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Des

Bag of Gold on a Low Tide

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I did want to fish on Sunday. I had a plan! But the forecast was for a big blow coming through on Sunday. Forecasted to bring with it some hail & thunder in case just strong winds don't put you off your fishing. Hey and lighting too, which makes me scurry. Me the highest object protruding skywards on the sandflats, complete with a graphite super conductor in my hands and feet immersed in water. And golfers thought it was dangerous! So the obvious change of plan saw me go fishing today (Saturday). My plan was to fish the bottom of the tide. Yes! Chasing goldbars at the bottom of the tide. Sundays low tide was a fairly high for a low tide!!! at 1.09mt. You see you can do rather well on the Yellow Fin whiting around the dodge tide. It is then that water sits on some prime feeding ground for extended periods. And no big run in tide to disperse the fish far and wide. Fish are all compliant and concentrated on the feeding ground waiting for you to hook them! (My theories!)I have previously fished this spot, with soft sand full of nipper holes, on a few occasions. I always picked up some good fish there at the bottom of the tide. So the idea was to find an extended period for the "bottom of the tide" Which would be around a dodge. Well Saturday proved to be the next best thing with a 0.85mt low tide.Yes the plan worked! Caught my bag of 20. Sizes are 30 - 40cm. I only released one fish under 30cm131012-2p.jpgThey took some angling. At the bottom of the tide these fish are not voraciously feeding. They are grazing. A nibble here, a peck there, a sniff here and a poke there. They are trying to sniff & poke out a nipper or two on this patch. When the tide is running they tend to grab most worm baits going past. So today they had to be enticed into a bite. I started with a very light single hook rig with a small ball (00) slipped down the trace to the long shank hook. YFW-Rig-Light-P.jpgIt was not long before I was missing a lot of bites. The fish were biting tentatively and the size 4 Gamakatsu was not connecting up as usual. I went down to a #6 with better results. The tide is not moving your bait or bringing the fish to you. You need to cast and retrieve with a slow steady constant retrieve. You need to attract the fish's attention by moving your bait and you need to cover a lot of ground to find the fish. Retrieve & recast in another direction/area. Pretty soon you will feel the tap, tap, tap, of a tentative YFW bite. Or rather an inquiry. No not their normal THWACK! when the tide is running. To convert a tap into a tug or bite bait placement on the hook is important. Always have a tail of worm of your hook. YFW do not 'Bite" they suck. And they can suck aggressively. Now some role playing. How can you suck in a strand of spaghetti if all you can mouth is the bottom of the spoon. Have a bit dangling of the end so that you can latch onto it and you will suck the lot off the spoon. Like wise allow the YFW to have a suck of the tail to draw the hook into it's mouth. I use a whole worm on a hook and feed it down to create more tail as it is bitten off.Bloodworm-on-hook2p2.jpgThe bigger fish are attracted to these feeding spots in these conditions. I lost a few good fish today. Mainly pulled hooks as they are biting tentatively and are mainly lip hooked. An occasional bust off. Big YFW are incredibly powerful fish for their size. In very shallow water they can easily bust a weak trace that does not have any give in it. I did manage a couple at the 40cm "Goldbar Standard"131012-1p.jpgI will be back for those biguns! possibly with some trout hooks and an altered rig. Just to make sure they get swallowed and properly hooked!Cheers, Des

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