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GIVEAWAY: GLADIATOR TITAN 9000

FROM THE EDITOR’S BOAT Hello and welcome to the July edition of Hooked Up! We’re back from a month off and have made a few changes since last issue. We spent a bit of time assessing what kind of content we would offer in Hooked Up before we released our first issue and we came to the decision that Hooked Up would be a technique based magazine that taught readers “how” to catch a variety of species in a variety of ways. We didn’t want to be another report/location based mag and wanted to have each technique piece like a recipe you would follow where the “how” was covered and never the “where”. We firmly believe that a magazine with it’s basic fundamentals of deadlines and lead times cannot offer sufficient knowledge on where fish are biting. Social media pages and fishing forums can give you daily and even hourly reports on what fisheries are firing and so can your local tackle store, this is something a mag can’t do. For the past five issues we have had the Hot Spots section up the front which gave a small report on what has happening in each state, this was the only section that covered the “where” aspect of fishing and through reader response we realised what we had originally thought was correct and that it was the least popular section of the magazine. So we have ditched Hot Spots and replaced it with The Top Ten, a new section that will list a Top Ten of fishing related topics, these are here for anglers to stew ove and argue until they’re blue in the face on what should and shouldn’t be included. This month we did The Top Ten Lures Of All Time. I hope you all dig it! We have also included a Travel News section that will give anglers information on various fishing travel destinations and services so you can plan your next fishing trip either locally or abroad. Hope you enjoy this issue! PUBLISHER: Hammerhead Media EDITOR IN CHIEF: Kosta Linardos kosta@hookedupmagazine.com.au

HOOKED UP OFFICE: 3 Newton Street Richmond VIC 3121 Phone: (03) 9428 3600 Fax: (03) 9428 3611

COVER ART: Michael ‘mulloway’ Cusack

ADVERTISING: sales@hookedupmagazine.com.au

HOOKED UP JULY ON THIS MONTH’S COVER: Henry Do with an NT mangrove jack caught on 4lb line.

6 THE TOP TEN 12 TACKLE NEWS 18 BOATING NEWS 20 TRAVEL NEWS 22 LIGHT TACKLE, NORTHERN SPECIES 26 YELLOW FIN TUNA 32 MANGROVE JACKS 36 SPANISH MACKEREL 40 GUMMY SHARKS IN THE SURF

LOGO DESIGN: Tim Haynes CONTRIBUTORS: Greg Carter, Damian Bowman, Justin Gray, Angus Corrie, Colin MacDonald, Jason Linardos, Aaron McGrath.

HOOKED UP ISSUE 6

FACEBOOK.COM/HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE All editions of hooked up can be read on all formats via our website at

GRAPHIC ARTISTS: Matt Crute, Michael Cusack

PG. 4

CON TEN T S

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PG. 5


the top ten: LURES OF ALL TIME WELCOME

PAKULA LUMO SPROCKET

Welcome to the first installment of the Hooked Up Top Ten. We thought for the very first Top Ten we should kick it off with a bang and have the “Top Ten Lures of All Time”. We know that this will be a contentious issue among anglers and that some of you will disagree with the final decisions; but that is what it’s all about. You can sit around with your mates and argue which lures should not be in it and which ones should. We’re pretty sure we got this one right though. We had fifteen anglers all vote in with that they thought should be included and in most cases the decisions were unanimous. The purpose of a list like this is to inform anglers about some lures they may have never come across and just how successful these lures are at catching fish. Researching each lure was a really enjoyable experience and we were surprised at many of the things we discovered while researching each lure. The youngest lure of the ten is seven years old and the oldest is 76 years old. Six of the lures in the ten are Australian designs, two are American, one is Finnish and one is Japanese. There isn’t a specific rating for these lures where they are rated form 1 to 10, these are just what we think are the ten best lures ever. Each lure is very different and they cannot be compared, but within their own respective fields we believe these are the ten best lures of all time and all ten of them made the list for one simple reason; they have all caught a hell of a lot of fish in Australian waters!

RAPALA X RAP MAGNUM 30

YEAR OF ORIGIN: MID 1980’S DESIGNED BY: PETER PAKULA MOST POPULAR COLOUR: WELL…..LUMO! ORIGIN: AUSTRALIA RRP: $105.00 WEB: WWW.PAKULA.COM.AU/ All fifteen anglers voted this lure in unanimously. The Lumo Sprocket is as Australian as Vegemite and the Hills Hoyst and has caught more fish than most skirted lures in the world today.

YEAR OF ORIGIN: 2005 DESIGNED BY: RAPALA (EVOLVED FROM LAURI RAPALA DESIGNS) MOST POPULAR COLOUR: EVERYONE HAD A DIFFERENT CHOICE ORIGIN: FINLAND RRP: $29.95 WEB: WWW.RAPALA.COM.AU All fifteen anglers voted this lure in unanimously and all fifteen anglers have caught numerous fish and numerous species with this lure, therefore no one argued its merits as the ultimate salt-water deep diving minnow. Lauri Rapala produced his first minnow lure in 1936 and then pretty much established himself as the king of minnow lures; his designs and innovation have influenced most minnow lures that exist today. The X Rap Magnum is the perfect blend of Rapala’s 75 year history of lure manufacturing and modern day technology. This lure after only seven years in the market is accountable for numerous world records and it catches everything from barramundi through to blue marlin. It is one of very few lures (if any) that swims perfectly out of the box with no tuning necessary, will swim up to 13 knots with out blowing out and dives to 30 feet. It’s not just the amazing action or the reliability of the Magnum that sets it apart from the rest either, the range encompasses a very intelligent and realistic colour range, life like holographic scale detail, internal holographic foil for reflection, 3D holographic eyes, excellent durability and will still swim with excellent action if you change the hooks or rig with heavy mono, single strand, seven strand or heavy wire. The other great thing about the range is that Rapala seem to be able to produce new and successful colour patterns to suit and match fisheries as they fire. Although designed as a trolling lure, the X Rap represents excellent versatility as it can cast and retrieved into bait schools, positioned anywhere in the spread and used in a variety of conditions from rivers through to offshore. The range has five different sizes and diving depths and 25 different colour patterns. If you have never fished with one of these lures you are silly!  

The Lumo Sprocket was the first Pakula lure to use normal octopus skirts, developed way back in the mid to late 1980’s. Its success was immediate and has obviously continued to this day. The Lumo Sprocket has always been designed to work off the long rigger position in a pattern of lures. Over the years the colour Lumo has evolved as better luminescent and UV additives have become available. It was around the time the Sprocket was first made that Pakula started adding UV additives to his skirts which have always been made to Pakula’s specifications when Peter has been in control of the business. The Sprocket lure heads have also undergone changes over the years to keep up with the changes with the way fishermen troll. The way anglers rig their lures, the way they run their lures and the various changes in the boats fishermen troll from have changed dramatically since the mid 1980’s. The first lures had Teddy Bear eyes with a silver strip in the skirts with a Pakula Sticker on the end, the next was the Medallion series, the first lures with logos on the eyes, these had black pupils. The size was slightly larger as leader sizes increased from the average of 250lb to 400lb, marking the discovery of blue marlin off the east coast of Australia. Next was the Lumo Logo eye, a major change as smaller boats started hunting big fish a long way offshore. The lures needed a change to run as well on lower gunwales and shorter riggers than the bigger boats had. This development soon resulted in Peter being the first to use Polyurethane both in soft, known as the Softease Range and hard heads known as the Diamond Head range. In 2007 Peter re-released the Original heads, called Original Hotheads as a retro memorial to the original lures. These were only supposed to be available in limited quantities for one year, but are just being phased out now. In 2007 the Dojo injection moulded versions were introduced as a budget range to make high catch rate lures available to all. In 2010 the Softease Fang Range was released. The Fangs were adjusted to carry the long heavy wind-on leaders now commonly used, as well as being adjusted to work with all the other common trolling systems. Due the high catch rates of the Softease Fangs, the highest of any of the previous ranges, the hard heads have now been introduced in the same head size and shape as the Softease, plus a keeled Jet version has also recently become available. These rages are called Pakula Paua Hotheads and Pakula Paua Hothead Jets. The history of the Sprocket and it’s fame is all part of Pakula Tackle’s rise to one of the best if not the best and most respected game fishing brands on the planet. It’s not surprising that the success of this lure has led to most other brands making lures that are similar to the original, but none of them has ever had the results of the Lumo Sprocket by Pakula Tackle. The Lumo Sprocket was an easy and first choice in.

WIGSTON’S TASMANIAN DEVIL YEAR OF ORIGIN: 1979 DESIGNED BY: IAN WIGSTON ORIGIN: TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA MOST FAMOUS COLOUR: HOT PINK

RRP: $4.95 DISTRIBUTED BY: JM GILLIES WEB: WIGSTONSLURES.COM.AU

All fifteen anglers voted this lure in and all fifteen anglers that voted had caught numerous fish on a Tassie Devil. Much like the Pakula Lumo Sprocket the Tassie Devil is an iconic Australian product and lure that has achieved worldwide success. I called and spoke with Wigston Lures manager Justin and he explained that back in the early 70’s Ian Wigston started tinkering around with the idea of what we now know as the Tassie Devil. In 1979 Ian and his brother Garth decided to put the lure into full production and at the time Ian’s father Eddie thought that it was a crazy idea. Thankfully for Trout fisherman the world over Ian and Garth didn’t listen to their father! There are so many things that make the Tassie Devil an amazing lure and an undoubtedly necessary inclusion into the top ten. First of all is the price; it retails for $4.95 and consistently catches fish. It’s highly versatile as it can be trolled, cast and retrieved with a variety of rod work, tuned to have a differing action via bending the lure and it can pretty much catch anything, however, it’s most famous for its trout captures. The Tassie is also an extremely durable lure, a lead core and strong plastic coating make it virtually indestructible. The other feature of the Tassie is its originality! It is like no other lure and cannot be pigeon holed into any specific category. The hot pink range of the Tassie is extremely popular and the range boasts over 100 colours with 12 new colours being released this month. You haven’t fished until you have caught a fish on one of these.

PG. 6

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the top ten: LURES OF ALL TIME ARBOGAST JITTERBUG YEAR OF ORIGIN: 1937 DESIGNED BY: FRED ARBOGAST MOST POPULAR COLOUR: BLACK ORIGIN: OHIO, USA RRP: $20 DISTRIBUTED BY: JM GILLIES WEB: WWW.JMGILLIES.COM.AU The jitterbug was voted in by thirteen out of the fifteen anglers. The two that didn’t vote had never used one or were not overly experienced with cod and bass fishing where this lure came to fame. The Jitterbug doesn’t just make it into the Top Ten due to the fact it is a proven fish catcher; it’s fun to use, can be used in all kinds of conditions, in various structures and is a visually exciting form of luring. What’s great about this lure is the fact that it has been catching fish for 75 years and only minimal modifications have been made to it. There are about five variations on the original model today but the original Jitterbug remains a favourite here in Australia and is regarded as one of the greatest top-water and night time lures ever. It encompasses great action together with its sonic attributes delivered from its double-cupped lip, which is placed at precisely the correct angle to produce the loud, rhythmic, surface-busting sound that fish find irresistible. The range incorporates 5 sizes; 1.5”, 2”, 2.5”, 3” and the XL 4.5”. Weights range from 3/16oz for the 1.5” through to 1 1/4oz for the 4.5”. The smaller versions are favourites among Bass, Bream and Trout fisherman, particularly. If you have never used a Jitterbug we highly recommend you go out and purchase a few.

HALCO ROOSTA

THE GOLD BOMBER

YEAR OF ORIGIN: EARLY 1980’S DESIGNED BY: C.S. TURBEVILLE AND IKE WALKER MOST POPULAR COLOUR: GOLD! ORIGIN: TEXAS, USA RRP: $17 DISTRIBUTED BY: JM GILLIES WEB: WWW.JMGILLIES.COM.AU

YEAR OF ORIGIN: 2003 DESIGNED BY: BEN PATRICK MOST POPULAR COLOUR: RED HEAD ORIGIN: FREMANTLE, AUSTRALIA RRP: $14.50 DISTRIBUTED BY: HALCO LURES WEB: WWW.HALCOTACKLE.COM.AU

The Gold Bomber received ten out of fifteen votes for the list but came second on the five where it wasn’t chosen first. Three of the five anglers that didn’t choose the Bomber chose the Nilsmaster Spearhead and the other two chose the RMG Scorpion, all great lures but the bomber was undoubtedly the lure of choise for the Top Ten of All Time.

The Halco Roosta was voted in by twelve out of fifteen anglers unanimously as their “all time” popper of choice. Every angler had caught numerous fish and numerous species on this lure and almost all used a Roosta the first time they ever went popping. It’s an Australian made and designed lure and it catches fish all over the world! It’s easily one of the best poppers your money can buy straight off the shelf, fully rigged and ready to catch fish. Like many of the lures in the All Time Top Ten, part of its success is its ease of use. The Roosta requires minimal skill on the part of the angler and minimal physical effort which is great when your popping for big pelagics in the sun all day. This minimal skill and effort is due to the excellent design of the Roosta. Its cupped face is designed in such a way with the lures natural balance that a slight sweep of the rod tip will cause the Roosta to make a “bloop” sound and spray water. You can do this with quick little darts and sweeps or big long bloops with an extended pause. Fish absolutely find this action irresistible and watching a GT, queenfish or Spanish mackerel rise up behind and smash a Roosta is one of the best times you can have fishing. Available in four sizes and 13 colours there is a Roosta to suit almost any popping application.

PG. 8

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Many fisherman would assume that the Gold Bomber is an Australian made and designed lure, this is incorrect. It’s an American lure from the Texas based Bomber Lures company that originated in 1946, the Long Bomber was originally designed as a bass lure and somehow made its way to our northern rivers in the late 70’s to early 80’s and has been slaying the northern Australian river system species since; most notably and the fish it’s famous for the barramundi. The colour gold is obviously a colour that just works in this country on a variety of species and the bombers simple painted markings and the gold must attest to some of its success, however, the action of this lure is what fish must find so irresistible. Although the Gold Bomber is a very popular, its never been known as a tough lure. As it was originally designed for bass, the hooks, split rings and paint job have never had a reputation for being tough or able to withstand the high drag pressures and harsh environments associated with tangling with big barra. NT barra fisherman have been upgrading the hardware on these lures for years and the new Australian series of Gold Bomber do have upgraded hooks and split rings. Regardless, NT barra fisherman don’t take chances with their precious metre plus barra and upgrade the hooks and rings on most lures. Like most lures that have made this list the bomber is easy to use, it swims great out of the packet, can be cast and retrived or trolled and doesn’t require a great deal of effort or skill on the anglers part to entice a fish to strike. If you ever head north in search of barra you would be at a loss not to take a few of these with you.

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the top ten: LURES OF ALL TIME the LAZER LURE

SQUIDGY WRIGGLER

YEAR OF ORIGIN: 1990 DESIGNED BY: JOHN NOWAK ORIGIN: QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA MOST FAMOUS COLOUR: BLUE WITH SILVER REFLECTIVE TAPE RRP: $6.50 DISTRIBUTED BY: JURO, EJ.TOOD, S.A.F.T.A WEB: WWW.LAZERLURES.COM This was a topic of more contention and argument than any of the other lure categories. Everyone agreed that a slug (or metal spinning lure) had to be included but it came down to a three way tie with five anglers choosing the Lazer, five the Spanyid Raider and the other five the Halco Twisty! I soon came to realise that the humble slug means a lot to anglers and choices were based around first time and memorable captures and a clear case regarding state of origin. All the guys who chose the Twisty were from SA and WA, the Lazer guys were from Vic and QLD and the Raider guys were from NSW(3) and the NT(1) and VIC(1). So, it came down to editor’s choice and I went with the Lazer even though my choice was the Spanyid Raider. I chose the Lazer for few reasons with one being that the anglers that voted Lazer were more passionate and adamant about its inclusion than the other anglers were of their choice, Lazer is the least expensive of the three, yet probably catches as many fish and it’s the iconic Australian slug. There is also the family history associated with Lazer in that John Nowak Jr, son of John Nowak who invented the Wonder Wobbler (also in the Top Ten) invented the Lazer. Aside from all that, it was the one slug of the three that every angler had a caught fish on, surprisingly three had never caught a fish on a Raider and two had never caught a fish on a Twisty. A simple but highly effective design, the Lazer is accountable for thousands of captures of pretty much every inshore pelagic fish in the country, its design is highly effective and it can imitate a host of saltwater baitfish species. Fishermen have even had success using the Lazer to target bass, which was pioneered by successful tournament angler Kim Baine. You can spin with it, troll, jig and it’s easy to use, just cast it, let it sink, and wind! Its vast colour and size range allow you to have a Lazer for a variety of applications, species and water conditions.

WONDER WOBBLER

John Nowak, the inventor of one of Australia’s most used and highly successful lures was an American servicemen and fisherman who came to Australia in the late 1940’s after World War II. After having used “spoon” style lures with success in the states he realised that Australia didn’t have anything similar to the lures he had success with in the states so he started tinkering around and in 1950 went into full production with what we now know and love as the Wonder Wobbler. Luckily for us Australians John did go into full production with this lure as it’s responsible for catching more fish than maybe any other lure in the country. John then went into full product of making a family and again lucky for us Australians he did as in 1990 his son John Jr invented the the Lazer Lure, another famous Aussie lure that also appears in the top ten. The Wonder Wobbler was originally designed with saltwater fishing in mind and the silver wobbler did very well on a variety of species. It’s simple design with an engraved scale pattern and eye and its fish attracting “wobble” had fishermen right around the country sold! The wobbler also gained a huge following on the fresh water scene and is one of the most successful trout lures to ever grace Australian waters with the gold colour being a favourite. You can troll a wobbler, spin with it, it has great casting distance, can be used in a variety of conditions and is dynamite in both fresh and salt water. It undoubtedly has a place in Hooked Up’s top ten lures of all time!

JULY 2012

The Squidgy Wriggler is worthy of its Top Ten placing as it is the lure that helped introduce and cement soft plastic fishing in this country and is still to this day many a bream aficionados go-to soft plastic. The Wriggler is an evolution of the original curly-tail grub but with some intelligent variations. A finer tail for a faster and more erratic vibration and the inclusion of belly flaps that have small leg like appendages make the Wriggler an excellent imitation of many of the prey found in estuary systems. This clever design is what set this lure apart from the masses of curlytail grub type plastics and its now undeniably a proven fish catcher. Its versatility as a lure is almost endless as with the ability to change jig heads to suit various depths and conditions, it can be used on all tides and various structure and locations. Like all the lures in this list its popularity is due to its ability to consistently catch all species of fish in Australia’s estuary systems and bays. You can fish the Wriggler in a variety of ways and some may be more effective than others, however, you can just cast and slow retrieve and that tail will get wriggling with an action that fish just find irresistible. This ease of use, it’s excellent colour and size range, effective scent additives and bang for buck make it an “all time” Top Ten lure!

YEAR OF ORIGIN: MID-LATE 90’S DESIGNED BY: TOSHI ONO & SEJI KATO MOST POPULAR COLOUR: BROWN DOG ORIGIN: JAPAN RRP: $27.50 DISTRIBUTED BY: JACKALL AUSTRALIA WEB: JACKALLAUSTRALIA.COM

14 out of the 15 anglers voted the Wonder Wobbler in the Top Ten.

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Nine out of fifteen anglers chose the Squidgy Wriggler as their choice of “all time” soft plastic. Two chose the Berkely Gulp Shad in Nuclear Chicken and the other three decided on the generic curly-tail grub of no specific brand.

JACKALL TN60

YEAR OF ORIGIN: 1950 DESIGNED BY: JOHN NOWAK SR MOST POPULAR COLOUR: DIFFERENT FOR EVERY STATE ORIGIN: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA RRP: $7.00 DISTRIBUTED BY: WONDER LURES EMAIL: ASSURE-LINE@BIGPOND.COM

PG. 10

YEAR OF ORIGIN: 2002 DESIGNED BY: KAJ “BUSHY” BUSH & STEVE STARLING ORIGIN: AUSTRALIA MOST FAMOUS COLOUR: BLOOD WORM RRP: $5.95 (per pack) DISTRIBUTED BY: DUNPHY SPORTS WEB: WWW.SQUIDGIES.COM.AU

The first 9 lures that made the Top Ten list here have all undoubtedly had a huge impact on Australian fishing and provided hours of enjoyment for fisherman across the country. We were left with one more spot and quite a few possible entries. In the end we couldn’t leave out the TN60. Most anglers mentioned this lure and in the end we felt it easily nudged out the few variety of blades and vibes that were considered for inclusion. It’s impact on the bass and yellow belly fisheries, which are two huge fisheries in this country, has been enormous. When compared with some lures in this list that are well over fifty years old it’s relatively new in the world of fishing lures but it encompasses the qualities of a great modern lure met with traditional luring principals. An excellent molded scale pattern and an amazing range of sixty four colours provides the angler with a lure for any and all conditions. The TN60 has become so popular and synonymous with Jackall Lures that many just refer to it as a Jackall, even though Jackall has many more models in its range. It first gained popularity via the impoundment bass scene and has now moved on to find success with catching barra, wild bass, and a host of other fresh and saltwater species. The Jackall is responsible for countless tournament victories and has now firmly established itself as one of the most successful lipless crank baits on the market. It’s a fun and easy lure to use that can be swum at a variety of speeds with various rod action to suit a host of conditions and species. While not a cheap lure it’s ability to catch fish is undeniable.

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tackle News BAIT BREATH SOFT PLASTICS

Shift Tail

Meebi

Rushcraw

New on to the Australian soft plastic scene are Bait Breath soft plastic lures, distributed by Gladiator Tackle these are made and designed in Japan and are sure to excite any fan of soft baits whether you be a tournament or recreational angler! Three models recently just hit the Hooked Up desk and upon first site they have us all very excited to field test. The Rush Craw is a 3.5” imitation Yabby that has gorgeous detail and will be deadly on trout in deep slow running rivers or anywhere you usually target fish using creature baits, according to the Bait Breath website they have been designed to balance in a way that allows them to sink with a more realistic action than many creature baits on the market. The Shift Tail is an amazing looking plastic and is a new take on the standard grub, it encompasses a thin plastic tail that is ribbed with a solid spine and is finished off with a paddle at the end, this looks to be a very versatile plastic that will be deadly on all estuary species. The Moebi is a squid like shape and looks as though it will be great for imitating prawns. The whole range of of Bait Breath plastics is very impressive. Be sure to check out the August edition of Hooked Up to see how they go out in the field. For more information visit: gladiatortackle.com.au

SURECATCH GALLANT BRAID

SureCatch Gallant is a new range of braided line to hit that market that offer an excellent product with an affordable price tage. Produced with a 4 braid construction using world renowned Honeywell Spectra microfibre it’s core ingredients have been proven out in the field time and time again. The controlled braiding process locks fibres to provide a balance between a smooth line that possesses castability, sensitivity without hindering breaking strength. Gallant is finished with an advance coating that aids in abrasion resistance and hydrophobic abilities without being waxy. The whole range is thin in diameter when compared with other braided lines and comes in arrange of breaking strains and spool lengths. Available in Neon Yellow colour For more information visit: wilsonfishing. com.au

The owner of Tuff Tackle set out in 2007 to design a spinning reel that couldn’t be matched. After 5 years of reel design and various models, the evolution is complete. 2012 sees the release of a reel that can’t be beat on price vs quality. Simple, innovative, minimal parts, tight tolerances, hand built, by professional fitters. Completely billet machined from the best and strongest materials in the world. All anodised 6061 & 7075 alloys being non conductive and perfectly insulated from corrosion & electrolysis. No cheap die cast parts, that dissolve like aspirin in marine environments. No cheap plastic parts & completely water proof. No body flex under heavy loads, instantly responsive gearing without unwanted over run of the gear box. Cast like a bullet and a drag so smooth, that won’t over heat. Tough as a rock crawler, but also light in weight, but no light weight in the arena. Mechanically rated to 9000 rpm, due to it’s high precision tolerances and balance. A genuine sports reel in the purest sense.

TUFF TACKLE BRAWN

• Australian built • 15 year warranty • Right or left handed • Golf Ball knob standard • Line retreive 1100mm per rev • Line capacity 300mtrs 70lb Braid • Honey comb C6191 Main gear (Hand lapped) • SS pinion gear (Lapped / polished) • Honey Comb brass oscillation gears • Fully billet machined reel • Toughened 630 & 416 stainless steel shafts • All materials are tested and certified to exact standards • Magnetic bail lock • Magnetic drag clicker • 11 + 1 440c SS roller bearings • 4 x Ertalyte bearings • Teflon sealed drag (water proof) • O ring sealed body (water proof) • Max drag 30kg • Weight 735 grams For more information visit: tufftackle.com.au

DAMIKI PIRAMI The Damiki Pirami is a slender 55mm floating minnow with a weight of 4 grams. The Pirami is available in 5 colours. This a light lure that requires light line and a light rod with a whippy tip in order effectively cast it distance but once it hits the water the Pirami will swim with a staright retrieve or can be worked with twitches and rips from the rod. It’s ideal for bream, trout, redfin, perch and a host of other species. With a RRP of $10 it is sure to be a hit with all anglers. For more information visit: searingtackle.com.au

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ISSUE 6 HOOKED UP

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tackle News DUO REALIS 80SP

JM GILLIES INTEGRATES KEY BASSER MILLYARD BRANDS

This is an almighty suspending minnow for any style of angler. Anglers can steadily retrieve it, twitch and jerk or consecutively twitch using various rod technique. Duo has employed a fixed weight for sharp and quick darting action. By carefully setting the weight in the rear end of the lure, its casting distance and accuracy is comparable to lures with moving weight systems. Available in 14 different colours, measuring 80mm and weighing 4.5 grams this is a lure that will suit a variety of fishing applications and species across Australia. For further info visit: www.swldistributions.com.au

GILLIES FLY COMBOS If you have ever wanted to get into Fly Fishing but you didn’t know where to start you need not look any further than the Gillies range of fresh and salt water fly combos. These are the perfect fly fishing outfits for beginners or the budget conscious angler. Each set comes fully boxed with instructions and an instructional DVD that gives you ten fly fishing tips and five essential tips for better fly casting. Each package includes a four piece rod, reel, backing, line and leader.

Effective the 1st of July 2012 JM Gillies will begin to distribute Classic Lures , Classic Bluewater , Platil , Scotty , Superflex , Warlock , Smilin Jacks ,Pegron , Killalure and Pradco lures ( including Bomber , Rebel , Heddon , Cotton Cordell and Arbogast ). JM Gillies believes the integration of the newly acquired brands will now provide a complete offer for the Australian domestic market as well open up more opportunities for our expanding international customers. John Millyard will be welcomed into the JM Gillies business and will continue the development of lures and products across the whole JM Gillies stable of brands. John’s vast experience will further enhance the current ranges while also working on many new and exciting products for the 2012-13 seasons. Pat Levy the director and owner of JM Gillies had the following to say “We couldn’t be happier with the acquisition of some of the best Australian lure brands in the market, these brands as well as the integration of leading international brands are an excellent fit into the JM Gillies business and will provide our customers with enormous choice and retailing opportunities. Pat also added “The experience and product knowledge that John Millyard brings to the business will be a valuable asset and we are delighted that he will continue to work and develop new product”. JM Gillies will provide full details of the above as well as launch exciting new ranges and product offers at the 2012 AFTA show in Australia ( August 20th – 22nd ). JM Gillies will do all of this under the roof of a brand new AFTA stand that is currently being constructed which will showcase our existing and newly acquired iconic Australian brands as well as the international powerhouse brands including Plano , Fins and Pradco. For further info visit: www.jmgillies.com.au

SURE CATCH WUHUANG SQUID JIG

For further information visit: jmgillies.com.au

The new Wuhuang Squid Jigs by Sure Catch offer a shiny base cover under the coloured cloth to provide reflective shine in bright and clear conditions. Luminescent cloth, glow in the dark tape above the jig hooks and 3D Glow in the dark Eyes are a great attractant for dark and deep waters. Fine Feathers on both sides and a balanced weight system allow for a sink rate and angle that squid will find irresistible. Available in Orange, Yellow, Green, Pink 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5. For more information visit: wilsonfishing.com.au

GLADIATOR PSYBORG RODS The new range of Psyborg rods from Gladiator are Crafted from nano carbon, a new formulation of resin that binds the carbon-fibre and re-enforces the blank to such an extent that broken rods may be a thing of the past. Rods made with nano carbon are effectively 30% stronger, up to 10% lighter and have hugely improved impact resistance over conventional carbon fibre. The new Psyborg range of spinning rods are crafted from IM10 nano-technology graphite. The IM10 graphite is from Toray in Japan and is impregnated with nano resin from 3M. The rods feature the new KR concept guides from Fuji to improve sensitivity and casting distance. The skeleton reel seat allows anglers to be in direct contact with the blank to feel every bite. For more information visit: gladiatortackle.com.au

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tackle News NEW TASSIE DEVIL COLOURS

DUO D-SQUID THE DUO D-Squid is a special squid lure developed for a style of targeting squid known as “tip-run”, where anglers can see when the squid grabs hold of the lure by keeping an eye on the rod tip. The idea of tip running is to fish deeper water in faster currents and too allow the lure to work in the current while giving it the occasional jerk. This audacious design defies the stereotypes and allows easy access to the deep zone. For more information visit: swldistributions.com.au

WILDKNIFE

The Wildknife features a 6” (14cm) cutting edge stainless steel fully tang blade for effortless filleting. A fish design is encapsulated inside the tough hand-poured solid resin handle which won’t absorb odours, and it comes with a deluxe leather sheath knife holder with belt clip. 4 wild designs to choose from.

The team at Wigston’s Lures have developed 12 all new colours recently released in Australian and Overseas markets. 12 great new colours were developed from scratch with new patterns and designs in mind. The final 12 were whittled down from around 25 working colours. The response has been fantastic! There are already some red-hot fish catchers in the new line up but also some surprises too. Some colours that were designed to work in specific markets overseas targeting a particular species have popped up as great lures in Australia also.  The 102 “Bengal Tiger” and 107 “TJ Special” were obvious best sellers to the business and haven’t let the anglers down returning some exceptional catches in the short time on the market. 99 “Pearl Piranha” has been taking some very good rainbow trout on mainland Australia and we expect it to fish very well in New Zealand and the USA also. We would love to see any photos of your Tassie Devil caught fish - we have a forum on our website or check out the new Facebook page - just search Tasmanian Devil Lures and hit the like button.

For further info contact OTM Sports Fishing on (02) 95241557 For more info visit: jmgillies.com.au

BONEYARD BAITSBIG SOFT PLASTICS FOR BIG FISH The Boneyard Bait Company has the market covered when it comes to jigging and over sized soft plastics, jigging grubs, shads and eels. To give you an idea of just how big these plastics are we photographed on them on the cover of last issue-they’re big! Hooked Up recently took them on a trip to WA and although the reef fishing at the time was shut down and we couldn’t get a fish on bait, we got to see how well they swim when paired up with 4, 6, 8 and 12 oz jig heads, they have that same great action you expect from a 3” plastic but in supersize. We can’t wait to test them out on kings, big lizards and to deep drop with them! Made from extra tough saltwater grade PVC plastic to stand up to those fierce strikes, Boneyard Baits jigging grubs and eels are ideal for slow trolling and jigging over wrecks and reefs. Fish just can’t resist them. The tails on Boneyard Baits Grubs are like no other when it comes to action. The extra wide tail design and elongated tail tip allows the grubs to whip through the water when trolled or jigged, the unique design also allows lure action when the grub sits in the current! Boneyard Grubs feature all the action you need to bring home the catch of the day. You will not be disappointed with the quality and performance of Boneyard Baits products. Made in the USA. For more info visit: krackenfishing.com.au

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BOATING NEWS GME’S AMAZING NEW FLOATING HANDHELD VHF

UP TO 900 REASONS TO BUY A NEW HONDA OUTBOARD

GME, Australia’s leading marine electronics company, has increased their product portfolio with the introduction of the amazing G-Com GX660 marine VHF handheld radio. The GX660 being fully waterproof with an IP67 rating is ideal for use on dinghies and runabouts without onboard electrical systems; it has the further bonus of being buoyant, so any onboard mishap where the radio takes a dip overboard will not result in a one way ticket to Davy Jones’s Locker. This is a true mariner’s radio, boasting all the features only generally found in the top of the line portables. Attributes include a large backlit LCD screen, providing outstanding visibility of channel selection and other vital information, full 5 watt RF output, which incidentally is the maximum legally permitted under the Australian / New Zealand 4415.2 standard, this is user switchable to 1 watt for battery preservation and inshore communications. The physical design is an appealing blend of aesthetics and practical ergonomics, a large colour coded key pad is easy to use, even with gloves on, providing straightforward access to a plain English menu and the operating functions. Taking its lead from the mobile phone industry, the GX660 uses a 1400mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable battery pack which will deliver more than sufficient power for a day’s boating between charges The GX660 is now available and offers really tremendous value with an RRP of $A269. For more information visit: www.gme.net.au

Honda Australia is giving away up to 900 ‘Honda Dollars’ and offering a low 5.99% comparison interest rate on Honda outboards during the 2012 boat show season. Beginning on 1 July and running through until 9 September 2012, the Honda Dollars offer applies to current model Honda outboards from the BF40 up to the BF150, while the ultra-low interest rate is offered across Honda’s entire outboard range – from the lightweight BF2.3 right up to the powerful BF250. Customers who purchase a BF40 or BF50 will receive $500 Honda Dollars; a BF60, BF75 or BF90 will receive $600 Honda Dollars; and a BF115, BF135 or BF150 will receive $900 Honda Dollars. Honda Dollars must be spent in store at the time of purchase on anything within the dealership from which the outboard is purchased, or can be taken off the price of the outboard (or new boat package). For those thinking about upgrading their outboard, the low 5.99% comparison interest rate will help make it possible. Available only to retail customers, Honda units purchased outside of the promotion period will not be eligible for this offer. Full terms and conditions are available at Honda dealerships. Further information visit www.marine.honda.com.au

HAINES HUNTER RELEASES NEW OFFSHORE AND ENCLOSED RANGE AT THE 2012 MELBOURNE BOAT SHOW

BAR CRUSHER AND RAYMARINE JOIN FORCES

Further strengthening its position as Australia’s premier plate aluminum fishing boat brand, Bar Crusher is now offering Raymarine as preferred factory-fitted marine electronics equipment. Available on every model in Bar Crusher’s award-winning range, the company’s decision follows rigorous testing of Raymarine products in its boats over the past 12 months. Bar Crusher director Peter Cleland said every product used in the boats was carefully considered before it was released on the market – and marine electronics were no exception. “The advanced technology, functionality and durability of Raymarine products is outstanding, which is a great fit with our expectations and those of Bar Crusher owners,” Mr Cleland said. “Our customers like the way the electronics perform – the fish finder [sonar] technology is particularly impressive – and the fact Raymarine has a three-year warranty on Bar Crusher factory-fitted electronics, which is further backed by a national network of certified service technicians to offer an unrivalled level of support. “Bar Crusher has worked tirelessly to build a strong reputation for reliable on-water performance and this latest alliance will continue to ensure a positive and hassle-free experience for every Bar Crusher owner.” Bar Crusher Boats – (03) 9792 2999 or visit: barcrusher.com.au Pictured: Bar Crusher’s Peter Cleland (left) and Raymarine’s Mark Leach agree customers will reap the rewards of this positive partnership. PG. 16

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The latest whisper from behind closed doors is Haines Hunter will be releasing a number of new models and two new ranges in their line-up. The all New ‘Enclosed’ range and the ‘Offshore’ range have been on the drawing board for the past two years. Haines Hunter’s new Enclosed range will consist of 4 models, the 585, 600, 650 and 760. The four new models will allow customers to choose a size that best suits their needs, all with the exceptional ride and quality finish you would expect from a Haines Hunter. The Offshore range will bring a new experience to the line-up with exciting innovations incorporated in both models. The all-new 625 and 675 Offshore have larger cockpit space, 290lt fuel tank, bigger dash space, twin live wells and a side dive door all as standard features. The new 560 Offshore incorporates new moulded side pockets, huge cockpit and a massive underfloor fish box. Incorporating all of the benefits synonymous with the Haines Hunter brand, the Offshore range and the Enclosed range have been designed specifically for serious anglers, with the standard hard core fishing package allowing people to hit the water with minimal financial outlay. Every Haines Hunter has been ocean tested in the worst conditions and has built in reserves of seaworthiness and safety far beyond the average. So whether you are buying your first boat or your fifth, it is vitally important to choose the right boat for your family’s future safety and enjoyment, not to mention financial security. Managing Director John Haber said “I’m very excited with our new releases; it’s the best time to be proactive with new boats. At Haines Hunter our plan is to continue to innovate, and set the benchmark with proven designs and exceptional customer service.” “Our advanced state of the art manufacturing facility continues to improve. This allows to us to deliver Haines Hunter boats with the best materials available and the highest strength in our laminate giving our customers a significantly stronger, longer lasting product with a finish others can only hope to match”.

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For further info visit haineshunter.com.au


BOATING NEWS NEW YELLOWFIN MODELS BUILT TO HANDLE THE WORLD’S OCEAN

Yellowfin are built for the world’s ocean, built to last and built to fish and have made quite the impression on those lucky enough to take one out on the water. The range re-launched in August 2009 and has continued to create waves in the media and amongst customers and that isn’t stopping any time soon. With some dedicated customers coming onboard in the 1980s, new and old Yellowfin enthusiasts can choose between three plate models 6400, 6900 and 7400 in either a centre console or a spacious cabin. Yellowfin’s latest Twin Pod release encompasses two models the 6200 and 6700. The Twin Pod Cabins feature a larger and tougher transom to accommodate a twin engine configuration. Built with the world’s ocean in mind, Yellowfin has a combination of a 20 degree deadrise at the transom and a sharper entry at the bow, this unique hull carves through waves for a smooth ride while the reverse chine delivers stability and fuel efficiency. Built for superior strength all models feature a self-draining tread plate floor supported by a welded sub frame rib structure and construction of 4mm and 5mm plate aluminum, these boats are a cut above the rest in the offshore plate boat market. Director of Sales and Marketing Damien Duncan said Yellowfin is a unique brand that is tough enough to handle any offshore fisherman. ‘Not only are these boats fantastic value for money, they come equipped with all the useful features that offshore fisherman could ever want,’ he said. Features include hydraulic steering, 160lt fuel tank, side pockets, transom door as well as all the fishing necessities including extra rod holders, 65lt plumbed live bait tank and a 135lt plumbed kill tank. The Yellowfin is packed with extras as well as the essentials for a long day fishing out on the water. Each model is backed with a three year factory warranty so all offshore fisherman can start their experience without a worry. For further information or to learn more about the new Yellowfin range visit the website at For further information visit: yellowfinboats.com.au

YAMAHA AND NEW WORLD MARINE

Yamaha Motor Australia is proud to join forces with New World Marine, one of Melbourne’s largest marine dealerships. The appointment of New World Marine as a Yamaha dealership comes just in time for the Melbourne boat show and is great news for Yamaha customers looking for quality service or new product in their area. Joint directors of New World Marine, Michael Mulquiney and son Andrew, have extensive experience in the marine industry. Michael has been part of the marine industry in Victoria since 1983, working for numerous marine dealerships in the Melboune area. In 2003 Michael opened New World Marine in its original location in Berwick, and in 2008 moved the business to its current premises in Dandenong South. Although the business has grown and gone from strength to strength, New World Marine still maintains a family business feel, with Michael’s wife Jan, son Andrew and his wife Kristy all filling important roles within the dealership. New World Marine’s Dandenong South location features a huge display yard as well as an immaculately presented indoor showroom featuring New World Marine’s premium boat range. New world Marine’s service area fills over 600 square metres with easy drive in/drive out access for customer convenience. New World Marine also stocks a full range of chandlery, marine electronics and water sports gear. New World Marine will continue to sell a full range of Australian built Cruisecraft, Stacer and Formosa boats, now with the option of being powered by Yamaha’s class leading range of two and four stroke motors, as well as Mastercraft, Brig and Glastron boats. New World Marine will also sell and service a full range of Yamaha WaveRunners from the top of the line FX SHO supercharged three seaters right down to Yamaha’s classic stand up craft, the SuperJet. New World Marine will be attending the Melbourne boat show and encourage customers to come and meet the team and view the quality products they will have on display. For further information visit: yamaha-motor.com.au

STACER 539 NOMAD FISHER

SEA JAY ALUMINIUM BAIT BOARDS

New to the Sea Jay Aluminium Boats range of options is an alloy removable bait board that can be mounted at the transom in all ultimate edge models. Standard with 4 x alloy rod holders, this bait board is not only functional, but a talking point as well due to the shark pattern cut out of each side making it a standout feature. Covering your Boat is now made easier as a fixed Bait Board always protrudes catching the cover when trying to pull it over your Boat. A painful process! Being removable has never made a bait board more adaptable to different styles of fishing. Leave it in to go bait fishing, take it out to go flicking lures (less to hook a line around), it’s that easy.

The 539 Nomad Fisher is the first checker plate model introduced to the market by Stacer. The Nomad Fisher was released in response to customer and dealer feedback. The Nomad Fisher will be a serious contender against other plate boats on the market with 4.00mm bottom sides and 3.00mm topsides. The 539 Nomad Fisher features a fully welded sub frame rib structure with a self-draining tread plate floor. The under floor rib structure adds strength to the hull and the self-draining floor comes in handy if a wave washed over the bow or when washing down the floor after a day of fishing. With the EVO Advance hull and new Stacer transom, the 539 Nomad Fisher is a superb ride. The sharp bow entry and deeper V in the EVO Advance hull provides smoother ride and an overall impressive performance. National Account Manager Drew Jackson says the 539 Nomad Fisher is set to be a best seller. “The Nomad Fisher is packed with great features such as the checker plate floor, carpeted front casting platform, the 100 litre underfloor plumbed kill tank, live bait tank and large aluminium side pockets” he said. “The Nomad Fisher comes in both side and centre console configuration and can be fitted with a centre console fisher seat “he said. “The Nomad Fisher also features the new Stacer transom which increases the internal space by 200mm and hides cables inside the transom to for an obstruction free duckboard” he said. “Internally the new transom allows faster access to the bilge pump and engine fit as well as storage for dual batteries. The new transom also creates a lower centre of gravity for more stability at rest and while underway” he said. The 539 Nomad Fisher is available in a Stacer ‘Ready 2 Go’ package complete with boat, motor and trailer and comes with a 3 year limited factory warranty.

For further information visit: seajayboats.com.au

For more information visit: www.stacer.com.au

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TRAVEL NEWS FISH LEVEQUE-CAPE LEVEQUE-WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Hooked Up recently had the opportunity to travel to Cape Leveque in North Western Australia to fish with the new venture from famed Broome charter operation Fish Broome. The new operation now known as Fish Leveque is based out of famous Australian travel destination Kooljahman Resort. The resort is a beautiful place offering various forms of accommodation from camping through to the deluxe safari tents that Hooked Up had the pleasure of staying in. After a days fishing you can relax in the outdoor seating of the resorts restaurant where the food on offer is outstanding. Getting to the Cape can be as simple as a two hour drive from Broome or do it in style like we did and fly there via chopper, it was an amazing experience to fly to the Cape via chopper and if within your budget it’s highly recommended. Fish Leveque runs it’s operation out of a 35 foot plate alloy walk around. The vessel is equipped for trolling, casting and bottom bouncing and is a smooth and stable ride with plenty of fishing room and seating. The waters off Cape Leveque offer a variety of fishing and it’s up to you what you want to do. Trolling for large

Spanish mackerel is on offer on the inshore reefs or you can head out wide and bottom bounce for a variety of reef species like coral trout and emperor. Longtail tuna are in abundance in these waters and you can cast whatever lures take your fancy at these little speedsters until you’re content. Jigging is on offer and giant trevally and a host of other species can be found by dropping knife jigs and mobu jigs down into the depths. In the later parts of the year whales and sailfish will inhabit these waters in abundance and the Fish Leveque crew are regarded as one of the best sailfish crews in the country. Aside from the fishing, Cape Leveque offers some beautiful sight seeing and is one of the very few places in the tropics where swimming and snorkeling is on offer and you don’t have to worry about crocs and stingers. It’s a destination where you can go fishing with your mates or take the family along for a holiday. For further information visit: fishleveque.com

THE AVERAGE ANGLER FISHING ADVENTURES

OBSESSION FISHING TRAVEL

Obsession Fishing is thrilled to officially launch its travel department to the Australian public and beyond. As exceptionally keen anglers themselves, the team at Obsession Fishing has been working enthusiastically for the last few months contacting many of Australia’s leading charter operators and guides to put together angling adventures that will simply be second to none in both experience and value. Why would you book through Obsession Fishing over putting together a trip PG. 20

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yourself? The answer to this one is simple. Obsession Fishing, by committing to entire trips, receives the best possible deals direct from the charter operators and guides themselves. We pass as much of this along to the end consumer as possible, ensuring a trip that will always be competitively priced and in some cases cheaper than going to the effort yourself. In addition to this, we handle everything. This includes booking your flights, transfers etc to ensure that you as our client receive a full package deal

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with no fuss or no sneaky additions and in one lump, and therefore easy to budget for, sum. As if the above was not enough in the perks department, we offer our clients, in addition to the trip itself, specialised seminars and information nights to specifically hone your skills in the typical applications for each trip. Not only does this instil a sense of excitement and skill into anglers about to embark on what could quite possibly be the adventure of a lifetime, it offers an opportunity to meet face to face other participants of the trip, to banter and form camaraderie before ever stepping on board. On this note, we are happy to facilitate entire group bookings for the entirety of a trip, or try and find smaller incriminates of availability for 1’s and 2’s. So, if you see yourself in the seats and casting decks of some of Australia’s best fishing vessels tackling everything from GT’s, Marlin, Barramundi, Coral Trout or even the humble bream contact us and we will help however we can. We are currently taking bookings for 2012 trips to Arhemland (with Vision Sports Fishing), 2013 “River & Reef” trips to the Lockhart River (with Reel Chase and Nomad) and surrounds as well as expressions of interest for our amazing Jewel Reef trips (with Reel Chase on Nomad). We, at Obsession Fishing, live and breathe the piscatorial lifestyle and would love to share it with you. Contact us: Email: angus@obsessionfishing.com.au Website: obessionfishingaustralia.com

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The Average Angler fishing adventures was first developed by Damian Bowman to offer an affordable alternative to overseas fishing travel. Most anglers don’t realise the price that they can fish and travel, this is because of the fishing travel companies charging crazy amounts of money for a simple service. The Average Angler also offers charter bookings all over Australia making it easy to find a recommended charter with no extra cost to the consumer. The Average Angler also donates 5% of all profits to charity. Next year the company will be hosting The Ningaloo game fishing campout in the northwest of Western Australia. All proceeds of this event will be going to help children in Cambodia through the transform Cambodia foundation. The event will be unique as it will be only for small vessels, kayaks and shore based anglers and is aimed for four days of camping and fishing for sport and game species. The Average Angler is bringing exciting and quality fishing to anyone and everyone, from the experienced angler, to the very average. No matter the type of fishing you’re in to, The Average Angler can tailor a fishing trip to suit your needs. The Average Angler ensures you have a great time, catch fish, and best of all bypass all the hassle of organising it yourself! With the help of The Average Angler, the world`s best fishing is only a phone call away. Whether it`s a day charter in your local area or interstate, or an overseas package deal, The Average Angler has trips for everyone and anyone


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SPECIES - barra, jacks and threadfin TECHNIQUE - small lures, light tackle It really is amazing what you can land on 4lb.

Words and photos by Angus Gorrie

With the typical reports, articles and DVD’s emerging from The Northern Territory and Northern Queensland among the fishing fraternity, it’s easy to understand why most people opt for heavy gear and bigger lures in order to target many of the resident fish. Common captures in the various estuarine systems include barramundi, jewfish, queenfish, threadfin salmon and mangrove jack just to name a few.

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Triple hook up from the shallows.

Several of these species are regularly available as meter plus, hard fighting specimens, justifying this tendency for anglers to rely upon heavier more robust equipment. However, what happens when the fishing shuts down or the bigger fish are off the bite? Is it worth having a finesse crack in a location which is revered by many Australian and International anglers alike as a veritable “big fish” mecca? In short my answer would be “yes” and I would encourage you all to at least give this a shot if you ever head up that way. To begin I think it’s worth quantifying what I believe “sport fishing” constitutes. The definition of sport fishing seems to vary depending on where you are and who you talk to. Is sport fishing about the size of a fish?  Or the fact that it’s caught offshore in million dollar boats? Does it exclude some forms of fishing such as surf or general bait fishing?  I have always believed the answer is fairly simple, describing sport fishing as fishing in situations, and using equipment that gives the target fish a fighting, or even more accurately worded, “sporting” chance to avoid capture. Thus, like any reasonably matched sporting contest, the outcome is not guaranteed until the contest is over. Recently I had the privilege along with my equally obsessed fishing mate Henry Do to fully put this concept to the test in the far flung wilderness of the Northern Territory.  This article will detail the strategies and techniques employed to give you a fighting chance against some hard hitting, hard fighting fish combined with some advice to give you a better ability to get a hook up in the first place.   By no means does finesse gear and light line tactics have a place everyday in the NT. For the punters out there wanting to capture their first meter plus fish these tactics serve no place, except maybe for a laugh. These sorts of fish are commonly caught trolling big lures on heavily rated rods, particularly by the charter industry.  Prior to  our visit to the NT we were lucky to establish contact with regular Hooked Up contributor and all round good guy Ben Currell of “Vision Sportsfishing Charters”. Based out of Darwin, Ben has carved out a great little niche market for those looking for a little bit more than big fish bragging rights. The philosophy of Ben and his charter is to “sight”

fish in clearer waters and essentially place a lure through accurate casting into their strike zone. This philosophy stimulates the senses on several levels. First of all placing the lure in the respective strike zone of a particular fish dramatically increases hits and hooks ups, or rather dramatically decreases hopeful casts into empty territory. Secondly, regardless of fish size, sight fishing almost guarantees an increase in  visual strikes and hits which I personally  believe is up there as one of the most exciting elements of lure fishing full stop. Last but not least, sighting fish truly allows you to make a relatively educated decision of what gear you may require to land said fish, or in our case, what gear we can get away with using! Therefore, this tactic is ideally suited to light and ultra-light sport fishing as it allows you to choose a target and then gear to match.   For first time NT sight fisherman we could not have hoped for the level of success we achieved without the keen eye and experience of our guide Ben. The ability Ben has to spot a barra tail among mangrove roots, or the shadow of a fish on the flats was uncanny, leading us to many more hooks ups than if we had either tried sighting ourselves, or were just flicking out wild casts. The tactic is simple, yet completely revolves around both seeing the fish and predicting its movements. Ideally casts are made a few meters in front of a fish, essentially in its anticipated trajectory. Usually the lure is left motionless until the fish has come within supposed striking distance. At this point we would twitch the lure in imitation of bait startled by the sudden arrival of a predatory fish. If these casts were made accurately, and the trajectory of the fish was anticipated well, the result was, the vast majority of the time a hook up or at least strike. It must be said, this whole process was usually happening mere meters away from us in water often less than 50cm deep. Needless to say, regardless of whether the fish was 30cm or 80cm, this resulted in exciting heart in mouth angling.

Threadfin Salmon are a common Barra by-catch.

Just rewards for a worthy oponent.

Due to the particularly shallow water, lure choice really was critical to success in this situation. While an angler can usually get away with using deeper than required lures on sand flats etc, the result of a deeper diving lure (and by deep I am only talking 1m), was instant foul up WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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Barra this size fight on light gear.

Light gear VS Territory Jack = fun!

in mangrove roots. Therefore lures which dived just below sub surface were ideal. The issue of roots can be minimised using suspending lures. Suspending lures lend themselves well to this tactic as an ideal retrieve involved a lot of pauses. The vast majority of hits and hook ups we managed by barra and other species alike were on this critical pause. Floating lures were also effective when working through excessively snaggy terrain. As the retrieve usually involved brief twitches we could avoid roots, rocks and branches by allowing the lure to rise over them after each twitch. Lures with a tight, immediate action were ideal as well due to these short bursts of movement as opposed to lures with a wider, slow wobble. Despite the previous advice, the locations we were casting into were treacherous and halfhearted casts were just not good enough. With this in mind, if you are scared of losing a few lures… This sort of fishing is probably not for you! One distinct advantage we found during the trip was the simple principle that light gear is far more capable of throwing light lures. But how does this apply to the NT where anglers are used to throwing around lures at least 120cm long? For several hours on a slack low tide we found ourselves surrounded by bust ups left, right and centre. Frustratingly this multitude of fish seemed completely uninterred in anything we threw, even down around the 60-70mm size. It was Henry who decided to test the boundaries putting on a lure of 40mm in length more suited to what southerners would throw at estuary and canal based bream. Within 4 casts he was on and a after a great fight (one again on 4lb line and a 2-4kg rod) a 70cm fish was boated. This fish proceeded to cough up tiny jelly prawns remarkably resembling the lure he had used. In theory this makes perfect sense using the old and well versed “match the hatch” principle. However as our guide pointed out, 1 in a 1000 NT anglers would have had a rod and line on board that could have actually cast the lure in the first place! New rule? Big fish are not always eating big prey! Although we were using 4lb braid and 4lb leader for a lot of the trip, it would be misleading to claim we were using 4lb leader right through to the lure. An additional 4-5cm’s of heavier leader (referred to as a “tippet”) was usually applied at PG. 24

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the very end of the line. This tippet is essential when targeting fish like threadfin or barra as both fish have fairly course, raspy mouths. Regardless of how adventurous you are feeling, unless you score the luckiest of lip hook-ups, 4lb leader just can’t stand up to a prolonged fight rubbing against such a surface. Therefore the tippet protects the immediate integrity in the vicinity of the mouth of the respective fish, but the remainder of the leader and braid remain light and challenging. Due to the snaggy nature of the areas you will need to cast into, it is vital to inspect leader and knots quite often. On a hot bite this can fall to the bottom of the priority list but a failure to do so can result in losing the fish of the day.

The 1% Rule. Because high gear is about more than the bling for those that apply it correctly.

If you’re going to push the limits of finesse, ultra-light sports fishing, you need to make sure your gear is up to scratch. If you’re going to be pushing the limits, the game of percentages comes into play. The price of gear required to catch good fish is a hotly debated topic in the world of fishing. However, when mucking around with ultra-light gear, high quality is essential. In most cases, higher end fishing tackle comes with small perks. These perks don’t really come into their own if applied singularly. For example a high end reel with poorly chosen line, rod and lure will have little impact of the days fishing. In this case, spending an additional few hundred on a reel and failing to compliment the reel with worthy companions would in effect be a waste of time. However, utilising a simple multiplier effect, these small perks can have great effect. We like to refer to this as the 1% rule. The 1% rule essentially relies on the adding together of small improvements, unrecognisable (or barely so) on their own. For example, by combining a better quality braid, rod, reel, drag, washers, leader, lure and knots we have just improved our chance of landing a fish by 8%. Combine these tangible indicators with knowledge based ones such as tide, moon phase, locations, tactics etc and a noticeable margin soon presents itself. Many anglers are not convinced that high end brands of equipment such as leader make much of a difference. Using them alone without compliments they are essentially correct. However most brands (and I stress most) don’t charge more for the name but for the product testing and quality control behind the product. It is however the anglers responsibility to

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match these items of gear together for the best possible advantage. Some anglers will remain unconvinced as to this theory, but as someone who has personally endeavoured to improve my percentages wherever possible, I can vouch for the results. Overall light fishing isn’t and never will be for everyone. However if you love the sound of

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drag, feeling your heart jump into your mouth and an adrenalin buzz that lasts for hours after the fight is over (win or lose), I would suggest giving this method of fishing a go. For those anglers out there already addicted to light line and hard fights, I hope this article has given some insights and tips you may not have previously considered.


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SPECIES - yellowfin tUNA TECHNIQUE - trolling and cubing Jason Linardos with a good sized yellowfin

Words and photos by Colin Macdonald

As air temperatures drop, it’s getting harder to find the motivation to put the boat in the water. Never fear, the motivational saving grace for us on the lower east coast of NSW is the great Yellowfin Tuna fishing that turns on at the start of May and starts to taper off at the end of November as the climate gets warmer.

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Although gaft shots in the head are ideal this is a better position than the belly area

These Epipelagic predators have begun their annual migration down our coast in big schools, following cooler water temps and baitfish. If you put the hard yards in with your research and put the hours on the water - you too can get into some awesome Yellowfin tuna action. Times and Location Yellowfin tuna, like all fish, are effected by lunar and tide patterns so keeping a diary on your fishing trips is the key to unlocking the Yellowfin code. Sunrise and Sunset are great times to target Yellowfin, but during the day a tide change will also see some action being stirred up as these fish venture into shallower water in search of food. In previous era’s, tuna have been known to venture as close inshore as “The Peak” off Sydney or the fabled Montague Island off Bermagui. In those days it was a matter of dropping the anchor at a nearby inshore reef and feeding a live bait out whilst waiting for the tide change. Unfortunately, those days are long behind us. Nowadays, the hunt for the great Yellowfin tuna will take you out on the continental shelf where there is a whole lot of water between fish, so narrowing down your fishing areas before you head out is essential. If you are considering a tuna trip, it’s well worth spending some time on the internet before you head out. My research tactic involves finding graphs of the area you are heading to, and searching them for temp breaks (particularly colder breaks) which are likely to be holding higher phytoplankton percentages. Finding a food source equals PG. 28

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finding fish, and a little time spent inside means better utilisation of your time outside, and a whole lot less blind trolling boredom (zzz). Another great research method is to head down to your local fish coop and have a chat with some of the longliners – after all, for our hardworking longliners, it quite literally ‘pays’ to know where the tuna are. Underwater canyons and mountains beyond shelf contours are also a great place to target yellowfin. These places tend to hold bait, and thus predators in higher congregations, and at the right time of year, it can be as simple as driving out to these locations, starting a cube trail and waiting for the fish to find you.

A selection of lures for trolling for yellow fin

Trolling Most of the time, chasing tuna involves spending hour upon hour scouring the ocean to find a fish. The best way to maximise your chances of finding one of these golden torpedo’s is to drop some lures in the water and start trolling. Trolling for yellowfin is very similar to what you would do in summer when chasing marlin. Keep a constant eye out for birds, current lines and bait - but Instead of targeting the hotter water as you would in summer, start crisscrossing over into the temperature breaks on the colder side. Occasionally, your typical striped marlin lure spread will see you bag a tuna, but a few simple changes to your spread can significantly increase your chances of a tuna bite. Cedar plugs have been popular over the years but you can’t beat a couple of big loud hard bodied lures. My standard lure

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The author with a nice sized yellowfin

Yellowfin are a fantastic table fish so care for them appropriately

A great day for fishing

spread consists of two small pusher marlin style skirted lures on the outriggers then two hard body lures off the corners. It’s not uncommon to run into the occasional winter striped marlin as well , so having the skirts in the water is a good way to hedge your bets. Another great and sometimes overlooked lure is the old school Jet head with red and white feather skirt, rigged with a single hook. These have proved dynamite on tuna for a long time. Don’t forget when you are targeting yellowfin that they don’t have a big raspy bill or sharp teeth, so don’t go too heavy on your leader you will get more bites if you keep it light. Cubing: Cubing is a highly successful technique involving bulk amounts of pilchards or fish frames cut up and slowly dispersed into the water creating a big burley trail to bring the fish in, much like you would when snapper fishing on the inshore grounds. The hope is that a big tuna will find your burley trail from the scent

it creates in the water, then eat its way up the trail before gobbling down the piece of bait with your hook in it! To make the most of your pilchards - cut them into approximately four pieces and slowly, but consistently, drop them into the water. The rule of thumb is that you drop in your cube, when the previous one is just about out of sight. It is essential to keep your trail going(even when hooked up) at all times, as any break of the trail may cause the school of Yellowfin to disperse in search of a better source of food. You will need at least 20-30kgs of pilchards for a couple of hours of cubing, but it pays to take a little extra out with you just in case - it can take a considerable amount of time for Tuna to find your trail, and the last thing you want is to run out burley just as the fish are starting to bite! Sometime’s it’s even best to start your day with a troll, wait until you are hooked up to your first fish, and then start your cube trail at the site of your hook-up. Once your trail is well established, drop your rigged bait in. It is imperative your bait sinks naturally, so always keep the reel in free spool. If you’re WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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Small yellow like this on light tackle are great fun as Angus Corrie displays

Preparing your catch:

The author with a great eating sized yellowfin

If prepared correctly, yellowfin tuna are one of the best eating fish in the sea. After going through so much effort to catch one of these beautiful fish, if you decide to keep it then please don’t let it sit in the sun on the deck all day. If you follow the below process, I guarantee you will be left with the best tasting tuna you will ever eat. 1. Try to gaff the fish in the head If possible. Stay away from below the underside and away from the heart. 2. Stun the fish with a club so it doesn’t bruise by flopping around on the deck , then insert a brain spike into the soft centre of the brain (find this by running your thumb over the section between its eyes) 3. Make a cut on each side of the fish about 2cm deep and 5-10cm long behind the pectoral fins. This cut should be perpendicular and across the pectoral fin recess. These cuts need to be made as quick as possible to allow the blood to clear. Let it bleed for at least 5mins. 4. Make an incision 5-10cm long from the anus and cut out the digestive tube.

fishing with modern heavy spin tackle and braided line, then it’s as easy as flipping the bail arm over and putting the rod in the rod holder and watching for that line to start ripping off the reel when you get bit. If you’re fishing the more traditional overhead game fishing gear, then you need to be constantly pulling handfuls of line off the reel to get that cube to sink naturally. The addition of a live bait in your trail can also prove fruitful – so if you have the time, it can be well worth stopping at an inshore reef to collect bait before heading wide to the tuna grounds. When live baiting, stagger your baits lengths to avoid tangles. If possible have the rods spaced out, a simple way of clearing your live bait from where you strip your cubes, is to stick the bait under a balloon/float or clip your bait into the outrigger (if you have them). Live PG. 30

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baits do become complacent after a while (even with a hook in them) so change them regularly so that there is always plenty of nervous energy in the water for those hungry tuna to detect on their lateral lines. Another technique for firing up Yellowfin tuna is dropping a knife jig down to the deeper waters. Yellowfin rarely drop below the thermocline, but at certain times of the tide they can be found quite deep. If you find yourself a yellowfin, there is still a great chance of bagging an Albacore – plenty are caught using this technique and they are very tasty bycatch indeed! When you start talking about rigging techniques for cubing it’s amazing how complicated some people seem to make it. The bottom line is that there is no hocus pocus 100% correct way

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behind rigging up, it’s entirely up to you. It can be as easy as attaching a swivel from your mainline (as light a swivel as possible to keep a natural sink rate ) to your trace of 80lb fluorocarbon down to your hook. Hook choice is entirely up to you but circle hooks can be a great addition to the free spool technique - when you do get a bite, all you need to do is tighten up the drag into strike or flick the bail arm over to set the hook. If you know fish are around, but they are being finicky - try dropping your leader size, and if all else fails, run your monofilament mainline straight through to your hook. The very neutral Ande Pink is a great line choice for this type of fishing, as it hides itself very well in the trail.

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5. Remove the gills and intestines in one piece by cutting the connection between the gills and lower jaw, and the gill collars on both sides of the head. 6. Rinse with saltwater 7. Wrap the fish in plastic if possible then get that fish on ice, or even better, a slurry of saltwater and Ice.(four parts seawater, one part ice) 8. Cut out blood lines and nerves/muscle tissue when filleting 9. Slice thinly and enjoy with some soy, wasabi and a cold beer


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SPECIES - mangrove jack TECHNIQUE - hardbodied lures Words and photos by Greg Carter

This Jack fell victim to a walk the dog style lure

Big Jim with a surface caught Jack

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A nice river Jack

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The author with a beautiful 56cm model

Mangrove Jack are undoubtedly one of north Australia’s premier sport fish. They are the violent ruffians and rascals of our estuaries and many battles fought with these brutes quickly swing in favour of the fish. Hard, fast, powerful short runs give this fish a distinct advantage when the battle is fought in the vicinity of mangroves or man made structure. That first burst of adrenalin from the fish usually determines who wins the often quick, brutal battle. From 2003-2007 I spent considerable time chartering in Far North Queensland and can honestly say that I never had a disappointed customer when the jacks were out to play, in fact they were 2nd only to the barramundi as the most requested target estuary species. 1-2 kilo specimens are prolific around the tidal reaches of our northern rivers and estuaries and they are frequently caught right up into the far fresh water reaches whilst targeting other sport species such as Tarpon, Jungle perch and Bass. Jacks are caught in northern NSW in small respectable numbers but as you travel north along the Qld east coast there density thickens and they extend all the way around to the north west of W.A. Although the numbers are thicker in the most northern estuaries the size in the most southern limits is substantially bigger. The larger fish migrate out of the estuaries during the hottest months usually when they reach the 45cm plus mark and school up in deeper water around structure but to tackle them out of the estuary environment is a totally different story. Trolling for Mangrove Jack Although sometimes looked upon as amateurish, trolling is an effective and productive way to introduce inexperienced fishermen to lure fishing and a great way to explore a new area. It is also one of the most effective methods to target these rouges when applied correctly. 20 years ago when I first started experimenting with lures I occasionally trolled up the odd jack and a few other species in the Gold Coast canals and on the Fisherman Island rock walls in the Brisbane river. When I moved to North Queensland to pursue a career in fishing I adopted the same tactics with instant success. Fishing an area with such a large population of jacks enabled me to hone my trolling tactics to the point where I could just about predict how

many would be boated. The most important factor when trolling for jacks is to be in the zone. About 30cm off the bottom is what I would call the perfect position in the water column. The occasional puff of sand or bump over a log doesn’t hurt and in fact can be a turn on, however, you don’t want to be constantly on the bottom or you’ll end up retrieving a lot of lures with a Tackle Back. Bibbed lures are designed to swim at a certain depth however that can vary due to leader and main line diameter and it is also governed by the amount of line you let out. The last few hours of the run out tide and first of the run in tide is the most effective troll time. At high tide jacks will often head into shallow mangrove ridden areas to chase bait fish, at low tide they are forced back into the main channels where I believe they do most of their travelling. When trolling stagger your lures out the back and I suggest you do this for two reasons; the first is to try and cover as much area as possible and the second is to avoid fouling with each other. If you’re spreading different depth lures place the deeper divers in close and the shallower lures further back. When working a new creek take the time to map out your troll path concentrating on the channels, structure and mangrove undercuts. By studying your local water way you can refine a troll path that will constantly have your lures in the zone. The creeks and canals that have worked best for me are those that have an average low tide depth of approximately 2-3 meters. I have trolled for Jacks in depths up to 15 meters with the use of down riggers but with nowhere near as much success. Once you catch a jack whilst trolling work over the same area a few times because despite having a reputation as being a territorial fish there’s usually a few hanging out together. They tend to hang in the same area for weeks at a time but do move according to the weather, bait availability and water temperature. When trolling back the drag off a little especially if the rod is in the holder because they hit pretty hard! There’s a lot of inertia behind the boat, when the fish hits a trolled lure the boat keeps going, the rod bends a little and something has to give. Don’t be lazy, hold your rod and use your arm as a shock absorber it only takes one hand so you can still sip a tinnie or steer with the other. I have seen rod holders snap and also rods ripped from angler’s hands. A 10lb line WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

Trolled at low tide

Ken with a lovely 50 cm specimen

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Upper reaches Jack caught along side Bass

main line and 20lb leader attached via a double to the main line will succumb most jacks hooked on the troll as most fish are relatively free from tight heavy structure.

Colours vary from deep red to almost silver

Double hook up in the mangrove flats

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Casting at Structure This can be brutal! Once you’ve been bricked by a Jack back into the snags you realise how important it is to get the upper hand straight away. For this reason tight drags and main line of 15-20lb and leader of 30 to 40lb is highly recommended. In the remote areas of Northern Australia where they are at their thickest, pommy cricket scores are sometimes caught in a dream day session. On the Cape of Qld I’ve seen balls of fish fighting for a lure as it’s retrieved from the snaggy haunts they reside in. When choosing an area to lure I always look for thick deep snags, bridges, rock bars, and shady mangrove undercuts that are still submersed at low tide. Run off gutters and creeks with snags at their intersection are also a prime target area. Once you’ve eyed a likely lair the idea is to pepper the structure as accurately as possible. Don’t sit on a snag and flog it to death, if you don’t get a hit within a half dozen casts move on. If you’re not getting your lure into the thick of it you’re not in far enough. An electric motor to whiz yourself along a snag line or rock wall is a must for any one serious about targeting them however using a mental calculation of the tide, current and wind can work depending on the severity and circumstances of conditions. If all else fails you can anchor back off the snags and work them over. The more area worked usually results in higher numbers hooked, hence anchoring will result in less fish as it is more time consuming. Jacks are usually responsive to medium/slow erratic deep retrievals, but experimentation is always the key. A good place to start is with a deep diving buoyant lure that will dive down the snag face a little. If you hit the snag just let your lure float up a little and continue retrieving. Suspending lures allow you to stay in the zone giving longer hang time. Sinking lures although effective are much harder to work around structure and more likely to snag. Tides and Times As with most species the tide and moon phases influence the feeding patterns of mangrove

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jack quite considerably. They can be caught day/night, low or high tide but if you want to be constantly successful attention to the tides and applying the right techniques for those tides makes all the difference. For both trolling and casting at snags the optimum luring time of the tide is about 2 hours either side of the low tide change. No run no fun! Having at least 1 meter of run in the tide for me has produced the most consistent results. Neap tides produce very little when trolling or casting. The 5-3 days leading up to the new moon is from experience the optimum time to target them and 5-2 days leading up to the full moon also produces good numbers. These days I am not able to always fish the optimum tides due to family and work commitments so I make the most of any opportunity. In the cooler months of Qld around May when that cold snap sets in (15-20 degrees) the water drops suddenly and they almost go off the bite at the click of your fingers. You will still catch them in winter but the bite does slow down considerably and they are much more of an option floating live baits into the snags or targeting them at night on the mangrove flats with live or cut baits. Jacks respond well to sudden rises in the water temp and react badly to sudden drops in temperature just like the barramundi. From May through to the end of August I do not consider them a viable target species for lure tactics. In my home waters of Noosa when the water temperature rises back up to 20- 24 degrees they go in search of food just like a bear coming out of hibernation. The warmer the water, the more energetic, curious and troublesome the fish become. Surface Lure: Low light hours being either first or last light, heavily clouded days or heavily shaded areas are the best times or places to target Jacks on surface lures. If it’s too bright they will be easily spooked or they will be feeding in deeper water in relative safety. You will still catch them but not to the same extent. I have proven to myself over time that Jacks do not like to rise from deep water to attack a lure however there have been odd exceptions. Water clarity also plays its part in success, clear shaded water usually around the slower/neap tides seem to


My favourite colour GOLD!

Mangrove undercuts with snags are a prime target

another 56cm model caught whilst trolling and again on a gold coloured lure

Sunset Jack

fishing a small run off creek

work best. In the estuarine reaches the water is usually clearer around the neap tides because there is less run to stir it up. Wind direction, rain and rain run off are also culprits in determining the water clarity but it’s nearly impossible to get everything perfect. My best surface sessions have always been in relative calm, clean water. There are many types of surface lures available that work well and different ways to work them. Poppers between 5 and 10 centimetres will work best when presented with a little finesse. I don’t think colour seems to matter so much when chasing them on the surface and using a heavy leader for me has been no disadvantage because I believe the fish are concentrating on the main body dispersion of the lure rather than what is dragging it along. The main retrieval patterns that I use are simple small blooping strokes back to the boat and walking the dog. If there is more than one angler fishing use a variety of surface lures until you find which are working best. I’ve had fickle days when only one type of lure will catch fish. Practice and variation is the key to success especially on those hard days, sooner or later something will start to work and when it does stick with it. The small blooping action when popping is basically made by keeping your rod tip down and twitching the rod towards your feet as you take up slack line. Walking the dog is similar but a rhythm is worked which makes the surface lure swing from side to side. Most surface lures are designed to do one or the other although hybrid poppers are becoming more popular. Jacks don’t like a fast retrieve skipped back to the boat, that’s more a pelagic technique but a quick squirt and pause attack has worked a few times. The more ground you cover the more Jacks you are likely to catch. I work the likely looking haunts as accurately as possible trying to get right into the structure and as far up into the mangroves I can without committing

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suicide. Most of the hits happen within the first few bloops but I have had them hit at the boat in open shallow water. Tides/Timing Timing of the tides is the most critical factor to ensure a successful surface fishing trip. Ideally you need to time it so that you have what I consider the magical depth of .6-1.2 meters of water covering the area you wish to fish coinciding with the lower light situations mentioned. The longer the water remains at the magic height the better. On the bigger spring tides Jacks seem to go right into the inaccessible mangroves or structure in chase of a feed hence fishing the neap tides which coincides with the first and third quarter of the moon phase has been a standout. This is a time when other methods of targeting them by trolling or snag bashing can be less productive. Jacks are just about always there for the taking. With any style of fishing, lure selection is a personal preference and there are so many proven types. More important than any other factor is having sharp quality hooks. Using rusty and weak hooks will dramatically decrease your hook up rate. I’ve seen Jacks caught on every colour of the rainbow but I usually start off with gold or a natural colour in clearer water. Pink and green seem to stand out in discoloured water. On some days one particular colour will catch every fish and on others they’ll hit everything you throw at them. Remember what works today might not be in season tomorrow, however, it’s always a good place to start.

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SPECIES - Spanish Mackerel technique - Bait and Lures Words & photos by Damian Bowman

A small tinny is more than enough to get in the zone for Spanish macks

Spanish mackerel must be one of the most reliable sport fish in the sea. Once you know how and when to catch them you know you are never short of a bit of action. They are the ultimate predator, with a streamlined body that is built for speed and razor sharp teeth that make them the fish killing machines that they are renowned to be.

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Doug Tucker proves that mackerel can be caught from the beach by balloon fishing

Hooked up to a 15kg mackerel

For an all-round quality fish they are hard to go past with their speed and power making them great sport and the bonus of being a sort after table fish. Most anglers would agree that you can never get sick of catching them with the main reason being that they can practically be caught by any method. Trolling is the most common method, with bait or live bait being the second, but to spice it up even more you can try casting stickbaits, poppers or even fly fishing. The mighty Spaniard can more than pack a punch when it comes to emptying your spool, and they can also take to the air at unbelievable heights of over 20 feet.

pull at that size, as the average size is around 12-15kg and at this size will put most tackle to the test.

The Spanish mackerel outside of Australia has many names such as Narrow Barred Mackerel, Blue Mackerel or the King Mackerel. They tend to like warmer waters, so they are commonly found in northern New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and mid to Northern Western Australia. In saying that, when the warmer currents travel further south, so will the mackerel. Mackerel are known to travel in large schools attacking bait fish and small tuna making double and triple hook ups common. They also grow to a whopping 60kg which is hard to fathom how much they would

When targeting mackerel it pays to follow surface bait school activity, or to use a sounder searching for either sub surface bait or working larger drop offs. I find that Spanish mackerel prefer depths of around 30 metres, although I have caught them in depths as shallow as 9 metres and as deep as 60. If you can find drop offs, or structure in 20-30 metres to 30-40 metres, it will pay to target these areas if there are no bait schools around. I tend to find that they hang out on these drop offs and are easier to catch working these areas, rather than when they are feeding on bait.

If you ever think that you are in with a chance of hooking a Mackie, you are best to be well prepared for the landing of the fish. It’s best to have a bit of a plan in mind before you put a 1.5m long angry fish with sharp teeth and hooks in your boat (as they tend to go pretty crazy). Have a spot allocated for angry fish, or use lip grippers or a donger to knock them out (they tend to be a bit safer when they are unconscious).

Single Hooks are effective and easily removed

Spanish Mackerel respond well to all types of fishing techniques, although one thing for sure with every technique is the use of wire. The razor sharp teeth from a Mackie in most cases will destroy any thickness of mono leader. Some anglers like to use a wire leader which is longer than the fish, although I believe you can go much shorter if you combine your set up with a good length of wind on mono leader. I typically use 3 metres of wind on 80lb mono leader, and 80cm of 80lb single strand wire. Many like to go heavy when it comes to rod and reel combos by using either light to heavy game gear, or 6500 size spinning reels with around 80lb braid or 50lb mono. There is nothing wrong with ensuring you win the fight with heavy gear, although you can get away with much lighter gear as mackerel are not dirty fighters, so providing you have the line capacity to last the long run, you will have a sporting chance on light tackle. The tackle you use also depends on the situation, as different gear is used for different techniques. Lets take a look at a few options out there to target this amazing sport fish.

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Balloon fishing LBG or land based game is an exciting way to catch Mackerel from the shore. A large party balloon and a stiff offshore breeze are required to get your bait in the zone. Jetties, beaches and groynes are commonly used, although the hot spots are usually cliffs. When ballooning from cliffs or surf beaches you may need a helium / nitrogen mix to keep your balloon in the air to get your bait out far enough from the shore. The ultimate is to have your bait skip along the surface which will attract the attention of predators such as mackerel. It is hard to explain the excitement when a fish hits the skipping bait as they normally get totally airborne. This type of fishing does get expensive getting all the gas and cylinders etc. although when you look at the price of maintaining a boat with fuel prices etc. it is not all that high in comparison. If you think this is maybe your thing, look into it because a lot of new gear may be required depending on what the area you fish. One thing I can say is that this is a great visual way to fish. Mackerel have flying fish on their tucker list so they are known to take baits which are up to 2 metres above the water’s surface. Best baits to use are Pilchards (Mullies) or garfish on 3-5 ganghooks.

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The Author with a fine specimen

Casting or spinning Spaniards are great sport on light tackle Casting for Mackie’s is also one of the most exciting ways to catch mackerel. Casting large metal spoons, slugs or spinners can work well from the shore, rocks or cliffs, but heavier tackle is normally required when tackling these monsters from the shore. As for casting from a boat it is best to find where they are by trolling or spotting surface activity before you go burning your arms casting blindly all day. Deep divers can work well for casting even though they are designed for trolling yet most who cast lures for mackerel from a boat are using surface lures such as poppers and stick baits. These surface lures will also see airborne mackerel strikes, which to most of us is the ultimate in fishing. Popper fishing for giant trevally is extremely popular all over the world at the moment so it’s surprising that you don’t hear more about popping for Mackies. It’s hard to beat casting to a school of hungry mackerel which are willing to throw themselves skywards at anything that moves, and will still peel line of your reel at a blinding rate and offer a great all round fight. If you are close enough to your surface lure when a mackerel hits you will hear the sound of its jaws snapping together as it becomes airborne with the lure in its gob, and it gives me goose bumps just thinking about what these prehistoric looking predators are capable of. Live-Baiting There are many ways to entice a Mackerel, although it is hard for a Mackie to pass up the opportunity to take a fish in distress. Live-bait works in many situations yet most commonly they are put under a balloon, as Mackerel tend to mainly feed at the surface. They are also not too fussy on which fish you use for bait either. When I live-bait for mackerel, I combine it with fishing for reef species such as emperor on the bottom. I typically use a small legal size emperor, approximately 2-3 metres under a balloon and let it drift 30-50 metres from my boat or kayak while I work plastic lures, or bait on the bottom in 20-30 metres. When that balloon goes off it will always be something big, which is usually a shark, mackerel or a barracuda, and the best thing is that you tend to get bigger mackerel this way than with trolling. The other common way PG. 38

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to live-bait for mackerel is to slow troll, normally a yakka or a slimy mackerel is the way to go. The rig is the same using the 3 metre 80lb mono wind on with 80-100cm of 80lb single strand wire to a 8/0 circle hook. Hook the circle hook through the bait fish’s nose and troll at around two knots letting out around 70-80 metres of line making sure the bait fish swims as naturally as possible. These techniques will also prove to be successful with cobia, tuna, sailfish or even marlin. Trolling Trolling is by far the most popular way to catch mackerel, and with this method being so easy, it’s not hard to see why. Forever and a day the technique of trolling a garfish on ganghooks with a pink octopus lure has been used, and is still successful today. Professional mackerel fisherman have not changed their technique for years and will pull in one after the other with the same trolled garfish rig method as they did many years ago. Trust me, if there was an easier way the pro`s would be on to it. Sure they use handlines which shortens the fight, although the method is pretty much the same as most amateurs are using in their own trailer boats with a rod and reel. Most anglers today are opting to use deep diver (bibbed minnows) which may be more expensive, but avoid the hassle and smell of using bait. Rigging a garfish to swim straight at 5 knots is not as easy as you think. Even the mouths must be wired shut to do a proper job. Lures have made life easier, and most popular lures tend to be red heads, pilchard or golden coloured deep divers. Deep divers range from diving at 1 meter to 8 metres below the surface. Everyone has their favourite colours and brands and depths and personally I have had the most success with red heads in the 7 metreplus range trolling very close to the boat. When you are trolling with two or three rods, try them all with different depths and colours and you will soon see which lures get the most action, and you will develop your own favourites. One thing for sure is you will need a lure with heavy duty treble hooks, and some cheaper lures may need the hooks to be upgraded. As for a trolling speed, I would recommend around 4-6 knots, however, if you are finding fish on your sounder and not getting strikes, speeding up to 8 knots can be very effective.


Be sure to have the right tools ready to gaff and subdue spaniards

Damian Bowman with another mackerel on a trusty redhead deep diver.

Kosta Linardos with a mackerel taken on a deep diver in a pilchard pattern

Diving birds and surface bait are keys signs of feeding mackerel

Floating baits Floating baits are a great method that will catch many shy fish. Floating baits are a great way to tempt fish that will only take a more “natural” looking bait. The old paternoster rig with a heavy snapper sinker will not entice a strike as much as a bait slowly sinking which looks like it is not attached to a line. This technique can be deadly when used with berley, especially if the berley is the same as the bait used. To do this, use cubes of pilchards similar to the way that tuna are attracted, although instead of using a cube on a circle hook use a whole pilchard which can be cast in the berley cubes, and floated down through the trail. Many a Mackie have fallen victim to the method and if your bait manages to sink down enough, the by catch bottom species are endless. Spanish Mackerel are also a great eating fish and the large fillets are quick freezer filler. Some fussy seafood eaters are not fans of the flesh because of the oily taste, but to others it is a delicacy, and the oily flesh makes them the perfect fish to smoke WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU

or for Sashimi. I prefer to pan fry the fillets in a herb and crumb mix, and on occasions enjoy it so much that on the occasional camping trip with my brother, we have gone up to 3 or 4 days eating nothing but that. I also recommend that they be released. One or two of these fish are more than enough to eat. When releasing Spanish Mackerel it is best not to bring them aboard the boat for the fish’s safety, and your own. Spanish Mackerel are an important part of sport fishing and it is hard to imagine the tropical waters without these pelagic speedsters. Before targeting Mackies, take note of size limits and bag limits of which rules apply in differing locations. It also pays to know the difference between the types of mackerel, as bag limits and size limits have varying requirements depending on the species. Let’s aim at preserving these great fish, because without Spanish mackerel, sport fishing just wouldn’t be the same.

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SPECIES - gummy shark TECHNIQUE - surf fishing Words & pics by Kosta Linardos

The author with a 13kg gummy taken on fresh squid

Many fishermen fortunate enough to own a boat would seldom spare a thought of targeting large fish in the surf or any fish land based, demeaning this style of fishing for those without a vessel. Those that do partake in land based angling, often limit their options to the usual suspects, chasing salmon in the surf or pinkies off a pier.

This kind of attitude towards a style of fishing that still has a relatively low participation rate is causing many fishermen to miss out on some of the most exciting fishing that they will experience. Attracting and hooking a large gummy or any targeted shark species in a boat is an exciting fishing experience, doing this in the surf at night with a five foot shore break crashing in front of you with the light of your torch the only visual aid while you are trying to direct your partner armed with a gaff as to where the fish is, enough to convert anyone. It is a challenging, very rewarding style of fishing that provides great sport fishing and a great feed if successful. Although this “how to” is based on targeting gummy Sharks, many of the principles of it can be applied to surf fishing for any large species on any beach they inhabit. Obviously if you preside on the Western or Northern coastlines of our country sharks are a pest to you, however, our colder climate sharks are some of our most accessible game species and a gummy’s fantastic on the plate

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Where to find them What you need to be looking for is a an ocean beach with nice deep gutters or holes. Don’t worry too much about what locals say or if you have never heard of a gummy shark being caught there before, if there is a gutter and the conditions are right, you have a good chance of getting a gummy. All the pictures in this article come from the same two spots and in six years of fishing these spots for gummy sharks at night, I have never seen another soul fishing them, and they are both within a 90 minute drive from Melbourne. If you’re unfamiliar with any beach you are planning on fishing from, taking a day out when the sun is up to do a reconnaissance mission is a great idea. Targeting this species at night is your best chance of success so a bit of re-con the day before or so will familiarise you with whatever tracks you need to walk down and enable you to see the hole or gutters that are present. There are many ocean beaches that stretch along our southern coast that are home to some great holes and gutters, your best bet is to get out your map, gps or jump on google maps and suss out some beaches. Keep in mind though that these beaches change

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shape in and out of the water on a regular basis due to the hard ocean pounding they receive, so don’t expect the same hole you caught a fish in a few weeks ago to still be there! If you have absolutely no idea on how to recognise a gutter or a hole on a surf beach I highly recommend you do some serious research into them first, basically if your bait is not sitting in a gutter your chances of landing a gummy are pretty slim. There are Youtube clips that will show you how to read holes and gutters. As I said earlier your best bet at landing a gummy on a surf beach is at night. Gummies will use the cover of darkness as an advantage when on the hunt. Optimal conditions are not conducive with comfortable fishing so don’t expect to be landing fish on a still and gentle night. A big swell which generally comes along with a big wind will provide you with the best conditions, it will be cold and windy but you have a better chance of catching a shark or two and that’s why you are there. The combination of a rising tide and the big swell will push more water up the beach thus putting more water into holes nearer to the shore and deepening them to provide a more enticing feeding ground for a large shark.

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The deeper the water the better! This big swell also rolls in and stirs up a lot of food which gets the whole food chain going. When to target them With any style of fishing you have to go when the conditions are right to achieve success. After many hours chasing gummies in the surf I think I have refined the “when” part pretty well. TIDES: You want to fish the rising tide, I have never had much luck on a falling tide. Have your bait in the water 2 hours before the high and keep fishing for two hours after. I have found most success within the first hour and right on the change. MOON: Two days before the full moon and two days after, same goes with the new moon, I have found both cycles to be as successful as each other. Keep in mind though that moon phase is the least important aspect of the conditions, if you can see the other conditions all coming together-GO!


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Always keep an eye on the rod tips

An 18kg gummy that took the angler 200m down the beach from hook up point

Be sure to pack all the right gear

SWELL/SURF: As discussed earlier you want a big swell, not stupid big, but big, I have never had a hint of a bite in calm conditions. If the swell has been rolling in heavy for a few days prior to the day you’re thinking about going, you may encounter your worst enemy-WEED! Weed is evil and will ruin your night, if you are experiencing enourmous clumps of weed (that will weigh up to 50kg) pack up and go home! The Gear The gear to properly do this style of fishing is slightly specialised. I have somewhat refined it over the years and this is what works best for me. Sinkers: The right sinker in this style of fishing is integral to your setup and is as important as your rod, hook and reel. You need to be using 6 oz sinkers. You may think 6 oz is excessive but in order to fish those big swell conditions it’s the minimum weight to keep your bait from ending up back on the sand or half way down the beach. I prefer rocket style sinkers as they cast better and don’t bury deep in the sand the same way PG. 42

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star sinkers do (which can be trouble). Grapple sinkers are ok and you can drop an ounce or two in weight, but I find by the time they settle and have held ground your bait can have moved from where you intended it to be. Bomb sinkers are probably your next best option if you cant get Rocket sinkers. Rods: Your rod is one of the most important aspects of your set up. You need a rod that is greater than 11 feet in length and that can cast weight in excess of 6oz! It needs to be rated at 1524kg. There are not many rods off the shelf that will do this but they are out there and most of the major rod companies have at least one. If you want this style of rod I highly recommend you visit a proper tackle store and don’t go to BCF or K Mart. The guys at a tackle store will understand what you’re trying to do and will probably have something to suit your budget. You need a rod of this length and casting ability as you will be needing to cast six oz sinkers plus a big bait and you need to cast them distance to reach those holes and gutters. You may find this difficult at first but you will get the hang of it

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eventually practice makes perfect. I prefer a rod with a fast taper, it aids in setting the hook and is better to fight and control the fish, remember, you’re fighting the fish, the current, the waves and maybe some weed too. You will also be fighting enormous and very annoying by-catch such as skates, sting rays and eagle rays-these ocean based specimens can be ridiculously big and will try to spool you so you need to put some hurt on them! Reels: I find a 4500 size reel to be ideal, the smaller spool size of a 4500 as opposed to a 6000 or 6500 greatly aids in casting distance and balances nicely with modern, light-weight graphite surf rods. There are a heap of dedicated surf reels on the market these days in both overhead and spin and they are all pretty good with spool designs that aid in casting distance, however, a reel with a good drag that can withstand the most punishable fishing conditions you can imagine is what you want. Your reel will fall in the sand, cop a heap of salt spray and get bait and gunk on it! Reels with a separate free spool function to your fight drag are very convenient

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as you can set the free spool and easily walk back to where you are standing on the beach after you have made your cast. Line, shock leader, leader/rig: I will not fish any less than 24kg and I fish braid. You need 24kg to fight the pests and the weed. I then tie a shock leader of 60lb mono to my braid via an Improved Albright knot, I run the shock leader twice my rod length ensuring that there are a few good wraps around my spool. The shock leader is important for a few reasons, it aids in abrasion resistance from the elements and the sharks rough skin and it provides some stretch to take the shock of casting such heavy weight, the initial strike and the general fight conditions, it also wont cut your finger like braid does on the cast. I tie my shock leader to my main rig via a barrel swivel to an 80-100lb mono dropper loop rig of about 70-80cm in length (if you don’t know the dropper loop knot youtube it). I dress my dropper loop with lumo beads, don’t go too crazy, just use a few. As an extra precaution I tie my sinker to the end of the dropper loop rig as a breakaway, there have been times where I have lost great fish due to


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Below are some of the pests you may encounter targeting gummy sharks in the surf Adam Mizzi with a whiteleys skate

my trailing sinker becoming snagged during the fight so now I would much prefer to lose my sinker rather than my fish! To do this I tie a swivel to the end of the dropper loop and tie 20lb mono from the swivel to the sinker. Hooks and drag This rig and set up is all based around the use of circle hooks. You should have your drag set at around 4-5kg with a good quality circle hook of about 8/0 or 9/0. As you’re using big thick baits (I’ll get to that) you want a big hook with a wide gape to ensure maximum penetration when the fish strikes. 4kg of drag is about enough to efficiently set the hook and you can adjust if necessary, you’ll be surprised how much 5kg of drag with a fast tapered 12 foot rod can hurt when fighting on the sand! I also shrink heat all my hooks when fishing for sharks, sharks don’t like metal and that sixth sense they have seems to be able to detect it well, covering up all metal bits definitely improved my catch rate. Bait and berley My favourite and most successful bait is without a doubt fresh squid. It stays on the hook and gummy sharks love it. Don’t use old frozen squid, catch it your self or buy it fresh from the market. The other most successful bait I have used is tuna belly flap and fresh Australian salmon fillets. Cured eel, cuttle fish, octopus and other fish fillets have never been very successful in the surf. I am against the use of berley, I believe it just brings pests and maybe helps out the bloke 100 metres down the beach. If you have a fresh a bait out and a gummy is in the vicinity, it will find it. Remember to use big baits, don’t be shy, big baits catch big fish!

Drought board shark Port Jackson shark

The fight and landing the fish After you cast your bait into the gutter or hole you have found it’s time to set your rod in a good rod holder that is at least a metre in length. Be sure your line is tight and that the sinker has set in the sand nicely, there will be rod movement from the waves but you will see the rod move slightly in conjunction with the sound and sight of the swell crashing. Use a PG. 44

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glow stick on the tip of your rod so you can see what is happening to you bait and patiently wait for that strike! The first hit from even a five kilo gummy will be huge and your whole rod will aggressively buckle over, often the whole rod holder will go over if you’re not quick enough. Remember to keep and don’t strike as you’re using circle hooks. Be patient and expect that the shark could run in towards you so wind and don’t give it any slack. Depending on size gummies in the surf can have multiple runs and even sit out deep, just be patient. Have your mate ready with the gaff and spotlight and look for that dorsal fin. Don’t be too rushed to gaff the fish, let it do it’s thing and time it with the waves, if he is out of reach in shallow water make sure your drag is not too tight as gummies will have an explosive last

“I am against the use of berley, I believe it just brings pests and maybe helps out the bloke 100 metres down the beach” run and use the receding waves to aid them. The angler doesn’t need to get his feet wet but the guy on the gaff may have to. Always gaff from behind the leader and keep an eye on the water. Be sure to be wearing a head lamp and have a nice long gaff and this whole scenario will be a very exciting, noisy adrenaline rush! Once that gummy is safe and up on the sand it is an awesome feeling. Bleed the shark and enjoy. Remember that although you have your feet firmly planted on the ground, the same caution should be taken with this style of fishing as what you would rock fishing. Ocean beaches have extremely strong currents and unpredictable waves, don’t turn your back on the water and don’t ever wear waders, if you go over in waders you may never come back. It all may sound like a lot to take in but it’s all pretty simple, the hardest part is casting the heavy weight big distances to reach those gutters but it doesn’t take all that long to master.


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the hooked up review KOKODA MACDADDY - A NEW AND VERY INNOVATIVE DEEP DIVER The Kokoda Macdaddy is a new and innovative bibbed minnow designed for high speed trolling for predatory pelagic species. What sets the Mack Daddy apart from other minnows is an additional loop in the through wire construction that sits underneath the bib of the lure. This loop is there so a sinker or additional weight can be attached in order to increase the dive depth of the lure. Hooked Up was recently given a Macdaddy to test while fishing out of Cape Leveque in Western Australia and we were amazed with the results. The Macdaddy swam beautifully with no tuning necessary and never blew out of the water even at speeds in excess of 9 knots. Rigged with single strand wire and positioned in close behind the transom the rod tip showed the Macdaddy was swimming beautifully. When we placed it out wide the results were the same. We were running the Macdaddy in a spread with X Rap Magnum 30’s and Halco Crazy Deeps; what we found by watching the rod tips and watching the lure swim boat side was that the Macdaddy has a more aggressive action than X Raps and Halco Crazy Deeps and seemed to dive to the same depths. The addition of an 8oz bomb sinker that we tied to the under loop with wax thread had no negative impact on the lure and it swam without hindrance at 9 knots. The rod tip showed that the sinker gave it

a more aggressive action and after about five minutes we landed a Spanish mackerel, after this we went on to land a few longtail tuna as well. We tied the sinker to the Macdaddy with wax thread in order for it to act as a breakaway as we felt that the additional weight of the sinker would aid in fish throwing the hooks, each time the sinker broke away during the fight and all fish were landed. The big question was how much deeper the sinker allowed the Macdaddy to swim, we were unable to definitively find this out but we presume based on the comparison to the other lures, the depth shown on the sounder, our speed and the depth of the fish we saw on the sounder prior to the strikes, is that the Macdaddy with the addition of the sinker was diving to about 35-40 feet and about 25 feet without. This is pretty bloody impressive considering we were trolling at 8-10 knots and never experienced a blow out or any jerks in the Macdaddy’s swim. If each Macdaddy swims out of the packet as good as this one did Kokoda have really gotten it right. Although its name may suggest this lure is for mackerel, it is perfectly suited to all the tuna species, wahoo, mahi mahi and anything you usually catch when trolling deep diving minnows. Jason Linardos

DISTRIBUTION BY: OTM SPORTS FISHING WEB: WWW.KOKODAFISHING.COM.AU

SPOTTERS HALIDE - A PHOTOCHROMIC LENS AT ITS BEST The new Halide lens from Spotters is something that fishermen have been wanting for a while and Spotters have delivered with what is an exceptional glass lens. The basic idea behind the Halide is that it offers a lens that has far greater glare reduction and in simple terms is “darker” than your average pair of sunnies while offering exceptional photochromic qualities and high definition vision. This is achieved via the use of atomic silver Halide crystals that are embedded between the two layers of crown glass. This lens is designed for people like myself who really struggle with long periods in bright light (like out on a boat all day). Although polarised lenses are extremely advantageous, there are times when a bit more protection from direct sunlight and glare reduction are necessary. I found that the Halide lens in use offers exceptional glare reduction. It gives you that instant feeling of relief from annoying glare yet offers extremely clear vision where you don’t feel the need to take them off to see something clearly. Where Halide differs from your standard photochromic lens is it’s ability to react to UV, temperature and direct sunlight, so it can adjust the level of light it allows in based on all the aspects of your surrounding environment, not just direct sunlight. In order to put this to the test I wore them in a few different situations and

RRP: $289.50

locations. I used them driving in the car on a glary day, out in the boat from morning through to afternoon on a blue sky day and while driving the boat on a rough sloppy day where it was quite overcast. I did not notice in any way the photochromic aspects of this lens-they were just always really clear, with excellent easy on the eyes vision that never felt too dark or too light. Obviously to wear them in such a vast array of conditions and have excellent clear, glare free vision proves that the photochromic capabilities of these glasses are excellent. I never had that feeling where I needed to take them off for any reason and as usual the Spotters frames which often take a back seat to the high quality lens were a pleasure to waer and did not cause discomfort anywhere. I believe that the Halide make an excellent all day, any condition general purpose lens. They are probably not suited to situations where as a fishermen your need to sight cast is imperative but this lens is excellent for fishing situations where the angler is exposed to high glare/light situations such as blue water trolling, bottom bouncing or fishing the surf where extreme polarisation isn’t as necessary and glare free vision and comfort is of great importance DISTRIBUTION BY: SPOTTERS SUNGLASSES WEB: WWW.SPOTTERS.COM.AU

Justin Gray

NITRO SNIPER - MAYBE THE BEST LAND BASED ROD ON THE MARKET The Sniper has always been a popular rod in the Nitro range and due to customer feed back it has been re released as a three piece. This has been done for convenience sake and has reduced its broken down size from 1655mm to 1120mm. I think anyone that has the pleasure of using a Sniper would agree that this is one of the best land based rods to ever go into production. In use this rod is an absolute dream. The IM8 blank and Fuji Alconite guides meet together with Nitro’s renowned design and manufacturing to provide the angler with what is probably the most versatile land based rod on the market. It’s ability to cast light lures great distances, it’s light weight feel for casting all day and very versatile rating of 3-6kg make it a rod that can be used on a multitude of species all across the country. I had the Sniper paired with a 3000 sized reel loaded with 4kg braid and used it in Perth casting 1015 gram poppers in the calm surf for big tailor, off the rocks in Melbourne casting squid jigs for squid and rigged it with a simple whiting rig for some bait fishing. It performed beautifully casting 45gm slugs on a surf beach for salmon and a quick change of rigs to a paternoster with a 3oz sinker was no issue for the Sniper. The Sniper would also be very suited to casting light lures around

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RRP: $399.95

on the flats where keeping distance from easily spooked fish is imperative. It’s ability to cast a variety of weights distance and with ease is amazing. To fight a fish with it is a dream, its medium to fast action and extreme sensitivity for a rod of its length are outstanding. I always felt in full control of all the fish I was fighting and it loads up nice and fast to set those hooks. For a rod of this length it was surprisingly sensitive when using a variety of different lures and although an up and down jig action is slightly trickier with a long rod, all other luring techniques were not much of an adjustment when compared with traditional rods almost half this length. The sniper is a multi-purpose land based rod that can be a simple rod for putting out baits past the breakers in the surf, sending out a worm into the depths of a lake or throwing a variety of light-medium weighted lures all day. It can be used in your own backyard or taken anywhere in the world where light-medium species are your target. If you’re a land based angler that targets light-medium species then you cannot look past this rod. DISTRIBUTION BY: MAYFLY TACKLE WEB: WWW.INNOVATORRODS.COM

Aaron McGrath

SURECATCH RAGE 8000 - AMAZING VALUE FOR MONEY Sure Catch has just released a series of reels that incorporates all the modern day thread line reel attributes fishermen have come to know and love but with a price tag to suit the budget conscious angler. This new range of reels from Surecatch is known as the Rage series. The Rage series of reels has four sizes of 2000, 4000, 6000 and 8000. Hooked Up was sent the papa of the family in the 8000 size for review and we were also sent Sure Catch’s new Gallant braid to spool it with (see page 11 for details). What was instantly noticeable about the Rage was the fact it was light weight for its large size, had modern day ergonomics and an all over sturdy and cool look, it was also very smooth! It is in no way aesthetically trying to replicate a Stella or Saltiga and it doesn’t claim to be able to skull drag GT’s out of a coral reef for days on end, a refreshing change. With that being said a few of us at Hooked Up sat and discussed what a reel like this offers fishermen in the market place and we all agreed that this reel served a quite a few purposes. It had the right specs to be an excellent reel for bottom bouncing for reef species such as emperor and black jewfish and would be great down south for gummy sharks. It’s the perfect reel for trolling or putting baits out for big Spanish mackerel and would also make an excellent reel for targeting large species in the surf. As long as it had some good crank power and a smooth drag this was going

RRP: $24.95

RRP: $85

to be an excellent value for money reel that would appeal to the majority of fishermen. We spooled the reel with the 30 lb Gallant braid and tested the drag via scales like we do all the reels that come in for review, this allows us to gauge how much drag pressure can be applied and how smooth the drag is with such pressure. The Rage managed to comfortably apply 8kg of drag and line peeled off the spool without skips or jumps, we were impressed, so decided to take it fishing out in the elements and test again. The target species upon test day was snapper and we managed to land five with the largest specimen the Rage landed being of five kilo, not a huge fish but it definitely showed us that the Rage had some good crank power, the drag remained smooth and there was no issues with line lay what so ever. We came to the conclusion that this is a great value for money reel, it’s light, has a smooth drag, smooth operation, is light weight and has the ability to subdue some big fish. It is well suited to the angler that gets out for a fish on a monthly basis and anyone looking to purchase multiple reels has a great value for money option in the rage series. Aaron McGrath DISTRIBUTION BY: WILSON FISHINGWEB:WWW.WILSONFISHING.COM.AU WWW.HOOKEDUPMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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