From Budding Beginner to Pro Angler– Here’s a few pointers to help you on the Fishing Charter…

Fishing Techniques for all Deep Sea Charters

ActivityDescription
Storing Fishing GearSafety first! Hooks, big sinkers and sea swell, can make a dangerous spell for you and other passengers. So whenever you’re not fishing, store your rod away and secure you fishing gear safely by wrapping the sinker around the reel handle 3 times.
Baiting hooksWe provide paternoster rigs with multiple hooks, and variety of bait. We recommend using one of each bait per hook to maximise catch rate. Do not overload the hook!!
Dropping baits1. Carefully hold your fishing rod in one hand and while using the other to hold the sinker and slowly drop the sinker over the side of the vessel (remember we all fish on the Port side of the boat) 2. Place your thumb on the back of the reel (on the fishing line) and release the trigger on the right hand side of the reel back towards yourself. 3. Slowly release the pressure on the thumb so that the line feeds out of the reel (keep slight pressure so that the reel doesn’t “birds nest” i.e. get tangled) 4. Once the line stops feeding/coming out (approx. 30-60sec after) you’ve reached the bottom of the ocean – now switch the trigger on the right hand side of the reel back to a vertical position. 5. Turn the handle so that you bring the slack up on the line and get tension so as to be able to feel the bites. 6. If fishing a sandy bottom then you can leave the sinker on the sand. If on a reef/rocky bottom then turn the handle 3-5 turns to bring the sinker off the bottom. NOTE: 1 rod per person.
Feeling for a biteOnce tension is on the line, you’ll have to keep a constant eye at the rod tip. Any decent tapping motion on the rod tip means = a BITE. Pull the rod up in a sharp upward motion but remember take it easy as the fish have soft mouths and lips. Bites but not hooked up - simply hold the rod in your hands and let the bait do what it’s there for. After 30 sec – drop the line back to the bottom of the ocean Don’t leave rod unattended!!
Checking BaitBest way would be to place the end of the rod butt under your left armpit and reel it in, at a decent pace, (NOT TOO FAST). Remember to leave about 30-50cm from the top hook to the rod tip so that you can easily hold the sinker. Secure the sinker to the reel handle and then re-bait.
Reeling in fishYou’ve had bites, striked to hook the fish so now it’s time to bring in your reward. If not too heavy then reel in the fish same as checking your bait. If fish is much heavier then, use the rod to assist you by lifting the rod, reeling the line while slowly dropping your rod tip back below horizontal position. Repeat the process until fish can be seen a few metres from the water surface. Then ask deckhand to assist you in bringing in your catch Remember to leave about 2 metres from the first hook to rod tip so that we can easily hold the fishing line while getting the fish in to the boat.
Removing fish from hooksNow it’s time to leave it to us. Many fish species have barbs and spikes that can hurt you so we’ll remove the fish from the hook and pass your line back for you to catch your next fish.
Storing fish (during charter and taking fish home)All fish will be kept in fish buckets filled with salt water to keep the fish fresh as possible. We’ll clean all the fish at the end of the charter ready for you to take home. We’ve got plastic bags however we do recommend bringing Eskies to safely take fish. You catch you keep
Snagged (stuck on the bottom / “pulling the plug on Australia”)If you think you’ve caught the biggest fish in the world and keep reeling while not getting line in to your reel – then you’re probably trying to “pull the plug on Australia”. You’re stuck on the bottom. Simply call one of our helpful staff and we’ll get it sorted. DO NOT release the tension on the reel, it’s DANGEROUS.
Cutting up baitFor your safety you’re NOT allowed to use the knives on board. We cut up all the bait for you.

Fishing Techniques for Sports Fishing Charter

ActivityDescription
Catching Live BaitWe use bait jigs and small baited hooks on light rods and hand reels to get you on to the “livies”.
Baiting hooks / live baitingWith baits (live or frozen), we use a variety of techniques to get you on to the fish.
Dropping baitsLive baiting and frozen baits differ in techniques – we’ll show you how to best use the gear. NOTE: 1 rod per person.
Feeling for a biteYou’ll know once you’re hooked. The line will have heavy tension with fish head shakes.
JiggingDrop the Jig to the bottom of the ocean and start lifting and reeling in a semi fast motion. This is tiring yet also a rewarding technique. There’s more to it so we’ll show you on the day.

Fishing Terminology and Definitions

TermDefinition
AnglerPerson using a fishing rod and reel, Alvey reel or hand spool to catch fish.
Artificial ReefAs the title suggests – these are man-made structures on the ocean floor. Similar to wrecks however these are purposefully placed in strategic locations.
Bag LimitRestriction in the number of fish an angler may keep, generally on a daily basis or in possession.
BaitCan be live bait (yellowtail, slimy mackerel or squid), dead bait (salted pilchards, squid or prawns) or artificial bait (lure, soft plastic, jig, fly … etc)
BobberA float attached to the line under which a hook and sometimes a sinker hang. The bobber holds the bait or lure at a predetermined depth and also signals the strike of a fish (strike indicator)
Bottom feeder OR Bottom FishA bottom-feeding fish, such as a Snapper or Flathead. Refers to a fish that feeds predominantly on the bottom, not just one that is sometimes caught on the bottom, such as a Yellowtail Kingfish or Mahi Mahi.
BurleyA fish attracting method by using chopped up bait or other food or liquids to get fish in to the area you’re fishing – thus increasing catch rate.
Catch-and-releaseRefers to catching a fish and immediately releasing it. Many anglers practice catch-and-release as a way to help conserve the fish numbers (or if they’re not wanting to take it home).
Depth Sounder / depth recorder / depth finder / Fish finderA sonar device utilising sound signals used to read the bottom structure, determine depth, and in some cases actually locate fish. Also called a Fish Finder.
DragDevice on fishing reels that allows line to come out without straining the line so it doesn’t break when reeling in a fish.
Drift FishingTechnique used to fish by drifting with the wind or current.
Drop OffA sudden decrease or increase in depth, often natural contours of the sea floor or other submerged topographic features.
Feeding timesCertain times of day when fish are most active. These are often associated with the position of the sun and moon and are referred to as solunar tables.
Fish Aggregating Device ( FAD )Simply a balloon in the ocean surface – the attracting feature is that there’s a rope to a large ball on the surface which attracts smaller fish to it for shelter. Larger species congregate to feed on these smaller species. Great for fishing.
Fish finderA sonar device utilising sound signals used to read the bottom structure, determine depth, and in some cases actually locate fish. Also called a fish finder.
Fisherman / AnglerOne who engages in fishing for recreation, sport, occupation or for food.
Foul HookTo hook a fish other than in the mouth.
Free spoolA reel that allows line to feed freely to the fish or current, or the method of feeding line without drag or resistance to fish or current.
GearAny tools used to catch fish, such as rod and reel, hook and line, nets, traps and baits
HookA barbed or barbless hook used for catching fish. For fish hook sizes, always use numerals: No. 2, No. 4 etc.
HabitatIn an aquatic environment, it includes the water, topography, structure where fish live.
Hard BottomUsually a rocky, gravel type of ocean floor.
Honey holeA slang term describing a specific hole, spot, or area containing big fish or lots of catchable fish
Inactive fishFish that are not in a feeding mood. Examples of inactive times can be following a cold front, during a major weather change that causes a sudden rise or fall in the barometer (air pressure)
Jig / JiggingThe practice of using a jig to catch fish.
Line guidesThe eyelets or rings on a rod through which fishing line is passed (from reel to rod tip then on to a fishing rig)
Live baitThe act of using live bait (fish, squid …etc.) is called live-bait fishing.
Long ReefA span of large reef located approximately 20km north of Sydney city. Great fishing grounds abound with a wide variety of fish species. It’s worth the trip heading up to Long Reef as there are numerous locations to try and catch the fish of the day.
Lure / LuresAn artificial bait mimicking fish. These can either be trolling lures, soft plastic or skirts that look like fish.
Mono / monofilamentA single, untwisted, synthetic filament line used for fishing.
Pelagic SpeciesPredator fish that generally target their prey on or near the surface of the ocean. They’re also found in all depths depending on sea bed and structure.
PFDA Personal Flotation Device or life jacket.
Reef FishingTechnique by which anglers target fish species congregating around reef and sandy bottom habitats. It’s also commonly referred to as bottom bashing
ReelDevice with a spool (holding fishing line), internal gears and a handle to turn the spool and retrieve the fishing line
RigsTerminal tackle which comprises of (and not limited to) fishing line, hooks and a sinker. There are many variations on fishing rigs depending on the angler’s technique, location and bait used.
RodLength of rod (pole) with line guides and seat to affix a fishing reel.
Size limitThe legal length of a fish that you can keep
Soft bottomComprising of soft material, such as sand or mud.
SonarAn acronym derived from the expression “sound navigation and ranging.” Refers to the method or equipment for determining by underwater sound techniques the presence, location or nature of objects in the water. Fish finders use artificial sonar.
Sports FishingTargeting pelagic species such as Yellowtail Kingfish, Mahi Mahi (Dolphin Fish), Sharks etc. It’s a hunt with great rewards.
StructureChanges in the shape of the bottom, especially those that influence fish behaviour. Examples include humps, ledges and drop-offs.
TransducerA device that converts electrical energy to sound energy, or the reverse. Typically associated with depth finders or fish finders.
TrollingTowing a lure or several lures behind a boat. When a fish is caught on the trolled lure, the boat is typically stopped and the fish is reeled in.

Fish Diagram