BEACH FISHING TIPS
Beaches are the perfect places to unwind, and beach fishing is the best way to do it. Australia has some of the most stunning white sand beaches on our planet, and her waters are teeming with fish for the taking. It is no surprise more and more fishos are getting their feet wet and heading to the beach to get in on the action.
If you haven’t driven your 4WD on the sand before, there are a few pointers to help it all go smoothly.
Check the tide times, and try to time it so you are driving on the sand at a low or falling tide. Lowering your tyre pressure to around 20psi will put more of the tyre in contact with the sand and it will offer better traction and give more responsive steering.
Don’t throw the vehicle around with sharp turns. Take it easy and drive slowly and carefully. Similarly, try to avoid braking hard. If you have to, expect the steering wheel to turn as you do, so make sure your hands are positioned loosely around the outside of the wheel to avoid getting caught.
Finally, bring extra water, food and recovery gear. There is more margin for error driving on the beach, and if you get stuck, you need something to keep you going.
WHEN TO GO TO THE BEACH
The cooler months bring heaps of species to Australia’s shores. You can find Salmon, Tailor, Bream and Tarwhine throughout the winter months. During the warmer months, you can expect to find Whiting, Swallowtail Dart and Flathead. In areas of Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, you can find Tailor all year round.
RODS AND REELS
It is important to have two set ups for beach fishing. One will ideally be set for flicking small bait into gutters, the other will be set up for a longer cast out past the breaking surf in search of something with a little more bite.
For the lighter set up, I use a soft tipped 9-10ft rod with a big spin reel. For the larger set up for surf fishing, anything from 12’ to 13’6” in length will give you the casting distance to clear the breaking waves. I use a spin reel with a larger line capacity, as the bigger monsters out here will try and dart for deeper water once the bite.
My light set up includes: size 2-5 ball sinkers; small swivels, size 8-12, depending on the brand; single hooks in sizes 1-6.
For the heavy set up, I use: sized 6-10 ball sinkers; swivels; single hooks, size 4, 1/0 and 2/0; gang hooks in sizes 3/0 and 4/0; twin hook rigs, using size 5/0 at the top and 3/0 at the bottom, with a swivel in between; single 8/0 and 10/0 hooks; a black wire trace; 40lb fluorocarbon leader.
If you are using bait, I always go for monofilament when beach fishing. If I am casting out over the waves in high winds, I find the braided lines get arced by the winds and I can’t feel anything on the line. The weeds are also a nightmare with braid and seem to be eternally tangled in it.
Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Share your thoughts and experience through the comments section below.