Getting out to go fishing off Perth over summer has been reasonably tough mainly due to the constant howling winds. We have, however, had a handful of days with low winds that have allowed us to get out offshore. On these days out, I tried to make the most of them, leaving early and spending as much time on the water during the prime bite times. In general, the fishing hasn’t been too bad. I have found it to be challenging but after finding the right spot, it hasn’t been too hard to tempt the fish into eating.
The majority of our fishing has been shallow water jigging with soft plastics and metal jigs. The water depth generally varies between 40-80mts deep. I try to find patches of “fluffy” coral or hard ledges that are holding fish. Finding the right bottom where the fish are hanging on to can be difficult at times, but that’s where the ease of using Simrad comes into its own. The NSS evo2 units are so easy to work with and adjust the image it is displaying to you.
I have been using the High Chirp frequency on my Simrad NSS evo2 and have been getting some really good results. The detailed imaging is very clear which makes it easy to distinguish quality fish being displayed on the screen. I find I tend to run my gain fairly high, cluttering the screen to some degree, once I have located some good fish, I lower the gain and clean up the screen. Running the gain higher generally means you don’t miss fish when travelling at speed either.
After marking fish or good ground I normally go over the spot a number of times before doing a drift. I try to mark more fish and see where the main congregation of fish are sitting on the spot. I normally always try to do a dummy drift first before setting up for the main drift over a spot, this way, I waste less time just guessing where the boat will end up.
Once setup for a drift, the timing for dropping the lures is critical, especially if there is a strong current push. It is quite easy for your lures to actually miss fish whilst on a drift if your timing isn’t right. Whenever jigging, I am constantly watching the sounder, estimating the time when the fish are going to show up on the screen. Dropping at the right time normally results in a hook-up, so long as the fish are hungry.
Our main targets lately have been dhufish, baldchin grouper, breaksea cod and pink snapper, all of these fish have top eating qualities. The breaksea cod are among my favourite to eat. Although they are one of the smaller species, they make up for it in taste.
Hopefully, over the next few weeks, we get some good weather and my crew and I will be able to get out on the water.
Luke Ryan, Australia