Quest to find the hidden gem
  |  First Published: May 2017

Exploring the internet with resources such as Google Maps the night before a trip is something I have recently been doing with some surprising results. Small creek run-offs, lakes and drains are places I have been trekking to in search of some fish.

The quality of maps on the internet is truly amazing. These maps allow you to search for new ground to throw a line. Recently I have been trying to find some areas to get me onto a few freshwater species. Areas that I have been looking for are any form of artificial lake or pond and the backwaters of saltwater creeks. When I have trekked to some of these likely looking locations most of them didn’t hold anything or were just small puddles but a small handful showed some life and this has kept me going back.

Over a number of weeks I tried a variety of lures and times during the day to find when the fishing was at its peak and what to tie on to get the attention of the fish. Species I found prevalent in the areas I was fishing were Australian bass, tarpon and pest species such as tilapia and carp. For these species I found small shallow diving hardbodies and unweighted weedless soft plastics got the best results. Shallow Jackall Chubbys and Atomic Crank 38’s in the hardbodies range and the 3” Keitech Easy Shiner and 3” ZMan MinnowZ soft plastics proved successful.

The technique that I found got the attention of the fish with the hardbodies was just a slow roll with a few jerks every now and then. With soft plastics you can switch up between a few different techniques, a slow roll with a few pauses and also hopping the plastic off the bottom seems to get the fish interested. The beauty of using weedless hooks with soft plastics is that you can throw it into anything and it won’t snag up if rigged properly. This allows you to present your lure right up close to structure where the fish may be hiding.

The selection of rod is fairly important. At first I used my 7ft 2-4lb Samurai Infinite which is a joy to use but was hard trying to cast when standing next to trees and bushes. I recommend a rod around the 6ft mark and 2-4kg with a little bit of whip in the tip to cast those light lures out into the strike zone. Choose a reel that matches up well with the rod and spool it up with 6-10lb braid. Leader can vary based on water-colour and where your fishing but a fluorocarbon leader of 8lb is a good start.

Species such as tarpon and bass are excellent sport and great fun to catch. When you do land any of these fish make sure you get the hooks out as quickly and carefully as possible, get a quick picture to remember it by and get them back into the water as quick as possible. When you’re handling these fish make sure to wet your hands before holding the fish and always watch if the fish swims off healthy and happy. If you come across species like tilapia and carp, unhook your catch and dispose of them correctly. This is a form of fishing everyone should give a crack – you never know what you might find.

Until next month, tight lines and screaming drags.

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