Fishing tips, tricks, stories and more from a
professional fisherman
The Art of Fishing – The sports angler vs hobbyist................................................................... 3
A ...
The Art of Fishing – The sports angler
vs hobbyist
Some will say fishing is all about luck, others
will strongly disagree ...
A Fishy Tale to Tell
It dawned another beautiful day in September,
with initially calm winds and clear skies, but
the weat...
My Lucky Birthday – Part 1
One weekend a long time ago precisely on my 16th birthday which by the way was also my lucky
My Luck Birthday – Part 2
After casting my first cast of day, I kept in mind
that in such rough seas there is always a
After I was rescued, I thanked my rescuers profusely, went up home, took a cold freezing shower
to clean my wounds, put on...
weight, which with the sea being so clear I would prefer to divide it in 2. With .5g right near the
eye of the waggler on ...
integrated within. A typical weighted float would have something like this stamped on
it:4+3grams, where the 4g implies th...
Tishing tips and techniques from the master fisherman
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Tishing tips and techniques from the master fisherman


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Simple Fishing Tips brings you fishing tips and techniques from a professional tournament champion

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Tishing tips and techniques from the master fisherman

  1. 1. Fishing tips, tricks, stories and more from a professional fisherman
  2. 2. The Art of Fishing – The sports angler vs hobbyist................................................................... 3 A Fishy Tale to Tell ................................................................................................................... 3 My Lucky Birthday – Part 1 ......................................................................................................5 My Luck Birthday – Part 2 ........................................................................................................5 Ze Waggler Story........................................................................................................................7 Float Fishing – The Float .......................................................................................................... 8 Bottom Fishing – Running Ledger Rig .....................................................................................9
  3. 3. The Art of Fishing – The sports angler vs hobbyist Some will say fishing is all about luck, others will strongly disagree quoting that fishing requires a great degree of skill. Well in actual fact both may be right, as in all things in life it really depends on the way you look at it. Basically today we shall dealing with 2 types of anglers. By angling it is meant the method of fishing with a hook and line attached to a rod or pole. Now let us see who these two diverse anglers are. You might say an angler is an angler and that’s it. That could not be further from the truth. There is the one fisherman who treats his angling escapades plainly as a hobby and on the other hand there is the Sports Fisherman, who of course takes things much more seriously. This does not necessarily mean he always catches more than the former, believe me I have witnessed and experienced this many a time. The hobbyist most of the time just goes to fish for the fun of it, does not target any particular type of fish, or use any particular methods, he or she will not bother with fine lines, on the contrary the policy usually is to use a strong thick high diameter line and a strong hook and an even stronger rod just in case something big bites so it will not snap the line. And when a fish does bite and get hooked, fighting the fish means literally that, one big tug of war, with the fish already being envisaged in the frying pan and the angler wetting his lips in anticipation. The use of a landing net rarely if ever is given any consideration. On the other hand the Sports Fisherman is a different kettle of fish altogether. He tends to think of himself as Gods` gift to angling. I myself practice sports fishing so I know what I am talking about here. We have a multitude of rods, very fine and expensive, one for every type of fishing. Most of these fishing tips and techniques we will be discussing in the course of these articles. We fish with the finest of lines possible such as a .10mm line and small thin hooks, and expect to catch and land a big fish for example weighing in at 1kg on a .500g breaking strength line. And then of course brag about it to whoever would listen. Landing a fish is suddenly transformed into art, as trying to persuade a large 2kg mullet to find its way to your landing net rigged with a 1kg breaking strength line is no small feat. Now we are not fighting the fish anymore here but playing the fish in, as the fish has to be cajoled to the shore to be landed. A genuine Sports greatest joy then would be in releasing the fish. So as one can see in the eyes of the Sports Angler fishing must certainly classify as an art. For the occasional hobbyist perhaps not so much, but what is certain is that both depend on a certain degree of luck, and both will tell you tales of the big one that got away.
  4. 4. A Fishy Tale to Tell It dawned another beautiful day in September, with initially calm winds and clear skies, but the weather forecast was for a change after a long hot summer. My fishing buddy Pierre who was also my best friend and I were looking forward for the first storm of the season, knowing very well that it would bring with it the right conditions for the fish to start biting. I remember both of us waiting for the South Easterly wind to caress our cheeks in earnest. Sometime in the afternoon we were granted our wish as the weather started to change, were clouds could be seen approaching and a South East wind picking up, but most important of all the sea finally roughing up. We started celebrating like crazy; I seriously doubt that we would have been happier if we had won the lottery. So it was decided that we shall spend the night fishing off the pier at Pretty Bay in Birzebbugia or at least till the sea got so rough that we could not fish any more. So at around 0800 in the evening, we got our fishing gear out and started off with a mission in sight. This happened quite a long time ago, suffice to say that our fishing gear consisted of one 6m bamboo pole each which we had to manoeuvre out of the house with some difficulty careful not to break anything precious and thus invoke the ire of our parents and a canvas bag containing some extra hooks, a line spool and a large tomato paste tin with crushed bread mixed with mature cheese for ground bait. And of course the then traditional bucket, as keep nets in those days were unheard of. We started rigging our rods and planting our rudimentary ground bait in the sea hoping that the fish would smell it and come swarming in. Our rig consisted of a .30m line combined with a size 4 hook. We were really going all out for the big uns. We did not use a float but we did put a few grams of weight on the line as the wind was now blowing considerably so as to be able to feel any bites on the rod tip. Our bait consisted of just plain bread paste mixed with cheese. And as you can rightly guess we started fishing with great anticipation and imagine my glee when just after a few minutes I could feel something tugging at my line. I struck and lo and behold I certainly had something on, something heavy, and immediately told my buddy that I had a big fish on and had already started taunting him that I had got the very first one and a big one. Just imagine the look on my face when I saw the fish I had hooked, was none other than a size 44 slipper, Pierre could not stop laughing and making fun of me. I had to humbly put my head down and accept whatever was thrown at me. I got the slipper off the hook and tossed it behind us so we would not hook it again. Hardly 10mins had passed when I hear a shout and looking up I see my friends rod bent and him struggling with whatever he had hooked. He let it be known in the most clear of ways that his was most certainly a fish. But it was not to be as unbelievable as it may seem another shoe was dangling from his line. Now it was my turn to laugh till I cried. He kept on asking me why I had thrown mine back in the sea, I had not, but could not stop laughing enough to tell him, I just pointed behind us to the other shoe, we had actually hooked a complete pair of shoes. But the next tug was not a shoe as both our rods were suddenly in action again, both of us fighting a nice fish, hauling in a nice mullet and a bream (Sargu). But by this time it was near to impossible to feel the fish biting as the wind had increased too much. So we opted to just leave our fishing gear lying down on the pier and hoping that we would see the rods move when the fish bite, and bite they did as whenever the rods bounced up and down it was invariably a mullet or some nice bogue (vopa), on the other hand if the rod simply shoot out then it was a bream. What a night we had, we could hardly carry all the fish home, it was a pity that we had to call it an earlier night then we wished as the sea was getting so rough that we would not have been able to crossover as we surely would have caught much more. Those were the days. Landing a mullet during KFSA Singles League
  5. 5. My Lucky Birthday – Part 1 One weekend a long time ago precisely on my 16th birthday which by the way was also my lucky birthday, the 16th of January 1975, my cousin and a couple of friends of mine decided to spend the weekend together at my parents summer residence at B’Bugia, this was in the winter of 1975. The weather was rather cloudy with a strong North Easterly wind which had started to blow on the Friday and continued also on Saturday which also made the sea very rough. Being my birthday the next day, on the Saturday evening the guys decided that we should have a fenkata night. That is cooking a favourite Maltese dish of rabbit stew and spaghetti and just a little red wine. It was delicious. As they were about to throw all the left over bones and spaghetti in the bin I stopped them, and told them to keep everything so that if the wind changed direction the next morning and the sea calmed down enough I would use it to bait the fish. This is one fishing tip that you should always remember, fish love our leftovers. So I put it in a bowl in the fridge. The first thing that I was aware of early the next day was the silence of the howling wind. I dragged myself out of bed and peeked outside, to the lovely sight of beautiful day but most of all, the howling “grigale” of the previous night was now replaced by a very light South Westerly breeze. The sea was still very rough, but a different type of rough, with a moderate sometimes not so moderate swell, but fishable, or barely. So I left the guys sound asleep took out my bamboo rod and gear out and went to my favourite saragi spot at a place called Wied Il Buni. The first thing I did was calculate how the current was moving in the rough sea and throw most of the left overs in. Take this as another fishing tip, never just throw the bait in, always take the current in consideration so your ground bait, in this case the rabbit stew remains within your fishing area, after all the scope of baiting the fish is to get the fish in your swim. My rig consisted of my then usual 6m bamboo pole, which did not remain 6m for long, but more about that later, I rigged it with a strong .30mm line and a size 6 hook, together with a homemade cork float for which I needed about 3g of weight. I used to make these floats myself by, carving a wine bottle cork, using a sharp blade to make it as round as possible, and burning it so as to make it black, for more visibility, then making a slit in the middle, winding the line through the slit twice and inserting a pin right through, it was a common technique for making floats in those days. My bait as usual consisted of bread made into paste with smelly mature 10 year old cheese and blended together. One thing to keep in mind when fishing for sargi in rough weather is the technique used when plummeting the depth; it is of utmost importance to go over depth. Here I was fishing in about 1m depth but the float was calculated at 1.1 m, that being 10cm more than the actual depth in my swim. But now even more important, the first weight I put on the line was 10cm from the hook. This type of bream is a bottom feeder and will go more easily for bait lurking on the bottom, swimming in the current then above the bottom. It always boils down to presenting as natural as possible a feeding environment for the fish to entice it to bite. So I let loose my first cast on the unsuspecting fish. If you want to know the rest of the story stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.
  6. 6. My Luck Birthday – Part 2 After casting my first cast of day, I kept in mind that in such rough seas there is always a learning curve especially when you are fishing over depth, as you have to learn to distinguish between a bite and the hook brushing the bottom and the sea swell, but the moral of the story here is when in doubt strike. So when after a few casts the float went down but never came up I struck, and thought I had hooked me a nice fish but when the “fish” would not budge it started to look more and more like I had snagged the bottom. So when in the following cast the float went down again I did hit but this time with much less conviction and lo and behold I had snagged the bottom again, or so I believed until the bottom actually started moving! I had hooked me a whopper, it was a real battle, I could hardly move the fish off the bottom. After some 5mins I heard a snap and realised that I had lost a piece of my rod together with fish and line. I just stood there staring at what was left of my rod in utter disbelief. It was already difficult to fish in such a high swell with a 6m pole, let alone now with 6m minus some 20cm. The risk of ending up in the frigid January water now seemed more of a reality than ever. This time I decided to go for a different technique when rigging my line, by first winding some 35cm of string (lenza) to the top of the pole, and then tying my line to the tip of it, so if the rod had to break again I still had a fighting chance of landing the fish if the string remained attached to the remaining pole. After a few casts I had another bite and got me a nice Sargu, and another soon after, but nothing compared to the one that had broken my rod. I threw in the remaining leftovers since now the bites and had become slow, although I had landed another smaller sargu and a mullet. 15mins or so later I thought I had snagged the bottom again, but it was one of those monsters, which this time ended up in snapping the line close to the hook with its sharp teeth; I put another hook on this time a bigger size 4, cast again with exactly the same result. By now I was getting desperate. A veteran angler Leli who was observing me fish, may God bless his soul, told me that he was going home to get me a better hook for this type of fish. When he returned he had a very large size 1 long shank hook with him which he proceeded to tie himself. He was convinced that if I were to get a big bite now I would pull the fish out unless it broke the rod again. I had never fished with such a large hook in my life till then. But when a veteran like Leli gives you advice and a fishing tip you can never refuse it. So I proceeded to cast again, and got me a few bites but could not make a hit. But when I was thinking that the hook must be too big, I finally hooked the bugger, and what a strong fish it was, it started pulling out and me inching forward just holding the fish steady till it tired down, when suddenly I must have inched an inch to far as a huge wave came and literally swept me over, at that very same instant my rod snapped again but I could tell that the fish was still there the line hanging by the string I had wound on the tip and as strong as ever. I never even realized how cold the sea must have been, all I had in mind was keeping the fish on the line and swimming up with it. Suddenly I was conscious of people shouting at me to let the rod go and to swim out to avoid the rocky area, but I was never letting my fish go, though I found that I could not swim away from the rocks the sea was to rough but I still held on, a few seconds later I found myself being bashed on the rocks till 2 pairs of hands dragged me out, complete with rod and my prize fish. I was sore and bleeding all over but by some miracle I did not have any serious injuries. When I finally looked at the size of my Sargu, I could not believe my eyes, when we eventually weighed it at my cousins house it topped the scales at just over 5lbs. Rough Seas
  7. 7. After I was rescued, I thanked my rescuers profusely, went up home, took a cold freezing shower to clean my wounds, put on some dry clothes with every intention of continuing with my fishing, but I was persuaded otherwise when my friends reminded me that my rod having broken again was now to short, and next time I might not be so lucky. When I look back through the years past, I now realize with mature hindsight what a terrible risk I had taken, holding on to the rod and fish thus risking life and limb. If it were not for those two kind Samaritans who had come to my rescue, in all probability today I would not be here writing this piece. The one fishing tip that all of you should take out of parts 1 and 2 is to always be safe, especially when fishing in rough seas as this story could have easily ended up in a tragedy. Ze Waggler Story As promised in todays fishing tip we shall have a look at how to put together a waggler rig. First and foremost we need to see what type of gear we will be using. I personally would prefer a 5 to 7m telescopic rod. A casting weight ranging between 5 to 30g and less should suffice. Three piece match rods which usually are not more than 4.5m in length should also serve our purpose nicely but always with the same indicated casting weight, as anything stiffer would not have the capabilities to cast our waggler as we wish it to. The ideal reel should be of the 1000 or 500 series although bigger reels can also be used. The most important thing here is that the reel is proportionally balanced with the rod. Ideally reels should be spooled with line gauged between .18 and 14mm. I would go for the . 16mm option as the best solution. Most will query, as to why we have to use such a low diameter line. For the time being just imagine that we need to cast a distance of around 20 meters with a 3g waggler and a . 30mm line in our reel spool, the friction that such a line would create due to its high diameter would be such that it will impede us from casting long distances, whilst the finer the line the less the friction, resulting in longer distance casts. I like to fish a weighted waggler, especially when fishing for mullet. It’s a fine windless day with calm clear seas, not exactly an ideal day for fishing, so we have to be extra crafty to get such a shy biter as the mullet to go anywhere near our bait. As always presentation is the trick. The depth of the sea where I am fishing is in the region of 4 meters. So first we have to cast out, that is not to close to shore so as not to spook the fish. I shall be using my 6m rod today and a reel spooled with a .16mm line. I am going for a 6+1g waggler and a leader of not more then .10mm fluorocarbon line. We use fluorocarbon not because it`s stronger then monofilament, because it is not, if anything it is less strong, but because it is practically invisible. So let us see now how we are going to attach our waggler to the main line. Cut a piece of .16mm line of around 15cm and tie it to the eye at the bottom of your waggler, with the other end going to the T-Bar attachment (illustrated). With the T-Bar attachment you will also have 2 rubber sleeves, which are to be slipped into the main line, with the T-Bar now attached to the float slipped inside these rubber sleeves. Viola now you have your waggler attached which can easily be moved up or down to set the required depth, today not more than 7cm from the bottom.So now that the float is ready, we need to attach a small swivel to the end of our main line, to which we will now tie our .10mm trace, which should be of a length of around 80 to 100cm and our hook, a size 10 should do. What‘s left now is our 1 gram of Complete Waggler set-up T-bar Attachment
  8. 8. weight, which with the sea being so clear I would prefer to divide it in 2. With .5g right near the eye of the waggler on the 15cm extension and the remaining .5g on the .10mm trace about 25cm from the hook, thus enabling the bait to go down slowly swaying with the current tempting the fish in the process, by now they would be literally watering their mouths waiting for the bait to reach the bottom. One important thing is, that only the small tip of the waggler must remain on the surface so that when the fish bite it will meet with the least of resistance and your float will be all that quicker to register the bite. Now you know how to rig your waggler, next time I will show you how to bait your fish. In the meantime remember always treat you fish with care and use keep nets. My greatest satisfaction apart from catching the fish is when I see them swim away after I release them at the end of the day! Tight lines and stay tuned with our weekly fishing tips. An alternate way of rigging your waggler Float Fishing – The Float Being an avid float angler today I decided that we shall have a look at the variety of floats and techniques we can put to test when float fishing. Eventually during the course of these articles we will go into detail of each technique one by one. First some history of how float fishing is thought to have come to be. It is not known with certainty the origin of the much revered float but it is believed that in the old days, pieces of twigs, bird feather quills and even leaves rolled into balls might have been used as floats. Eventually the float started to be carved out of cork, by means of a hole drilled right through the cork and a feather quill inserted to hold it in place, this same concept is still used to this day. What is certain is that the need of the angler to have some type of bite indicator goes back a long way. There are various types of floats, such as the waggler, an elongated tapered float, mostly used in still waters. We also use a variety of floats when Bolognese fishing, that being the method of using a fixed float on a rod and reel; these floats come in all shapes and sizes as do most things in life. There is also the now notorious running float, which as its name implies is not fixed but slides across the line. This is used in areas where it is far too deep for us to use a fixed float. I have personally used these floats to depths exceeding 20m. There is also what is called a weighted float. As the name implies these are float that have a certain amount of weight which is A variety of floats
  9. 9. integrated within. A typical weighted float would have something like this stamped on it:4+3grams, where the 4g implies the weight incorporated within the float and the 3g being the amount of weight needed on your line to stabilise the float on the surface, this type of float allows us to cast at distances which would not normally be possible with a normal float. Now we come to the controller float, which is also a weighted float but this serves a different purpose altogether. The purpose of this contraption is that of casting further out with a longish leader and hook attached with the specific aim of keeping your bait on the surface so as to attract those fish which come up to feed on the sea surface. No further weight needs to be added to the controller float. In the next write up I shall be showing you what setup you will need to rig up the waggler. Till then Tight Lines to all and hope you enjoyed our float fishing introduction. Bottom Fishing – Running Ledger Rig We are going to start off with explaining a running ledger rig. What is a running ledger rig, how do we make it, when do we use it, what fish shall we be targeting with a running ledger etc. etc. A running ledger rig is a very simple rig ideal for beginners as it is very easy to put together, it is also a very good way of presenting your bait on the bottom in the most natural way possible. All it takes is a weight with a hole passing through, so it would be able to slide through the main line coming from your reel spool, now slide through a small bead also so the weight will not wear off the knot, which we shall be doing now by tying a swivel to the line. Finally attach your leader to the swivel, this should be between 30 to 100cm, and tie your hook. With this technique now you can present your bait on the bottom with the weight resting on the sea bed and the leader with the bait, being able to sway with the current attracting the fish. The finer the line the more it will act naturally and foil the fish. It’s great fun when you use this technique in conjunction with light ledgering, with for example a 12gram casting weight 4m rod. Using a low diameter line on your reel also helps to cast further out, I would suggest a . 20mm line so that you would still have the option of using it with a .30g weight on a slightly more robust 5m rod. In this way one could easily cast at least 80m and more. It is best to use this system when bottom fishing on a sandy seabed, and if no bites are forthcoming consider pulling in slightly and slowly on the rod to move the bait and help attract the fish. You can also opt not to keep the line to tight to the rod and give it some slack so that when the fish initially bites it will not feel any resistance and will not be scared off. In Malta we use this method mostly for bream especially the Gilthead bream and sea bream, but any fish will go for it. How much weight and what hooks you use is entirely up to you as it depends how deep the sea is and what fish you are planning to get. Running Ledger set-up