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Cannot catch fish!

Discussion in 'Fishing General Chat' started by Garfield28, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Garfield28

    Garfield28 New Member

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    Hey all,

    How do you do it? I love fishing but have clearly been left behind!

    I'm old school in what I know and what I have been taught. I as a kid was shown how to put on a sinker, a hook and a prawn, but these days all of the guys catching fish seem to be so much more switched on and its all about the tide, the area, the bait, the jighead and plastic size etc.

    I moved to Port Stephens from Sydney just off 3 years ago and I'm surrounded by some pristine brilliant fishing grounds, but I never seem to be able to catch any. Yesterday I went out and looked at Willyweather first which had a low tide at 4-ish for Soldiers Point and very little wind. I believe I fished about an hour before bottom of low tide. So I get out there and the tide seemed about right and there was barely any wind, but within about 20 mins the wind isn't howling but is pushing up along which made it hard to hit bottom, even though the wind was meant to drop not pick up.

    So left Soldiers Point and headed for tilligerry creek in the hope of picking up some flathead and be a bit protected from the wind. The tide was bottom of low and and maybe just a bit past it, so I set myself up towards the edges of the banks hoping there'd be some flatties or even bream about, using prawns and some pillies for bait we drifted for about an hour and a half for not even a bite!

    Was quite sunny up here yesterday after a fair few showers the day before (Saturday), Water temp was 25 degrees according to my Lowrance unit and it was low tide. Can anyone tell me if it was the weather, or the fact maybe I wasn't using the best bait or maybe even the barometer however that is measured.

    I love to sneak outside for a fish on the reefs when the swell is good, I have learnt that my snapper fishing probably sucks because I haven't burlied up when I've gone out before, so I'm keen to get out again when I can pick a decent day, which I struggle with. What do the offshore guys look at, is it just swell or other indicators too? I usually just check out willyweather and if the swell is more than 1.5 meters I don't even bother, but I heard someone mention the other day that the swell wasn't too bad but the seas was big, what does that even mean? I hate going out when its really choppy as it is just too uncomfortable. I have been caught out a few times before where I saw the swell on willyweather supposed to be say 1.4 meters, I get out there and the conditions are atrocious! Is seabreeze a better one or say more accurate?

    I watch heaps of youtube vids for tips and tricks, but never ever have any success trying to follow those tips.

    If anybody can tell me a few pointers on things I should know as far as say weather, days or nights, whether the tides are really that important, water temp, how the sky looks etc, or a great website I can learn from, or what you follow and what really works for you, it would be extremely appreciated.

    Thanks
    Geoff
     
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  2. Rod Bender

    Rod Bender Well-Known Member

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    I can't help you with your situation, as in fishing salt water. I find myself in the same position though...never seem to have any luck yet others do well. All I will say is that for those who do well, they don't always catch fish. They will have their bad days but you never hear about it. Of course when they do well the world hears about it because they are champions!
    Cheers
    Jim
     
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  3. Garfield28

    Garfield28 New Member

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    Thanks Jim.

    Problem I have mate, is no day is good... I never can find them or catch them!
     
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  4. creekboy

    creekboy Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TBX, Garfield28. Just keep trying mate, your old methods should still work again sometime. Cheers, creekboy.
     
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  5. Rod Bender

    Rod Bender Well-Known Member

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    Join the club! As creek boy said, just keep trying. Do the research as you are but may I suggest you go out and fish with confidence and as stupid as it sounds, the positive attitude may be the difference!
    Cheers
    Team Bender
    Sports physiologist!
     
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  6. AWL

    AWL Well-Known Member

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    Can't really help you much as all i know about salt water is that i cook corned beef in it.
    Like the boys said,just stick with it and keep to the basic's that you know work,sometimes we over complicate things,which can lead to some frustration.I always look at catching a fish as a bonus.
     
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  7. reelaxation

    reelaxation Well-Known Member

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    Mate there are plenty of great spots around Soldiers Point and Corlette (get the coordinates for the Corlette Wreck off the internet) and sound out for holes around those areas- Ive caught Jews, flatties, gummy sharks and snapper off the wreck at night time on mullet and squid strips). You can also get a heap of inshore and offshore marks for the reefs and dropoffs if you search the internet - some sites you can get a whole stack others you might be lucky to only get a few- sadly I sold my boat recently and it had 40 or 50 marks for Port Stephens and all the offshore reefs so I know you can get them... Maybe if you are on facebook get into the Local Port Stephens Fisho's page and ask around for some marks for both bait and also the inshore reefs for the reds and perch grounds- you will prob get both amongst some kings and other pelagics like bonnies and striped tuna when they come on in the new year and stretch into february and march.

    If you are berleying up use plain white bread mixed in with some chook pellets and mash it with some sea water so it sinks to the bottom- dont throw too much out only a handful every hour should be enough to bring the fish to you... For baits best with local squid, mullet, slimeys and chicken thigh strips with just enough lead to get to the bottom - up the lead and if in deeper water or out on the reef us a paternoster rig with a size 6/8oz snapper lead running around 30/40lb leader with 2 droppers. I fish the top cropper with fish strips or chicken and the bottom with squid you should see reds, mowies, pearl perch and leatherjackets coming on board pretty easily.

    if all else fails ask some of the locals to come out on your boat and show you a few spots- most of the locals are pretty friendly up there and some would be more than happy to get a free ride and show you where to catch a feed.

    Good luck mate

    Tight lines
    Anthony
    :D
     
  8. Garfield28

    Garfield28 New Member

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    Thanks Anthony, really appreciate the write up with the tips mate.

    I was actually at the wreck last Sunday, but the wind was blowing a gale even though it wasn't meant to be according to Willyweather. In such cases, would you just not bother fishing? Just with regards to the berley, if the wind is blowing and the boat is pushing off the mark its so hard to hit the bottom and kinda sucks as to what tactics I could turn to.... I really don't know what to look for when going out to for a days pre-planned fishing to ensure I have the best chance of catching fish, and this is one of the main problems, I don't know if I should be aiming at certain tides, or certain tide heights which coincide with night day, evening or dusk etc...

    I love fishing, but wearing a bit thin on the young fella when he comes and the wife when I constantly come home with no fish but then dip into the bank account to buy bait and fuel etc...
     
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  9. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    We've been having problems down here also with weather forecasts as I wrote a week or two ago. I use Willyweather too, but regardless, the info still only comes from BoM. Can't offer anything on that one.

    I seriously wish we could help Garfield a bit more, but why some catch fish most times; I don't know. I've not had a 'O' day on Tuross in seven years, but I have gone close a few times. That is disregarding size etc of course. If I throw it back, I still caught it, and my benchmark is around ten a trip. If I get less, it's not classed as a good day out. Why this happens I don't know, but I've most always been able to catch fish, and have caught trout most of my life, and still do when I can get to our place at Eucumbene. I love fishing the surf, have caught tuna, a few sharks, and marlin outside, as well as bottom bumped for reef fish like snapper and many other types. Perhaps I'm just lucky. Yet I tell people who come out with me, that I believe a fisho's first job is to eliminate the luck element. I think you can only do that by thinking about it, then working at it, and perhaps for a fair while initially. It's fair to say that I fish pretty seriously when I go out, and don't consider catching fish a bonus. To catch fish is the only reason to go fishing as I see it, I certainly don't expect to pick strawberries while I'm out there. Shoot that theory down if you like, or if you have a better about some people catching more than others, I'd love to know it. Noel.
     
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  10. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    I subscribe to the same principle Noel and it also applies to my other passion in life - prospecting.

    There have been times when others have said that I am lucky because I have landed a big fish or dug up a one ounce gold nugget and my answer is invariably the same, 'luck has nothing to do with it, I achieved what I had set to do and would have been peeved if I hadn't'.

    So, what is the secret to consistently catching fish? Like most things that we do or should I say attempt to do, there are varying degrees of success that are determined by one thing more than anything else and that is dedication. The fisherman who researches everything that needs to be known about the target species, the location, the best times and conditions will achieve a high degree of success. It may not happen every time you soak a bait or flick a lure, but you will be successful in the long term.

    Garfield, I haven't fished your area in probably 40 years - back then when the weather gods were against me and prevented a run up to Broughton Island chasing snapper, I would head up the Karuah River and always picked up a feed of flatties, bream and the occasional jew. I guess things have changed over the past 4 decades with more boats in the water and high tech fish finding gadgets, but being a large estuary system, there would always be a reasonable influx of decent table fare fish moving in and out. Try fishing both the run-in and run-out tides, give yourself a couple of hours either side of high and low and above all, know the fish that you are chasing. If bait isn't working for you, switch to soft plastics and see how you go.

    Jeff :cool:
     
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  11. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Jeff: I read your quote with some interest, as I don't really do any of those things, other than perhaps learn them by experience. Perhaps that's the same thing in a sense, but I don't study, as in research, any of my fish or fishing. Do you do that? Does anyone else do that? I know Some of my fisho mates keep incredibly detailed diaries, but whether or not they check all that info before going out next is unknown.

    Would love to hear your opinions as your comments always make sense to me. Noel
     
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  12. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    Noel, I am not one for keeping diaries or personal records of my fishing exploits and achievements apart from what is stored in the cranial void between my ears, but once I lock onto an idea, whether it be fishing related or not, I am loathe to attempt any venture into the unknown without doing extensive research first. Perhaps it is the fear of failure or maybe just a desire to know all there is to be known about the subject matter that motivates the need to research - not sure about that.

    When it comes to fishing, research can take many forms - books, videos, personal experience of others and seminars such as those attended by Bender. I see your book as being vital in my quest to research all things related to trout fishing and also your part of the country and I thank you for the knowledge I have gained from it. I watch a lot of fishing videos and I also gain invaluable knowledge from them, but I think more than any other type of research, talking to others about their personal achievements in catching a particular species is the most beneficial. Forums such as this provide good research material with the sharing of information.

    Jeff :cool:
     
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  13. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jeff.

    I keep pictures and memories, but not diaries. I think the greatest asset we have in this inane desire to outwit a creature with a brain the size of a pea, (at which we often fail) is observation, coupled with a built in desire to 'sort it out'. I have a collection of fishing books, but never see them as reference tools. I look all the time at water movement. This in fly fishing for trout is critical, just like when fishing a beach, you have to be able to see where a fish might hang out. To do that you first have to understand why. I place far less importance on tide levels than many, and still catch a fish or two. They don't go away with tide levels, but they may move to a better environment, and that is usually related to the food chain.

    And yes, the guys who share knowledge on such forums deserve a medal, but there's no guarantee one person's ideas will work for some one else. That's why it's called fishing; not wishing.

    If I knew all the answers, I'd be a much better fisherman. Noel.
     
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  14. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    An afterthought: Perhaps I could add to the earlier observation comment by saying that, not necessarily a study of entomology, but at least an understanding of insect life basics, is an essential part of a fly fisher's bag of tricks. There is a great difference between dedicated fly fishers and people who do nothing but blindly throw big wet flies at night. Hoping it doesn't offend anyone, but that is often described as slow motion spinning. And I do it too at times.

    Fly fishing is often referred to as 'a thinking man's sport' and can also mean being able to 'match the hatch'. To a lesser degree, the same observation can apply to guys throwing plastics at flathead. If you only see 25mm baitfish in the water, it's perhaps unwise to throw 125mm lures. The same applies in reverse. The problem is fish have no rule books. Sometimes a fish will take a lure seemingly just because it is different from all others in the area. Some we use look like nothing ever found in water, but's that's to our mind. We're not fish. Often here, we see different sized baitfish in different areas, and therefore switch plastics regularly, both sizes and colours. So fly fishers have lots of flies, like I have lots of plastics. I'm probably wrong (again) but it seems a successful plastics fisho has a fairly large collection from which to make changes. Could that be part of Diesel's 'dedication belief? If you are dedicated; you'll do what must be done to achieve success, and it includes having the gear options to be more diverse/less restricted.

    At times when trout are feeding on small insect hatches, particularly midge, there are so many that your artificial is lost in the crowd. It's not unusual to tie on a bigger version to make yours a little more obvious, though a different insect fly will usually be ignored. Alternately, we often use a fly tied to be a ball of midge. There are similarities there to the comments about plastics and baitfish sizes. But remember; there are no rules.

    And if you think I know a lot; you're wrong. Yes, I'm pretty dedicated; I do have the gear, and I work at it, both physically and even more so, mentally. As said before: "The mug who goes fishing catches more than the expert who stays home". That's my greatest belief. And if you're out there more often, the chances of connecting to that special fish increase too. I've proven that many times. Noel.
     
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  15. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    True, but an accumulation of ideas becomes a plan and that is another factor in successful fishing. The fisho who plans his/her trip based on the best info available will most likely catch more fish than those who just rely on pot luck that the planets will align and the fishing gods will reward them.

    In my case, because I live so far from my favourite fishing holes, both salt and fresh, planning is crucial to the outcome. The locations that I travel to are usually quite remote and to tackle a trip without a good plan can be a complete waste of time.

    You are right about observation, Noel. Not just observing the fishing environment, but also observing what other fishos are up to, without intruding on their patch. I have often turned up at a new location that through research has indicated it to be a hot-spot for a particular species and rather than race in all gung-ho, I sit back and watch others. For as long as I can remember with both fishing and prospecting, there has been a general reluctance amongst those who partake in both pursuits to tell others exactly where they have been most successful and rightly so. With prospecting, it is more a greed factor due to the financial rewards, but with fishing it is something else that I can't quite work out - maybe it is a primal instinct to protect a food source from others with a bit of greed thrown in.

    Jeff :cool:
     
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  16. Old fisho

    Old fisho Well-Known Member

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    I live close to the water, so no real planning goes into it, other than a prior check of forecasts. Not always reliable though. So I leave myself in the hands of the fishing Gods most times, but sometimes have a fair idea where to go to find a fish.
     
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  17. diesel

    diesel Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Noel, it is a big part of what I call 'dedication'.

    I resisted the 'soft plastics revolution' for many years and for that matter, most types of lure fishing. I was a dyed in the wool bait fisho and still enjoy live baiting, probably more-so up here in the north because we can use cast nets to gather bait whilst fishing. When I first got into using plastics around 4 or 5 years ago, I couldn't work out what all the fuss was about - they didn't work for me. That was only because I had limited myself to one type of soft plastic and didn't have a clue how to use them. Now, after much research, I am armed with a vast range of sp options, plus the right rod/reel combo to suit and have observed the techniques of others to increase my catch rate. I'm still not quite there on some species, but it is all a work in progress.

    Unfortunately, 'dedication' to the noble sport of fishing means having to purchase the right gear for the job, but I haven't met the fisho yet who doesn't like shopping for new stuff.

    Jeff :cool:
     

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