Things to Plan Before Going Rock Fishing
Rock fishing is fun but it's important to prepare before you leave home. Learn more about how you can ensure you are ready for a safe and fun rock fishing experience.
Getting out and involved in the action is what rock fishing is all about, but there are some important factors to plan before you do.
Finding the best spot to cast your line can often mean accessing dangerous rock platforms. While this can get you into great position for angling, always remember that what may have been a relatively easy walk at low tide can become challenging, if not near-impossible for a fully clothed angler with gear.
To avoid getting caught out:
For professionals, rock fishing can be an all-weather sport, but you should be prepared for what the elements can throw at you. Getting caught in a storm is never fun, and it can be life threatening on an exposed rock ledge.
Be sure to check the latest forecast on either the internet, radio or TV (Bureau of Meteorology, Seabreez.com, Coastalwatch or Willyweather) before you set out, so you know what to expect. Remember to be sensible and call it quits when the weather gets too rough.
When choosing a good fishing spot always spend time working out the swell band checking conditions, this starts before you even leave home. Some rock ledges look perfect for a few minutes – that is, until the swell rises and hits it with a powerful wave. Make sure you wait and observe a full swell cycle (up least 30 minutes) so that you know exactly how the water is behaving before you take up position.
Long period swell is particularly important to understand frequency and power of waves and the level of danger they will present as they hit the coast.
Remember that the swell will be at its most unpredictable shortly after stormy weather and at changing tides.
Rock fishing requires not only tackle, but also good clothing and footwear that will keep you safe and warm. Above all else, lifejackets save lives and should be the most important part of your kit.
It can be tempting to arm yourself against the elements with big, heavy, waterproof clothing to keep you dry and warm. However, if anything should go wrong and you end up in the water, these clothes will weigh you down and make it very difficult to swim to safety.
Instead, you should pick lightweight clothing that will be easy to swim in. Shorts and light t-shirts are great for this. Some anglers also like wetsuits as these help you to float and also keep you warm and protected from the spray whilst fishing.
As with clothing, you want to avoid any heavy footwear. Gum boots and heavy hiking boots will fill with water if you end up in the ocean and drag you down.
Matching your shoes to the surface you will be fishing on is the best way to get good grip and proper foot protection. For example:
Lifejackets are essential for rock fishers providing you with the highest level of safety if you fall into the water. Lifejackets can be worn comfortably over your clothing.
Anyone rock fishing in a declared location must wear an appropriate lifejacket. This includes people helping you to rock fish and children.
The best tackle for you will depend on your own fishing experience and the type of species you hope to catch.
To make sure you are prepared for some variety many anglers bring two rods, primed for lighter and heavier fish.
Along with your rods you will also need: