed with me.

The point of the above story is that just because we are juniors or kids doesn’t mean we can’t catch fish and hold our own against adults.

Stay focused while you are fishing and watch what other anglers who know more than you are doing. Study what baits and rigs they use and where they fish.

I do this all the time while fishing with Dad so these days I know what to do most times. If you watch and learn and then do the same and keep at it, you’ll catch fish.

As long as you have a bait or lure in the water you normally have just as much chance as anyone of catching a good fish.

Don’t think that juniors can’t catch good fish. Andrew Finney hooked up to the best snapper of the day once again.

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