You can catch fish anywhere

You can catch fish anywhere

One of the great things about fishing in Victoria  is that it can be done just about anywhere… if there is a body of water and a few fish in it!

Sound obvious?

…well, it can be pretty amazing where you can find “fishable” water.

 

One of my mad fishing mates once said “wherever you are, there’s a fish within 100 metres!”….

…I thought he’d been drinking so I laughed this off as a joke…but there could be some truth in it!

 

You can  find fish in city lakes, country dams, mountain streams, inner city waterways, local beaches, water catchments, suburban rivers all over the country and tiny creeks less than knee deep.

…problem is…you find water with fish in it and you don’t have your gear. Not only that but you’re not sure how to catch fish in some of these waters.

 

What do you do?

 

Simple…

Always be prepared!

 

I carry a small tackle box, rod and bait in my car at all times. I am never caught without it!

The tackle box is small with an assortment of hooks, sinkers, swivels, lures, pliers, line clippers and other tackle items.

The rod is a small graphite telescopic job that takes up no room. (it can fit into a suitcase if I travel by plane). The gear size and strength will depend on the type of fish you are likely to catch but I usually expect to catch fish on the smaller size in these situations… weights between 500gm and 2kg.

The set up I use is this nicely balanced lightweight rod and reel to match…suited to 2 to 4 kilo line (yes, I know it sounds light but it is surprising how big a fish it will catch if played properly!)

 

The bait is just a tin of corn, jar of flour, small bottle of spice, a few jars of factory made long life marsh-mellow and dough baits, and some scented soft plastic power worms  available in most tackle stores. With this selection of items I can catch fish in sooooo many places…

Why the tin of corn?

Amazingly, corn is a great bait for many fresh and salt water species. I have caught bream, trout, redfin, carp, roach, and believe it or not, Murray cod on corn (more on that in a later post.)

…and a jar of flour?

…the jar of flour is to mix into dough so you have a quick source of bait when nothing else is available…but don’t think it doesn’t work. I carry a small jar of mixed spices (mainly garlic) and mix this into the dough. I have caught garfish, mullet, bream, trout and carp on this. It’s used as bait and an attractant and really helps draw fish from the surrounding area….

….sometimes all I do is roll it into small balls, about the size of a pea, and keep throwing it into the water, one at a time, to bring the fish in!

 

The marsh-mellow and dough baits and power worms are also a great backup and can be very effective with trout, redfin, Australian natives, carp and a mixture of species. Their added scent helps attract fish just like berley…

…it all helps when you don’t know what might be in the local water and you came unprepared without your regular tackle…

this happened in February,  when I went away with my wife to visit friends who have moved from the city to the country.

 

We stayed overnight at a motel and I never expected to do any fishing but just down the road was a man- made dam about 30 metres long and 45 metres wide. It was full of water weed and only about a metre deep…but I saw a bit of movement on the water and was pretty sure there was fish in it.

 

I grabbed my gear and went down that evening.

 

The thing to do is take a bit of time to look for fish activity. Take a walk along the bank looking for a deeper area, fish movement or areas near, but not in, snags and weed.

You want to get the fish feeding so throw in a bit of bait into a few different spots to give yourself some options in case one spot doesn’t work.

 

I baited up 3 “fishy” looking spots and then started fishing at the fist spot.

I chucked in a bit more bait then cast in…and waited. I used corn to start.

 

Nothing happened for 15 minutes so I checked the bait and recast…about 10 minutes later there was a very light tug on the line and I pulled in a… tiny redfin!

If you can catch something then you know what is in the water. Redfin became the target…

…and if you carry a selection of baits you give yourself some chances of catching more.

Worm will catch just about anything and redfin love them…

…so I re-bated with the power worms. These are scented, real worm look- a- likes and I cut bit off so it was the right length for a size 8 hook.

 

Whenever you use a live bait imitation….it works best if you give it some action. One way is to  cast out with very slow retrieve…or you can twitch the bait by winding your reel a quarter turn every 10 seconds or so.

 

About 20 minutes later the rod tip bent round and I pulled in a bigger redfin.  It was about 400 grams and full of life.

 

If you can get a few fish this way it lifts your confidence on fishing anywhere….and will inspire you to try more often!

I was pretty happy!!

 

After trying for another 15 minutes nothing happened so I moved to the next spot I had baited.

This is the thing to do. If you find one spot goes quiet, throw in a bit more bait then move on to the next spot. You can always come back and try again.

 

I cast out, threw in a handful of corn and waited….twitching the bait about every 10 to 20 seconds. This time I hooked into something a little bigger. After a bit of a fight on my light gear I landed a 2kg carp…

OK…there were also carp in there, not my first preference but this didn’t worry me…’cos any fish is better than no fish in my book!

…and this is the thing about “opportunity fishing”. You don’t know what  you’ll catch. If you go looking for a feed of fish you’ll probably be disappointed but if you are just looking for a bit of sport in landing a fish, any fish, then you can have a bit of fun doing this!

 

By this stage it was starting to get dark and the only things biting were the mosquitoes.   I packed up and went back to the hotel…feeling pretty good that in less than 3 hours I had located water, found an area to fish and caught a few fish…

…a nice outcome that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have my backup gear.

 

So, the message is….look for water. You just might have a booming fishing spot near you…

…and be prepared! Carry some gear and  a few long life baits you can keep in your car and you’ll always have a chance to wet a line and get a fish!

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