Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen Smith and I have been managing the website tasfish.com since May 2009.
It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
I am developing a new venture Rubicon Web and Technology Training ( www.rwtt.com.au ). The focus is two part, to develop websites for individuals and small business and to train people to effectively use technology in their everyday lives.
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When dwelling on what I had written over the past 12 months, I realised that I have not written and article that did not involve the use of soft plastics, although there is no argument that I believe that they are one of the most effective way of catching fish in Tasmania, there is a real passion of mine that I had forgotten about. That is the use of hard bodied surface lures.
Many people walk into a tackle store looking for a new rod then get utterly confused when store staff start talking about rod tapers or actions. Most fishermen refer to this as how flexible or stiff a rod is.
An interesting discussion took place in my shop a couple of weeks ago between a group of anglers trying to determine what are Tasmania's most used and most popular trout lures.
This had obviously been spurred on by something they had read somewhere, and a healthy debate now ensued as different opinions were expressed. Listening to these anglers it had me thinking what are the most popular lures used in Tasmania? As we all have our own differing opinions I decided to speak directly to the people that know. I spoke to tackle store owners and staff from around the state to find what their biggest sellers are for trout fishing. After all I thought if we based this argument on actual sales the facts couldn't be argued. I decided when asking the question I would lump all lures of all forms, shapes and sizes into the equation so we could get the bigger picture.
Most of these lures have been around for a while now, but it was interesting to note how soft plastics are now playing a major role in our fishing practices. These are some of the results.
All this talk about soft plastics. "I would like to try them, but they all say I need a 2-5 kg fast tapered rod, special and expensive 2500 size reels, braided line, fluorocarbon leader material and jig heads in 10 different weights. It sounds all to hard and expensive, and what happens if I don't like it".
Well, you don't need all that stuff just to try it. It can cost under ten bucks for a packet or two of pre-rigged plastics. If you are keen check out how you can give it a try. And hey! A packet of plastics costs about the same as bait and most don't smell at all. You've gotta love that.
In Tasmania surface fishing for trout has been a long standing tradition. "Top spinning" with wood and wattle grubs is still a favored past time for many, but in recent times anglers have been starting to become aware of hard bodied lures and soft plastics that can be used for the same purpose at less expense. Nearly all fresh and inshore salt water species available around Tasmania's coastline will take a surface lure fished with a variety of retrieves. Anglers have to remember that fish spend a fair amount of their time in the upper reaches of the water column either because of water temperature, or because that's where they are feeding. When they are high in the water column or near the surface, fish spend a fair amount of time looking up and are always opportunistic when looking for a feed. I guess the most appealing prospect when fishing with surface lures is that its visual fishing. Quite often you will see the fish before it strikes, which can lead to stressful precious seconds before it grabs the lure and of course the amazing strikes that leave a hole in the water where your lure once was. It can at times be a more productive method, often out fishing other techniques.
Owning and working in a tackle store I get the privilege of talking to fisherman all day long about all types of fishing. And regardless of how long they've been fishing for I am usually able to come up with something new for them to try; even more so when it comes to bait fishing. Like any form of fishing using the right bait, collecting and storing it properly can make the difference between catching fish and going home empty handed. I find a lot of anglers for one reason or another get stuck into a routine of using just one type of bait, and whilst this may be fine if you catch fish with it every time, what if you don't?
Trolling guru, Bill Presslor takes a close look one of his favourite trolling methods - leadline
Most freshwater trollers have at one time or another had at least some experience with lead core lines. Whether you love it or hate it, lead core catches fish!
Basically, lead core line, a lead wire covered by woven nylon, has been around for over fifty years and was developed as a means of trolling lures deeper than they could be trolled by traditional means. Used in conjunction with downriggers, planer boards and surface or flat lines, lead core lines can add versatility to any trolling spread. They are often the most productive option when you need to get your lures that little bit deeper. In lakes such as Arthurs Lake, Great Lake and Dee Lagoon lead core lines are bound to improve your catch rate.
How often have you been trolling around and have seen fish on your sounder showing up in depths of 20-40 ft or more? Even in today's modern world where an angler can buy a 5cm lure that will dive to 20ft or so it can still be frustrating trying to get your lures to the right depth to target these deep fish. But there is a fantastic exciting and easy way to target deepwater fish!
Starlo and Bushy
One of the great things about soft plastics is that you can fish them reasonably effectively using almost any sort of tackle. In fact, you can work a soft plastic on any gear you'd use to fish natural baits with, including a humble handline. Of course, you won't be able to cast very far with a handline, and it will present various other limitations, but in offshore bottom fishing, for example, it would still offer an acceptable method for bouncing a plastic or two up and down in front of a fish. Plastics can also be worked reasonably well off deck winches or short, stiff boat rods and non-casting centrepin reels (again, mostly only in up-and-down scenarios, where casting isn't necessary or important).
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