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Topic: Light Tackle Lure Angling  (Read 8307 times)

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Offline Tommo

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Light Tackle Lure Angling
« on: April 04, 2011, 03:09:09 pm »
Article written by Craig Thomassen many years ago! (early part of this century!)



Queenfish are hard fighting fish and the fight will usually include some spectacular aerial acrobatics.



We are very fortunate in Southern Africa to have some really good light tackle lure fishing available to us in our oceans and estuaries. Up-country fishermen can take their bass fishing rigs with them on holiday to the coast and use this equipment to target salt water species. This means that a lot of fun can be had without going out and spending thousands of rands on new equipment for a different style of fishing.

Light tackle fishing can be very rewarding as even small fish can give a good account of themselves, and letís face it, there are a whole lot more smaller fish around these days than big fish. A three kilo fish on a twelve pound outfit is as rewarding and exciting to catch as a twenty kilo fish on a thirty pound rig. The lighter tackle is also less demanding on a fishermanís muscles and can be fished with for longer than fishing the heavy stuff. Fishermen who spend most of their time catching fresh water species are always surprised by the strength and fighting ability of salt water fish. Pound for pound salt water fish tend to be stronger than their fresh water counterparts because they live in a more hostile environment and also have to continually deal with currents and wave action.



When fishing estuaries with lures and light tackle one can basically use just about the entire spectrum of lures that one could use to fish for bass in fresh water. This can be a lot of fun, changing lures frequently until you have figured out what the fish are keen to eat on the day. Starting with top water lures and working your way down through the mid-water range of lures and finally plumbing the depths with jigs and deep runners.

Just as one would do with bass fishing one needs to experiment with colours and retrieve rates until you find the winning combination. The interesting thing of course in the salt is that there is a wide variety of species that will hit lures aggressively, some preferring different lures or retrieves to others. This means that the chances of catching something are good.

Lure fishing is a lot more work than sitting with a bait out, but it is this constant activity and trying of new things that is the attraction to many fishermen. Some are put off by the amount of work involved, but that is fine, spinning is not for everybody.

One of the biggest secrets to success in this type of fishing is fishing the right places at the right times. There are certain spots that will consistently produce well on a certain tide, but will be dead on a different tide. You need to learn these patterns and apply this knowledge by fishing each area during its productive period. This can only be found out through trial and error and through watching other fishermen.


       

Garrick prefer to hunt in the shallows, are 'clean' fighters and are relatively easy to catch on light tackle.


In an estuary or in the surf the falling tide exposes spots making places available to stand and fish off into productive water that cannot be reached on a high tide. The falling tide also drains shallow banks, bringing with it small bait organisms that predators wait for at the mouths of small channels draining off these banks. Deep channels close to shallow banks are often a good place to target predators when lure fishing. The incoming tide is generally a good time to fish. In an estuary it is often a good idea to follow the tide line up the river as it pushes up. In the surf it is a good idea to find a point or bank where the current and waves cause a patch of milky water where the fish can hide. Work these areas and the water around them with lures and you will surely be rewarded with a pull.

I have found that most people tend to retrieve lures with a steady pull, just cranking the handle of the reel. This does catch some fish, especially when fish are feeding well, like shad on the bite. It is generally better to impart an erratic darting action to your lure by flicking the rod tip. This erratic action is far more natural, resembling a panicky fish and triggering the predators instinct to attack. This type of retrieve will often result in hits when the fishing is a bit marginal and a straight retrieve gets no interest from the fish.

Working lures skillfully is hard work, the wrist tends to become tired from flicking the rod in order to impart erratic action to the lure, especially when using jigs and surface walkers. When your wrist begins to tire then it is not a bad idea to change to a lure that can be fished with a simple straight retrieve for a while, such as a spoon or a crankbait. This way you are still fishing while allowing your wrist time to recover.

When fishing with light tackle it is important that your hooks are very sharp. Check them before fishing and give them a quick rub with a file or sharpening stone to ensure that they are sharp enough. A light rod needs to be struck a couple of times to set hooks into the bony jaw of a large predator. The stiffer the rod, the better its hook setting ability, also the easier it is to impart action to your lures. Soft rods cast well, but canít work lures well and are hopeless at hook setting when fishing for fish with hard mouths.

Most estuaries along the Southern African coastline hold game fish, even those where the mouths are closed to the sea for long periods. It is worth exploring them with a light rod and some lures, you never know what you may catch. Light tackle and small lures are deadly for shad when they are running. These small predators prefer smaller lures and fishing the surf for them with small spoons will bring more strikes than fishing heavy tackle. Fishing the surf zone with light lure during a pushing tide, especially when this coincides with the low light of early morning or evening is very productive for predatory species such as kingfish or garrick. These fish prefer to move into the shallows to hunt under the cover of low light, especially when the water is clean and calm. Gamefish will not feed in clear, calm water during daylight hours as they are exposed and also have no way of ambushing prey.

The successful light tackle lure angler is an early riser and the last fisherman to leave the water each evening.


Fishing is life. The rest is details....

Offline Kumz

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Re: LIGHT TACKLE LURE ANGLING
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 03:36:36 pm »
 (clap) Tommo ....  :win:

Online WalkersKiller

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Re: LIGHT TACKLE LURE ANGLING
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 03:41:31 pm »
Superb article Tommo  (clap)  :win:

Offline Nightfox

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Re: Light Tackle Lure Angling
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 09:50:00 pm »
Thanks for a great post.
There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot

Offline Tommo

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Re: Light Tackle Lure Angling
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 07:44:07 am »
Ha ha, Reefz, thanks for posting this. I wrote it a long time ago and it brought back some memories.... I must say that with all the fishing that I do, light tackle lure fishing remains a firm favourite. If I had to choose only one aspect of our sport I guess that would be it. I just find it so rewarding. There is always the opportunity to catch the big one, yet the smaller fish still give great value.
Since that article was written braid has become available on the market as well as much improved reels, rods etc, making light tackle lure fishing even more effective and fun. The range of lures available nowadays is also much better, including dropshots and almost every type of floating or suspending hard bait you can imagine... Back then I used to make a lot of my own lures, just because I couldn't find the ones I wanted in our local stores.
Nowadays, with information sharing on the web, as well as the range of tackle available it is much easier to become an accomplished light tackle lure angler, which is great as it is something that can be practised by young and old and is available to all.


Fishing is life. The rest is details....

Offline Tommo

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Re: Light Tackle Lure Angling
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 07:59:02 am »
Here is an example of one of those highlights, when light tackle lure fishing. My friend Chris Schoultz and I were fishing for grunter on surface lures in the Swartkops river in PE. A big Garrick smashed some mullet in the channel ahead of us and Chris flicked his little Storm chug bug at the chase. The water bulged behind his lure and got smashed on the second twitch. Chris was on with a decent fish on very light tackle. He was using eight pound braid, a little Shimano crucial spinning rod and a Sustain 2500. He fought the fish with lots of skill, and as much pressure as he could with that rig, and finally landed this beauty, which tipped the Boga grip at 20lb's. Wonderful Stuff!!!


Fishing is life. The rest is details....

Offline REEFMAN

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Re: Light Tackle Lure Angling
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 08:04:52 am »
Takes awesome skill to land a fish that size on 8lb braid!!  (clap)

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Offline Homie

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Re: Light Tackle Lure Angling
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 08:58:37 am »
 :shk :shk :shk


WOW !!!!

Offline Rods

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Re: Light Tackle Lure Angling
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 09:57:51 pm »
gosh, thats an awesome garrick on such light tackle.   :ayb

Offline SAfish

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Re: Light Tackle Lure Angling
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2011, 10:09:54 pm »
 (clap) (clap) Great article and awesome catches. I love my light tackle lure angling because you never know what you will get. It is also very easy to quickly go down to the water for a session after work because you don't have to worry about getting bait first. It is also very "clean" and my wife likes this as there are less fishy smells (especially if you blank as much as I do  :hehe:).