FIRST BITE

New Zealand Fishing World - - Contents -

A few words from the ed­i­tor

or sea­soned pro­fes­sional, fish­ing suc­cess on any given day is all about gath­er­ing good in­tel­li­gence. Where are the fish? What are they eat­ing? Which tech­niques are work­ing ? What time of day is hot, or not? All of th­ese ques­tions and more are con­sid­ered by the very best ev­ery time their boat leaves the dock.

If this Jan­uary hol­i­day break is the first op­por­tu­nity you’ve had to wet a line for months it will be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to garner enough valu­able fish­ing in­tel to have any con­fi­dence of suc­cess. With this prob­lem in mind I thought I’d jot down a few tips to get hol­i­day-only reader/ fish­ers up to speed as quickly as pos­si­ble.

If you’re plan­ning to spend a few days or more at a sin­gle lo­ca­tion with the in­ten­tion of fish­ing as of­ten as the weather al­lows the best thing a hol­i­day an­gler can do is char­ter a lo­cal pro­fes­sional be­fore throw­ing your own boat in the wa­ter. Ask around be­fore com­mit­ing and make sure you hire some­one who has both a rep­u­ta­tion for top fish­ing per­for­mance and a wel­com­ing and open per­son­al­ity.

While on the trip, pay at­ten­tion to what’s go­ing on. A good op­er­a­tor’s go­ing to know where the fish are, es­pe­cially in Jan­uary when they’re do­ing two to three fish­ing trips a day.

Don’t be afraid to ask ques­tions. Try to understand what the skip­per is think­ing. Why are they work­ing the area of fo­cus? When are the bite times likely to be? What’s the think­ing be­hind the meth­ods utilised? Any skip­per worth his salt will be work­ing a well thought out plan based on the in­tel­li­gence he or she’s gath­ered over the last few days.

Now you’ve got one (hope­fully) suc­cess­ful trip un­der you belt us­ing some­one else’s smarts, it’s time to have a crack your­self. The sooner you get out there af­ter the char­ter trip, the bet­ter. Leave it too long and much of the in­for­ma­tion learned will no longer be valid and you could be start­ing from scratch.

As­sum­ing you’ve got an idea of where fish are, or were re­cently, for­mu­late a plan to re­peat the ex­pe­ri­ence you just en­joyed. What tackle and bait do you need to repli­cate the tech­niques that were work­ing? What time of day are you plan­ning to fish? How will the weather ef­fect your plans?

On fish tim­ing, it is im­por­tant to op­ti­mise your trip around the time of day most likely to yield re­sults. Char­ter op­er­a­tors don’t usu­ally have this lux­ury as they are gov­erned by a sched­ule, but you do so make the most of it. I swear by Sol­u­nar ta­bles and you can find our version in this mag on page 111; there are many oth­ers on the web that will vary slightly de­pend­ing on the cre­ator’s per­sonal thoughts on how they should work.

Most will of­fer ma­jor and mi­nor bite times - ob­vi­ously ma­jor bite times are the best. It is worth re­mem­ber­ing that fish also bite dur­ing sun­rise and sun­set. If a sol­u­nar bite over­laps the sun­rise or sun­set you should be in for a par­tic­u­larly good ses­sion.

The tide is also im­por­tant, par­tic­u­larly if stray­line fish­ing when the plan is to use the cur­rent to carry your offering to the wait­ing quarry. Think about the struc­ture you are plan­ning to fish. What tide and wind di­rec­tion is most likely to be favourable at this spot.

So there you have it. Jan­uary fish trip plan­ning ex­plained in no more than 600 words. Have a great break and see you next month.

Jeff

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