arpie

Best Ever Tips For Blackie Fishing

121 posts in this topic

Hi Pmak

Patience, Grasshopper .... are there any other BA's (blackie addicts) out Bonnyrig way?? Or do you ever get over to the northern beaches? There are heaps of Raiders there who would only be too happy to show you the ropes! Any excuse to toss in a line!

Good luck

Roberta

I've actually been down to Lambeth Park a couple of times but did not try for long - was not sure of the best spot and the best tide to try - but must admit I need to put in more time to get results. I have your tips memorised! I will definitely let you know if I catch one ....

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It is a pleasure!! By the time we have finished, It should be the Blackfishing Bible!!!

I reckon we must have some of the most active blackie fishers of any forum out there and most are so hungry to learn more!! (and the most helpful!!!) I know that I have learnt just so much in the last 12 months I have been a member!! Can't believe it is only a year - seems like I have been a family member forever!

I will be hitting 'Spot X' tomorrow morning whilst Keith is at art (where Stewy got his nice fish at the social) . A 47cm fish was taken from there just last week! Gotta maintain my 'biggie' record! I know there is a 50cm one lurking there ......

Cheerio

Roberta

Thanks Roberta,

You have gone to so much effort and it is appreciated ... That is a great guide to the wonderful world of blackfishing

Thanks so much

Ross

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Hi All,

What a thread! I've been fishing for blackfish since 1972. A long time. Always off the ocean rocks. I reckon I've got something to add to this.

When I started, we only ever used floats to fish for blackfish...more on alternatives later. Like Roberta said. making your own floats is a buzz:

Koaloaboi's Float Recipe:

1/4 inch dowel

champagne corks

electric drill

vice

black paint

fluoro paint in your fav colour (a white undercoat really helps)

coarse and fine sand paper

pencil sharpener

1. Place cork in vice and drill neatly through the centre with a drill bit that almost matches your dowel.

2. Ram the cork onto a short (about twice as long as the cork) sharpened length of dowel and place dowel into the business end of your drill which has been mounted in your vice.

3. Using the coarse sandpaper first, turn on the drill and shape your cork.

4. Fine sandpaper lightly next to give a clean finish to your cork.

5. Cut your dowel to the required length and sharpen both ends...you don't want or need a needle point.

6. Keeping an old foam fruit/broccoli box as a stand, spray the top of your float in your fluoro colour then jam it into the foam to dry. A couple of coats is good. Have some floats black at the top too...they are much easier to see on glary days

7. Jam the cork onto the stem and spray black (flat is best) and then stick the float upside down in the foam holes to dry. You can slide the cork up and down the stem to get a nice coverage. It's hard to explain but obvious when you do it.

8. Give the cork a couple of coats of varnish to seal.

9. I use short sections of plastic tubing to fix the line to the float..to stop it slipping from your preset depth, twist the line arond the float a few times.

Go fish...you can get plenty of corks from your next trip to the wineries!

I also make a smaller version using normal wine corks but they're not quite as good.

Dust mask when sanding corks is very advisable...and do it out in the yard, the garage will otherwise be covered in cork dust...I generally do a run of them together.

Pussyfooting for blackfish

Many years ago my mates NATO, Stewy and I would venture down to the Snowy Mountains for a spot of fly fishing between niggering in Sydney.

It struck us that we could adapt fly techniques for niggering off the rocks. Pussyfooting was born. Wading around the rock platform looking for likely spots to fish is so like wading a trout steam. We were always careful not to spook fish and NATO named it pussyfooting. Silly stuff.

Not rocket surgery really, and only useful in certain situations, BUT absolutely deadly!

I use a 7ft spinning rod (it doubles as my SP flattie stick)...small threadline, 6lb line and 00 split shot if needed plus hook. Your terminal tackle fits in a flim container!

You're looking for a large rock platform that is mostly dry at low tide but covered at high. Find your cabbage supplies and work out where the wash will take it as each wave comes over the front then drains back to the sea. Often you'll find a rockpool along the drainage path. At high tide, blackfish love these spots. Stand upstream of the hole and drop your unweighted cabbage bait in. If you have a tail wind, you can chuck it out. It's surprising how far you can flick an unweighted weed or cabbage bait with the wind behind you...just dunk it in some water first. Sometimes a split shot crimped onto your line about 2 feet above the hook can help with casting or keeping your bait down in foamy, fast flowing water. Allow the current to take it out by keeping the bail arm of your reel open and feeding line out.

Sometimes the take is a sudden rush. Sometimes, watching your line on the surface you see it doing something strange. Mostly though, you get to the end of your drift, carefully take up the slack and strike. More often than not, there's a fish on!

This works well on the days when noone's getting any interest using a float. It's the best fun.

As you can imagine, this technique works really well in shallow water.

I find that on the rocks, the blackfish tend to go off the bite as the top of the tide turns. Time to clean the catch....Don't throw away the gut though. Take off your luderick hook, put on a 1/0 suicide, bait up with the gut as the tide recedes through the gutters and chase some bream. They love luderick gut. You can catch them on a sunny day, in clear water only a foot or two deep.

Tight lines,

Koalaboi

Edited by Koalaboi

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Hi Koalaboi

Thanks for that great info - your method of fishing the rock ledges is very similar to Luderick59's & he is also a master at it!! :) We'll add that bit to the original post!!!

Cheers

Roberta

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hi Koalaboi,

thats some great info you posted there..

i use the drill technique for shaping of floats also but once i used cedar i have not gone back to the old cork variety except a couple of bigger ones for off the stones...

the cedar is bouyant and has the advantage of weight for casting so no need for sheet lead around base of cork ones... how much joy does it give using your own created floats. :biggrin2: . cannot beat that eh........

i was taught to fish groper/drummer off the stones using that Pussyfooting style and used it for blackfish also at times... havnt done that for way too long though...

cheers...steve.......

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Hi,

Thanks Roberta and Roosterman for the feedback.

Now living on the Central Coast my local rock spot offers some great fishing BUT, the conditions that make it fishable are so exacting that I can only get to it now and again. So, I'm looking at relearning my luderick fishing skills inside Tuggerah Lakes. It's a whole new ballgame and the tips at the top of this thread may help.

I'm wondering Roosterman, if you can give me your cedar float recipe...the locals here use them for inside fishing all the time. I did try making a couple years and years ago but that was using Australian cedar! I'm assuming you mean the imported western red cedar. Here's what I'd like to know:

What size bits of cedar do I start with?

What are the final dimensions of the finished float?

How do you shape it?

Any other advice?

I try to make as much of my gear as possible. Rods, flies, whatever and I'd like to give this a crack.

Thanks in advance,

Koalaboi

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hi Koalaboi,

i got the cedar from my neighbour who was a chippy years ago and i think it was western cedar as it is dark colored.. he cut it into 1" x 1" and i chamfered edges with a planer then used a orbital sander in a vice upside down to shape it with a slight taper and different lengths and widths for different weight floats...i also used a drill at times and put end in the chuck but be careful and only use slow speeds with slight pressure not to break the float... always use apropriate safety , eg masks/glasse..

once shaping is done you can make some runners by cutting the ends of small safety pins and bending the 2 legs at right angles with enough length for eyelet to stop line laying on float but not too long as can cause issues,maybe 5mm or so.... bind them on with cotton/dental floss or proper binding string.. paint some good bright fluro/yellow/reds/oranges on tips and some black also as this helps on those real bright days.. seal it all with some thin coats of laquer and your done...

im looking for some cedar if anyone has or knows where i can get cheap as i want to make some more.... they will last a lifetime unless unlucky enough to lose them to a fish... i have some floats that are 15yrs old and just needed a touch up to brighten up the paint... check these weapons out....

post-2219-1209035801_thumb.jpg

top 2 are cedar,next 2 are made with cork on wood skewers and bottom one skewer/styrofoam i think...

i lost a heap of gear years ago so need to make some more but between these i can fish all different conditions... let me know if theres any more i can help with... making your own gear is enjoyable and very rewarding..

cheers...steve.....

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at the breakwall at nelson bay the water is a dark brown but my dad and friend still managed to land 22 blackies in an hour using stringy weed and a float without the ball a stick float :1fishing1:

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Hi Roberta,

Been a member about six months,really enjoyed your article onBLACKIE's,also the input from some of your fishing buddies,we have very good grounds up my way and if you ever venture north my golf course has the best weed on the mid north coast, keep them good articles coming. happy fishing Rick.

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hey robertaa

deadset if i manage to finally catch a blackfish i will buy you something... ive been fishing atleast 1000 times where there is an elderly man who just seems to catch these fish and every body else is fishless nonetheless ill give it a try thankss for the info.....

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Hi pescatore

Persistance & patience will result in fish! Just take note where the old fellas are fishing & the state of the tide (high, low or in between) .... & try & get close enough to see where their 'knot' is, for the float depth. Use the freshest weed you can find (or buy) & the results will come. :) :) If he is putting in burley, make sure you are fishing down tide of him, so you get the advantage of his burley! :)

Good luck, & let us know how you go!! I dropped 2 nice ones today & released 2 small ones.

Cheerio

Roberta

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hey roberta u mentioned the fact that u can buy the weed/cabbage.. where exactly can you get this from

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SUPERB POST Just a thing I picked up on the set-up , I use a small lead on the trace about 20cm above hook which keeps bait more directly under float , works for me and others I know as well.

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And just one other thing I have found useful with the burley, to cut the cabbage up, I use an OLD juicer, works a threat ( the pulp collection area) just try and avoid shells and don,t over load and rinse the pieces well. Have mate that use the old style mincer and run it through twice, that is handy as well. One warning do not get caught using anything that is still being used in the kitchen, your life is not worth it!!

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Had an outing lined up for Port Hacking a week back, hoping to get into some bream. I should have learnt my lesson with my 'mate' by now. Nine times out of ten, he cancels at the last minute.

Anyway, I just felt like wetting a line, so headed off to float some cabbage weed around the washes. Only had two hours, so it was just for some time out of the house really.

Low tide, but on the way in. A NE breeze was also blowing, which isn't the ideal direction for this spot.

Some b*&%**%s, left all their crap on the rocks and in the pools. Plastic bags of prawns and beer bottles. Why are people so arrogant and ignorant?

Anyway, fished for about 20 mins before the first down, and boy, was it a down. The float was there one second and gone the next. The line was tearing through the water, and the Avon was spinning in the palm of my hand. I thought that I must have hooked a trevally, which I have done many times on weed, but it was a nice size luderick, which took about 5 mins to land. Beaudy, I thought. Things were slow however, and it was another 15 mins before I had another down. This was a duplicate of the first one, and I can't remember blackfish ever having hit so hard and stripping line with such determination. Another good one landed. Next down was tentative, and I lifted the rod, but found the cabbage cropped down to the bend of the hook. Next one was again, a tentative take but I hooked this one, only to lose it at my feet. Another one like that a few minutes later, and then it slowed down. The tide was quite high now, and I could see fish 'surfing' up in the swell and grabbing a mouthful of cabbage weed on the way through. I had given myself 2 hours, and with a minute to go, I got a third one. Good, solid fish. Can't wait for them to come on a bit stronger. Great fun for a couple of hours in the outdoors. Total three landed, two lost at the ledge and a couple which only stayed on for a second or so before the hook pulled. Took a couple of pics on the mobile, so the quality isn't too good. Fish measured 42cm, 41cm and 38cm. Not bad.

Maybe this should have gone into the reports section, but it is a blackie thread :) What we need is a few recipes as well. I do the usual bread crumb fillets, bbq fillets and battered pieces. Anything else?

post-8780-1224540072_thumb.jpgpost-8780-1224540095_thumb.jpg

p.s. forgot the tip. I use thin, flat lead sheet on the leader. The line hangs better and is more 'balanced' in my experience. Split shots and ball sinkers can flip all over the place when being cast, whilst the sheet lead weights tend to keep the line straight during the cast. I use about 5 pieces spaced out under the float. The bottom one is around 30cm from the hook.

Edited by The Hun

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Hi guys,

I was just wondering why is the blackfish float is the way it is? Why do we not use bobby corks or other types of floats?

Cheers,

Dlai

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Hi Dlai

Blackfish are pretty finicky feeders & having the long stick above the cork (only showing a few cm of red above the waterline) allows you to 'negatively weight' it. If you did that with a bobby cork, it would be under water & you wouldn't see the float go down & could miss a good hit!

IF fishing off the rocks for drummer & sea blackfish, you can use bobby corks (or other floats) as the fish are a lot more aggressive in the faster/rougher water.

CHeers

Roberta

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Hi Dlai

Blackfish are pretty finicky feeders & having the long stick above the cork (only showing a few cm of red above the waterline) allows you to 'negatively weight' it. If you did that with a bobby cork, it would be under water & you wouldn't see the float go down & could miss a good hit!

IF fishing off the rocks for drummer & sea blackfish, you can use bobby corks (or other floats) as the fish are a lot more aggressive in the faster/rougher water.

CHeers

Roberta

great reply Roberta...

i might add that when off the stones(rocks) the reasoning behind using round bobby cork style is when the pigs (drummer) move in and smash you the long stem types get caught in kelp and caves etc resulting in losing them.. round ones give a much better chance of getting out of trouble....

in saying that i still tend to use the long stemmed type at most locations unless i get reefed then quickly change to up the ante...

cheers...steve.....

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hi, i've just recently started looking at blackie fishing and I was wondering a few things

1. Do i just plonk the float right in front of me? If i'm standing on a rock that gets some decent white water and has weed on it can I just let the float sit right in front of it? I've always imagined blackfish to be hiding under the rock that i'm standing on :P

2. My leader always gets caught and i end up losing my float. Aren't leaders meant to be heavier then the mainline so doesn't that mean you'll be breaking the main line before your leader and thus lose your float? I lose a float every time i try to fish for blackfish.

3. Is it possible to fish for blackie's if I just let my rod stand beside me while i'm fishing lures on my 8' rod?

4. Will a place with blackfish also have fish like groper and drummer?

Thanks aplenty :)

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Hi HC88

Good on you for trying blackie fishing! To try to answer your questions .....

1. Do i just plonk the float right in front of me?

The blackfish usually hang around structure of some sort (whether rocks, weed beds, leases or jetties.) Usually you can see them in the clear water in estuaries & lakes. They are often under the white water off the rocks (grazing on what is being washed into the water by the pounding seas.) If fishing the rocks (and it sounds like you are) you need to find the depth that the fish are feeding at & this is trial & error to a degree. Just keep adjusting the depth of your float till you get bites. If someone else is already catching, check their gear out to see how 'deep they are fishing' and adjust your own accordingly. Once hooked, they will try to take you back into the rock crevices from which they came, to bust you off! You have to 'turn their heads' really fast, especially if it is a drummer! Always keep pressure on them once hooked. No slack line.

2. My leader always gets caught and i end up losing my float. Aren't leaders meant to be heavier then the mainline so doesn't that mean you'll be breaking the main line before your leader and thus lose your float?

The idea of having the main line heavier than the leader in this case is NOT to lose the float! The main line is where the float is - the leader is always under the float with the hook attached at the end & should have a swivel separating the two. I always have the weight on a separate line again, attached both to the main line & leader, to encourage the float to 'run up the line' as I cast & I rarely get the leader caught around the float. It is easier to re rig the hook section than to re rig the entire setup including float! All this is written & illustrated in the info of the first post.

3. Is it possible to fish for blackie's if I just let my rod stand beside me while i'm fishing lures on my 8' rod?

You can try it but it would be better to give the one rod your total concentration, especially if fishing from the rocks. Too dangerous jumping from one rod to the other. The float goes down in an instant & if you don't set the hook immediately, you are unlikely to get the fish.

4. Will a place with blackfish also have fish like groper and drummer?

Absolutely, especially drummer. If you are fishing from the rocks (or the sea end of the larger breakwalls.) Make sure your tackle is capable of bringing in the bigger fish, or you will surely lose tackle on a regular basis!

Good luck

Roberta

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Hi Roberta, thanks for your quick reply :) I've had a think about your response and still have a few more questions :1fishing1:

Hi HC88

Good on you for trying blackie fishing! To try to answer your questions .....

1. Do i just plonk the float right in front of me?

The blackfish usually hang around structure of some sort (whether rocks, weed beds, leases or jetties.) Usually you can see them in the clear water in estuaries & lakes. They are often under the white water off the rocks (grazing on what is being washed into the water by the pounding seas.) If fishing the rocks (and it sounds like you are) you need to find the depth that the fish are feeding at & this is trial & error to a degree. Just keep adjusting the depth of your float till you get bites. If someone else is already catching, check their gear out to see how 'deep they are fishing' and adjust your own accordingly. Once hooked, they will try to take you back into the rock crevices from which they came, to bust you off! You have to 'turn their heads' really fast, especially if it is a drummer! Always keep pressure on them once hooked. No slack line.

Is there any kind of guideline as to whether they'll be right in front of you or not? Will any rock with some white water and weed on it be a potential spot for blackfish that I can try out? Also, is there a minimum depth that I should be looking for when i'm fishing for them?

2. My leader always gets caught and i end up losing my float. Aren't leaders meant to be heavier then the mainline so doesn't that mean you'll be breaking the main line before your leader and thus lose your float?

The idea of having the main line heavier than the leader in this case is NOT to lose the float! The main line is where the float is - the leader is always under the float with the hook attached at the end & should have a swivel separating the two. I always have the weight on a separate line again, attached both to the main line & leader, to encourage the float to 'run up the line' as I cast & I rarely get the leader caught around the float. It is easier to re rig the hook section than to re rig the entire setup including float! All this is written & illustrated in the info of the first post.

Sorry my internet is capped and it often doesn't load all the pictures. So you effectively have a seperate line which is made to break if you get snagged? Under any conditions do you not use a float? I'm thinking that if i'm fishing right in infront of me then can't i just use a running sinker and hook rig? If the rod has my full attention (and both my hands) why do we still need a float?

3. Is it possible to fish for blackie's if I just let my rod stand beside me while i'm fishing lures on my 8' rod?

You can try it but it would be better to give the one rod your total concentration, especially if fishing from the rocks. Too dangerous jumping from one rod to the other. The float goes down in an instant & if you don't set the hook immediately, you are unlikely to get the fish.

I see :)

4. Will a place with blackfish also have fish like groper and drummer?

Absolutely, especially drummer. If you are fishing from the rocks (or the sea end of the larger breakwalls.) Make sure your tackle is capable of bringing in the bigger fish, or you will surely lose tackle on a regular basis!

Good luck

Roberta

I guess it'll be more or less impossible to catch a groper with a size 8 hook though :P

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Hi HC88

Is there any kind of guideline as to whether they'll be right in front of you or not? Will any rock with some white water and weed on it be a potential spot for blackfish that I can try out? Also, is there a minimum depth that I should be looking for when i'm fishing for them?

There is no guideline other than trying! If you are new to the sport of blackfishing, it would be better to stand back & watch others doing it (especially if from the Sea Rocks) as it can be an extremely dangerous form of fishing. You can assume they are right in front of you, but if you have your float in too close, you will surely lose tackle (possibly float included, no matter what rig you use!) Off the rocks, the blackies can be under the white water or in close against the rocks. Usually you set the depth to just above the bottom ...... but having said that, unless you know what the depth is, you are still only guessing, till you actually get a bite. The fish can be biting anywhere from less than 1m under the water to 10m!

So you effectively have a seperate line which is made to break if you get snagged? Under any conditions do you not use a float? I'm thinking that if i'm fishing right in infront of me then can't i just use a running sinker and hook rig? If the rod has my full attention (and both my hands) why do we still need a float?

I have my rig set so that the leader should break first if it comes into contact with rocks or wrapped in weed.

My rig for fishing the breakwall is: 20lb braid for the main line with the float on it with a swivel underneath. Then I have a .5m length of about 15lb mono tied to the first swivel with the designated weight on it to another swivel. The 6-8lb leader is tied to the bottom swivel to a no. 8 hook. I use a bead under both the float & the weight to buffer the line & prevent line chafing & breaking.

In the normal process of things, if a fish takes you too close to the rocks, the leader will break before anything else. If the weighted section of line gets caught between rocks, it will then break, leaving the float still on your line. It would be totally bad luck if the 20lb braid busted off & you lost the lot. SInce using this rig, I haven't lost a float for ages. I use much lighter rigs in the lake.

The float is needed to make the weed/cabbage 'appear to be free floating' to encourage the fish to bite. It also 'tells' you about the bite, by disappearing quickly below the surface. Without the float, the weed/cabbage would sink too quickly & probably take you straight into the rocks & kelp & bustoff.

Try it both ways & see which one works! :)

I guess it'll be more or less impossible to catch a groper with a size 8 hook though

If you are after groper, you'd hardly be using a blackfish rod with weed/cabbage on it. You would be wiser to use a much stronger rod & crab for bait!

I have heard of a jewfish caught (on a Forster beach) on a long shank hook rigged with worm aimed at a whiting.

There's an old adage ....... Big hook, big fish. Small hook, all fish.

Cheers

Roberta

Having said all that - Luderick59 has a terrific method of using a small flat piece of lead & cabbage to target blackies in a rock ledge situation that has water flowing over it. It is called 'pussy footing'.

Edited by Roberta

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Awesome :) Thanks Roberta. I'll assume Luderick59 has written about it in a post so i'll search for that.

One last question. Under what kinds of circumstances would you cast your float away from you? I find that if it's in front of me i can have some kind of control over it, but if i cast it away then it will always get washed up on rocks just because it's been cast into an area that has wash around it.

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