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  1. Post
    Birch wrote:

    Rod: 12-14ft is standard. One made from IM6 graphite is good and probably priced around $230.00. But cheaper rods also work.

    Reel: Need one with decent capacity, and a long distance spool design like the ones found on Daiwa Emcast, Daiwa Emblem, Tica Scepter, Okuma Axeon are ideal for a little extra distance.

    Rod Stand: Plenty of rod stands on the market, in general, the wider the stand the harder it is to push into rocky beaches (But better the grip). The main advantage of rod stands is that it removes the need to hold onto the rod the entire time. The cheap chinese rod stands with the red/pink tubing on the top ring are rather fragile, and normally break or rust after a session of use. Better quality ones from the likes of Nacsan lasts much longer, only have to remember not to leave them on the beach. Painting them florescent colours can also help.

    Line: For clean beaches 6-8kg is fine, the thinner diameter allows for a slight increase in casting distance, on rougher beaches, or where abrasion is a issue might want to go upto 10-12kg. It is also important for powerful casts to use a shockleader, I tie a section a meter or two longer then the rod length of 20kg line. This heavier line takes most of the impact during the cast and reduces the chance of breaking off. It also provides a section of stronger line to grab and control fish with upon landing.

    Hooks: I like to use circle hooks, I use 4/0 when targeting Rig and Kahwai, and use 8/0 when chasing Sharks and Snapper. The secret for successful use of circle hooks is not to strike, just let the fish take the bait and it would hook itself.

    Sinkers: When the surf is up a BOS (Break out Sinker) is ideal for extra grip, they can cost upto $8 in shops so buying them on trademe is smart. On calmier beaches then other cheaper styles of sinkers also work fine.

    Bait: Plenty of bait options, But there are several main groups. Fish bait, this is any bait made from a fish, such as pilchards, Kahawai fillets ect... Most species of fish would eat them, with a few exceptions. The first exception is Moki which prefer to take Shellfish or crustaceans, and exception is Rigs which prefer to take crustacean. By fishing fish bait you are unlikely to catch either either species. One good aspect about using Paddle Crab or Cray for bait is that it is extremely unlikely for spikey dogfish or Red cod to eat them. So if being plauged by either species it is a good way to get rid of them. It is also important to tie bait on with elastic or cotton, that can greatly increased the chance a bait says on the hook. ALso check your bait every 10-20 minutes or more often espically during peak feeding periods.

    Rig: I like to use pulley rigs, but standard ledger rigs also work fine. I typically tie my rig out of 80lb line, unless targeting sharks then I would use 250lb line and a wire trace.

    Tide: Really depends on the beach, in general I like over high for deeply shelving beaches, and low tide for shallow beaches.

    Time: In general change of light is the best time to fish.

    Night Fishing: Fishing after dark can be productive, a couple of hints.
    - Refletive tape on the tip of the rod makes it much easier to see when illuminated.
    - A small tip-light is also great, but in my experience they have a short life expectancy.
    - Head Lamps are nearly essential.

    Soft baits are an improvement on the existing soft plastic technology. Softbait tails look and act just like soft plastic tails but are made out of biodegrable matter that fish like to eat, and are usually impregnated with a scent.



    There are specialised rods and reel on the market atm, if you want to buy one go for it. However if you already have a 6ft light casting rod, this will do the trick to. The rod just needs to have a lot of whip in it to get the cast right and give a good swim action on the retrieve, the magic words to say to a sale clerk are "light tackle with a fast action".


    There are basically 2 types of line, mono-filament and braid.
    -Mono-filament: Or mono, is fine for beginners as it is cheaper than braid. However it does stretch, and when you're fishing deep or long this does affect your lure action. If you'e determined to use mono buy gel spun line as it has minimal stretch. Mono also twists, so you have to use a swivel. HAVE. TO.
    -Braid: I'm currently using braid. Braid does not stretch, this property allows you to feel your lure in the water as you work it, and strikes are droadcasted back up the line clearly. However because of it's lack of stretch at least 6m of mono trace is required to ack as a shock absorber when the big one strikes.


    Any casting reel is fine, just as long as you can apply a minimum of 1.5kg drag on the spool. A bait caster is good too, but GL using it to it's fullest around rocks.


    -A selection of jig heads ranging from 5-15grams.

    -Sinkers ranging from 5 to 25 grams, if you can find a couple of 15gram sand sinkers (with little metal spikes to grip the sand) then grab them too.

    -3/0 and 4/0 snapper hooks (you can't get straight shank worm hooks here but snapper hooks work just as well)

    -Texas worm hooks.

    -Bait-holder hooks

    Note the barbs on the shank for holding a softie.



    Berkley Gulp! baits are currently the king of soft baits. I don't want to sound like an Ad Bot, but these live up to their slogan of out fishing all other baits. You will need:
    -Jerk shads in 2 colours.

    -Blood or Sand worms in 2 colours (you may have to look in the freshwater baits for these)

    -Crabs in two colours.

    -Mullet in two colours.

    -Prawn, natural colour.

    -Anything with a grub or paddle tail.

    When I say two colours I mean grab one type in the natural "fish" colouring and one in the brightest fluoro yellowy red.

    The actual fishing part

    If you are using light tackle you must be confident with you knots. I pretty much use either an improved cinch knot, polamo knot or blood knot for everything. I can tie them quickly and the set tightly because I practise. There is NOTHING worse than fighting a fish for 20 minutes, and then as soon as you get some slack on your line the knots comes undone because you tied it in a hurry. I've lost more good fish that way.

    -The drop shot is a favourite for fishing slow moving shallows and mangroves. However bottom feeding fish generally will not go for it. I prefer nose hooking my soft baits and a 3/0 hook as this way the fish generally get hook in the top of their mouth with hook shank poking out which reduces the chances of "rub break". The rigs work great on big fish like john dory, kahawai and snapper if you're using a 3/0 snapper hook with a grub tail, and even better on sprats when using a size 6 bait-holder hook with half a sandworm.

    -Using a jig head with a soft plastic as a tail is not an new idea. However softbaits are relatively new, and fishing them with a jig head is how most new converts do it, and it is still the most versatile method.

    -The coralina rig. This rig is great for catching smaller fish, and achieve the best result when used with a sandworm type soft bait. Use a size 2 bait holder hook one a trace with swivel. Weight this with a small ball sinker above the swivel. Now most brands sand worm softies are too long imo, so cut one in half and nose hook it on your baitholder. I used this rig to cast into whitewash from a beach, which usally results in a small kahawai. I'm told this rig is perfect for flounder too.

    Texas rig. Deadly, if you fish it right. Ball sinker above a texas worm hook. Because the hook is betached from the weight, it is free to wiggle around around the sinker rises and falls giving the softbait an eerily lifelike action with minimal rod-work. Pro-tip: To stop it rolling or spinning round and round in the water, attach a small split ring to your hook and tie you line to the split ring.


    There are a lot of hard bodied lures on the market. They are an ancient technology, so we have had a lot of time to play around with their design. So im going to define them somewhat broadly. ANd i'm going to use the american naming conventions for these, as if there is one thing the yanks know well it's lure fishing. With these lures a faster retrieve than you would use with a softie are required.


    Basically a rapalla lure. These lures are fished shaped tubes with a bill which causes the lure to dive when it is retrieved, or trawled.

    Trolling is very basic, trie them on and drive slow. Retrieving from a stationary boat is pretty safe and effective, just be careful as the treble hooks will get snagged on anything.

    Using them from shore takes skill, and knowing exactly what the lure you brought is designed for. Check the lure packagin to see if it has active buoyancy, netural buoyancy, or negative buoyancy. Active buoyancy means they float, and you can guess the rest. For this reason only an active buoyancy lure is viable when fishing around NZ rocks. Cast out well past the rocks, swim it in then stop, then move it around the rocks in a series of sharp dives dont be afraid of hitting the rock, but as soon as you feel it let the line slack, or you've lost a $20 lure.


    If you are serious about fishing, and consider yourself a bit of a pro, if you don't have one of these you are doing it wrong. Surf casters can use this lure. Boaties can use this lure. Rock hoppers can use this lure. The best part is you can make a decent one, no sweat. It needs to float, have a concave dish at the front, and a hook near it's tails. I make mine out of old broom handles. Paint it red and black and you have a winrar! Or you could pay $20-$30 for one. Just cut it in half, put some wire trice in for hooks and a tie off and glue or lash it back together.

    It's quite simple to use, cast it out and wind it back in keeping your rod tip high. If you're going surfcasting. Take two rods, bain one and tie a popper to the other. If nothing else it'll keep you busy while you catch nothing, but if the fish are on it is the business for the pelagic predators, kahawai, kingies and mackeral (on small ones that is).

    Technique will be back soon, as the stuff that was here was poo

    And thats it. Go out and conquer.
    24/10/09: Added stuff, formatted stuff, took stuff away.
    12/12/09: Added Hard bodied stuffs. technique will be back soon.

  2. Post
    good write up man - Nothing better than catching a fish without using any bait

    except catching one on a fly you have tied yourself!

  3. Post
    TY. next thread will be spinners and had bodied lures, flies will follow after that. Unfortunately my fly reel is broken, and the only spare one I have is an antique my fishing mentor grandfather left to me when he pased away (so I am not using it).

    You should do a fly fishing write up bro. saltwater and freshwater if possible

  4. Post
    Havent done any saltwater flyfishing but plenty of freshwater fly fishing around the Waikato, Rotorua and Taupo

    Am off to the Whakapapa for 3 days next weekend

    Will see how much time I have over the next few weeks

  5. Post
    Great post! soft baiting is definitely where it is at. Last couple of times we have gone out on the boat those with the soft baits have definitely been pulling more in though I have no qualms with the others who want to be bringing their bait bucket a long and bringing in less than me all day

  6. Post
    Stuck thread on request.

    If you don't like it, pm me or something.

  7. Post
    When fishing the dropshot technique, try and incorporate a small float tight up against the soft lure, this would help give the bait buoyancy and give it slightly more action and help keep the soft lure off the bottom during a slow retrieve.

    If there is a bit of wave action or swell, it is possible to fish a softbait from the rod stand. Just make sure the lure is buoyant in the water and the wave action would move it around enough to tempt a predator fish to strike. This technique works well when you use a 2 hook ledger rig, on the bottom hook use a normal durable bait like squid, but use the softlure in place of the second hook.... That way when the big predator turns up it would see a school of bait fish nibbling away at the bottom bait, the predator would rush in causing the nibblers to scatter leaving only the soft lure to be grabbed. The above also works well with a floated fly.

    When fishing crabs, I simply rig them with a single 4/0 circle hook and above that a running ball sinker and slowly retrieve the crab lure across the bottom. Seems to work well on Snapper.

    Never had any luck with the sand/blood worms, I have found that the local spottie population loves gulp and would tear them apart before larger fish have a chance to strike. For that reason I often do not use gulp, I prefer long skiny baits with plenty of action. My collection mainly consists of Slug-gos, Squidgies and Youvella lures but other brands also work well.

  8. Post
    I was bought up on the old school pilchards/bonito/squid and I've always wanted to try soft baits. I haven't fished properly since moving from to Auckland about 5 years ago but I've still always wanted to try these out.

    Anyway, thank you so much for writing this piece on soft-baits I can't wait to try it.

  9. Post
    GP Fishing MEAT perhaps?

  10. Post
    I haven't tried softbaits but with this I might just give it a go

    ^lol gv, keeeen

  11. Post
    Update with some hard body lure stuff. Also looking for submissions I can edit in on:

    -Bait fishing. Specifically tips and tricks that may guide the uninitiated away from cutting a big square of bonito and bunging it on a hook and hoping for the best. Strip bait, straylining rigs with pilchards, how to tie on a mussel etc.
    -Live baiting. So the aforementioned uninitiated don't kill their "livey".
    -Fly fishing if anyone is into that.

    Hopefully, once we have some good content, I can bug the admin into renaming it "How To: Fish". And yes your contributions will be high-lighted in [size=10].

    Also keen for fishing meat this summer. Make a thread about it.

  12. Post
    Bait fishing tips.

    Use a selection of different baits, same species are much more likely to be caught on certain baits. Often the best bait is one gather from the area you are fishing. So a fillet from a freshly caught Kahawai can often bring the goods. Do not be afraid to use whole fish.

    For tying on soft baits like mussel or pilchard use heaps of bait elastic, just wrap it on tight.

    Fish the change of light.... Much of the time fishing during the day is slow. You would get many more bites fishing either dawn/dusk. Continual to fish into the night

    Do not be afraid of short casts.... Often fish feed just behind the first breaker. I normally fish three rods at a time and would fish them at three different distances.

    Learn which stage of a tide fish best at your local beach. I prefer fishing incoming and over high... But dead low tide can also be productive.

  13. Post
    Birch wrote:
    Learn which stage of a tide fish best at your local beach. I prefer fishing incoming and over high... But dead low tide can also be productive.
    Yeah, you have to know your spot. I get killer fishing _everytime_ when the following occurs:

    change of light and a medium high tide (2.6m odd)
    extreme low tide (0.3-0.4m) at either change of light or anytime other than the middle of the day

    other high tides (1-2.4m, 2.8-3.4m) and low tides (0.5-1.1m) still produce but never as much or as frequently as above

  14. Post
    If you want to get serious about softbaiting off the shore you are better off going with some decent gear that can stop fish fast - standard light noodle sticks that you can softbait with off a boat wont cut it.

    7ft-8ft rod length and a decent quality reel - 2500 size in spin is ok but would recommend a 4000 size reel really with some decent drag - want capable of 30-50% of the lines breaking strain minium. This is the level of dra you will fish most of the time. Its then nice to have some in reserve if there is the need.

    Heavier line than used to fish off boats is required too given fish fight harder in the shallows. While I fish 4lb braid off the boat, its 10lb braid minimum off the rocks. Given braid poor abraision resistance. Leaders need to be longer too, ideally long enough to get at lease a couple of wraps around the reel when in casting position. Fluro isnt overly important of the rocks but I like it from an abrasion perspective. Standard old mono is fine though if thats the way you want to go.

    As for rigs, fish your softies using a weedless rig ie, that is a wormhook setup rather than a jig head and only a small weight is required, maybe 1/4 or 1/8 oz. Hook hardly protrudes above the top of the bait. We use these setups alot in the shallows and even in particularly foul areas dont get caught up.

  15. Post
    I disagree about rod strength, but then i'm pro.

  16. Post
    haha I am sure you are son......

    Caught many big kings off the rocks on softbaits mate?

    btw, I don't think I even mentioned 'rod strength'

  17. Post
    EDIT: Nicotine withdrawal makes me catty.

  18. Post
    heh good one mate - prob saw my 'haha' to how seriously I took it anyway

  19. Post
    Look mate I'm sorry. I've been quitting smoking... and not taking it well. My lack of a " " set the wrong tone for my first reply, then I went all bitchy on you for my second reply. I just had my one cigarette a day i'm allowed (until saturday when it's none ) and experienced a moment of lucidity where I realised I had behaved like an ass towards several people today.

    I hope my shitiness doesn't drive you away from from the fishing forums as we need all the fishermen we can muster.

    Once again sorry, I'm a douche who is controlled by his emotions : /

    edit: Incidentally, you can kind of track how the nicotine withdrawal is affecting me by looking at my posts today. At about 12pm im at 3 im > and at 8 im

  20. Post
    haha dont worry about it bud - didnt pick up the cattiness in your previous post anyway. Thats the beauty of the internet.

    best of luck kicking the addiction. My addiction is way I'm quiting that!

  21. Post
    So what gear are you using for softbaiting off the rocks Phred? I've just bought myself a new twinpower and cant wait to get out to use it.

  22. Post
    I got to agree noodle sticks don't cut it of the rocks, I'm out every weekend and target fish with SB's and other artificial baits poppers etc and when you of the rocks 10lb braid aint going to work to well when you got a 20 kg king and sharp rocks

  23. Post
    Any recommendations for a good winter spot in the greater Auckland area?
    Preferable for softbaiting but may chuck in a stinky bait with the 12footer.

  24. Post
    Plenty of good fish in close on the foul right now.

    Places like Army Bay / Wellington reef etc are fishing alright eh

    Would be tempted to anchor up and burley up big time with unweighted baits rather than fish softies at this time of year.

  25. Post
    **** I need to update this shit. But in saying that I'm quite lazy. So I'll say again, PM me anything that has been missed, anything that you think should be included (not just softbaiting) and / or anything I've covered but you disagree with.

    Also I think one of the spear fishos should make a thread for their sport, or alternately PM it to me and I'll put it in here and request a name change.