24 Oct How to catch a TROPHY fish
Have you seen photos of anglers with BIG fish and wonder why you can’t catch them?
When I first started fishing I thought those anglers were so “LUCKY”.
I was so wrong!
In most cases those fish are the result of lots of planning….and lots of fishing time.
And there is good news….anyone can catch a trophy fish if they are prepared to do a couple of things to improve their chances.
The absolutely essential first thing is to concentrate on a species and learn everything you can about its habits, food preferences, best feeding times and where it likes to live.
This takes time but it’s easy enough to do.
You can regularly check fishing reports for what is being caught on what bait and where….that’s a start!
It helps to talk to successful anglers who catch a lot of your favourite fish…they’ll have a lot of knowledge and in my experience are often ready to share information and help a beginner.
There’s loads of Fish species information easy to find on the internet and this is where you should spend plenty of time doing your research. The more you know about them the better you chances of landing one becomes.
I remember a mulloway specialist, many years ago, who always had photos of huge fish. I was blown away by the size of the fish he caught in the estuaries around Melbourne.
It wasn’t until I sat down with him one day at a barbecue that I realised how much work he did to catch those fish….and sometimes how long it took.
His knowledge of the fish habits was astounding….no wonder he caught so many.
I know of many English anglers who chase trophy fish of many different species – everything from Pike and Zander to carp and Redfin.
They spend countless hours walking the banks of lakes and rivers looking for good spots and fish activity. It is quite common to climb trees and watch for fish moving in the water. They sometime go for weeks without even bringing their fishing gear!
The key is that you must know IF trophy size fish are in the area before you try fishing for them. This kind of research will do that.
The next thing you’ll need is specialist gear.
Even though many big fish are caught on regular fishing gear, trophy hunters don’t risk losing a fish…so they have gear absolutely suited to catching their target fish.
One of my friends became so focused on fishing for big snapper he started making his own rods.
Eventually he ended up with a garage full of rods that he made, and continues to make, that are absolutely customised to the way he fishes.
He also has a wide range of reels and terminal tackle and imported fishing line to suit all conditions… He catches a lot of big snapper.
OK, so gear is important….but so is bait….and this is where a lot of anglers really invest some money and time.
My snapper fishing friend would always go to the fresh fish market before he went fishing and buy fresh bait. He’d get there well before 5 am and buy the best fish he could get….no frozen stuff for him.
The right bait, live caught or fresh killed can make a big difference to hooking big fish. These fish are older, smarter and more cautious than all the young ones and they need a good reason to swallow your hook – a delicious bait, super fresh and in good condition….is a very good reason to bite.
So….your bait is fresh but does it look real? Perfect bait presentation is a MUST.
Ask some big game fishermen how they present their bait and you’ll be in for a long, detailed conversation. This is ‘cos they know that getting this wrong means no fish. Presenting bait so it looks absolutely natural is what makes the best anglers successful.
With practice and research you can get this stuff right…
Only trouble is…you might know the best area for a trophy fish, have specialist gear and great bait….but you must know when your target species is most likely to bite. Knowing if they bite at night, morning, evening, in the heat of the day, the weather conditions like wind, sunshine, barometric pressure and storm activity are all essential to landing a good fish.
A big fish angler I know always surprises other anglers as he walks onto the pier as everyone else is leaving. He chases sharks and just when the weather is looking – and feeling- its worse he turns up for a fish.
He knows the best time…
…the wind, rain and stormy weather get everyone packing up….just as he unpacks. He has a good record of landing big sharks of piers in Mornington Peninsula.
The last thing the trophy hunter needs is patience.
I don’t know any big fish hunters that catch big fish all the time. In fact, they can have many fishless outings before they bring a good fish in. I read of a European pike angler who fished just about every day for 6 straight months without landing a big pike. Then finally he caught a trophy fish that was only about a kilo lighter than the English record catch…
…He felt the whole wait was worthwhile!
So, anyone willing to put in the time can catch a trophy! Why not try a bit of research, practice and experimentation as see what it brings….
…You might surprise yourself by landing your biggest fish yet!