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AUSTRALIA’S ONLY

FREE

FISHING & BOATING MAGAZINE

COD OPENING

Know how to swim your lures to make each cast count.

REVIEWED BLACK MAGIC KLT GOSEN WILD JERK BRAID ISSUE 81 - DECEMBER 2018

YAMASHITA EGI OH K


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OFFSHORE ADVENTURES HAINES HUNTER 700 R-SERIES

BUILT BIGGER & BETTER ALL ROUND! Australia’s most trusted Manufacturer with sturdy construction and safety designed in its class. Large deck space, dash space, kill tank, cabin, long range fuel capacity & a solid Fibreglass Construction, the Haines Hunter 700 R-Series is designed to take on any condition you put it through. The Haines Hunter 700 R-Series is purpose built for offshore performance.

CALL US NOW TO FIND YOUR NEAREST DEALER (03) 9394 1540 Our Dealers: (VIC) Port Phillip Boating Centre 03 9369 0099 - Chelsea Yamaha 03 9772 1212 - Boats & More 03 5822 2108 - Gippsland Boating Supplies 03 5174 1223 (NSW) Marina Bayside 02 9524 0044 - Leisure Coast Marine 02 4284 4803 - Tweed Coast Marine 07 5524 8877 (QLD) Bay City Marine 07 4128 9944 - Rising Sun Marine 07 4775 4333 (SA) Sports Marine  Sports Marine 08 8349 7177 - Port Lincoln Boat Supplies 08 8682 3122 (WA) Midway Marine 08 9527 6963 (TAS) Tasmania Marine Centre 03 6391 1543


MEET AXIOM PRO ®

Axiom Pro is made for captains that want it all. Available with RealVision™ 3D, a powerful 1kW CHIRP sonar, and HybridTouch™ control, Axiom Pro is the new standard for all-in-one navigation display. And with a quad core processor, super bright IPS display technology, and the smart LightHouse™ 3 OS, Axiom Pro delivers a fast and intuitive navigation experience.


QUALITY TACKLE,

“I haven’t used another hook since and I’ve had the best snapper season ever”, said James Murphy after trying the Black Magic DX Point® 5/0 hooks in Westernport, VIC.

This superb Murray cod was caught and released at Lake Mulwala, by Slavko Leholat. He was using Black Magic C Point® 5/0 hooks. The fish measured 120cm and weighed 35kg.

Mig Rumney from a popular New Zealand fishing show, called ‘Fishing & Adventure’, caught this excellent 20lb+ snapper using a NEW Black Magic KLT™ 8/0 hook. He was float-lining big baits in the far north of New Zealand. Season 6, Ep 10.

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Harley Price caught this superb mulloway in the calm before a storm. His catch measured 125cm on his brag mat and weighed 17.5kg. Harley was fishing with the NEW Black Magic KLT™ 6/0 hooks and Black Magic 80lb Supple Trace near Port Stephens.

NEW PREMIUM HOOK These two YFT were caught on KLT 6/0s during tackle testing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Light Gauge / Extreme Strength Non-Offset Recurve “Super Slip” Non-Stick PTFE Coating for enhanced penetration & advanced rust resistance Made in Japan for superior quality IGFA Legal for Tournament Use

Over 90% of fish . caught are lip hooked

Available sizes: 1/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0 & 8/0

Great for running rigs, ledger rigs, live-baiting, skip baits & more!

SEND US YOUR PHOTO AND YOU COULD APPEAR IN OUR ADS & WIN A PRIZE! Send a photo of you and your catch to photos@blackmagictackle.com, or tag @blackmagictackle in your social media post and we’ll enter you into all of our photo competitions. PLEASE NOTE: By sending us your photo you agree to the T&C’s stated on our website, listed under the ‘send us a photo’ form.


QUALITY FISH! “The Black Magic KL is the only hook I use for whiting”, says James Bulte who likes the way he can leave his rod in the holder and let the fish self hook. He caught these in Western Port Bay.

Joshua Pelz is another keen whiting angler who likes using the KL hooks, commenting on how sharp they are. He caught this nice King George on a Black Magic KL 1/0 hook.

“We fished 3 out of 4 days and had our boat limit every time. The Black Magic Whiting rigs were on fire!” Gino Petruzzella and Adrian Settre were happy with their results when fishing for whiting at Moonta Bay. Great catch guys!

“Once again your whiting tackle did the trick! Black Magic will always have a spot in my tackle box”, says Giovanni Palmeiri who has been catching a lot of whiting since using Black Magicc Whiting Whackers and Snatchers®.

NEW

NEW WHITING TACKLE

RIG AND COLOUR OPTIONS

Due to increased popularity, we’ve e extended our whiting tackle range... range.. What’s NEW? • SUPER LUMO Whiting Snatchers and Whiting Whackers kers • Sandy Snatcher rigs (a specialised paternoster rig with long shank hooks and red lumo tube and beads) • KLT 1/0 hooks, great for King George Whiting • Ultra Pink Deception leader (4lb - 12lb) NEW

NEW W NEW

All rigged with 15lb fluorocarbon See the rest of our extensive tackle range, read our fishing tips & find your nearest Black Magic stockist at:

www.blackmagictackle.com

the best by test...


HOOKED UP MAGAZINE - DECEMBER 2018 - ISSUE #81 ON THE COVER: Aaron Hill with a big cod from opening weekend 2017.

GO INDEPENDENT THIS CHRISTMAS Happy summer and Merry Christmas, the good times are here – fishing in boardies and thongs, morning sessions, mid-afternoon siestas and then back on the water till dark. The other bonus of Christmas time is the fact you’re going to be getting money and vouchers to buy new tackle. We’ve got six pages of new product for you to look through, three reviews and a story about purchasing the right outfit to make sure you balance it correctly, so spend that Christmas cash wisely. While it may be tempting to ask friends and family to get you vouchers for big box stores, or you may head there to get your new gear, you are much better off visiting an independent tackle store.

PUBLISHER

Hammerhead Media Pty Ltd

EDITOR IN CHIEF

These will most often have a better range of gear, and staff with better knowledge to get the right products in your hands. It’s important you have the correct rods, reels, line and tackle for your target species as the wrong gear will lead to fewer strikes, missed fish and less time with your offering in the water.

Kosta Linardos kosta@hookedupmagazine.com.au

EDITOR

Ian Gilbert

ONLINE EDITOR

Adam Hewson info@hookedupmagazine.com.au

Whatever you’re up to for the Christmas period stay safe, fish as much as you can and enjoy the festive season. Thanks for reading Hooked Up in 2018 – it was a great year and we’ll see you in the new year with our January edition.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Alex McLean

CONTRIBUTORS Peter Morris Dean Norbiato Dave Seaman

Merry Christmas,

ACCOUNTS MANAGER

Kosta

Logan Garrett accounts@hookedupmagazine.com.au

12 18 | COVER STORY

ADVERTISING

kosta@hookedupmagazine.com.au

Phone: 03 9772 0351 Address: PO Box 21, Patterson Lakes, Vic 3197

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Fishing & Boating News

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Bass In Hard Fished Waters 50

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Rigging For King George Whiting

The Wonders Of Whiting 56

Balancing Your Outfit

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Tested & Reviewed


Bring the team back together Coming Soon

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LOWRANCE ELITE TI2 SERIES Lowrance has announced the next-generation of its powerful, yet affordable fishfinder/ chartplotter family, Elite Ti2. Delivering enhanced high-resolution sonar functionality, wireless networking and Bluetooth call/text message display, the Elite Ti2 gives anglers access to features previously reserved for Lowrance’s premium HDS family of displays. Active Imaging Sonar rethinks what anglers should expect from a fishfinder, it delivers unmatched image quality of structure, fish and bottom composition. A 3-in-1 sonar solution, Active Imaging combines Lowrance CHIRP sonar, with Side and DownScan Imaging allowing anglers to quickly search fish-holding structure, and enhances FishReveal with higher-level clarity and target separation. Lowrance Elite Ti2 is available in 7-, 9-, and 12-inch display sizes, and various charting and transducer bundles, ranging in price from $1,299 to $3,599 RRP AUD.

Black Magic’s continual growth & development in freshwater lures sees yet another original addition to their already strong line up of freshwater lure options. As the name suggests the “Rattle Snack” rattles with its built in, harmonically tuned tungsten rattle. With six great colours its sure to become a favourite for those who appreciate consistent results. There are two weights available, seven and 14g and the Rattle snack is fitted with quality hardware ensuring your target species is landed and not lost. Whether trolling from a boat or casting to your favourite lie in a river, estuary canal or lake - Black Magic’s new Rattle Snack offers superior action & harmonics that will deliver results. blackmagictackle.com

ZEREK MANIAC VIBE The 70mm, 14g Zerek Maniac Vibe's unique front weighted design enables excellent casting distance, fast sinking and the ability for the lure to 'stand up' on the bottom. These features allow anglers to cover more ground every cast and be confident that the tail of the lure will always be in a position to snare a curious fish. Internally, the Maniac Vibe has many small ball bearings in its internal chamber creating one of the noisiest rattles that will attract fish from afar. With 10 colours in the range and coming in at 70mm long and weighing an easy to cast 14g, the Maniac Vibe is the perfect bite size for just about any freshwater or estuary species. The Maniac Vibe - the ultimate vibration lure for all applications.

lowrance.com

wilsonfishing.com.au

CHASEBAITS DRUNKEN MULLET The Drunken Mullet has multiple actions to attract fish from every possible angle. The segment on the slow retrieve enables the lure to wobble and shake like a stunned fish, while the unbalanced ‘Pop Tail’ slaps the water giving off a unique blooping sound. The Drunken Mullet can be used in many ways such as walking the dog, slow or fast rolling or twitch and pause retrieve. With the soft 3D side fins, custom eyes, BKK hooks and a range of great colours the Drunken Mullet is going to be another great weapon in your tackle box. It’s available in two sizes 95mm at 19 grams and 130mm at 38 grams. chasebaits.com.au 8

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FISHING & BOATING NEWS

SAMAKI VIBELICIOUS YAKKA Samaki Vibelicious brings a new colour to the lure market… Yakka is all about the detail, with its patterned back featuring Yakka stripes and hits of yellow on the tail and fins offering you a natural looking lure. The traditional features of the Vibelicious Fork tail and Thumper tail are only enhanced by such an attractant as the Yakka colour. The Vibelicious Fork Tail and Thumper tail come in three sizes 70mm, 100mm and 125mm. Our 100mm and 125mm have now been upgraded with the new YS81 Decoy Hooks and the all new Decoy EX Strong Split Rings. The Vibelicious contains premium Japanese Stainless wire and is made of the toughest 10X super stretch material. samaki.com.au

SQUIDGIE BIO TOUGH GRUB The Squidgy Bio Tough Grubs are 65mm long with slim profile bodies suited to both estuary and freshwater fishing. The unique tail design has a long, flowing profile with an attractive flutter which moves even in minimal current and while on the drop. These plastics can be hopped, spun, jigged, slow-rolled or dead sticked using conventional methods and are strong performers on a broad range of species across an incredible variety of environments. shimanofish.com.au

PLANO WATERPROOF TACKLE BAG If you want an easy way of transporting your tackle in and out of the boat without having to worry about your precious gear getting wet, then the new Plano PVC bag is for you. Featuring heavy duty PVC material and a moulded EVA base you never have to worry about water intrusion. Storage is covered with internal pockets and removable wallet elastic cord on top for your rain coat. It also includes a padded shoulder strap and side handles. jmgillies.com.au

DAIWA STEEZ RODS The legend returns with the famous Daiwa Steez rod range hitting our shores in time for Christmas 2018. The flagship rod series begins its return with four initial models, one spin and three baitcasters. Featuring Daiwa’s most advanced design technologies including SVF Compile X, SVF Nano, X45, and 3DX blank technologies, Fuji Sic Titanium guides, and the minimalist ultra-light Airbeam reel seats, Steez represents the finest in Daiwa design and the leading edge in

All models in the range are selected to meet the exacting needs of the Australian angler the new Aussie line-up features Machinegun Cast, Blackjack, Skyray Power Plus, and Kingbolt. Flawless in looks and unwavering in design and performance Steez is the ultimate rod for those looking for the ultimate experience. Precision meets perfection with the return of the Daiwa Steez rod series. The full Steez line-up consisting of 10 models will be available early 2019. daiwafishing.com.au

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The Shimano Soft Tackle Back Pack is a stylish addition to the luggage family and with a versatile range of applications and features it doesn’t matter whether you’re a diehard fisho or weekend warrior - this bag has your back. With added benefits such as four included tackle trays, a heavy duty mesh front compartment, hard sunglasses case, an elastic tool holder and drink pocket this bag is sure to impress even the fussiest of anglers. shimanofish.com.au

SPORTSMAN TOURNAMENT 214 For anglers wanting to navigate ultra-skinny waters in style, the Tournament 214 is for you with a draft of just 25 centimetres. With all of the amenities you could ask for and the same spacious open layout offered by Sportsman’s bay boat line you will find under gunwale rod racks, plenty of storage, rear lockable access, rear bench seat, twin livewells and plenty of casting deck. This is the skinny water anglers dream but will be just as comfortable navigating inshore reefs and islands. Whether you’re heading up the skinniest creek in the NT for barra, a hidden estuary arm in the south for bream or an overgrown river for bass, the 214 is the boat that can do it all.

CHASEBAITS RIP SNORTER

sportsmanboats.com.au

Another world-first for Chasebaits, the Rip Snorter combines a classic vibe action with a unique Snap Lock interchangeable weedless hook system. So this vibe can be thrown deep into the snags where the big fish hide. A custom rolling blade attached to the belly not only gives off extra flash but it also doubles as an attachment point for a treble or trailing hook if required. A spare weedless hook comes in the pack in case hook replacement is required. There are nine awesome colours, made from a durable stretchy 10X material and kitted with ultra sharp hooks. This is set to be a game changer allowing the effective action of a soft vibe to be fished in serious structure. Lock up the drag and hold on! chasebaits.com.au

SAMAKI SKITCH X Samaki Skitch X offers you a new range taking Skitch into the future. With an extended history of Skitch and Skitch Nano, Skitch X has combined all of its predecessors fantastic features and rolled them into the one. The X factor in the Skitch X is obvious in its ultra slick cosmetics with a sleek black blank encased in X weave wrap, a powerful performance feature, ultra hard EVA grips for comfort and support as well as striking blue details and carbon fibre locking rings. The Samaki Skitch X has been created for every angler across the nation, from Barra fishing enthusiasts with a 6’0ft cast and spin model , to the estuary fisherman taking advantage of light and medium spin 7’0ft models, offering the ever so popular slug spinning 9’0ft model plus the famous 6’6ft and 7’0ft heave models which are designed to give you the grunt you require when fishing heavier slugs. samaki.com.au

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Variable Brake System uses weights to slow down the spool’s rotation. This provides the angler with more consistent spool speed, as well as easier line management during the cast.

NEXT LEVEL WATER RESISTANCE

The Hagane body is a metal reel body with high rigidity. The body stiffness and impact resistance virtually eliminates body flexing. The result transforms the angler’s actions directly into cranking power.

The Shimano Stable Spool Design technology features balanced and uniform thin wall aluminium construction throughout the spool. This precision significantly reduces spool vibration and creates an incredibly smooth feeling when casting and retrieving.

NEW TRANX 200 NEW TRANX 200AHG NEW TRANX 201HG LEFT HAND TRANX 300 TRANX 301 LEFT HAND TRANX 300AHG TRANX 400AHG

The concept of CoreProtect is simple... to provide water resistance without creating a heavy rotation feeling. There are three key areas of the reel that require protection: the roller clutch, the body and the line roller.

RE-INTRODUCING KAIRIKI 8 FROM SHIMANO, NOW ADOPTING NEW “VT CONSTRUCTION METHOD” BRAIDING TECHNOLOGY. Featuring 8 carriers and incorporating premium Japanese manufacturing, excellent choice for finesse fishing, casting lures and tying knots where smoothness, sensitivity and castability are all required to give that extra edge against your next encounter.

shimanofish.com.au

Shimano.Fish

shimano.fish

ShimanoAustralia


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FLIR Systems, delivers a marine industry first with the introduction of the Raymarine navigation technology, ClearCruise AR (Augmented Reality), which brings enhanced on water awareness to Raymarine’s family of Axiom multifunction displays. With ClearCruise AR, Raymarine Axiom users can make smarter decisions with physical navigation objects overlaid directly on Axiom’s high-definition (HD) video display. FLIR also announced a new video stabilisation module, the Raymarine AR200, which integrates with ClearCruise.

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BLACK MAGIC SPINMAX A hot addition to the Black Magic’s expanding lure range is the Spinmax lure. As the name suggests “Spinmax” has a harmonically tuned, fish attracting blade that sits on the nose of a life like, well weighted fish body. This allows greater casting distance and importantly, the extra weight gets the lure down deeper where the bigger fish lurk. Available in 3 sizes – 6.5g, 9.3g & 13g and 5 original colours that fish find hard to refuse blackmagictackle.com

ClearCruise AR video imagery is supported by Raymarine CAM210 HD marine cameras to provide an augmented reality view from any camera position on the vessel. The AR200 video stabilisation module includes a precision GPS/GNSS sensor and the same attitude heading reference sensor (AHRS) technology used in Raymarine’s award-winning Evolution autopilots. ClearCruise AR accurately displays nearby navigation markers, automatic identification system (AIS) traffic, objects, and waypoints in sync with real-world imagery for instant recognition and making complex navigation and high traffic situations simpler to understand. raymarine.com/clearcruise

NEW FRESHWATER FISHERIES FOR VIC A new management plan for Victoria’s freshwater fisheries has been released that will further improve the health of our inland fisheries, the habitats that support them and build investment partnerships between anglers and natural resource management agencies. Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO Travis Dowling said Victoria’s freshwater fisheries were in great shape thanks in part to record fish stocking of six million trout and native fish funded by recreational fishing licence fees and the State Government’s Target One Million plan to get more people fishing, more often. vfa.vic.gov.au/freshwaterplan

WILSON MEGA FOLDING NET Large nets are a massive drama in just about any boat, but the Wilson Mega Folding Net (333FND2) gives anglers a fish friendly net that is massive, yet folds up to an easily storable size. The mesh is knot free and provides a safe net for fish intended for release and the net’s head is massive with the opening measuring a massive 80cm x 75cm with an incredible 85cm drop. Yep, this is a massive net designed for truly big fish. The telescopic handle is extendable as well, stretching out from 90cm to a whopping 180cm – a length that barra tournament fishers have asked for to literally catch the barra as they jump just out of reach of standard nets. The aluminium handle is hexagonal in design giving it extra strength for tough situations and big fish. Folding down to 110cm x 35cm, the Wilson Mega Folding Net is the ideal choice for anglers chasing oversized fish from boats with limited storage space. wilsonfishing.com.au 12

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LOWRANCE HALO24 Lowrance has announced the release of a new, innovative pulse compression radar, HALO24, which combines the performance and reliability of Lowrance’s award-winning radars with the advantages of a new profile and lightweight design. Boasting 60rpm high-speed rotation at distances up to 2 nautical miles – an industry first – the Lowrance HALO24 dome radar allows for increased safety and improved performance. The extremely fast refresh rate is excellent for high-speed and short-range tracking. Offering high-quality short-, mid-, and long-range detection capability, up to 48 nautical miles, HALO24 is designed to process multiple ranges simultaneously for advanced, instantaneous Dual Range performance. In addition, the radar features integrated VelocityTrack Doppler technology that provides instant visual feedback on the motion of radar targets in relation to the boat — colour coding approaching vessels for high visibility, while de-emphasizing diverging targets. HALO24 also includes MARPA functionality, increasing situational awareness and decreasing the risk of collision. The low profile Halo dome offers different power-level options ensuring high-speed radar coverage when and where it is needed. In a matter of seconds, the radar will boot from low-power standby to full functionality in any mode — harbour, offshore and weather. Incredibly easy to use, the radar will optimise up to 18 different parameters for each predefined mode ensuring the ultimate view.

ABU GARCIA REAL FINESSE ERADICATOR Introducing the next generation of sleek design and high-performance rods with the Real Finesse Eradicator range. Utilising the latest in rod manufacturing processes, cutting edge materials and componentry the Real Finesse Eradicator rods weigh in at between 52 and 67 grams across the 5-model range and are designed for discerning anglers fishing ultra-light applications. Featuring 100% carbon blanks this series delivers sensitive ultra-light blanks with higher break strengths and improved impact and fracture resistance. The 3 keys to the TAF production method; 100% CPC blanks. The Eradictor series is equipped with an ultra-light advanced Fuji Torzite Micro Guide System to maintain the blank action. A custom Abu Garcia skeleton reel seat compliments a superb grip design to finish this ultra-light rod series. abugarcia-fishing.com.au

RACV MARINE BATTERIES There is probably no more important part of your boat than the battery that sits at the heart of your boat. We rely on it not only to start our motors every time but to run our electronics hour after hour continually cycling it up and down from being fully charged. This process of cycling can be hard on a battery and can kill it quickly which is why you need a quality marine battery in your boat. RACV Marine offers a range of high quality batteries with a price match guarantee to ensure you get a quality price at a great price. The range of RACV Marine batteries includes both general purpose marine batteries, deep cycle batteries and AGM batteries. RACV Marine batteries are purpose built to withstand the harsh conditions that boaters throw at them including the vibration that your car battery is not designed to handle. The Victorian Flotillas of The Australian Volunteer Coast Guard rely on RACV Marine batteries to keep their vessels available 24/7. If you live in Victoria RACV Marine will deliver your boat battery to your home, boat ramp or docked boat. 13 72 28

The new B&G HALO24 pulse compression dome radar is priced at $3,599 AUD RRP/ $4,179 NZD RRP and is currently available from authorised dealers in the U.S. and Canada. An Ethernet-connected B&G multifunction display or radar control unit is required for operation, and a heading sensor and GPS receiver are required for MARPA target tracking. lowrance.com

DAIWA INFEET Contemporary looks meet innovative design with the return of the Daiwa Infeet series. Designed for the light tackle finesse angler the new Infeet range features four models, built on hyper sensitive slow bend graphite blanks. The Infeet’s classic blank is partnered by a contrasting white carbon fibre skeleton reel seat. The exposed design of the reel seat puts the blank right in the angler’s hand to transmit even the lightest of bites. An ultra thin, tapered EVA rear grip eliminates weight for optimum rod balance. Angler connectivity is further enhanced courtesy of Fuji S/S SiC guides in the base section of the rod, and ultra light Fuji Titanium SiC guides on the top section. The Ti SiC guides lighten the tip of the rod to enhance feel and performance and is indicated by white bindings. The new Infeet series is state of the art technology blended with precision, performance, and that exclusive Infeet style and swagger. daiwafishing.com.au

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One for all the ladies…. The new Samaki Windchime shirt is saturated in colour, with a scale base for depth we’ve added some key species to make your fishing senses come alive.

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The lightweight fabric is perfect for all outdoor elements, protecting you from the harsh sunrays with our UV50+ resistant technology, the soft touch 100% polyester material is comfortable on the body plus has the added feature of being breathable keeping you cool and dry. Samaki designs are brought to you by Australian anglers who love to design Australian species. Windchime shirts are available in adult, youth and kids sizes from a size 2 through to a 2XL allowing the whole family to get in on the action and out onto the water. samaki.com.au

SHIMANO TRAVEL WRAP Designed for anglers on the go, the Shimano Travel Wrap comes with a hard tackle tray and additional sleeves for soft plastic storage. This lightweight, minimal travel wrap can be filled in a variety of useful ways depending on the situation. The travel wrap also doubles as a minimal soft plastic wallet – the tray is removable and the mesh pocket can be used to store braid cutters, S-factor, leader, or any other tools essential for fishing. shimanofish.com.au

SPORTSMAN 241 HERITAGE If you’re looking for the ultimate offshore fishing weapon that will easily handle all inshore applications and at the same time keep the rest of the family happy then the Heritage 241 is the vessel for you. The heritage 241 is a stylish centre console that blends features and amenities only previously seen on boats much larger in size and price range. Some of the highlights include Total Access Hatches for easy maintenance and storage, side entry door, anchor windlass systems and single or twin engine options. The features go on and on, making these models superior for offshore family cruising and hardcore fishing applications. It can be optioned with a T-Top or a fibreglass hard top. The huge 2.6 metre beam offers a massive cockpit and nothing is left out in the perfectly laid out centre console. A 243 litre fuel tank will see you reaching the farthest reefs with ease and the 18 degree variable deadrise will get you home softly if the weather turns. sportsmanboats.com.au

GULP! TWIN TAIL The Gulp! Twin Tail has more moves than a bowl of worms! A minnow profile with a set of twin tails that flutter and swim at any speed. Based on the crazy legs jerkshad, we’ve down sized this deadly concept to bite sized 3 and 4 inch models. With 400X more scent dispersion that a plastic bait the Twin Tail is packed with Gulp! scent to trigger more strikes. Available in 8 colours including natural and high vis variations so you can match the hatch. berkley-fishing.com.au

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SAY HELLO TO STRUCTURE.

Say hello to the new Active Imaging transducer from Lowrance, our clearest, sharpest sonar image ever without sacrificing any range. Available with the new Lowrance Elite Ti2 WWW.LOWRANCE.COM


Tom Armstrong with an armful of Murray cod. Tom is a hard-core hardbody angler, who invests an inordinate amount of time in perfecting his trade.

MASTER

OF

PUPPETS Knowing how your lure looks to a cod will boost your hook-up rate Words & Images: Dean Norbiato


Murray cod season is upon us and the vast majority of anglers will be targeting our favourite southern native with all manner of lures. Whether it’s a spinnerbait, glidebait, surface lure or a deep-diving crankbait, it’s important you make each cast count as it may be all you get. Being competent and confident with any lure you’re going to cast at any fish is of huge importance. It can catapult your catch rate, as your lure spends more time working as it’s intended. If you watch a seasoned pro such as Rod Mackenzie work a spinnerbait you quickly realise what real competency looks like. If a cod so much as breathes on Rod’s lure he knows exactly what to do to entice another strike. On one famed occasion he had a 100lb – yes, 100lb – Murray cod smack his spinnerbait four times on the one retrieve before finally driving home the hooks. Without a heightened level of competency with his offering, he could have easily missed 20

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every one of those follow-up strikes by impatiently whisking it out of the strike zone. The ability to use a style of lure with total confidence no matter what the scenario – be it in the dark or murky water, where you don’t have the luxury of seeing it work – is a skill you’ll develop only through time on the water and repeated casting. But it’s a skill that will catch you more fish.

Go Bright There are a few things new anglers who want an easy and useful short cut in the lure fishing learning process can do, and one is to start with a brightly coloured lure. No matter what species I’m chasing, when tying on a new model, I always choose the most colourful option. Now, this isn’t because I have a particular passion for bright pink things; rather, I’ve always been a fan of limiting the time it takes to become competent with any WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

lure, and bright colours allow me to see how my lure is working. I know from personal experience how long it took me to get my head around using certain lures. Even the littlest tweak and twerk of the rod can make a lure dance to a different tune. To help accelerate an angler’s competency with new bait types, such as wakebaits, swimbaits and glidebaits, it’s best to test the brightest colours and in the clearest water you can find. While one lure may be similar to another, no two brands swim exactly the same. It also rings true for different lure sizes within the same ranges: two lures of the same brand may look aesthetically equal, yet differ considerably in how they react to the same amount of speed applied to a retrieve. So, while they are from the same family, they each have their own unique ways of working under the water.


Aaron Hill and his bright as bright Jackall Magalo doing the damage on this chunky goodoo.

Rod Mackenzie has an intimate understanding of how each lure is supposed to swim before he casts it out.

How Will I Know? If you’re wondering how your chosen lure should swim, or you’re often doubting the action you’re imparting on the lure, you won’t be the first or the last fisherman to experience this. There is nothing worse than lacking confidence in your retrieve and it’s impossible for me to explain how a lure should swim as they are all so different, but I can explain how it shouldn’t swim. With any lure, you must remember you’re trying to imitate a prey species of your target, so keeping this in mind will give you an idea of retrieve speed. You can imitate prey that’s panicked, or imitate prey that’s slightly injured and moving slowly. The one thing you must focus on is that the lure doesn’t sink awkwardly or too quickly and that it isn’t blowing out to either side. Most tackle companies have YouTube videos showing

Even using bright spinnerbaits in full chartreuse is a great way to get to know how these sinking baits work in the water.


After registering a small tap on his swimbait, Norbs instinctively threw his hands forward and swum the bait back into the gob of this monster cod.

Controlling What Counts

react to different retrieve factors such as speed, rod lifts and dips. However, out of all the variables, pay particular attention to how your bait reacts to speed – the single biggest variable you can impart. Neutrally buoyant or slow-sinking lures such as swimbaits are considerably affected by sharp burns of a high-ratio reel.

Just like mainstream sports such as football, cricket and basketball, practice makes perfect in fishing. If you are looking to get the best out of your hours on the water you need to invest some time – not a lot – into training. By deliberately investing a little extra time before you hit the water, you’re able to considerably shorten the learning process for new lures. While you can never substitute time on the water, what you can do is make that time more effective long before you throw your first cast in anger.

JUST LIKE MAINSTREAM SPORTS SUCH AS FOOTBALL, CRICKET AND BASKETBALL, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT IN FISHING.

how they intend their lures to swim, so it’s always worthwhile having a look at these if you have your doubts. In next month’s issue of Hooked Up I have an article on advanced swimbait techniques that will be worth checking out.

This is something the swimbait fraternity in the US do better than anyone I’ve seen – painstakingly practising with every lure type in their box to ensure they have more odds stacked in their favour when game day rolls around. To take a leaf out of the US bass angler’s box, the first thing you should do when your shiny new bright bait turns up in the mail is head to the clearest, river, lake or pond at your disposal. Failing access to a clear waterway, you could even visit a friendly neighbour with a pool. Just make sure you thoroughly flush your lures with freshwater after a quick dip in a chlorine or salt pool. With your eye-popping bait in hand and standing at the edge of a crystal-clear parcel of water, it’s as simple as watching the bait 22

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You should also monitor how the bait rises or falls in the water column, or sprays off left or right when you relax your hands. It’s also important to track how your bait responds to thrusting your hands forward and creating a belly of slack in the line. Does it nose-dive like a spinnerbait, or does that action see it stop stationary in the water and flutter backwards? This helps ‘train your brain’ to subconsciously ‘learn’ how the bait will move in the water when you can’t see it – such as at night or in dirty water. The bait reaction is particularly important if you receive a bone-jarring strike that doesn’t WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

hook up. By knowing how your bait responds to different cranks of the handle and thrusts of the rod you are able to hang the bait in the fish’s face for longer. I remember one moonless night fishing Copeton Dam when I had my world rocked by one of the most savage swimbait strikes I have experienced. After the hooks failed to find flesh, and checking my shoulder wasn’t actually dislocated, I instinctively thrust my hands forward on the taut line. By creating the slack in the line I knew my Jackall DowzSwimmer 220 swimbait would swim back on itself. What quickly followed was the second most savage strike I’ve experienced on a swimbait. Failing to realise that by throwing my hands forward my swimbait would react in that way would have seen me crank the handle and swim the lure out of the strike zone.

Go With The Flow By using a bright bait in testing, you also make it significantly easier to notice how much the bait’s action is disturbed by a flowing river or a pooling back eddy. These environmental flow factors are present in almost every native river and stream in the country. They are particularity present in boulder-strewn rivers such as the Severn, Nymboida and sections of the Peel, Murray and Murrumbidgee in eastern NSW. These flow points and eddies are also prime fish feeding zones, so being able to get it right first cast can be the difference between a trip to remember and one to forget. We’ve found this level of lure control to be seriously useful when chasing XOS cod on wakebaits at night and navigating them through the fast flows at the head of most pools.


target that extra-fast flow, knowing how your wakebait will react as it gets drawn into it is equally important. Cod will often feed in the shoulder of the fast flow, sitting just out of the main current, ready to detonate on anything that stumbles into its eyesight.

Bluey Bowkett with a cracker he got on a home made diver he was cranking at full pace into a cluster of sticks. Knowing the baits buoyancy helped him navigate a safe path.

I’ve invested a lot of time and energy fishing around fast flows with my favourite oversized wakebait, the Mudeye Snake. I know a lot of anglers who steer away from using this near30cm bait in fast flows because its multiple joints mean it’s harder to work. But, after a daytime outing using a bright-purple Snake, I finally got the hang of how best to work it through the faster flows. Jam-packed with a new understanding about how different flows alter the action of the bait, I booked a trip to the river with good mate Aaron Hill. As the sun slipped behind the hills, we were greeted by our accustomed riverside conditions of a jet-black night. A blanket of darkness further compounds the need to acutely understand how your bait works in different flows. Rounding a rocky bend, we finally reached the head of a fast-flowing pool. Rifling my 30cm wakebait to the head of the pool saw me carefully navigate the different flows of the river. The big thing I needed to look out for was my big multijointed bait being affected by the fast flow. What I noticed during the day was my bait would tangle if I dragged it into the fastestflowing sections at a slow pace. This slow pace would ensure the long bait tangled and fumbled through the flow, with the front section catching the back treble and turning it into an impromptu yoga impersonation. Knowing I needed to speed up my big bait before it got into the main flow allowed me to work it through the fastest portion of the flow without it spinning back on itself and foulingup. As fate would have it, the jointed

Dano loves going bright when using a new and unique cod bait.

The head of pools, at the right time of year, are Murray cod smorgasbords, where they stack up ready for an easy feed to waft by. This productivity was emphasised on a trip to the Murrumbidgee near Gundagai in April last year when we nailed a dozen cod for the trip on surface lures. All but four came from the exact same boulder that sat smack bang in the middle of the current at the head of the pool. It was like a procession of cod would take turns coming up and sitting behind the huge boulder, out of the flow, before picking off their prey as it unsuspectingly wafted past. Each time we would carefully approach the mid-water snag with the precision of a surgeon. The trade-off for a switchedon cod ready to feed is their innate ability to be spooked by a waywardly worked bait. The complexity of how water spews down from the head of a pool is not to be underestimated. The main flow can churn your bait like you’ve piffed it into your old girl’s washing machine. While you may not 24

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Easy to see braid, like this Island Blue J-Braid Grand also helps anglers understand how their bait works in the water.

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Knowing the exact depth his shallow diving Killalure Needlenose ran allowed Norbs to ride over the shallow snags and hook this thumping cod.

J-Braid Grand Island Blue and Shimano’s Kairiki in hi-vis yellow and am extremely confident the iridescent colour doesn’t spook any would-be attackers. No matter what the brand, the brightness of your braid will always fade after a few trips. A simple tip to keep it as bright as possible and save you a bit of money along the journey is to reverse your braid. What this means is reeling your existing braid onto a spare reel. Then, you simply reel the braid onto a third reel, before finally winding it back onto your original reel. What this three-stage process does is reverse the braid you once had on your main reel. So, the braid that was once at the back of your spool and never used is now bright-as-bright, on the front line and ready to rumble.

IN TODAY’S FASTPACED SOCIETY WE RARELY TAKE TIME TO PERFECT THINGS.

Learn The Ropes In today’s fast-paced society we rarely take time to perfect things, instead getting distracted by the next new and shiny toy that’s taking social media by storm. However, by taking your time and getting the best out of every bait type in your box you will catch more fish. Having witnessed some of the best in the game ply their trade with spinnerbaits and hard-bodies, rarely do they move on to the next new bait without fully exhausting the possibilities of their predecessors. baits got crunched by two metre-plus Murray cod plus a host of misses right as they entered the fast flow. While I was expecting action in the slower flows, as with past trips, this speeding up of the bait as it entered the faster flow seemed to goad the underwater assailants into frenzied action.

Under the Bright Lines While going fluoro with your baits has its advantages, so too does turning on the bites with your braid. Just as bright baits allow you to see how your lure is working in the water, similarly coloured braids help identify the role your line plays in imparting action on your baits. This is especially important on long casts when clear visibility of your baits, no matter what colour, is more difficult. While bright braid can scare some anglers I’m currently running the eye-popping Daiwa 26

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The fluoro fins on the Goodang coloured Jackall Gantarel were specifically designed to help anglers see the lure working in the water.

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Swimbait Sensations had S t a Fl

ait b m i w S

Code

Description

RLFVSWB

Venom Swimbait 7’6”

Code Description ZSWFS9 Zerek Flat Shad 9” ZSWFS7 Zerek Flat Shad 7”

For more information please visit

QXMORECLEVERH/PHOOKED001

more clever, more fish.

Let’s face it, if you’ve got more room to cast, you’ve got a better chance to catch fish. Our revolutionary Apex Hull gives you more of everything for a great day on the water. The radical, variable flared bottom sheet extends to the bow gunnel as does the wide chine - it’s a clever design that means more internal space

for storage, new consoles, casting platforms, bunks, upholstery and transoms (depending on the model). We’ve also added thicker and higher topsides and raised the deck, for more freeboard. You get more room to cast and a better chance to catch a bagful. And that’s gotta be a good thing!

*Size and features comparison made with 2016 Quintrex models.


BASS IN HARD FISHED WATERS Don’t follow the crowd if you want to swing the odds in your favour. Words & Images: Dave Seaman


Fishing slow is the go. This fish came after a group of 5 anglers fished the section just the day before.


Spinnerbaits and surface lures dragged across the tail of a pool, above the rapids, can pay dividends.

There are few more disturbing sights on a bass river than emerging from the tail of a gravel race or rapid to see a bunch of guys in kayaks fishing in front of you. It’s the realisation that every snag you have fished in the past hours has already been flogged with lures and, most likely, surrendered a fish or two. You feel your soul shrink a little and your expectations of catching fish evaporate into disappointment as you look at the kayaks strung out in front of you. As bass anglers we thrive on the sense of wilderness we get from paddling the rivers and this relies on a few things: not seeing rubbish, not seeing anyone else and feeling like we are the first people to fish the river. The reality is wilderness is a perspective that helps us to fool ourselves we have every opportunity of catching fish in the pristine river environment. The reality, however, is that most of the easily accessible pools and river runs can get flogged, which limits our prospects of catching fish. However, good anglers can swing the odds in their favour by fishing smarter and dedicating some more intensive angling on spots overlooked by the day paddlers, or those who fish through the pools a little too quickly. Certain circumstances provide significant opportunities that are missed by many but can produce quality fish from otherwise hammered sections of river. 30

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After A Rise

Learning From Experience

A good rise in river levels refreshes the river sections and the opportunities for anglers to take advantage of the increased fish activity. Depending on the time of year a rise in the river will move fish from pool to pool, either up or downstream. The higher water levels also help the fish to feed over flooded ground on terrestrial insects, snails and worms that emerge from the ground to prevent drowning. During high water and the subsequent reduction to normal water levels, the bass can be hunting in the shallows among the flooded grasses. The key is not to be deterred by the high water, provided it’s safe to fish and the clarity is not an iced coffee colour. By focusing on the shallow water, a surface bite will often last all day. So, don’t wait for the river to return to normal levels because the switchedon angler will have already fished it.

Success and failure of bass fishing evolves around experience: the more you have, the easier it is to rationalise what works and what doesn’t. Some situations stick in your mind as a success and can be used as a model for the future, while failures are only really explored when the same situation presents itself. If you are faced with a flotilla of kayaks in front of you fishing the same narrow river, the best advice is to do what they are not. For many anglers, fishing from point to point on a river, they will throw spinnerbaits or suspending hard-bodies as the river moves them past each snag too quickly to properly work a deep soft plastic.

If the river has a bit of colour, I stick to brass Colorado blade spinnerbaits in black and purple. White spinnerbaits, in the same configuration, also work well in the turbid water. The increased water level also creates more eddies around snags, debris piles and bank structure and you can be assured there are bass hiding below the surface foam, out of the current.

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This is an ideal time to slow your progress, which also puts space between you and other anglers. Rapids and gravel runs at the tail of pools provide a great fishing opportunity if you care to park the kayak, stretch your legs and target the slack water pockets on the opposite side of the rapids. Small eddies and backwaters are ideal for fish to hole up in because they provide ample food and plenty of oxygenated water. It’s also a spot where travelling fish can rest post-spawn. If you shoot the rapids you simply miss the opportunity to drop a lure into the slack water and test the result. By getting out of your canoe or kayak you enhance your chances


I see you, the ever-present Eastern Water Dragon see everything that happens on their river.

Kayaks, punts and canoes all increase the pressure on the river bass and drives new techniques to extract the fish.

IF THE RIVER HAS A BIT OF COLOUR, I STICK TO BRASS COLORADO BLADE SPINNERBAITS IN BLACK AND PURPLE.

and after walking the kayak to the next body of water, it pays to run a spinnerbait or plastic over the head of the pool before getting back in and continuing your journey. If you are travelling too quickly or there is just too much structure to cover in one drift, turn around and paddle to the top of the pool again. There is also an opportunity to fish the less structured side of the river, where the lack of textbook overhanging branches and snags don’t attract most anglers’ attention. It may be a weed bed that has a defined edge or even weed with depressions and clear patches throughout its area – it will hold fish.


Motionless surface lures work a treat on the big girls. This one took a Live Target Field Mouse drifted over weed.

The rubber boot reduces the noise on the river bed and provides enough drag to slow your progress. In slow-moving pools it also works as an anchor to allow a proper peppering of an area.

Early Birds One of the most important factors in successfully bass fishing is an early start. Get up and get on the water before the other guy’s alarm goes off. Often this can be achieved by spending the night on the river and taking advantage of the fish that roam from their snags after dark. A simple camp of a tarp strung out between tree branches at the head or tail of a long pool is adequate. If you’re old, like me, and desire a decent few hours’ kip, a camp stretcher and a good sleeping bag (and pillow) are essential. Gone are the days of raking back the gravel and sleeping in a depression in the river bank under the stars. New moon phases are preferred for night fishing, where the darkness robs you of your sight and the fish move freely around the body of water. With camp set at either end of a pool you won’t get disorientated or struggle to find your bed without shining torches everywhere. I must admit there is also something special about hearing running water as you doze off to sleep, totally exhausted. Another advantage of setting camp at the head of the pool is you can drift fish-from camp, letting the river flow ease you along the length of the pond. If you drift too quickly and need to slow progress, deploying a gumboot anchor works. It is simply an old gumboot filled to the ankle with concrete mix, with either a length of chain or a threaded eyelet embedded in it. 32

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ONE OF THE MOST Of an evening, when the fish are actively IMPORTANT FACTORS searching the surface for food, one technique that is under-utilised is the cast and drift IN SUCCESSFULLY retrieve. Bass are aware of disturbances on BASS FISHING IS AN the surface and your lure doesn’t have to be constantly moving to attract a response. After EARLY START. GET the initial splashdown, just shake your lure UP AND GET ON THE a few times and let it drift, motionless, for a Then move it another half-metre and WATER BEFORE THE while. repeat a long pause. It is surprising how well OTHER GUY’S ALARM it works and will often coax timid fish into GOES OFF. OFTEN THIS rising and sipping the lure off the surface. CAN BE ACHIEVED BY SPENDING THE NIGHT Soft And Deep Soft plastic lures are becoming a greater ON THE RIVER AND weapon for an increasing number of anglers, TAKING ADVANTAGE partly to overcome the hard, fishless trips and partly because it helps to prospect areas OF THE FISH THAT conventional lures don’t touch. A weedlessROAM FROM THEIR rigged plastic can be fired back into the dark of a snag and hopped out with a big SNAGS AFTER DARK. recesses bass in tow. It is often casting accuracy and

proximity that gets the strike. If your cast is as little as 30cm off the bank or snag it is enough for the fish to ignore the lure. If your lure drops into the water under the overhanging grass or foliage, the fish is more likely to eat

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2018 saw a build upgrade for the AMPED II rods, they are now fitted with Fuji K guides! There are also new 2 piece additions to the spin rods and 4 piece travel rods.

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it, sometimes as a reaction bite. Your chances are at least doubled with good, accurate casting and I’ve said it before: it’s not how many casts you make in a day, but what you make of every cast. Casting your soft plastic to a debris pile or snag and allowing it to sink and drift under the flotsam is one of my favourite techniques for extracting fish that are otherwise inaccessible. Bass are a master of concealment and they can be found in shallow water, behind boulders in the centre of rapids or in pockets of water surrounded by weed. A 1/24oz jig head with a No.2 hook is my starting weight and if need be, I’ll go to 1/16oz or 1/8oz to get the plastic to the bottom quickly. Bass are very happy to follow lures to the bottom where they have time to move in and pick them up. I guess the key to catching fish in water well-travelled is to diversify and fish with confidence that there are fish beyond the typical structure and snag piles. Weed beds, rapid eddies and the shallow overhung vegetation are all legitimate target areas. Pick your time and the results will be there. Be the leader and not the follower, or at least have a few tricks in your tackle bag that can change the outcome.

During the heat of summer a lack of oxygen in the water can make fish lethargic. They release better if kept in the water for photos.

A night on the river is not just good ploy to access good bass fishing it’s a great experience for the senses.

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9 Carrier Braid

Designed for Maximum Strength & Casting Distance Lb. test 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 100 Colour. Crystal, Flame Green. Spool. 150m, 300m, 2000m

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19/7/18 4:31 pm


40cm plus sized whiting are genuine trophies on ultra light gear and will give you one very serious contest.

THE WONDERS OF WHITING Chasing whiting across the sand flats on surface lures can be challenging, but it’s some of the best fun you’ll have on light gear. Words & Images: Peter Morris

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Surface luring has further highlighted this popularity and if you had to stop and think about a readily available form of free entertainment that was just genuine fun, then casting surface lures across our flats would feature highly on anyone’s list. Watching a hungry pack of large whiting charge down a lure with that anticipation of a hit is serious fun and I have yet to come across anyone who just doesn’t want more.

Conditions That Matter Mapping out suitable sand flats in any river or estuary system is a relatively easy task. Whether the flats are in the lower part of the estuary or higher upriver, scattered among the upper reaches or lake systems, most will be revealed on any low tide phase. Where water clarity is at least average, sand flats and the channels running between them are easily spotted using polarised sunglasses. Sand flats rich in bait (soldier crabs, yabbies and worms) and birdlife will be those that are invaded by predators as the tide allows. Birds such as pelicans, hawks circling above and sandpipers running the flats on low tide are not there by mistake. Food and marine life thrive across the majority of our flats and are home to very intricate and remarkable ecosystems. Another often overlooked factor is the overall salinity of the water and what whiting actually prefer. Generally speaking, if there have been long periods without rain and saltwater has been able to push high upriver, then whiting are very happy to follow. Heavy rainfall with big influxes of freshwater will see the fish push downriver once more to areas of higher salinity. While bait fisherman often report that they love periods after heavy rainfall as they do very well, my experience with surface luring has been the exact opposite. Personally I much prefer clean A short drive now had me staring at crystal-clear water that silently filled the surrounding maze of sand flats and smaller channels. I paused for a moment to remind myself how lucky we are in this country to have scenes such as this right on our doorstep. A pristine river system with its mangrove-lined banks, birdlife on full display and thriving ecosystems contained within the flats themselves had created the ideal lure-casting playground.

The Want Of Whiting It’s safe to say the popularity of whiting as a target species has never dwindled. These golden bullets of our sand flats have seen generations of anglers fall in love with the characteristics that continually make these fish so popular. Availability, hard-fighting nature and superb eating qualities are the more obvious reasons for this.

water over the flats, which gives rise to even more visual excitement as fish can often be spotted in hot pursuit of your lure.

So Easy To Miss Success will always be governed by understanding your target species and whiting are no exception. Sure, you can wander down to the flats and find those small ‘schooling’ fish (that always seem to fall into that 1520cm range) right up in the shallows, but bigger whiting are far from foolish and will always take a more thought-out approach. Understanding the fishes’ movements is the key and this is of course governed by tidal movement. Here is a scenario that is very common to the flats I fish. I will wade as quietly as possible to a narrow channel that runs between the sand banks on either side. Low tide sees almost zero action unless there happen to be a few smaller whiting that have remained in the channel. These fish will often only follow a lure and remain rather uninterested with the lack of tidal movement. What can easily happen (and does with much regularity) is that many anglers will cast away for, say, an hour and a half then walk away in the belief

WATCHING A HUNGRY PACK OF WHITING CHARGE DOWN A LURE IS SERIOUS FUN.

Surface lures that imitate prawns are what the game is all about. The aptly named ‘Splash Prawn’ is absolutely deadly on whiting.


those passing through a deeper channel midtide) are not quite the same. You are forced into searching and prospecting the flooded banks where fish are now in pursuit of soldier crabs, worms, yabbies and prawns.

Wading the flats to reach deeper channels is an effective ‘stealth like’ way to cast lures.

The turn of the tide now sees something of a reversal and the fish are forced back off the flats as the tide drains once again. As was the case with the earlier part of the run-in tide, the areas to concentrate your efforts around are again the deeper channels running between the banks. You can look at the channels as ‘mini-highways’ that the fish will travel though, and while there is sufficient run in the tide they will remain opportunistic feeders. A lure darting along the surface appearing as a prawn caught up in the tidal flow will very quickly be ambushed. Timing is crucial here and if you leave your session till the later part of the run-out tide, there is a fair chance you will miss your opportunity. Aim to always have your finger on the pulse with tidal movement and think very logically as to how fish will both react and behave.

Suitable Gear

Sandflats that are rich in bait will be rich in fish also.

no fish were there. They would be right. What they have effectively done is fish the wrong period of the tide and had they arrived, say, two hours into the run-up phase, they could well have intercepted large whiting now moving through the channel. These fish have waited for the tide to make their move and will pass through in schools to eventually look at getting up and onto the surrounding sand flats to feed. The point here is that tidal movement is absolutely crucial and you MUST be casting at the correct stage of the tide. As fish move through such a channel, the bite may last for only 40 minutes and the action will eventually slow as fish now spread out across the flats. As the tide continues to push, differing scenarios will emerge and you must then make the move to fish different areas. With large areas of sand flats now flooded, your job becomes a little more difficult as fish have the option of spreading far and wide. You can often pick up a fish here and there but the concentrated numbers of fish (such as 38

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A successful session with all fish pictured taken within a one hour period.

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There is absolutely nothing complicated about ultra-light lure casting across the sand flats. Remember that in the vast majority of instances you will be casting across clean sand that is snag and trouble-free. The name of the game is to fish light and enjoy the experience that finesse gear will bring. A rod in the 6ft 10in to 7ft range with a rating of 1-3kg and a relatively fast action is ideal, in combination with a lightweight 2000 spinning reel. Line choice is always a personal decision but in the ultra-light braids that creep down to as light as 3-4lb I prefer the trouble-free casting that fused braids offer.


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When whiting approach the 40cm plus size they are a superb fighters on light tackle.

Lure choice is another area to give some thought to; basically, you are always trying to imitate prawns. The name of the game is to imitate a prawn that has been disturbed and is now ‘skipping’ the surface while fleeing for its life. Small clear/transparent stickbaits that are relatively slimline and poppers up 70mm will commonly get the job done. A lure I have used in more recently times is aptly named the Splash Prawn, which features a unique design of an upward-facing bib on a prawn imitation lure. This lets the angler use it as a popper or surface-walking lure when the pace is picked up. Whatever your choice, keep an eye on trebles and make sure they are needle-sharp at all times. Whiting have relatively small conical-shaped mouths and are quite handy at throwing hooks. Other odds and ends that come in handy when wading our flats include a small rod holder and keeper net (if keeping fish to eat). I will commonly clip on my keeper bag to the rod holder and simply stick it into sand as I cast away. A small backpack is also handy for camera gear, pliers, small lure tray and water.

Summer Signal With the hot Australian summer looming and our waters warming up, there are zero excuses to not wander down to your local sand flats. Gear up correctly with an ultra-light finesse combo and take advantage of some of the best light-tackle fun you will ever have.

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Casting lures at the correct stage of the tide is always your key to success.

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You’re an Angler, and no matter how many times you go fishing you’ll want to go again and no matter how many fish you catch (or nearly catch) it will never be enough. There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home. You’re hooked, along with us.

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RIGGING FOR WHITING With whiting season upon us you need to ensure you use the correct hook and the appropriate rig to ensure you maximise your strike rate. Words & Images: Adam Hewson

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Many anglers taking up the sport in the past decade have begun their fishing pursuits using lures. They have a basic understanding of how to work a lure but will often struggle to tie what more experienced anglers would consider simple rigs, made up of essential knots that should be as well-known as your ABC.

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To the inexperienced bait fisherman, the idea of targeting whiting and successfully reaching your bag limit may seem an easy task. However, there is a lot more to catching the humble King George than is given credit for.

TECHNIQUE Applicable to: VIC, NSW, SA, TAS, WA

It was only recently, while fishing with an angler aged in his late 40s who is experienced with various styles but couldn’t tie a simple dropper loop, that I realised we’re no longer learning the fundamentals of bait fishing. So I thouht it would be beneficial to many of our readers to go through some simple rigs for targeting whiting. Whiting are an extremely popular species that require some specific rigs. Remember, we don’t do knot explanations at Hooked Up (as it can be hard to explain if the knot isn’t being demonstrated ‘live’).

Hook Style – Long Shank Let’s start with the most important part of any fishing rig – the hook. Without them we can’t catch fish, and we pick hooks that are a compromise between the bait or lure we’re presenting and the fish being targeted. In the case of whiting, the best styles you can use are a long shank hook or a circle hook, but they need to be used in different ways – more on that later. Mastering the basics of tying bait rigs and understanding when to use the right hooks for each rig will aid you in getting your bag of whiting.

The long shank hook is a versatile hook that allows you to present a lot of different baits that whiting love. Some of the best whiting

– SPECIES – King George Whiting

– TARGET METHOD – Dead Bait

– ROD RATING – Spin: 2-4/3-6kg-nibble tip

– BEST REEL SIZE – Spin: 2000 - 2500

– LEADER SIZE – MONO: 8-12lb

– AUTHOR’S FAVOURITE BAITS – Mussel, pipi, squid, cuttlefish

– LEARN TO TIE –

Small mouths that are deisgned to rummage through a sandy botom sucking up invertebrates require thing guaged hooks

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Instead of watching TV, spend a few nights a week with a cheap spool of mono in front of YouTube. Sit and search “how to tie knot” videos and practice them over and over until you get it right. Once you learn a knot you generally always remember it. The difference between bad, good and great fishermen is their knowledge of knots. These are some knots that every fishermen should know: Uni Knot Dropper Loop Uni To Uni Join Non-slip loop knot

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baits are molluscs such as mussels and pipis, and squid and cuttlefish. The long shank enables you to thread on such baits to present a solid offering while still enabling good hook exposure. Whiting can be finicky, so when using long shank hooks it’s best to hold the rod and be ready to strike to set the hook. Therefore, the smaller the hook, and the finer the gauge, the better chance you have of setting the hooks. The downside, of course, is that you’ll commonly encounter bottomdwelling by-catch such as pinkie snapper, leatherjacket, banjo sharks, grass whiting and stingrays. These species require pliers to remove hooks and the delicate gauge of hooks in sizes 10-8 (higher numbers mean smaller hooks) will often just bend or break. I therefore recommend the use of hook sizes 6-4. This size in a long shank allows you to thread on good baits and present them with good hook exposure. If the fish are ultra-finicky, use a size 6 and take the risk of breakages and the need to re-tie.

An example of a long shank hook that is best utilised when the angler is holding the rod.

A circle hook is best utilised when the rod is in the rod holder. It provides a solid hook up that is quickly and easily removed. This is the Black Magic KL hook, a very effective whiting hook.

THE LONG SHANK ENABLES YOU TO THREAD ON BAITS TO PRESENT A SOLID OFFERING WHILE STILL ENABLING GOOD HOOK EXPOSURE.

Some great hook styles and brands to look out for are Black Magic Baitholder, Mustad Bloodworm, Gamakatsu Long Shank and Worm and Owner Long Shank. They are all good hooks at varying price points that come in a range of sizes.

A hot bite like this will require good sharp hooks and well tied rigs to make the most of it.

Hook Style – Circle Hook When it comes to using circle hooks for whiting I refer to them as ‘sleeper hooks’ – because unless the bite is hot, you could fall asleep waiting. Circle hooks are designed to hook the fish in the jaw due to their natural re-curve. You therefore don’t want to strike on a fish when it swallows a circle hook as you’ll pull the hook from its mouth. A circle hook should be left in the rod-holder while you allow the fish to hook itself. Circle hooks are highly effective and will enable you to catch more fish, quickly, in a hot bite scenario, where you can hold the rod with the long shank and leave the circle hook rig in the 44

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rod-holder. They also allow you to remove the hook quickly and rebait as it’s rare that the fish swallows a circle hook. But if you are fishing only with circle hooks and leaving your rod in its holder, you may catch nothing while your rig is sitting there without any bait. So, while they are effective, they do have their place and should be used only in the right scenario. The other factor to consider is soft baits such as mussels and pipis aren’t the best baits for circle hooks, but a thin strip of squid or cuttlefish can be deadly. Some great circle hook styles are the Black Magic KL, Owner Mutu Light and Gamakatsu Shiner. They’re all great hooks but the Black Magic KL is a stand-out for its thin gauge and great price for the number of hooks you get in a packet.

Long shank hooks are excellent for presenting soft baits like mussel and pipi and allow for great hook exposure.

A rod armed with a circle hook baited with squid and waiting to buckle over.

ONE OF THE SIMPLEST SET-UPS YOU CAN USE FOR WHITING IS THE RUNNING SINKER RIG. IT REQUIRES ONLY THE USE OF A BLOOD KNOT AND IS SIMPLE TO TIE.

Quality terminal tackle will go a long way when targeting whiting. You can buy pre-made rigs like Black Magic’s Whackers and Snatchers or you can tie your own.

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The Running Sinker Rig One of the simplest set-ups you can use for whiting is the running sinker rig. It requires only the use of a blood knot and is simple to tie. It requires a ball sinker running down to a swivel with a leader length of around 70-90cm from the swivel to your hook; 5kg monofilament leader will be fine in most scenarios. The advantage of this rig is that your bait will spend most of its time wafting around the bottom of the sea floor, where whiting are often feeding. The disadvantage is that if you’re fishing over weedy ground you may get snagged easily, or your bait is getting covered in weed, thus preventing hook-ups or making the bait undesirable or undetectable to fish. If you are fishing over this kind of ground, a paternoster rig has some distinct advantages.


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While the correct rig is important, you should also ensure you have a light rod with a sensitive tip.

option of being able to easily change sinker. The only knot you really need to learn aside from the blood knot for this rig is the dropper loop, or dropper knot. It isn’t hard to tie but takes a bit of practice, so jump on YouTube with some leader and start practising. Otherwise you’ll be like old mate at close to 50 not knowing how to tie it.

Beads, Tubing & Flashers Many anglers like to dress up their rigs with small beads and thin red tubing. With whiting, red is usually the colour of choice. Some anglers use just tube, some just beads and some both. I am a fan of using beads or tube when the whiting are a bit shut down, as I think it is a visual attractant that draws attention to your bait. How many you use is up to you but don’t be too excessive – a few beads and a hook’s length of tube is enough. You can also buy pre-made rigs if you want to get out and target whiting before you learn the knots properly. You can buy both running sinker and paternoster-style rigs with Black Magic, Mustad and Wilson all producing quality pre-made rigsThe Black Magic rigs feature flies on their KL Circle hooks that come in both running sinker, called Whiting Whackers, and paternoster, called Whiting Snatchers. These can be highly effective in deep water or when there is a slower bite and you want to leave a few rods in their holders. They are very well made and affordable.

In Closing The right rig and the right hook is going to dramatically increase your catch and strike rate. So take time to learn your knots and spend time pre-tying some rigs before you head out – it will improve all aspects of your fishing, regardless of species.

The Paternoster Rig The paternoster rig will serve you well in life. Whether you’re targeting whiting, snapper, gummy sharks or you’re miles offshore somewhere chasing down an exotic bottomdweller, this rig has a million applications, regardless of fish size.

Having an array of baits on offer will quickly show what bait the whiting prefer on any given day.

The paternoster allows you to keep your hook just off the bottom. The big advantage here is that your hook isn’t getting caught up in weed or reef and your bait is presented well with great visibility. This rig works by having either a bomb or small teardrop sinker at the bottom and your hook hanging off a dropper loop midway up your leader. It also allows for easy sinker changes, which can be highly advantageous as the current ebbs and flows, or as you change depth. You can still tie the hook at the bottom and put the sinker midway up, so you can keep your bait on the seabed, but have the 48

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Your fishing licence fees at work Better fishing on the Maribyrnong A new boat ramp, better angler access, more fish habitat and stocking of up to 300,000 estuary perch fingerlings. It’s all happening as part of a three-year project that began last October to revitalise the Maribyrnong River. The project will focus on the stretch of river between Flemington Racecourse and Keilor with fishing licence fees funding $200,000 of this $815,000 project. Delivered in partnership with Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria and local shires, the project will improve fishing for anglers and their families who want to chase black bream, mulloway, mullet and estuary perch in the heart of Melbourne.

New fish cleaning tables The Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management have installed new fish cleaning tables at Indented Head and Point Richards in Geelong. Both locations previously had no cleaning facilities. Each new table is adjacent to the boat ramps and has a roof, lighting, a stainless-steel bench and running water to make it easier for anglers to take home a feed of fillets without the mess! The new tables will also reduce the pressure on nearby fish cleaning facilities at St Leonards boat ramp.

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BALANCING YOUR OUTFIT Get your rod, reel and line in harmony and you stand a much better chance of success. Words: Mark Ford Images: Mark Ford & Hooked Up

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poor casting distance and accuracy, and just general poor performance. I’m not just referring to the weight of your reel and how that balances to your rod – while that’s important, it goes a lot further than that. Every little element needs to be balanced and that includes line, leader, lure and, of course, the target species. Read on and I’ll provide some insight on how you can get better performance out of your gear, make your fishing more enjoyable and catch more fish.

Target Species & Method The first thing to assess prior to choosing any outfit is what your target species is. The idea of a general-purpose outfit is a bit of a fallacy – there really is no such thing. There are outfits that are suitable for multiple species, but targeting a snapper with bait and targeting one with a soft plastic require two different outfits. You can get away with using just the one, but it’s akin to using a two-wheel drive car in soft mud as opposed to a four-wheel drive; you can get away with it at times, but it’s not an enjoyable experience and it could lead to problems. Having a specific outfit for every species and target method would be a very costly exercise; you don’t need to go out and do that, but you can place greater focus on the outfits you use for your predominant fishing methods and choose accordingly.

What You’re Casting

Targeting large bass in thick structure with light offerings requires quite a specific outfit, so take your time choosing one that best suits your fishing style.

Having a well-balanced outfit is imperative for any style of fishing you’re doing. Whether you’re chasing 1000lb marlin off Cairns or a bream in an estuary, a wellbalanced outfit will make your fishing more enjoyable and help you catch more fish. The biggest mistake most anglers make is overdoing it by choosing an outfit that’s too heavy for the size of fish they’ll be encountering most of the time. It’s a natural and healthy thought to imagine the fish of a lifetime when you’re picking a new outfit. No one wants to lose that trophy catch through being under-gunned; however, you’ll be surprised at how well modern tackle can deal with large fish. You’d think it’s pretty obvious but there are actually a lot of variables involved and if you don’t look at them logically you can end up with something out of place in your outfit, leading to issues such as wind knots,

Now you know what your species and target method is, you need a starting point; the best place is the rod and what you’ll be casting with it. The rod determines the rest of the outfit, so focus on the rod’s rating and what you’ll be doing with it. The best advice when targeting any species is to fish as light as possible, but to the point you won’t be under-gunned if a very large model of your target species comes along. It won’t be easy when that big fish comes along – it will be challenging – but that’s what makes fishing so enjoyable and those big fish so memorable and such an achievement. So for example, let’s say you are targeting snapper on soft plastics, the average fish you’ll encounter will be 2kg but you have every chance of catching a fish at 6kg. Don’t choose a rod that can easily handle a 6kg fish, choose a rod that can easily handle a 2kg fish. This allows you to fish lighter, which provides more strikes as you’ll have a more finessed presentation, but it will still allow you to fight and land bigger fish. The exception to the rule here is if you’re fishing in close proximity to structure. In this instance you will need to go heavier. Common species and scenarios are barra, Murray cod and giant trevally. The reason very heavy outfits are used when targeting these species is not just because the fish are amazing fighters, but because you’re casting – and WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

hooking fish – in very close proximity to nasty structure and you need stopping power. In the example of cod and barra, it’s timber, with GTs it’s shallow coral reefs. You could catch all these species on 4lb line if you hooked them in 500 metres of open water, but they are all hooked near nasty structure and therefore require a heavy outfit. You’d without doubt get more strikes by going lighter, but you’d never land any fish. The next thing to consider after you’ve decided on the rod’s rating is what you’ll be casting and this is where things can get a little tricky. If you’re bottom bouncing out of a boat with bait, you can get away with a simple short rod of around 6ft long, which doesn’t require casting distance or accuracy. If you’re targeting flathead in an estuary, again, it’s a simple choice: a longer rod of around 7ft. But, if you wanted to target barra that are sitting close to structure with small light lures, you need to find a rod that has the muscle in the lower end to stop the fish, but a light tip that can easily cast small lures. Rods like this are expensive; there aren’t that many you can find off the shelf but they’ll be in that special section of the tackle store with the really hefty price tag.

MOST RODS THESE DAYS STATE WHAT CASTING WEIGHT THE BLANK CAN HANDLE AND THEY ALL STATE A LINE RATING, SO BE SURE TO LOOK AT THIS WHEN CHOOSING YOUR ROD.

Most rods these days state what casting weight the blank can handle and they all state a line rating, so be sure to look at this when choosing your rod. The other important thing to consider is the length of the rod butt, or the distance between the reel seat and the end of the rod. In my opinion this measurement should be included in every spec sheet for every rod, but it’s the hardest bit of information to find. A short butt is great for one-handed casting and fighting smaller fish, but if you’re fighting bigger fish and longer fights, you want to be able to tuck the butt under your arm as a form of leverage. If the butt is too short this isn’t possible and makes it uncomfortable during the fight, so consider this.

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Line And Leader This is where a lot of anglers get it wrong, and while there are exceptions to the rule, stick with the rod’s rating. They’ll often have a line rating that covers a range, such as 4-6kg or 10-15kg. Don’t go heavier than what the rod has been built for. A good rod manufacturer has taken the diameter of the line and the leader (and they’ll most often allow for a heavier leader) into account when fitting the guides to the rod. If you have too heavy a line and leader going through the guides it will make casting difficult and this will lead to wind knots, poor casting distance and a horrible time on the water when managing your line and general fishing. When using braid and fluoro or mono leaders you want to ensure there isn’t too much variance in diameter between your line and leader, as this will also cause wind knots and poor performance with casting and general line management.

Kingfish are one species where anglers will often go too heavy which makes the fishing less enjoyable.

The other reason you don’t want to go heavier than the rod’s rating is that you don’t want to overload the rod. The rod’s rating is based on its action and the minimum drag setting it can handle in order to set hooks and keep pressure on the fish, and the maximum drag pressure it can handle when under load. If you overload a rod it can perform poorly or even break. Drag pressure should be dictated by the breaking strain of your line and this brings us to the final piece of your outfit, the reel.

The Reel Now you have a firm idea of your target species, target method, rod type and line and leader you’ll be using, you now need to fit a reel that will feel well-balanced. Along with line and leader, the reel is another piece of the outfit that is often not balanced. The first aspect of getting a good balance between a rod and reel is physical size and weight. The best way to measure this is in store when you’re purchasing the reel. Take your rod in with you (if you’re not buying both rod and reel at the same time) and try a few different sizes out. Get a feel for how they balance together. It shouldn’t feel too tippy at either end. There can be a bit of variance here and it comes down to what you’re targeting and how. A reel to be used with monofilament will often require a slightly larger spool as mono has a thicker diameter than braid, so keep this in mind. Always be sure the size of the spool matches the first guide on the rod. If it’s too small or too large this will cause your outfit to be very unbalanced and will cause issues. Long rods are necessary when fishing in the surf, but ensure you balance the rodd, line and reel for best results.

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Remember that you’re choosing a reel to match a rod that can easily catch the average fish you’ll encounter yet provide a challenge on the larger model. So don’t go buying anything too big for fear of being under-


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A well balanced outfit encourages more casting and the more you cast the more you’ll catch.

gunned. Modern reels, even at mid-range price points, can be smooth and dish out some extreme drag pressure even in a compact unit. 3kg of drag is actually quite a lot, and most reels these days are equipped with far more drag pressure than that, so don’t be fooled into thinking that a reel’s maximum drag pressure is the most important factor. Think about its spool capacity, and if you don’t think you need any more than 150 metres of line you can opt for a smaller reel or one with a shallow spool. You may want something with a power handle, a double handle, or a small finessed handle. Match all these elements of the reel to the style of fishing it’s for and try to ignore the hype of what’s considered an amazing reel and buy what suits the purpose.

While the more you spend, the better the reel will be, you’re much better off with a cheaper, well-balanced reel than an expensive reel that is poorly matched to the rod. A reel that is balanced with all the other aspects of your outfit will enable you to cast more, which will result in more fish and be a better tool when you’re fighting the fish.

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As you gain more experience and a better understanding of just how advantageous a well-balanced outfit is that suits a specific purpose, you’ll want to go and buy specific outfits for all your different species and target methods. As I said earlier, this is an expensive exercise so you’ll have to compromise as you build your arsenal and you’ll start to see how one set-up may be perfect for one style of fishing, and, while a little less perfect for another, will work just fine. Having a balanced outfit will make your fishing a whole lot more enjoyable and hassle-free and this will lead to better fishing. There is a rod, line, leader and reel out there for every style of fishing – this isn’t just a marketing ploy, it’s because you need the right tool for the job. Take a look at your current outfits, and make adjustments where necessary.

It’s imperative that game outfits are well balanced as they are under exterme pressure and the angler will often endure long fights.

MODERN REELS, EVEN AT MID-RANGE PRICE POINTS, CAN BE SMOOTH AND DISH OUT SOME EXTREME DRAG PRESSURE EVEN IN A COMPACT UNIT.

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TESTED & REVIEWED

Black Magic KLT

Distributed By: Black Magic Tackle Web: blackmagictackle.comWords & Images: Kosta Linardos

The KLT offers an extremley sharp hook point and a teflon like coating for greater corrosion resistance.

2016 saw the release of Black Magic’s premium hook the DX, a suicide-style hook that featured a Teflon-like coating for increased corrosion resistance and a four-point cutting edge for superior hook penetration. Hooked Up tested the DX extensively with great results and we’ve gone on to use them mainly when targeting snapper for the past few seasons. You can read the full review on our website at hookedup.com.au. Without doubt the coating offers superior corrosion resistance, with hooks showing only mild stains after repeated use and minimal wash down and – best of all – the four-point cutting edge on the hook point remained sharp after repeated use. It was no surprise, then, when this year saw the release of an all-new circle hook, the KLT, featuring the same coating and hook point and based on the very popular KL. Black Magic has always had a great circle hook in its KL, an outstanding hook that has been around since 1991 and offers an offset point for a very secure hook-up. Whether targeting King George whiting in light gauges or gummy sharks in the heavier gauges and larger sizes, the KL is an excellent hook. Aside from the new hook point and the coating, which have already proven 56

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advantageous, the KLT differs by offering a non-offset point, which makes it IGFA legal and approved for tournament use. We already knew the advantages the coating and hook point offered with regard to hook penetration and durability, but this new hook also offers advantages for game fishermen throwing live baits for marlin. The fact it is IGFA legal is great for anglers in tournaments or chasing records, but the coating should prove advantageous for pre-rigged live baits sitting in tuna tubes, where long-term salt exposure and possible electrolysis can quickly rust hooks. We’ll be reviewing the KLT in a later issue targeting marlin early next year, but for now we tested the KLT on snapper. The two rigs I use for snapper are a stray line rig cast out with a small ball sinker with two DX hooks, and a paternoster rig with a circle hook, dropped straight down below the boat. The paternoster with circle is an efficient rig but can be prone to missed fish as it sits closer to the boat and it’s a moving mid-water target. It’s therefore a great test rig for the KLT. The KL is a great hook that’s proven to offer an excellent hook-up with its very effective offset point, and while I love the durability offered by the coating of the KLT, I’m not prepared to miss fish for the sake of my hooks lasting WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

longer by using a non-offset hook point – which, in theory, shouldn’t be as effective. However, the KLT does have a much sharper hook point with that cutting edge, so it’s an interesting test. For the test I used the KLT in 7/0 as I wanted to use large squid strip baits to withstand pickers such as pinkies and flathead while retaining maximum hook exposure. The large hook managed to hook quite a few small flathead before it proved the undoing of its first and only decent strike from a 4kg snapper, which it perfectly hooked in the side of the jaw. It was a textbook hook-up and one that reassured me about the hook. If you’re the kind of angler that fishes hard, doesn’t want to mess about with inferior product and you’re targeting fish that need an ultra-sharp hook point, this is the circle hook for you.


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TESTED & REVIEWED

Gosen Wild Jerk Egi Braid

Distributed By: Gladiator TackleWeb: gladiatortackle.com.auWords & Images: Kosta Linardos

Gosen Wild jerk is a smooth four play that sits over a two strand teflon core for increased strength and a faster sink.

You need to have a laugh and just embrace the beautiful way Japanese words can get lost in translation: Wild Jerk. In western society it might be a great description for someone you don’t like very much, but in relation to braid in Japan, it’s all about a super-light line designed specifically to be wildly jerked with a squid jig on the end of it. Wild Jerk is one of Gosen’s newest lines and was designed in conjunction with one of Japan’s most respected egi masters, Mr Shigemi. It’s an egi-specific braid and, like most Gosen products, Wild Jerk is quite different from your average braid. It’s built around Gosen’s W-Core system, which is two strands of Teflon then braided with a fourply. Each strand of four-ply is made up of 14 strands. In theory, the inner W-Core allows the braid to sink — important for an egi-specific braid — and the four strands provide strength and sensitivity. Gosen is a leading braid manufacturer and has few – if any – peers so you can be sure high-quality PE and fibres are used and the best machinery that’s specific to manufacturing braid (some braid companies produce fishing lines on machinery designed for other industries such as sewing). In the case of Wild Jerk it’s made with Izanas fibres, which are outstanding and offer superior abrasion resistance and durability.

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DECEMBER 2018 | ISSUE 81

For what’s essentially a four ply in its exterior, which can often feel ropey, it’s a smooth braid to touch and handle through the guides and the line roller and it doesn’t get any worse once it starts hitting the water. The first thing I look for in any braid is how well it knots when tying an FG knot to my leader. It knots well and bites into fluorocarbon leaders with ease. It also possesses good knot strength and over the course of a day with lots of casting and jigging didn’t show any fraying or slippage. What I liked most is how thin the diameter is for the line’s breaking strain, at 0.8mm in diameter it’s rated to 6kg (13lb), which allows more drag pressure than you’ll ever need. When you’re targeting squid you really want the line to have minimal water resistance, sink quickly and to have minimal bow in the line in windy conditions; Wild Jerk has all these attributes. Like all Gosen products this is an outstanding line and one that any egi enthusiast will appreciate. It comes in a camo colour in a spool of 150m and is also available in 0.5 / 9lb and 0.6 / 11lb. It retails around the $80 mark and doubles as a great line for trout. Also released with it is Wild Jerk fluorocarbon, which I used through the test period and found to be an excellent leader. WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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TESTED & REVIEWED

Yamashita Egi Oh K

Distributed By: EJ Todd Web: ejtodd.com.auWords & Images: Kosta Linardos The newly launched Egi Oh K series from Yamashita is its flagship squid jig in what is now quite an extensive range. The K stands for king and the most apparent defining feature of this range is the hydro-fin keel.

Targeting large bass in thick structure with light offerings requires quite a specific outfit.

The hydro-fin keel has been designed to better balance and stabilise the jig while it’s sinking, and has been especially designed for rougher waters and faster currents, where water movement can push your jig around and make it less appealing to squid. I’ve tested the K Series multiple times to ascertain whether it actually does provide better balance and stability. By comparing the K series with a Q series jig (without a keel), and watching them sink in clear but fast water, it was clearly apparent that it does work and works well. The keel stops the jig from spinning and helps it in the current but it’s the unique body shape that greatly aids stability. The base of the K series is flat, providing a stable sink that prevents excess rocking from side to side. This is further supported by acutely squaredoff shoulders that run the length of the jig. Squid attack when the jig is sinking and the designers have a put a lot of effort into designing a jig that falls naturally to promote more strikes in turbulent conditions, and it does it well. The K is fitted with Yamashita’s Warm Jacket technology and Hydro Eyes, which are flat and feature a Keimura (UV) inner and a glowing outer edge. A tin sinker with holes for adding weight or boring with a drill to reduce weight is a nice touch and provides some customisation options to suit various anglers and scenarios. The K Series is available in sizes 2.5 through to 3.5 across 10 colours, and sizes 3.5 to 4.0 in Shallow and Super Shallow weight options with an additional five colours on offer. As effective as they have been fishing from a boat through an extensive and successful test period, these jigs are well suited to landbased anglers and I can’t help but feel that’s who they were originally designed for. The Shallow and Super Shallow options allow land-based anglers to fish low tides over reefs, which is highly productive for squid, and the option to bore out the tin sinker is another great feature. The fact you can use them in any water conditions is also a huge plus as land-based anglers are more likely to target squid in windy conditions. However, if you’re targeting squid from a boat in waters that feature fast currents, this is the jig for you. To see a video of the jigs in use check out Hooked Up Video on YouTube or Facebook. 60

DECEMBER 2018 | ISSUE 81

Targeting large bass in thick structure with light offerings requires quite a specific outfit. WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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SUZUKI

Hooked Up Dec 81 2018  

The final issue of the year covers cod opening and how to best work lures for them. We also bass in hard fished waters, whiting on surface l...

Hooked Up Dec 81 2018  

The final issue of the year covers cod opening and how to best work lures for them. We also bass in hard fished waters, whiting on surface l...

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