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SA SNAPPER

SWAMP TROUT

LIVE ON THE LINE

#11

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win

Go to the FishLife FB page and name a suitable Gamakatsu hook model for live bait fishing to win one of 6 x $50 Gamakatsu vouchers.

Mahi mahi

Just like the yellowfin tuna on our cover, mahi mahi are another species that love stealing a live bait intended for billfish. If you are fan of eating mahi mahi like we are though, this isn’t a bad problem to have. Photograph – David Granville


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Kourtney Kersnovske with a lovely yellowfin tuna. Check out David Granville’s feature on page 14 for tips and techniques on live-baiting for billfish and the various bycatch like yellowfin. Photograph – David Granville

X-RATED COD

GETTING JIGGY WITH IT

THE GREEN & GOLD TRIFECTA

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An unusual view of a small black marlin swimming away just under the surface. With a tail like that, it’s no wonder they can pull some serious string from a reel. 14


Another juvenile black marlin falls victim to a live slimy mackerel.

Live baiting is one of the most effective ways of catching billfish. While it is a relatively simple process, David Granville shares a bunch of tips and techniques that will help both new and experienced anglers alike catch more fish, and release them in the best possible condition.

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atching billfish on live bait is not rocket science, but despite being a relatively simple method, some anglers do struggle with a few of the finer details that can mean the difference between going home empty-handed or with an outrigger full of tag flags. There are certainly a few secrets and tricks of the trade that will definitely aid your success, and I am happy to share them with you here. Most of the techniques described

in this feature relate to using light line (4-10kg) on juvenile black marlin, sailfish and various bycatch that frequent my home waters in southern Queensland. However, the methods can be adjusted to match the tackle, size of the fish and water depth in any given area. As an example, the same techniques will work on striped marlin off Sydney, but it might be necessary to up-size the tackle beyond what’s described here.

Most of the juvenile black marlin and sailfish we catch off southern Queensland range in size from 20-50kg, so our chosen line class is 8kg monofilament. Of course, every now and then a bigger fish will show up and test our skills on this gear, but in most circumstances 8kg is more than adequate. Attached to the main line via a short double we join a 3m wind-on leader in the 45-75kg class, which has a similarly rated ball bearing snap swivel attached to the end. The

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Pat Cooper presents a carp, a victim of the San Juan Worm. At these proportions, carp carry plenty of mass and can easily snap leaders or weak knots with a powerful run. Take time and wear the fish out before guiding it to the bank or landing net.

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South Australia has long been the go-to destination for big snapper, but is this title under threat from over-fishing? Ben Knaggs details the current goings-on in SA’s snapper fishery and how the fishing activities of the state’s legion of recreational snapper anglers are evolving in response.

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outh Australia. For anyone who’s got that streak of rabid sportfisho deep within their soul, the name means one thing above all others; big snapper. Since the birth of Australian sportfishing, SA has been the place to go for truly monstrous reds — and lots of them. Anywhere else in the country, a 20 pounder is a dream fish that comes along once in a lifetime if your luck is in, but not in SA. A fish of that size caught in Croweater Country won’t budge an eyebrow. The long-established ‘big red’ benchmark in South Oz is 30lb, but to raise a whistle of astonishment from fellow fishos, a snap needs to push the scales past this mark. A proper giant could weigh in excess of 20kg, which is one hell of a red you won’t have a chance at anywhere else in the land. This fishery isn’t just about outrageously large snapper though. Fish numbers are often obscene too. Through the summer season, SA’s twin gulfs fill up with large schools of snapper, be they comprised of big, spawning fish or those much smaller, colloquially termed ‘rugger’ snapper (any red under about 4kgs). On those days when the trophy fish remain elusive, there are usually still plenty of the more modest models to keep rods bent. That’s just how things have always been here, where the inshore waters are a knobbie’s Nirvana. But times on the SA snapper front appear to be changing, and not necessarily for the better either. In recent years, those of us who’ve known and become accustomed to spectacular snapper fishing

As it has through the other southern states, lure fishing for snapper has really taken off over the last decade or so, on the back of the soft plastic ‘revolution’. This has sparked a different kind of revolution in SA snapper fishing, with these fish now valued as true sportfish.

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The use of light ‘finesse tackle’ has completely revolutionised impoundment fishing for golden perch. 65


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Change of light often sees the bite notch up a peg or two, so don’t rack the rod just because the anchor’s down.

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It’s not your run-of-the-mill fishing magazine photo when 20kg of Murray cod cruises into water so shallow his dorsal fin breaks the surface. Damage to the tail indicates this is a male; further observation and eventual placement of an underwater camera in the crevice he’s entering revealed he was guarding eggs. 92


Brian Dare is sometimes better known as The Codfather. Few people are as obsessed about Murray cod as Brian, although his wife Debbie probably goes close! This pic was taken during a five year research program involving recreational anglers and fisheries biologists working to answer questions about cod management on the Border Rivers near Glenlyon Dam. 93


FishLife Issue #11 Preview  

On sale from March 3rd 2014. Take a journey with Australia’s leading fishing journalists to a host of stunning fishing destinations. FishLif...

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