Hart's Hints - Improving your catch rate
by Andrew Hart
How often do we go fishing and catch nothing? I think that the answer may be too often for some of us.
Listed below are a few techniques and innovations that can improve your catch rate.
Berleying is an essential in almost all fishing situations and its use is quite easy, but if you use your head a little then it provides amazing results. Whether the target is mullet or Mako sharks, the principle remains the same. Your berley can contain almost anything fishy. Cat food, old fish frames and guts, tuna oil, bread pieces of bait provide a great all round berley. Try and keep your berley attractive for the species you are targeting. For example, fish flesh would not attract a weed eating Luderick.
When placing the Berley into the water think about where you are throwing it. If it is a strong current, and you simply throw it out in front of you; you may wonder why your mate next to you is having all the success. If fishing in deep water for species that are caught on the bottom then there is a way of getting your berley to the fish.
A berley dispenser full of your berley, can be lowered to a desired depth. It is attached to a rope or cord, then when you want it to empty its contents, all that is needed is a sharp yank or two on the rope. The device itself can be simple as a brown paper bag with a rock inside to make it sink, to the new invention called The Secret Weapon.
The Secret Weapon is a reusable berley dispenser that is easily lowered to the bottom, and just as simply retrieved. The Secret Weapon retails from most tackle stores for around $30.It makes life a lot easier.
Keeping your bait alive
In Tasmania live baiting is a technique that is not all that commonly used, and this is sad as it can produce some fish of a lifetime. Once going to the trouble of catching a enough live bait for the day, it is very annoying when after an hour or so of swimming around in a bucket they drop dead.
The solution is to firstly change the water every hour or so, or buy an aerator.
An aerator is a battery run device that puts oxygen into the water while cooling it. They are guaranteed to keep bait alive longer. Aerators retail from $30 through to $70, and should be available from most tackle stores. When buying one, however, make sure it is water proof.