While things are on the quiet side in the lead up to the Spring school holidays (which are less than a month away I might add!), it's the optimum time to update your tackle situation and give your tackle box an early Spring clean. Especially since Spring seems to have arrived early this year! Anglers on the Sunshine Coast have welcomed the lovely warm weather and what better way to sanitise the ol' tackle box then to get it out into the sun for a day?
Once your tackle box has had a good wash with hot soapy water to remove all the salt crystals which would coat everything in and outside of the box, give it a few hours in the sun and make sure all little cracks and crevices are dry before putting back all your tackle. It's worth giving all the contents a wipe down if you can as the salt will also corrode and wear away the chemically sharpened coating on hooks and swivels, plus your knife will become very obviously rusty if left unclean.
Using sharp hooks for fishing is probably one of the most important keys to catching fish. Using sharp hooks, non rusty hooks or chemically sharpened hooks is very important. This time of year it's worth sharpening your old hooks or buy good sharp new hooks. Fish within your budget and buy the best hooks you can afford. Rust will prevent a hook up by not allowing the hooks to slide through the mouth of the fish. A blunt hook tip will also minimise the chance of hook ups. If you get snagged check how sharp your tip is and run a sharpening stone over it if needed. It's well worthwhile investing in a small hook sharpening stone and keep it in your tackle box. Remember lure trebles are also important to maintain and keep sharp.
The latch on the tackle box may need a spray from a lubricant or anti-corrosive product such as Inox or WD40. This will lengthen the life of your tackle box and save you from an expensive purchase in the near future. While you have the lubricant out, touch up your reel gears and yabbie pump as both will get more use in the coming months.
Cuts, spikes, stings and other injuries occur on daily basis while fishing. These are generally caused by poor handling of fish. Consider investing in a new set of gloves for the upcoming summer fishing season. Gloves are very useful when handling fish with hazardous structures like spines, spikes and razor sharp gill cover as they form a protective layer between your hands and the fish.
Pliers can then be used to remove the hook without touching the fish. Pointy nose pliers are particularly good for removing hooks that have been swallowed down the fish's throat. If the fish is of legal size shake it off the hook and into a bucket full of water. Boga grips are also a great idea for handling fish with minimal harm to you and the fish. Boga grips clamp on the fishes mouth and allow you to handle the head area, which generally has obstacles like teeth, spines and sharp gill covers. To release the fish just unclamp the grips.
A well organised angler should have plenty of longshank, baitholder and pre rigged gang hooks on hand over Spring and Summer. Flathead and whiting are best targeted with a long shank hook due to the shape of their mouths. Bream need baitholders as they are the kings of deception and trickery. The barbs along the shaft of the hook will hold on your prawn, squid or flesh bait well. Purchase gangs in groups of three or more to save money or at least get a box of Mustad 4200D or 4202D saltwater series hooks to make up your own gangs. Tru Turn hooks in style 711, are also very useful when rigged with black crane swivels rigged in between each hook. The swivels allow the hooks to twist and set in the fish's mouth, avoid destroying the pilchards flesh when inserting the gang hooks and help to minimise line twist.
A variety of different sinkers to allow for varying currents and waves heights as well as a couple of different strengths in monofilament and wire leader material are needed for adapting to changing fishing conditions. For those who wish to fish at night it would pay to have spare batteries for your head lamps or torch and some clip on glow in the light for your rod tips so that you can see the bites and what you're doing. Be prepared for changing fishing conditions and the worst case scenario that you loosing hooks to big tailor and you should be rewarded with good fish.
I always feel better after a good spring cleaning session, when tackle is concerned of course! Luckily there is a month ahead to think of creative excuses for avoiding the house spring cleaning so I can go fishing instead!
LOCAL FISHING REPORT
Noosa: Reports of good whiting during the day and bream, tailor and tarwhine at night along Marcus, Sunshine and the North Shore beaches. Tailor and luderick inside the river mouth. Bream are widespread in the lower reaches of the river - best at night in Tewantin. Whiting and flathead in Weyba Creek and on lures through the ski run.
Maroochy: Tailor and bream at night mainly on lures and fresh mullet between the river mouth and at the Cod Hole. Good size whiting in the northern channel. Golden trevally round Godfreys. Flathead and whiting from the Bli Bli flats.
Kawana: Tailor off the rocks at Point Cartwright. Bream, tarwhine and tailor along the surf beaches. Bream and garfish in the lower reaches. Trevally and bream on surface lures in Kawana Waters.
Caloundra: Bream over night in the deeper holes and off the Military Jetty. Tailor in the bar and in the main channel towards the creek entrances. Whiting are starting to show up along the Golden Beach stretch. Flathead throughout the passage.
Jason fished the middle reaches of the Maroochy River on the evening full tide for this school jew.
Darrin's bait of choice was bloodworm used on a super sharp size 4 longshank hook at the Black Banks for these whiting.
Daniel prefers to target chopper tailor with pink RMG Scorpion lures at the Cod Hole.
82 year old Peter Seaburne put in a stellar effort aboard Charterboat Trekka to land this 7kg cobia at Chardons.