Like Soft Plastic Lures? Yeah – me too. One of the coolest innovations in fishing in my opinion! You can fish a soft plastic in so many ways. For some many Australian fish species!
Cast and retrieve, creatively. Slow, fast, jerk, lift and drop and any variation. Cast it out and let it soak – great for sandworm and crab imitations Combine the above. Experiment. Rub on some attractant*!
Sure, you can tie your own rigs. But one thing I learned as a computer programmer, over more than three decades, is that "re-inventing the wheel" is a waste of time and money.
This applies to how I approach fishing, too.
I always carry some of these rigs with me. Choosing the rig to suit the fishing I'm going to be doing.
The great thing is they are much less likely to tangle than the rigs most of us tie - and they're ready to attach to your line in seconds! That makes setting up and changing rigs a pleasure, rather than a pain.
It also allows you to change a rig fast - before that fish school "bust-up" you can see in front of you moves on.
Want a paternoster? No problems. You're covered.
How about a running sinker? Yup. No worries, mate.
Targeting snapper - there's a rig for that. In fact, there's a rig for Whiting, Mullet, Garfish (including feeder float), Surf and bay species like salmon. Gummies and more!
You found the spot. The conditions are perfect.
You've placed your delicate, succulent bait on the hook.
You cast out.
Either the bait came off during the cast - or fell off slowly in the water. Maybe those small baitfish picked at it until it was gone.
If you're not keeping your bait on the hook there's not much point fishing! Right?
This elastic thread simply wraps around your bait and the hook, easily breaking off once a good wrap is achieved. Keeping soft baits like pipis, pilchards, chicken liver and much more - right on the hook, where it needs to be.
I've found it even keeps some of the smaller "bait stealing" fish from picking at your bait till it falls off.
It's cheap and easy insurance. Since I've started using thread soft baits have not been a problem.
Hands up if you like smelling like fish, berley and bait?
Yeah, right. Hands up whose wife or partner likes you smelling like fish, berley and bait?
That's more like it. No hands. Hmmmm....
Well, no problem. You're covered. This is one of my favourite times after a session - other than eating my catch. Like the fish, I target. I love the smell of aniseed. So washing my hands in it - whoo-hoo! Wife approves, too. Win, win.
The Aniseed Fisherman’s soap should become a core part of your kit like it is mine. It works. Doesn't cost much and has plenty of benefits. Do you smoke? Fill your car or outboard with fuel before you go out? There's no for your hands to smell like petrol or nicotine.
Get your 3 pack now and freshen up!
While Black Magic rigs cost more than some of the other Pre-tied rigs I use there are times when I'll reach for one.
Particularly when targetting finicky species like King George Whiting.
They are extremely well constructed and come rigged with glow beads and flashing.
Which is a great time saver when you compare wasting time and rigging things up yourself.
What I like about these rigs is that they can be just as effective on Pinky Snapper and Bream, too.
The packet says "Trout Spinners*." But I use these for Redfin (English Perch) too.
I've tended to have more success targetting Redfin with spinners than soft plastics.
Some colours, like red, seems to work better than others. Probably because Redfin is inclined to be cannibalistic and enjoy snacking on smaller Redfin. A bit like politicians.
I even add some feathers to these. Black or green and always red.
Fisho's who use berley ("chum" in the USA) catch more fish. It's that simple.
As the container you use has to be up for the rough and tumble of fishing a metal wire cage is durable and easy to use. With enough weight to get your berley down towards the bottom, maximising dispersion.
This is by far my favourite fish attractant*. Simply because it works.
Smearing it on a lure - even pre-scented lures like gulp* - or onto bait on a hook has proven to make a huge difference in my own fishing. I always have a couple of tubes available to take with me.
While there are other attractants* on the market I've personally found Squidgy to get the results.
S Factor scent is made for Australian fishos and the product testing occurred on Australian fish species. Maybe that's the secret? All I know is it works better than any other "smear it on" fish attractant I've used.
Gulp Alive recharge* fluid allows you to add the "juice" that keeps your Berkley Gulp soft plastic lures in the right condition to fish (pliable and flexible) while adding that famous Gulp fish attractant.
If you fish with Gulp you'll find topping up essential. The juice your lures sit in is what gives them their flexibility and fish-attracting power. But - it spills, evaporates and disappears when stored in the plastic packets.
I usually add this to a waterproof container - one that doesn't leak - then add my Gulp lures* to the container. I find this keeps them better than the plastic packets the baits come in.
Soft Plastic lures are not cheap. I don't need to tell you that, right? Of course not.
This is the rod holder I use on my DIY Fishing Trolley project.
It's made for boats and comes with stainless steel screws. That helps prevent rust in saltwater.
The Rod Boat Rod Holder* System holds three rods comfortably. Has notches to accommodate your reels when a rod is inserted. Is a solid but lightweight construction and comes with handy holders for knives and pliers.
It's cheaper, faster and better looking than going to a hardware store and making your own equivalent using PVC pipe, too.
By the time you buy the pipe, screws and fashion the knife etc holders.
It just gets the job done. I love mine.
Why two kinds of PFD*'s on two different boats?
Well. Simple really. If you get wet - which I don't tend to in the boat - the auto one will inflate when I don't want it to. So I choose the manual for the kayak were getting wet kind of goes with the territory.
It's lightweight and doesn't get in the way while I'm fishing. But when I need it (which I haven't to date) a pull on the cord and it inflates to 150n - which keeps my head out of the water.
Essential for me as an asthmatic. That's because I found 50n jackets, that many people wear when kayaking, to be insufficient for sustained usage. Suffice to say I had an experience with less buoyancy I'd rather not repeat. Even though I can "swim."
Its passed all Australian PFD compliance standards. So it meets all aspects of the law.
In all Australian states, a PFD is required. The kind varies from state to state - but this one meets all states standards.
A quick note. These PFD's require yearly inspection and servicing.
To inspect simply inflate the PFD. I do it manually using the mouthpiece to inflate it.
Then I let out the air and then inflate it by pulling the cord. This triggers the CO2 canister that fills the PFD.
I then leave it inflated overnight and check next morning for deflation.
If all is well and it's still fully inflated I let out the air. Repack the inflation bladder. Then remove the CO2 canister and replace with a new one.
NB: Always carry one extra CO2 canister at a minimum with you. Once you fire it off it's not going to inflate without a fresh canister. You don't want to be trying to inflate a PFD in the water using the mouthpiece!
In my opinion, the T24 Kayak Watersnake Electric Motor from Jarvis Marine is a better pick than it's T18 sibling. It packs quite a bit more thrust for only a few extra amps of power consumption.
Some folks use these on their tinny's (around the 12-foot mark) but in my opinion, you're better off going a little higher for a heavier boat.
On a kayak though, this is an ideal model. It's reliable. Well made. Saltwater resistant and there's plenty of spare-parts available locally.
Check out more detail in my Watersnake T24 Kayak Trolling Motor Review.
You can read my more coverage in Watersnake Kayak Trolling Motor Mount Review.
It's not a bad product. As I explain in the review you need to make sure your kayak is going to work with it first. Hint: wider gunnel.
The essential concept is good. It seems to work well when used on the right boats. It's certainly very neat and tidy and less cumbersome than transom style mounts in most cases.
I love these socks. Great for boating and kayaking. Keeping your feet warm and dry.
I also use them when surf fishing and landbased fishing in Winter.
Cold feet make fishing unpleasant. Why put up with it? Better than wool or cotton, which retains freezing cold water.
These simply aren't optional for cold weather boating and kayaking. They not only make it bearable, but they might just slow down hyperthermia too!
I pair these up with the other thermal wear products listed in this section, too. Especially with the dive boots!
The Lowrance Hook2 Fish Finder* series is a vast improvement on the earlier models. It's a reasonable entry level budget fish finder.
The screen orientation has changed to portrait, rather than landscape. The picture quality is better. There's a lot of improvements in things like GPS tracking etc.
Choose a model to suit your boat (or kayak!) and budget.
The ability to see schools of fish, even in a tinny or kayak, cannot be understated.
The GPS tracking models let you find your way back to the boat ramp. As well as letting you save fishing spots so you can get back there another day.
Even a basic model, without GPS or side-scanning - is better than drifting around aimlessly and leaving your fishing to blind luck!
The PLB* Locator Beacon is for that occasion none of us hopes will ever happen.
Yet - every year people fall overboard on boats. Boats sink or turnover. Bushwalkers get lost.
The consequences can be drowning and/or exposure. Coldwater - and cold weather - kills.
In Victoria and Tasmania, the elements are nothing like those in NSW or QLD. Water temperatures plummet after March until the end of November. Squalls blow up unannounced.
The Personal Locator Beacon* allows you to be found faster.
The Adrenalin 5mm Neoprene Zip Dive Boots* are perfect for boating and kayak fishing.
They'll protect your feet while being comfortable to wear. Your feet will remain warmer and dryer. While avoiding painful encounters with sand, gravel and rocks.
Their semi-rigid sole has a tread that will help you get a grip on the boat deck.
While the 5mm neoprene lets you get them wet - without them staying wet the way leather boots or a pair of runners do. Massively to superior to sandals or thongs (flip flops for folks overseas.)
Gotta admit I love mine. I hate cold feet and in Winter on the water cold feet can become a health factor, rapidly.
Loading and unloading the boat or kayak at the boat ramp? No worries. Your feet will stay warm. Especially when paired up with the other Adrenalin products I've listed here, like the Adrenalin 2P Thermal Socks.
Getting the sense I like to stay warm? Yup - and why not!
Staying warm and keeping the sun off your skin when boating or kayaking is essential. Especially copping spray, waves and even complete, accidental immersion in the water!
To achieve this we look at layers of clothes. Thermal socks, thermal boots with thermal undergarments (waterproof long leg underwear and undershirt.) Then a warm vest over the top of your body. Topped off by a thermal jumper*.
This protects your organs from the crippling effects of chill.
Increasing the time you have before hypothermia sets in.
Remember - you can always peel a layer off to cool down. But getting warm is next to impossible once you are wet through to the skin.
Look great. At the same time keep out the wind, water and wintery weather. This is my "final layer" of clothing when kayaking and boating in Winter. I also often choose this when land-based fishing. Especially on ocean surf beaches!
Due to the Hi-Tech Knitted Micro-Fibre, it's weather-resistant. The moisture-wicking fabric keeps the water out. While the plush inner lining feels super comfy. I'm always grateful to be wearing it.
The hood keeps your head warm. Beats wearing a beany alone. Because it covers the back of your head and neck too!
All this without restricting your movement due to the 70% 4-way stretch in the fabric.
Finally, it is rated 50+, TGA compliant ultraviolet protection factor that blocks at least 98% of UV radiation. So it's super sun smart.
This is a great entry-level priced rod and reel combo from Shimano.
One of the things I like about mine is the rod has the "aquatip" which makes seeing the rod tip easier in the dark. It's a good, strong rod with enough sensitivity to know when you're getting bites. Works well with braid or mono.
The reel has some of the features of more expensive Shimano reels. Including braking assistance when casting. This allows for smoother, more controlled casts.
This is a reasonably priced lighter end surf rod* from Shimano.
I've found these to be perfect for casting off larger piers, as well as of bayside beaches. I've also used them off surf beaches when the gutters are a little closer in to shore.
Getting sunburned is not only painful - it's dangerous. Take it from me. I've had so many minor skin cancers burned off and cut out it's scary.
One on my right hand needed plastic surgery after removal!. Weeks of plaster and couldn't go fishing!
However, most sunscreens not only keep the suns rays away - but also the fish.
So a product that protects you, but doesn't affect your fishing has gotta be good news.
This is the product I carry with me. It works, too!
Keeping the sun off your neck and face is essential if you spend any time fishing in Australia.
I tend to use mine rolled around my neck for the most part. Mostly because of my own asthma issues. But most people will find it comfortable covering their nose, mouth and ears too!
Lightweight, washable material. Basic sun-smarts this one.
If you've ever gone fishing with polarized* lenses then you'll know the advantages. If you haven't then be prepared to be amazed.
Polarized lenses not only protect your eyes* from the harsh summer sun but allow you to look into the water too. This allows you to often see the bottom. See the fish. See the structure and see the baitfish.
These days I use prescription polarized sunglasses* admittedly. But these were my go-to lenses in years gone by. Before I needed a prescription to see the end of my arm.
Anybody can drop a line in the water with a hook and some bait and hope to catch flathead.
But consistent results come from understanding your target species - and flathead are no different.
Selecting the right tackle and then using them with the right techniques can take a long time to master on your own.
Flathead Tactics offers insights experience fishos know produces results.