A couple of weeks in a row to Victoria has taken its toll on me. I’m pretty much keen to fish 3 out of every 4 weekends but the travel to Victoria (or Queensland for that matter) two weeks in a row really knocked me around. Sitting in my car for the 8 hours each way, watching the same bit of road, tree, cow and sheep was pretty boring but it did give me a lot of time to think about my fishing.
Heading away, I knew that I was fishing for a completely different species and subsequently had fairly reasonable expectations for the Marlo kayak event and got a limit each day, which formed some fairly unreasonable expectations for the Gippsland Lakes event the following weekend.
I went to each event thinking that I’d play to my strengths and fish what I know, rather than trying to learn on the fly. For example, jerkbaiting is something that I don’t get to do often, it is this far off technique that Victorians, South Australians, Tasmanians and West Australians tend to use for a completely different species and the only real success I’ve had can be counted on one hand.
Why do jerkbaits work on Black Bream and less on Yellow Fin Bream? Perhaps because the Blacks are slower and need some time to catch up or Yellows are dumber and eat anything but the bottom line is that this formed my thinking and jerkbaiting was going to be a bit of fun once I’d filled my limit, an opportunity to learn some new stuff. I thought I’d have to put away my crankbaits and really slug it out and find the right fish that were keen to bite my northern techniques.
The great thing about fishing is that sometimes you just walk away thinking “boy was I wrong”. For both weekends, I caught most of my fish slow rolling Jackall Chubbies on 3lb spinning fluoro (stop it, I can see you rolling your eyes, saying “more crank baits, more fluorocarbon”) and was right at home doing so. I went away with the crankbait boxes buried under additional boxes of blades and Ecogear Aquas, thinking that I wouldn’t need them and would focus on the stuff that works better on both species. It was purely habit that made me tie on a crankbait on that first day.
I fished my crankbaits, unweighted Ecogear Aquas and blades and left the jerkbaiting to the guys who know how to do that. This doesn’t mean that I’d worked out the other 90% of the fishing equation, I still couldn’t find the quantity of fish or work out a pattern but maybe, just maybe the fish I did catch were black bream that were fast enough but still dumb enough to eat a Jackall Chubby.