Putting technology to work
  |  First Published: August 2003

With technology improving almost daily, catching fish is becoming easier and more simple than ever before.

Many people think that technology is made to be difficult. This simply isn’t the case. It should make things easier and quicker to do. Fishing tackle is no exception to the latest boom in the technology.

It was 6.15 on a June morning and I had just started to fish the first round of the Pro-Bream tournament at Port Stephens. A cold, brisk westerly was puffing away as I launched a cast towards some oyster-studded rocks that I reckoned would hold the odd bream. That breeze was a bit strong to make the perfect cast so I asked Brent Hancock, the skipper and my partner in crime for the weekend, if he could just increase the power to the bow-mount electric motor by a few clicks.

Then I was able to deliver the next cast perfectly, right into the jaws of a waiting bream. I was using a lovely 2.13-metre (7’) graphite Shimano Squidgy rod, which brings affordable technology to those who just can’t go without. The braided line that peeled off the machined aluminum threadline spool so beautifully is claimed to be of a similar material to that used in bullet-proof vests. Attached to the line was a leader of 3.7kg neutral-buoyancy fluorocarbon, almost invisible in water. The chemically-sharpened jig hook did a wonderful job pinning in the big blubbery lip as the bream attacked the scented soft plastic.

This was only the second time in quite a few months that I had been fishing and what a way to start a bream comp in my own backyard. A while before that, I had become overwhelmed with the technology, which just turned me off fishing.

After many months without even wetting a line, I decided to go back to basics. I looked in the dark recesses of my reel drawer to find my old six-inch Alvey, dusted it off and whacked it on my old trusty pig rod and headed for the rocks with a few rusty old hooks, sinkers and a tub of abalone gut. First cast – whack! – a 4kg drummer. I packed my gear up and headed home. That was enough to get anyone started again.

The following months saw me experiment with all types of fishing with technological improvements. At the same time, my breaming partner Brent Hancock was busy catching snapper in the washes on Squidgies. “What a hoot!” he squawked down the phone the night after he caught the two fish.

These pictures are proof the new technology seems to produce fish in an otherwise very quiet season. In the world of fishing there’s always something new or untried. The only way these barriers can be broken is for individuals to try new things and from there it’s just a matter of who dares wins. But remember limit your kill, don’t kill your limit.

Round the traps

Drummer are rampaging through the washes from Birubi Point to Broughton Island. I’m yet to catch one of these guys on a lure but I refuse to believe that that is impossible. The old methods of heavy gear, ab gut, cunje, bread and prawns are still a killer on these brutes and with little else on the bite, they are a great table species to target this time of year.

Along with the drummer, bream can be found in excellent numbers throughout the washes, along with good numbers of blackfish. Blackfish are also being caught by their droves on the Nelson Bay breakwall. Towards the end of the season, those who can find green weed will be taking the most. Cabbage, I am told, is better at the start of the season.

With all these new lures and fishing tackle being produced almost monthly, I can’t wait for Summer to get here so I can try all these new techniques on a lot more species.



The author with a brawling Port Stephens bream.


Squidgies proved dynamite on these two reddies from Broughton Island.

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