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yellow door 1

My rod tips for night live bait session

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Yeah I used to use the spring loaded ones but Id have to take them on  and off while casting -  and they' get catapulted off if I struck hard and missed a fish.

So I decided to take the bell apart and tape it to the rod so it would never fly off.

Alot of guys are against bells but I find them invaluable when fishing livies.

I tape mine down the rod tip a bit, so they dont ring when the livie blinks - but if my livie starts getting really spooked, they'll give me a heads up.

But the real reason I put them on is there is - We have this jerk fish in Melbourne that chomps the head of your livies  - sucks the juice out - and leaves the rest without taking Bait-runner drag. But this activity will register on the rod tip like a clunk.

If I know my livie is dead, I'll put a new one on - so the bells let me know if one of these Mystery fish is in the area - If I ever catch one, I'm going to punch it in the balls - coz I've had nights where 6 livies have come back with crushed heads and I didnt even know they had been hit. The bells make that much less likely to happen

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Ha that's funny, but nothing to lose you head over :)

Does that happen in the ocean or in an estuary? Squid pretty much always go for the neck of a fish and chomp through with their beaks. might be the culprit if they are in the area you are "losing your noggins." would explain why it doesn't take drag maybe??

 

 

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😁

Yeah the photo above is a bit misleading. It shows the head taken off but they quite often come back with the head still on - but crushed - I'll try to find some photos of the crushed heads

When we used to fish the bays alot, we'd get a fair few squid taking livies - but a squid take is much more "Lungey" than these clunking "Head Crushers" - Squid also often leave a semi circular bight on the shoulder right near the head.  These takes are weird - it just one clunk - then they leave it alone - there are no follow up nudges or nibbles

These "Head crushers" live in the rivers around Melbourne - but because they are estuarine, with big changes in salinity levels, its hard to ID them because there's so many options.

Deep down I think they might be eels - but I have no proof

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Jesus - you have no idea how far back in the archives I had to go to find these pics.

But I got into serious livie fishing pretty late in life - I went from mainly dead bait (first 25 years) - to mainly small live bait(3 months) - to bream and other species on lures (10 years) - then serious livie-ing for a bit (2 years) - then back to lures.

The main reason I avoided landbased Livebaiting in Melbourne......... - was all the "social media guru's" and well known "under ground" Mulloway guys said it was hard to do.

I gave their words more respect than they were due - coz words are just words -  and they can occasionally be deliberately misleading😉

(plus I spent a night out with some guru's and froze my arse off, catching nothing and said to myself -this isnt fishing - its just waiting around praying for something to happen.) ( I found very little logic in their approach)

But I ride a push bike, so I can basically cover about 20km from the mouth of both our main rivers in an evening - and I would do recon missions, where I wouldnt cast a lure - quite regularly. (but I would bump into all sorts of Jewie fisherman and have a chat - most pretended to be fishing for bream with surf rods and live mullet 😉)

- admittedly fishing the rivers on boats with a sounder for about 15 of those years, should have been a huge advantage - but we werent even looking for Jewies until the last 3 years. If I had paid attention from the start - this game would have been alot easier to work out

But what I absorbed over that period of time is - if you have a sounder - jewies are quite easy to find - getting them to bight isnt quite so easy😉
 

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But I inspect every livie I bring back in - I'm looking for puncture wounds - sucker marks - crushed heads - teeth patterns and general signs of malicious intent -  I change quite regularly - because I'm paranoid about lethargic livies not putting out enough signals into the water.

ie  - I dont want one laying on its side gulping for air - I want a maniac with stamina to panic for at least an hour - but I also dont like huge livies because I use a single hook and want them the be inhaled

So heres a few of the signs I look for - heres what those freakin "head Crushers" do - in my mind they slowly approach the bait - grab it by the head - crush it - suck the juice and move on - its like bears well fed bears only eat the eggs of the salmon and leave the rest to rot

 

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But have a geeze at this bulldust - each of these livies was caught with a size 12 hook and chicken thigh bait - putting 20 mullet in a bucket, isnt always easy this way - so when you have some "Head crusher" out there making your baits inedible to other species - thats a justifyed basis for a grudge

None of these decapitated mullet took click of bait runner drag while their heads were removed

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But you will also get livies that come back like this - its usually when you ignore the first few taps - (dismissing them for a nervous live bait getting stalked by a jewie) - but its actually good bream taking chomps out of your live bait - puffer fish are an outside chance for doing this damage - but these bight occasionally convert to 40cm+ bream

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and not leave a mark on it when I tried to set the hooks

Call me crazy but I've had runs where sharks dont exist😉 - that feel alot like shark runs -

They snip mono leaders the instant the bait runner is flicked into gear - 

I can still tell the difference between the mark of a deeply lodged Jewie tooth on a savage strike..........and  something that snips a 40lb leader when you casually engage the bait runner on a weird slow run, -  thats stops and starts as the beasts hoovers up your burley trail.

The spacing on the conical Jewie teeth usually gives you a good indication of what you just yanked to hooks out of

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Cheers for that, I feel so much better about all the livies that iv'e missed fish on.

It can be ****ing FRUSTRATING can't it!!!

I just use a circle hook as a lip piecing 

The head crushers are aliens just messing with you😉 

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1 hour ago, dutchy said:

Cheers for that, I feel so much better about all the livies that iv'e missed fish on.

It can be ****ing FRUSTRATING can't it!!!

I just use a circle hook as a lip piecing 

The head crushers are aliens just messing with you😉 

Yeah dont get me wrong - I'd take everything I have to say with a grain of salt - I never know, with any certainty, what actually happens under the water  - these are just guesses😉

And when it comes to circle hooks - I've had my livies convincingly out-fished by guys using circle hooks and frozen local squid - but I love striking fish too much to ever make the switch to circles - striking fish is a big part of the spectacle for me






 

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