Game Fishing - Rigs and Rigging

When choosing new monofilament line there are many differing opinions on line thickness, colour and flexibility to influence your choice. Keep in mind that trolling is the main method for catching Game fish off Tasmania, therefore the high visibility fluorescent line is an advantage for placing lines and baits exactly where you want them for a tangle free pattern. A known brand of pre-tested sport fishing monofilament is the safest way to go. Line should constantly be checked for nicks and abrasion. At least every 10 trips to the top 20-30 metres should be cut off and discarded. This is where most line deterioration occurs.

Double Lines and Leaders
Tasmanian game fishing tournaments are fished in accordance with Game fishing Association of Australia (GFAA) Angling rules. Fishing equipment regulations are listed along with the current Australian Game fishing records in the GFAA Bluewater Fishing Magazine. Rules for double line and leader are as follows:

Line class up to and including 10 kg:

Leader max 15 feet

Double line max 15 feet

Combined double line and leader max 20 feet

Line class 15 kg and above:

Leader max 30 feet

Double line max 30 feet

Combined leader and double line max 40 feet

Time and care should be taken when measuring, tying and crimping leaders and double lines. Keep well within maximum allowable lengths of leader and double line to allow for strength and elasticity. The two most common double line knots are the Spider Hetch and Double Line Plait. Knots can be finished with a drop of super glue for extra security. A good quality ball bearing snap swivel can be connected to the double line using the Bimini Twist.

The most common and appropriate trace material is monofilament of 200-250 Ib. breaking strain and 400-500 Ib. for lures targeting Marlin. 100-150 Ib. monofilament is suitable when cubing on strip baiting for Tuna. If sharks are being targeted then either 49 strand stainless wire on plastic coated wire from 200-800 Ib. is required to resist tooth cutting and fish rolling. Crimping your trace, especially monofilament is critical so that breaking strain is not reduced by using wrong crimps on wrong methods.

The crimped loop ends of your leader can be protected from Chafing by the use of Flemish eye or by placing plastic tubing or stainless steel spring around the loop.

Drag Settings
Before doing any drag settings your drag system should be checked for smoothness and must not be jerky. Reels should be pre-set at 1/3 the breaking strain of the line, which the fish can be struck at and fought without risk of line breakage. Therefore on 24 kg line, a set of scales connected to the end of the line from the reel for the 1/3 drag setting. During a fishing day reel drag systems should e checked. The brake can be increased just through the heat of the day, lever drag can be affected by flying spray or vibration.

Trolling Line Distances
One of the most commonly asked questions is how far do you troll the lures or baits from the back of the boat? Because of the variations of boats, in lures and sea conditions, it sometimes takes time to put together the right combination for a particular boat to fine tune the beat results. Troll each line where it is known to be the most effective in non-tangling V or W pattern. Tuna and Marlin have been caught on lures trolled within 5 metres of the back of the boat, also a lure set well back (beyond 30 m) can achieve a hook up on shy fish.

The importance of experimenting in gaining knowledge, whether it be with trolling distances or new lures cannot be over stressed. Keeping a log book will assist in this area. Success will fall to anglers and crews who maintain concentration and constant watch on lures and what is happening in and on the sea. The over rule in lure fishing technique, as in all fishing , is that there isn't just one way or the only way. There may be a best way or personal preference, but there are lots of different ways, and even more options and interesting alternatives.

Good luck and tight lines.

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