Fish are slippery – and not just in texture. They’re slippery because you can set your bait, sinkers, hook and rod exactly right, and they’ll still give you the ol’ “yeah, nah”. Well, we’re not having any more of it. That’s why we scoured the internet for the top 9 fishing hacks we could find.
1) Use Locals* as Bait
Fish get a taste for what they’re used to. If you suddenly drop a foreign worm in, one of two bad things could happen. You could possibly introduce a species or virus that wreaks havoc with the local wildlife, or they simply won’t go for it. Either way, you’re heading home empty-handed. Your better bet is to find something the fish frequently eat and use that as bait. If there are sandy banks around, yabby pumping is always a good option.*Only use local fish, insects, or other ethical options for bait. Please leave the local people alone.
2) If You Can’t Catch Locals, Be Creative with Baits
These are just some of the unorthodox baits that have been rumoured to be successful. And on face value at least, there’s some method to the madness. Fish like two types of meals. Those that are familiar to them as local food, and those that aren’t clearly human traps. Believe it or not, fish in heavily fished waterways can wise up to human techniques, such as worms on hooks. At that point, you’re better off presenting the fish with something new.
3) Buy Salt Gear for Salt Fishing
Some cheap or freshwater gear just won’t cut it in the salt. After a couple of trips, it’ll either be seized, broken, or corroded. Buying salt-optimised gear can save you from re-buying it each month. If you do have a regular fishing rod and happen to use it in the salt, be sure to wash it out when you’re done. Fill your bath with fresh water and let it soak for an hour.
4) Chicken Livers in Fine Netting Draw a Crowd
Think of chicken livers in a thin, leaky net as those famous golden arches to people. No matter whether they’re hungry or not, if they’re going past, they’re likely to call in for a feed. If you’re struggling to catch a fish because the fish won’t even come near you, chicken livers can help.
5) Safety Pins Are Life
They might not seem like a fishing staple, but they’re far more useful than you’d think. A single safety pin can:
Organise all the hooks in your tackle box
Keep your lures separated and organised
Form a makeshift eyelet on your rod
Attach corks to your hat or sunglasses (so they’ll float if they fall off).
6) Silica Gel Packs Stop Hooks From Rusting
You know those little silica gel packets that come with wraps and other random food items? Put them in your tackle box and they’ll stop your lures and hooks from rusting.
7) Dunk Your Lures in Cod Liver Oil
It’s expensive, but there’s not a fish around that can resist tucking into some oily lures. If you pick a lure that looks like a local and smells like a local, it’ll get eaten like a local. And for you, that means you might finally be able to catch a fish.
8) The Best Fishing Spots Are Hidden
Frequently fished waterways are pointless. There aren’t many fish, and the ones that are there are the ones that were clever enough to dodge everyone else’s hooks. That means you’re not a great chance of pulling one in. You’re better off finding a waterway that’s not illegal to fish from but is extremely underpopulated in terms of people. But to find them, you’ll normally need to go off the beaten track.
9) Be Ready to Go Off-Road
If you need to go off the beaten track, you’d better be ready to get stuck. And that means you’ll need some recovery gear stocked for the trip. For all the recovery gear you could ever ask for, check out the range in our 4x4 category.
10) Ready the Tinny
In an ideal world you could stay out on the water for hours whilst being comfortable and catch an endless amount of fish. But that's never really the case, however you can make the experience as comfortable as possible. Below is a list of everything you can add to your basic tinny to make it a beast on the river and a link to our Ultimate Tinny Build episodes to see exactly how to do it yourself.