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Starting rock fishing


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Hey im interested to try rock fishing again. I have done it a few times with alright success. 

the gear Im planning to use is a:

saltist pe8 with a pennslammer 3 10500 with 150 lbs braid 

spinfisher 950 ssm 60 lbs braid on a shimano aerowave 10-12 

shimano tr200g with 20 lbs mono, may change if need with a 4-8 kg rod

penn suqall 50 vsw with 15-24kg roller tip 

have a 8ft 5-10 kg which I can put the spinfisher on to, to have more options 

Im really not sure what I want to target, I have read others reports saying use overheads ect hence the variety 

id also like some tips for safety, i'm a strong swimmer (used to swim state times so swimming isn't an issue). I have been told not to use a gimbal and a harness by some people but others said in jervis bay you need them. Should I tie myself to a point on the rock? also I know about checking where the rocks are wet to see how far up the waves come but any help and suggestions would be much appreciated. 

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Rigs and leader depend on target species (classic answer🤔)

Basic safety, wear a pfd, never turn your back on the ocean, watch the waves for awhile before starting to fish, wear a pfd, no fish is worth swimming for, wear a pfd, if you do get washed in swim out and find a safe exit point, wear a pfd, good quality non slip shoes and in case I didn't mention wear a pfd, it's damn hard to swim and stay afloat in wash.

I haven't rockfished for years but I remember a few of the basics,  I'm sure some of our other members will have more info.

 

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i would definitely use something to attach myself to the ledge if fishing 150lb line, dont wanna be taking any risks. if your comfortable spinning on your setups then that would be my go to, followed by livebaiting big slimies yakkas and gars. most of the standard float or balloon rigs would work on the big setup with a running float set 1.5-3m deep and a single hook on the bottom

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Hey Slothparade - good advice from dirvin21.
Rock fishing is great fun, but claims many fisho’s every year. My input is not about rigs etc, but kore general (sorry if that is what you were after)

Why such a heavy setup. 150lb from the rocks gives you no margin for error (safety) if a BiG fish grabs your bait (Kingie, Shark, Groper etc) you may well loose your rod and reel - if you’re fortunate, or be pulled in and loose your rod and reel or worse.
I’d be going with at least one other (experienced) fisho or better still, go with someone like Al Bellissimo and learn from a “master”.

I started rock fishing in the 70’s and 80’s and only by the grace of God I’m still here (been washed over and in and been scrubbed on the rocks a few times). I only fish out of a boat now, but remember the adrenaline of salmon, Kings, Luderick, tailor from rock ledges as a young bloke, so remember the “fun” it was and don’t blame you for wanting to “give it a go”. BUT play it safe mate, we sincerely don’t want any Raider’s (fisho’s) injured.

My input (“only fools give advice and only wisemen take it”) is 

* Go with experienced others (or land based charter - Alex Bellissimo is only one in Sydney I know of & outstanding reputation)

* study the sea for 15mins before you wet a line

* Have a safety exit plan (swim to bay or beach - not back to the rocks you were swept off)

* ALWAYS wear a life jacket, rock cleats and have your mobile (wet case) with you

* Don’t fish heavier than 30/40lb 

 

Edited by Pickles
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One of the most important things while going rock fishing is always go with a friend. Pickles had some good advice about looking at the rocks for 10-15 minutes before fishing. It may be boring and you might forget about it but it can be important. for instance the other week while fishing for blackfish i noticed that a set of big waves come over the rocks every 10 minutes so over that time i would walk away from the ocean and wait it out.

As for rigs, i've only been rock fishing 3 times and my first time was at the central coast. One of my dads mates told me just to put on a unweighted pille on a baitholder hook with a half hitch would do it. 

If i was you i would look around on youtube for safety and fishing information. I think you would fish around sydney so i would suggest team kingies as something to watch. Also try navionics for deep water near the rocks.

Hope this helped you. 👍

Edited by BigHorse
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Wear a good lfejacket.

Wear the right shoes.

Wear light gear.

The Aerowave rod is the go with 15lb Mono and 20lb leader. A 6000 reel is plenty.

Watch the Ocean for at least 15 minutes

Go with somebody.

Good luck.

Cheers.

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All good tips above, though a couple I can add are firstly, if your wearing shoes with cleats make sure you can slip them off easy because if you can't you'll find it very difficult to swim with them on. Loosely laced Volleys are good.

Secondly if you're looking at wearing an inflatable PFD, keep in mind they are great for buoyancy but almost impossible to swim in and you'll be at the mercy of the currents. In many situations the standard, foam filled jackets are w wiser choice. Especially if there is a sheltered bay you could swim to to get out of the water.

When land based game fishing, NEVER wear a harness unless you are extremely experienced. If you ever got dragged in you'll find it extremely difficult to unclip the reel with all the water pressure going on. Its better to sit on the rocks where there is shallow hole to use as a gimbal and fight the fish like you would from a game chair.

No matter what you're chasing, there's no real advantage in using line over 24kg. For large, fast fish you're better off with more line on the spool than heavier.

Edited by Green Hornet
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2 hours ago, BigHorse said:

One of the most important things while going rock fishing is always go with a friend. Pickles had some good advice about looking at the rocks for 10-15 minutes before fishing. It may be boring and you might forget about it but it can be important. for instance the other week while fishing for blackfish i noticed that a set of big waves come over the rocks every 10 minutes so over that time i would walk away from the ocean and wait it out.

As for rigs, i've only been rock fishing 3 times and my first time was at the central coast. One of my dads mates told me just to put on a unweighted pille on a baitholder hook with a half hitch would do it. 

If i was you i would look around on youtube for safety and fishing information. I think you would fish around sydney so i would suggest team kingies as something to watch. Also try navionics for deep water near the rocks.

Hope this helped you. 👍

thanks very much for the advice, ill be sure to check the waves first. What were you targeting with the unweighted pillie? 

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10 hours ago, little fisho said:

i would definitely use something to attach myself to the ledge if fishing 150lb line, dont wanna be taking any risks. if your comfortable spinning on your setups then that would be my go to, followed by livebaiting big slimies yakkas and gars. most of the standard float or balloon rigs would work on the big setup with a running float set 1.5-3m deep and a single hook on the bottom

thanks, I have heard that rig if for kingfish and longtail, is that right? i really don't know about using the 150lbs line, like its got over 500m but it just seems kinda ridiculous. I just don't know, i have seen people on YT using slammers of the rocks and heaps of rock setups with slammers so I just guessed it would go alright.  What if I were to tun the drag right down? would that be safer?

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3 minutes ago, slothparade said:

thanks very much for the advice, ill be sure to check the waves first. What were you targeting with the unweighted pillie? 

In the central coast we were going for bonito, kingies and tailor. we only ended up catching two 40cm tailor to keep, but he my mate said he caught a 80cm kingie the week before. I think the kingie was on a livie tho...

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3 hours ago, Pickles said:

Hey Slothparade - good advice from dirvin21.
Rock fishing is great fun, but claims many fisho’s every year. My input is not about rigs etc, but kore general (sorry if that is what you were after)

Why such a heavy setup. 150lb from the rocks gives you no margin for error (safety) if a BiG fish grabs your bait (Kingie, Shark, Groper etc) you may well loose your rod and reel - if you’re fortunate, or be pulled in and loose your rod and reel or worse.
I’d be going with at least one other (experienced) fisho or better still, go with someone like Al Bellissimo and learn from a “master”.

I started rock fishing in the 70’s and 80’s and only by the grace of God I’m still here (been washed over and in and been scrubbed on the rocks a few times). I only fish out of a boat now, but remember the adrenaline of salmon, Kings, Luderick, tailor from rock ledges as a young bloke, so remember the “fun” it was and don’t blame you for wanting to “give it a go”. BUT play it safe mate, we sincerely don’t want any Raider’s (fisho’s) injured.

My input (“only fools give advice and only wisemen take it”) is 

* Go with experienced others (or land based charter - Alex Bellissimo is only one in Sydney I know of & outstanding reputation)

* study the sea for 15mins before you wet a line

* Have a safety exit plan (swim to bay or beach - not back to the rocks you were swept off)

* ALWAYS wear a life jacket, rock cleats and have your mobile (wet case) with you

* Don’t fish heavier than 30/40lb 

 

thanks, I was mostly after safety advise anyways. the heavy setup was because it was in my budget and allows me to target a bit of a bigger variety. its a slammer 10500 btw, could I use it for slide baiting? 

could you advise on a life jacket? like what brand and type.

I was planning on asking if anyone would be able to go with me just so that i could learn off them but thanks for the guide suggestion, ill look into it.

Yeah, the places I planned on going I checked google maps and made an escape plan if I were to fall in. Would  a sheltered cove by an alright place?

what about using heavier braid instead of mono? try to get a little more abrasion resistance. Or should I just go with 20 lbs mono on a 6000. 

Also would you recommend using a small overhead for the line cap?

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8 minutes ago, BigHorse said:

In the central coast we were going for bonito, kingies and tailor. we only ended up catching two 40cm tailor to keep, but he my mate said he caught a 80cm kingie the week before. I think the kingie was on a livie tho...

nice, ill definitely go for the lighter setup and give it a go. thanks 

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47 minutes ago, Green Hornet said:

All good tips above, though a couple I can add are firstly, if your wearing shoes with cleats make sure you can slip them off easy because if you can't you'll find it very difficult to swim with them on. Loosely laced Volleys are good.

Secondly if you're looking at wearing an inflatable PFD, keep in mind they are great for buoyancy but almost impossible to swim in and you'll be at the mercy of the currents. In many situations the standard, foam filled jackets are w wiser choice. Especially if there is a sheltered bay you could swim to to get out of the water.

When land based game fishing, NEVER wear a harness unless you are extremely experienced. If you ever got dragged in you'll find it extremely difficult to unclip the reel with all the water pressure going on. Its better to sit on the rocks where there is shallow hole to use as a gimbal and fight the fish like you would from a game chair.

No matter what you're chasing, there's no real advantage in using line over 24kg. For large, fast fish you're better off with more line on the spool than heavier.

thanks, i won't use a harness then and ill get some of those cleats. can you recommended a brand of life jacket to get.

but if i have like 800 yards of line on the big reel surely its enough? 

Or even the 500m on the slammer or the spinfisher with its approx, 500 braid and mono? what part from a shark won't be stopped by those? 

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1 hour ago, Rebel said:

Wear a good lfejacket.

Wear the right shoes.

Wear light gear.

The Aerowave rod is the go with 15lb Mono and 20lb leader. A 6000 reel is plenty.

Watch the Ocean for at least 15 minutes

Go with somebody.

Good luck.

Cheers.

would 15 lbs mono be able to stop a king or when a longtail dives at the last little bit? i would have thought thats to light for things like that, sure drummer ect but yeah.

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28 minutes ago, slothparade said:

thanks, i won't use a harness then and ill get some of those cleats. can you recommended a brand of life jacket to get.

but if i have like 800 yards of line on the big reel surely its enough? 

Or even the 500m on the slammer or the spinfisher with its approx, 500 braid and mono? what part from a shark won't be stopped by those? 

I wear a foam, kayak style, Hobie PFD, that I've owned since I've had my kayak. It meets the required AS standards, is quite comfortable and doesn't get too hot.

Back when I fished live baits from the rocks, I aimed for reels that held roughly 1000 yards of mono. I used Penn Internationals and had a 50 for 15kg and an 80 for 24. Keep in mind the big yellowfin were still hanging around in close back then. On spin reels 400-500m was the norm.

800 yards will be ample and as you mentioned the rocks around Jervis Bay (where I did all my fishing) other than large sharks, a good sized marlin is strong possibility, not from just The Tubes, many big fish are caught from the ocean side of the peninsula as well.

To answer your question about 15lb and kings. 15kg braid would be a better choice on a spin rod. Sure its not as abrasion resistant as mono, but you can get around that with a long leader.

I always had my rods leashed to the rocks. Just a dog leash type clip and a length of rope does the job.

 

 

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Run longer leader if you want to run braid. It really depends on location tbh, as some rock ledges there is no, or not much structure out there to worry about.

Regarding safety, I always say, shoes are the most important. Must be able to grip as much as possible and comfortable. Remember, your feet is doing the main job of preventing you from going in to the water.

Cleats, you can get slip on cleats, if you want something cheap, you can look on online markets stores, look up "fishing cleats" or "snow cleats" (something most people probably don't think to look into), but both have similar purposes. However, I've been using a set from a brand called Eisen, I am only on my second pair but my first pair had lasted a fair while. Just remember to wash them if you're walking in the salt water on the ledges.

For PFD, there's plenty out there, but all depends on your budget. I went a little extreme as I rockfish as often as I can and I was looking for something very comfortable to maneuver and cast, but also safe at the same time. So I went with a brand called Crewsaver, paid a little more for the model I have, but since I've had it, I will say I do not regret my spend.

IMO, I'd rather spend a little more on my safety gear than I would on my fishing gear. And as above with washing cleats, maintenance of all of your safety gear is just as important as your fishing gear... Unless its just my OCD kicking forcing me to do these things

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Some of my thoughts . . .

The most important thing is safety!

The correct footwear for the type of rocks is important. Cleats are ideal Sydney sandstone, however are NOT the best choice for harder rocks like granite or volcanics.

Wear lightweight clothing like t shirt and boardies, a windproof jacket can help keep you warm in cooler months.

Tell someone where you are going and what time you'll be back.

Check the forecast for weather, swell and tide. Then think about how that will impact what you are looking at for your 20mins observation of the rocks pre fishing!

Google up Port Kembla rockfishing, I think it was Jan this year . .  There was a good example of a guy who went fishing with a mate who said they'd be fine . . . .

As others have said lifejackets are important but not the be all and end all. Though they are now mandatory in many LGA's.

Stay safe and good luck in your fishing!

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4 hours ago, Rob81 said:

Run longer leader if you want to run braid. It really depends on location tbh, as some rock ledges there is no, or not much structure out there to worry about.

Regarding safety, I always say, shoes are the most important. Must be able to grip as much as possible and comfortable. Remember, your feet is doing the main job of preventing you from going in to the water.

Cleats, you can get slip on cleats, if you want something cheap, you can look on online markets stores, look up "fishing cleats" or "snow cleats" (something most people probably don't think to look into), but both have similar purposes. However, I've been using a set from a brand called Eisen, I am only on my second pair but my first pair had lasted a fair while. Just remember to wash them if you're walking in the salt water on the ledges.

For PFD, there's plenty out there, but all depends on your budget. I went a little extreme as I rockfish as often as I can and I was looking for something very comfortable to maneuver and cast, but also safe at the same time. So I went with a brand called Crewsaver, paid a little more for the model I have, but since I've had it, I will say I do not regret my spend.

IMO, I'd rather spend a little more on my safety gear than I would on my fishing gear. And as above with washing cleats, maintenance of all of your safety gear is just as important as your fishing gear... Unless its just my OCD kicking forcing me to do these things

diffinately agree with you there. you can always get more gear but you can't get another life 

thanks for the help, ill go to a specialized boating shop to try and get one 

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2 hours ago, Burger said:

Some of my thoughts . . .

The most important thing is safety!

The correct footwear for the type of rocks is important. Cleats are ideal Sydney sandstone, however are NOT the best choice for harder rocks like granite or volcanics.

Wear lightweight clothing like t shirt and boardies, a windproof jacket can help keep you warm in cooler months.

Tell someone where you are going and what time you'll be back.

Check the forecast for weather, swell and tide. Then think about how that will impact what you are looking at for your 20mins observation of the rocks pre fishing!

Google up Port Kembla rockfishing, I think it was Jan this year . .  There was a good example of a guy who went fishing with a mate who said they'd be fine . . . .

As others have said lifejackets are important but not the be all and end all. Though they are now mandatory in many LGA's.

Stay safe and good luck in your fishing!

thanks, would it be a good idea when you get a bit further out to ditch the life jacket and swim the rest with out it?

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4 hours ago, Green Hornet said:

I wear a foam, kayak style, Hobie PFD, that I've owned since I've had my kayak. It meets the required AS standards, is quite comfortable and doesn't get too hot.

Back when I fished live baits from the rocks, I aimed for reels that held roughly 1000 yards of mono. I used Penn Internationals and had a 50 for 15kg and an 80 for 24. Keep in mind the big yellowfin were still hanging around in close back then. On spin reels 400-500m was the norm.

800 yards will be ample and as you mentioned the rocks around Jervis Bay (where I did all my fishing) other than large sharks, a good sized marlin is strong possibility, not from just The Tubes, many big fish are caught from the ocean side of the peninsula as well.

To answer your question about 15lb and kings. 15kg braid would be a better choice on a spin rod. Sure its not as abrasion resistant as mono, but you can get around that with a long leader.

I always had my rods leashed to the rocks. Just a dog leash type clip and a length of rope does the job.

 

 

how hard is it do deal with a international off the rocks? DId u baloon out the baits? Ill probably have to copy the same technique 

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38 minutes ago, slothparade said:

how hard is it do deal with a international off the rocks? DId u baloon out the baits? Ill probably have to copy the same technique 

No problem at all the deep, vertical ledges around Jervis Bay are user friendly and you can use conventional game rods at most platforms. 

Floatation for the baits depended on their size and anything from a small bobby cork for garfish to a balloon for bonito and small mack tuna were used.

Baits like live frigates were pinned through the top lip and sent out without a float. You’d let them swim until they lost their energy, then up the drag a little and wind them back to the rocks quickly. This put a rush of water over their gills and reenergised them. 

Under a balloon a frigate will die in about 10 minutes, but with this method they’ll last half an hour or more.

Once they’re totally shot, put a hook through their back and float them out in a wash until they’re just sitting at the edge of it. Kings love them.

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