How to become a better offshore fisherman

For this article I thought I would give a few ideas to help you plan ahead and make the most of your fishing trips. Firstly the most important part of fishing is to have a goal or a plan. By this I mean you have a certain species in mind to fish for or an area that you are interested in trying. Your plan should be based around the season we are situated in. Unfortunately a lot of fishermen do not think about the season when considering a fishing trip, nor how it relates to what species of fish is more common at that time. This leads to poor results and unhappy fishermen. In saying that, there are many people who are well aware that this is important but they just don’t know what species should be fished to suit the season.

The best way to find out is to ask questions, read fishing magazines do fishing courses, watch fishing shows, youtube clips, social media, fishing and fishing reports to help you figure out what’s biting and where, giving you a great indication what species you should be targeting.

Once you have fished an area for many years you will soon start learning when the best times are to fish for certain species but always keep in mind this can vary from year to year. This is where a fishing diary becomes an important tool. Recording when, where and what you experienced in previous years will help you make an educated decision of when and where you should fish for particular species.

Depending what area you fish may also see big differences in when fish are in season and feeding. For example one year Snapper were being caught around offshore Brisbane in big numbers and yet those numbers did not turn up for over another month out from Wide Bay Bar area. The previous years snapper were being caught in these areas at the same time so differences can be experienced on a regular basis but it can all be put down to knowledge learnt for future years. With the snapper season slowing down after the winter months we will see that slow transition period come into effect and this is when fishing becomes a lot harder and the average bloke who has been pulling great numbers of snapper may soon find that his fantastic spot will turn into a baron patch of reef as the snapper thin out.

Unfortunately there will be many disappointed fishermen coming home with poor results if they don’t have different grounds to fish for other species. Don’t think the world has come to an end if this happens to you but think it as an opportunity to spend time sounding around different areas trying to find new ground, which could lead to better fishing spots or just more spots to try when other spots are a little slow.

I know I go on talking about how important it is to spend the time and go looking for new reefs but it seems so many think its just to hard and that they will never find new Reef. That sort of thinking will never make for a better fisherman and it amazes me the amount of people I have spoken too who have said this while others state they have tried to find new reef but haven’t found anything of interest and soon give up on the idea really quickly when they have only spent very minimal time doing so.

It seems another big reason why people do not search for new grounds is due to the fact their mates/deckies who fish with them don’t want to spend a few hours sounding around but usually give the skipper grief by showing a lack of interest and a few quick words of lets just stay where we were and keep fishing. Lets admit, we all want to enjoy the day and get along best as possible so the skipper can give in pretty easy when a few words of discouragement are spoken and this leads to rarely spending time looking for new areas. Where possible choose deckies who are patient and understand the importance of putting in the time and effort searching for new spots which will benefit them just as much as you.

I can’t think of anything more thrilling than spending a couple of hours sounding new areas and finding a great patch of reef with fish littered all over it and everyone on board dropping their lines with an excited look on their faces, not knowing what could happen when the bait reaches the fish.

Fishermen tend to forget the past and look forward to the future so there’s no point sitting at a spot all day long if the fish aren’t biting so you might as well take advantage of being on the water and go searching for a few hours a trip looking for new reef and start thinking ahead for future fishing trips which will make sure that your next outing is a successful one. Just remember, a bad day on the water is better than one spent mowing the lawn!

Greg Lamprecht