This blog post is for those new to fishing. It’s not meant to be comprehensive. It’s inspired by the Kids Fishing Clinic we did a couple of weeks ago and the feedback we’ve received from the organisers and the parents.
We were all fishing newbies once, and unless we had a mentor at the beginning of the journey, that journey will have been punctuated by trial and error, with a million unanswered questions. Like “how do I cast a fishing rod”, “where’s the best place to target ***insert species”, “what’s a leader”, “what bait/lure should I use”, “what’s the best retrieve”… getting the picture?
It’s easy to lose sight of the beginning. The Clinic we ran was an excellent reminder of that as we come into the warmer months and new anglers all around the country embark on their very own fishing journeys.
Probably the two most common questions that we had were “what knots do I need to know” and “what bait should I use”? Well here are three answers to each of the questions:
What knots do I tie?
All the experts will have a different theory, but I can only tie about 5 different knots, and I use 3 of them almost exclusively in all of my light tackle applications.
1. Uni Knot: This one is so simple to tie and is probably one of the most versatile knots to know. I use it to tie my hook or lure to the line, and it can be doubled up to attach a leader to your mainline. Most people can be taught this one quickly and easily
2. Improved Albright: I use this knot to attach my leader to the mainline. Once you learn this one, it can be tied in all conditions, and is great for attaching 3-8 lb leaders. I double my braid (by simply folding it back on itself) before tying the knot, and this helps to minimise the braid cutting the leader when the knot is pulled tight. Also, I make 7 turns down and only 3 turns back when tying the knot. This helps to keep the size of the knot down, without any apparent reduction in knot strength
3. loop knot: There are a number of different loop knots, but the one that I use is the figure 8 loop knot. I use it when tying off my surface lures, and it allows you to impart more action to the lure when working it across the surface.
If you can tie these three knots, you will be able to cover just about every light tackle application that you will come across.
What lures do I buy?
Every single angler you ask will give you a different answer to this question, it will depend on the target species, and in my opinion has a lot to do with the confidence that those anglers have in those lures. I’ll preface my comments with a note to say that we are not sponsored or associated with any lure manufacturer – we buy and use the lures that we are confident with, and this lure selection is what I use to target Bream.
With that out of the way, when I first started lure fishing, my lure boxes grew out of hand very quickly, with multiple colours of every lure, from every conceivable brand. Over the years, those lure boxes have remained just as full, but I can safely say that the diversity of those lures has diminished. Even more obvious is that the colours I choose are more refined. Natural colours in “ghost” or translucent patterns. I’ll reiterate, confidence in a lure is key, but these are my top 3.
1. Atomic Crank 38 deep in Ghost Gill Brown. I own more of this lure than any other, and over the past few years, I have caught more fish on this lure than all of my other lures put together. If I could have only one lure in one colour, well this would be it.
2. Ecogear SX40 in 343 (Blue gill). I was shown this lure by Richard Potter in my very first tournament many years ago. I still fish them religiously and always have multiples of these in my tackle box. They’ve caught me some big fish.
3. Ecogear Aqua Bream prawn 40 in Aussie Prawn colour. Fished on a weighted jighead or an unweighted worm hook, they are a versatile lure that can be skipped, ripped or dead sticked. One of the few plastics I fish thee days.
So there you have it. The 3 knots I tie and the 3 lures I buy. Absolutely there are many other options, particularly when it comes to lure choice, but if you’re starting out, hopefully it’s a starting point to help answer some of those nagging questions.