With the wet weather we've experienced this past week and the fact that Christmas madness is looming, now is the optimum time to update your tackle situation and give your tackle box a good once over with hot soapy! Take advantage of the rain and spend a day in your garage giving everything inside the tackle box a clean, cull the old rusted tackle and get organised for when the weather comes good again.
Hot soapy water will remove all the salt crystals which coat everything in and outside of the box, give it a few hours to dry off to make sure all little cracks and crevices are dry before putting back your tackle. It's worth giving all the contents a good 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 Protecta lubricant. 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.
Pliers are a great tackle box accompaniment for removing the hook without touching the fish. Pointy nose pliers are particularly good for hooks that have been swallowed down the fish's throat. If your pliers are stiff though - this is a great time to clean them up and lubricate with some Protecta.
A well organised angler should have plenty of long shank, bait holder and pre rigged gang hooks on hand over Summer and through to Winter. Pre-holiday season is a good time to cull any bent, rusty or dull hooks - revamp them with a good sharpening or get some new ones! Flathead and whiting are best targeted with a long shank hook due to the shape of their mouths. Bream need bait holders 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 losing hooks to big tailor and you should be rewarded with good fish.
So rather than getting upset with the weather - make the most of your time and before you know it, the sun will be back out and you can put your lovely clean, sharp tackle to good use snagging a serious fish! Like I said in last week's report, take on board the Cub Scout Motto and 'Always be prepared'.
LOCAL FISHING REPORT
Noosa: Flathead throughout the upper reaches on live bait and soft plastics. Mangrove jacks and trevally around Harbour town, Sheraton bridge and Woods Bay at night. Whiting from the Frying Pan and the mouth on the incoming tide. A few mud crabs in the upper reaches.
Maroochydore: Flathead, whiting and bream from the Bli Bli bridge to the mouth of Eudlo creek on live worms and nippers. Whiting and flathead between Picnic point and Chambers Island. Plenty of mud crabs moving throughout the upper reaches.
Kawana: Trevally and bream along the rock walls and in the Canals on small hard body lures and soft plastics. A few bream and whiting from the La Balsa park sand basin. Mud crabs in the upper reaches around the bridges and in the canals.
Caloundra: Bream and a few Mangrove Jacks in the canals. Flathead from the mouth of Coochin creek on the outgoing tide. Whiting out from the Power Boat club and along Golden Beach on live nippers. Mud crabs from the creeks and in the canals.