Mattymattmatt

Need some help. Sick of catching small fish

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Hi guys, I’ve been fishing for a while now but I seem to only catch smallies like bream, yakka, tailor. I’ve never caught a fish past 25cm. I’ve tried to target bigger fish by using lures and fresh bait with the appropriate hook and sinker but sadly with no luck. I’ve fished many places around the harbour and parra river both day and night in between tidal changes and I’m left empty handed. I’m sure some of you know how frustrating it is to dream of catching that one big fish for years and years pouring all your money on bait,tackle,lures excited to go fishing for a big one then coming home with nothing but frustration. I keep telling myself to be patient because I may catch a big one next time, and the next, then the next.... it’s been about 3-4 years since I’ve had this mission, so either the big fishes are lesbian, or I’m doing something wrong. I might be coming off as a bit stubborn but I hope you understand my despair. If someone with experience can take me on a fishing trip and teach me the right things to do it’d be greatly appreciated. Don’t need to catch fish, the knowledge and techniques will be plenty.

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Don't worry your not alone.

Ive been trying to catch a legal King& Jew in Botany bay for 10 years & it still hasn't happened, but I am going to succeed with persistence by gaining more knowledge.

The biggest thing I have found is to pick what you want to target, research what you need to target the species with as far as rod/reel/rigs etc & also locations.

Its all about the R&D really.

 

Hate to say it but keep at it, refine your rigs & keep trying different locations.

 

Edited by kingie chaser

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9 minutes ago, kingie chaser said:

Don't worry your not alone.

Ive been trying to catch a legal King& Jew in Botany bay for 10 years & it still hasn't happened, but I am going to succeed with persistence by gaining more knowledge.

The biggest thing I have found is to pick what you want to target, research what you need to target the species with as far as rod/reel/rigs etc & also locations.

Its all about the R&D really.

 

Hate to say it but keep at it, refine your rigs & keep trying different locations.

 

The worst feeling is when you see someone next to you land a big one. Happened twice in the same week. One bloke caught a 6kg Jewie and another day this guy caught a kingfish about 10 metres away from him on plain old prawns!

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Sure, there is an element of luck as well thrown in with all that.theory.

Equaly you could.spend.hours catching live bait for zero result & the guy next to you catches the prized fish with a Hawkesbury prawn BUT 9 tomes out of 10 the person that puts in the time to catch the fresh bait will generally do better.

In saying that I am a big plastics & lure fan, then you need to work out what shape/colour will work for a particular species.

Some are universal some are not.

It takes time & effort so all I can say is keep at it, invest your time into reading as many articles as you can & look up as many forum topics to get tips.

I have spent 1000's of.hours looking up articles, reading books & magazines & used google to help research what it is I want to learn.

As an example use this forums search tab & look up some old threads that will give you some info on locatios etc!!

Mind you my father was a fisho so that helped a bit as well.

Edited by kingie chaser

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Hey matty

Kingie chaser has toucher on an important note......R&D. 

Most people who fish for jew will tell u they exclusively fish for jew in the trip they target them (often get other by catch). 

I suggest you pick a target species, research the best rig for that species and then do research on land based spots for those species.....every little change you make such as rig/ location/time of day etc will increase your chances.

For instance if your targeting kingfish your best off fishing a live bait or whole fresh squid under a float, not on a sinker that will take the bait to the bottom. Meanwhile, you would do the complete opposite for jewfish

Edited by GoingFishing

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Antonio Banderas said it well: “the source of frustration is expectation”. We do live in a highly urbanised location with a raft of commercial, recreational and environmental pressures on stocks. Throw into the mix forums like this and magazines/tv shows that highlight trophy species being caught seemingly at will and I can understand your expectation to land a monster, especially after trying for so long.

Greater Sydney still offers anglers the chance to land big fish, but it’s becoming increasingly expensive and difficult. So you have to ask yourself how badly you want to catch a large fish and how much you’re willing to invest? Is it worth reassessing your goal?

I’ve given up targeting Jew, kings and large tuna. Put simply the cost of equipment, fuel, time etc doesn’t match up with the reward in my opinion. If it were the 80’s when you could catch Jew, legal kings and big bluefin tuna more easily it would be a different story but those days are long gone.

I’m happy to just catch the odd bream, flathead or crab with my kids and spend more time gardening and growing food. But that’s me and each to their own.

good luck with reaching your fishing goals, I think you’re on the right track seeking out a mentor, I hope you find one that can help.

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I was contacted by a couple of fellas who were in the same predicament as you having fished for several years and not landing a fish over 1kg. I offered to take them for a shore fish in my local area with the knowledge of there being no guarantees when it comes to fishing. 

Firstly they were stoked simply catching the salmon we use as bait but two hours after dark when the gummies were patrolling the shoreline their excitement took on a new level. Eight gummies to 20kg + soon made their 1000km drive up from Melbourne worth while. Since then they've been giving it a go on their own but not had to much luck but they don't seem to have that pressure or frustration anymore.

I used to fish Sydneys beaches with a good success rate on jews, sharks and other species. Having this success didn't come from waiting for a calm sunny day to head off for a fish, if I had, I'm sure I would still be in that rarely catching big category.

Moon and tide changes soon became my fish catching clock. A couple of days before both the full and dark of the moon meant I could fish a high water tide change after dark every two weeks.  All that was needed was the first two hours of dark to almost guarantee double figure fish on each trip.

learning to read the beach and what gutters look productive can be a quick learning curve by simply walking the shoreline flicking lures for salmon and tailor in the daylight. Once you learne where these fish live you know you are in with a good chance of finding bigger predators in that area after dark.

Personaly I like deep gutters right at my feet so I can cast big baits with very little effort or need to get the baits along way out, jews and sharks will literally often only be a gentle lob of a cast out.

I don't like using wire at all, I also check and mostly change my baits every ten to fifteen mins.

This was one of the gummies I introduced the Vic fellas to.

 

IMG_1103.thumb.PNG.864047b085cbcb66afe65d117f135e0e.PNG

Edited by JonD
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@Mattymattmatt are you looking at shore base or going from a boat, or do you just want to catch something to re-stoke the enthusiasm?

 

 

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All comments above about research, focusing on a target species, persistence and luck are all true - they all factor in to your success rate. I would even go as far to say that it's 50% luck and 50% all other factors mentioned above. 

To keep things simple, I would:

* Find nearest beach for you to pump yabbies from.

* Use light bream gear with light line , size 2 long shank hooks.

* Fish the same area where you pump yabbies, at low tide, just off the edge off the flats (i.e. drop offs). 

You will catch lots of small fish but also have a chance at decent flatties, bream and whiting.

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Hi MMM,

On one hand I get your frustration but on the other hand if you are only 22 you have a lifetime of fishing ahead of you and have gear available to you that wasn't really around when many of us started. First thing is get a mentor or preferably more than one. Don't take everything they say as set in stone but look at the logic behind what they show you and see if the why makes sense.

You will have a bit of work (play) ahead of you to kick it up to the next level. I am working with a few people at the moment and when I take someone on it is usually a 6 to 8 hour session to start with to teach soft plastic basics on light gear (7 foot graphite rod 2500 reel and 4lb or really fine 6lb braid). We then branch out into slices, blades, squid jigs, spinners, retrieval techniques, fighting techniques, locations, etc. Once they have the hang of that then a lot of what we work through scales up (graphite snapper rod, 4000 reel and 15lb braid). One of the guys I worked with (and still fish with) since mid last year smugly sent me a text today to tell me he is on his 20th king for 2019. None legal but he his having fun and catching an increasing amount of species. The best part he and his mate (who I have also been working with) have been doing it on bream gear which is a real buzz.

I was introduced to soft plastics over a decade ago and it opened up my fishing world again. I had what I would now consider the wrong gear and an extremely basic introduction to them but was stoked to hook and land a silver trevally on a white 2" grub. Since then I have put a lot of thought into what works and why and teaching others has helped refine what I do further.

As a starting point do you have a suitable light graphite rod (2-4kg) and braid outfit? Do you know how to catch squid? In your case start concentrating on flathead. Plenty of Youtube clips out there. I am not into ultra-light jigheads when chasing flathead. I won't use anything less than 1/8oz and will go up to 1/4oz or even 9gm as it allows me to cover distance. I'm a big fan of the Berkley minnows as it is a similar profile to many baitfish out there. On a side note spend some time learning to catch squid. I put these out on a twin hook rig on 20lb gear to chase jewfish. I strip them and send them unweighted through the water column from various ferry wharves when chasing kings.

There are some really good pinned articles on catching squid and look through my past posts for the advice I have given on squidding. I have also done a write up for a Michael on catching kings in the moorings. Read that if you can find it. If you are still having problems then I can probably work with you once my current pupils get along a bit further.

Regards,

Derek

PS. What @anthman said is another good approach to improving your catch rate.

Edited by DerekD
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Welcome to come with me sometime. Shot me a message and ill get you on to something bigger than 25cm!

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Go target carp, the old mud marlin will tickle your boots. Fight harder than a murray cod in my opinion.

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A few things that work for me: 1, Use the lightest possible leader and hooks although the strength of the fish your fighting along with the sharpness of their teeth must be taken into account. 2, find out the feeding habits of the species you want to target this can be used like this: say you want to target flathead with soft plastics, the flatties are going to be around reefs or structures facing the direction of the flow, the water colour might also dictate your choice on lure colour. 3, Are you fishing in the right spot are the fish your targeting known to be caught where your fishing and are they normally bigger than 25cms? 4, target a specific species using the above techniques and then count bi catch as a bonus. 5, tie good knots and use good quality tackle because when you do hook the big one you have to be able to land it. 

Fishing is 50% skill, knowledge and determination and 50% Chance / blessings. You could be doing all the right things and make no mistakes and never catch a fish in your life or you might do all the wrong things and catch a record fish. Another tip is to not treat fishing in general like a competition the better fisher is the one who can preform well under individual circumstances and not the one who caught the biggest fish.

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