Dif­fer­ent strokes

NZ Fishing News - - News -

At this point it’s worth con­trast­ing the Daniels’ ap­proach to fish­ing the rocks with mine.

While my 10kg freespool out­fit is spooled up with ny­lon and armed with two fixed 6/0 Ga­makatsu Oc­to­pus Cir­cle hooks tied to a very short 37kg trace, the two Ds are ‘huntin’ bear’, their rel­a­tively ba­sic 13-foot 6-inch Shi­mano Eclipse sur­f­cast­ers paired with Shi­mano Thun­nus 12000ci4 reels loaded with 80lb/37kg Daiwa braid. Ter­mi­nal tackle con­sists of dou­ble 10/0 Sal­tura re­curve-hooked rigs, with one hook sliding, at­tached to thick, strong 200lb trace.

The rea­son­ing be­hind their no-non­sense tackle is that when ‘the big ones’ are hooked (as hap­pened dur­ing the Beach and Boat), they gen­er­ally stay hooked, with the heavy gear able to hold the fish harder and/or drag them out of the weed if nec­es­sary. Should the Daniels’ gear snag up, they can ap­ply brute force to rip it out of the kelp they’re caught on, or tip over of­fend­ing rocks. Fail­ing that, the hook usu­ally opens up. This sees very few fish lost and left trail­ing tackle, and the reefy area isn’t left fes­tooned with bro­ken lines. I can also ap­pre­ci­ate why the Daniels en­joy fish­ing at night: such heavy gear is less ob­vi­ous in the black­ness than dur­ing the day (which is when I did well).

My own ap­proach is all about of­fer­ing a rel­a­tively sub­tle, nat­u­ral pre­sen­ta­tion. I rely upon the stretchy ny­lon to mask my pres­ence when a wary snap­per bites or runs off with the bait, as well as help­ing to steadily in­crease pres­sure so my snooded cir­cle hooks slide up and set them­selves in the fish’s jaw. Re-curved hooks also snag up less of­ten than con­ven­tional hooks, thanks to their in­ward­point­ing points.

While I un­der­stand the ap­peal of ‘baitrun­ner’-style spin­ning reels, I pre­fer free-spool out­fits. This style of reel means I can eas­ily re­lease line in re­sponse to the pull of the tide, move­ment of the swell, or the tug of a bit­ing fish. They also let me re­trieve any slack line quickly and eas­ily with a flick of the fin­ger­tips. In short, stray-lin­ing suc­cess of­ten de­pends on an an­gler’s abil­ity to main­tain con­trol of the baited rig at all times, and an over­head reel does this nicely.

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