Ah, daring are we? Perhaps it wasn’t adventurous enough to go fishing in the calm lakes and reservoirs beneath large hills and enormous mountains. Or perhaps the fish in the river don’t get you going anymore. Or maybe you are just new to fishing and want to start big, strong and risky.
Don’t worry, rock fishing isn’t as bad nor as risky as most people may make it seem. Sure, there are certain issues that you may have to deal with, but the kind of fish you will get in return more than makes up for it.
We will approach it using a three-front approach, with the kind of equipment you will need, what precautions you should take, and how to do the actual fishing. Let’s begin with the equipment.
One of the most essential aspects of rock fishing is the equipment. The most equipment you will need are all related to fishing, though there is certain safety gear that you could take with you.
Since your experience depends on fishing, let’s begin with this first.
First and foremost, the rod is there to make a big difference. For rock fishing, you not only have to catch some heavier fish but also need to be able to maneuver the rod easily. How do you achieve this mix?
For starters, your rod needs to have quite a bit of power. Heavy power rods are great for catching larger fish, which fits the kind you may find near the rocks. This is because the rocks provide good cover for the fish, making it a safer place than open waters.
Next, your rod needs to be lightweight for example you can choose the best ultralight fishing rod. Lighter rods are easy to maneuver, and when you combine it with the power you can actually quickly pick up the fish from the waters without having to fight it. In a precarious place like the edge of the rocks, having to fight the fish makes it much harder.
Needless to say, to achieve both these qualities your rod will need to be quite strong, rigid and durable. When it comes to rod frame material, you should go for graphite or a carbon-based material for this.
Another really important rod quality to take into account is going to be the rod length. While this isn’t a key issue on its own when it comes to fishing, but in rock fishing, you have to maintain quite a bit of distance from the edge of the rock for your own safety. Ideally, you want your rod to be around 3 meters long to have some distance along with the control.
And since we are on that issue, you would want it to be a spinning reel just for convenience. Rock fishing is painstaking as it is, so there is no point adding to it by having something complicated.
Let’s talk about the fishing line next. If you ever look up fishing lines in general, all you will see are recommendations for braided lines or polyethylene lines. They certainly are superior and have many uses, but in the case of rock fishing, they tick none of these boxes.
Instead, monofilament lines take the cake when it comes to rock fishing. Monolines are a good balance between strength, durability, memory, and stretching. They have a bit of everything, but the key feature for rock fishing is the stretching.
Stretching is essentially what causes shock reduction. Even as the fish try and wriggle free from the hook, monolines will send significantly subdued vibrations to your arms in comparison to braided lines.
If the responsiveness was better, it would make it would push you around as the fish moved. This is why having stretching can potentially keep you safe. Plus, the kind of fish you find closer to the rocky shores end up fighting, so you need it for the job at hand.
The appropriate range for the strength of the line is around 4 or 5-kilogram test lines, although for the larger fish you might want to up it to as much as 10.
Now, alongside the mainline, we recommend having a leader line for better cushion when dealing with the larger fish. This will interrupt the strain, making it easier to catch and the line more stable.
An ideal leader line would be another monofilament line, or a fluorocarbon line, which is somewhat stronger but with less stretching than nylon lines. As long as it is abrasion-free and fetches fish efficiently, you will be catching quite some fish.
There are many different kinds of hooks for you to choose from, depending on what kind of fish you are looking to catch. But in case you have no preference, it will help to have a bit of a collection. Different sized hooks and lures work for different sized fish so you can switch it up as the fish come.
Much like the hook, you also have a huge choice of bait to select from based on the kind of fish you are after. What you choose will also depend on the staple diet of the fish in question, but there are some things that generally work well.
Fish are, for the most part, either carnivores or omnivores. As a result, not only do they eat produce, but also other, smaller fish as well. This is why prawn, crab, the flesh of other fish, cabbage, and breadcrumb all work, to different extents and on different kinds of fish.
And if you are not in the mood to work on living things or food of any kind, you can go for metal lures instead of live bait. Most predatory fish fall for this kind of lures, especially the salmon. But you need to make sure they are of decent metallic material, such as chrome.
Now that you are well prepared for fishing, let’s talk about some must-have safety gear.
Safety gear, in the case of rock fishing, is not just limited to preventing slipping. There are many people who can’t swim, and even if you can, the impact may make you incapable just long enough for something terrible to happen. So when you think of safety, make sure you prepare for staying afloat in the waters too.
This one is so important that there are certain areas where rock fishing requires the use of life jackets. It is fairly common sense, yet so many people overestimate their own capabilities. Because of this people choose not to wear one, and sometimes the consequences are fatal.
The reason is obvious, yet I cannot stress this simple fact enough. ALWAYS. ALWAYS carry a life jacket with you when rock fishing. No matter how good you are at swimming, it is better to be safe than sorry.
This is one occasion where you should lose comfy or convenient wearables over ones that will keep you safe. Most sandals and shoes won’t cut the deal, so even if it keeps your feet warm or the bottom of your feet relaxed, it isn’t worth it.
The right footwear are ones that are good for this is slip-proof footwear. A common one that many people wear are non-slip soles. These tend to be somewhat comfortable as well so you can fish for a good while without having your feet stressed out.
Cleats are arguably a better slip-proof choice of footwear, though many people do not feel as comfortable with them on. But hey, why give up that extra security for a bit of comfort, right?
Light and Simple Clothes
Finally, one last word for your choice of clothes. Keep it simple and light. You should find t-shirts that are made of thin and lightweight fabric, and shorts to go along with it. Some people go for waterproof pants, but if they aren’t light they aren’t really worth it.
With that, you are set to go.
Now that you are equipped, let’s look at some of the other things that should be done. In short, you should:
- Keep an eye on the weather
- Observe and identify safe spots on the rock
- Have emergency services on speed dial
- Know about high and low tide periods and fish accordingly
- Take towels and similar absorbents
Let’s talk about some of these in more detail.
Most people who have gone to coastal areas know about high and low tide. During high tide the water level rises, submerging areas of rocks which would otherwise have been above the water. Low tide obviously means the opposite.
It is important to know which rocks are available for fishing only during low tides. Because tides change in cycles, fishing in those rocks is also cyclical, meaning you have a limited window before getting into trouble because of the water sinking it.
A good time to fish, then, happens to be low tide, right? Well, not necessarily. You may not have all the fish available to catch during low tides, so it is good to know where you can fish without the risk of submerging during high tides, too.
Regardless of the tides, waves are also something that you should be concerned of. Even if you make sure you are well aware of waves and keep your own self safe from danger, waves can be pesky to your belongings. It isn’t uncommon for fishermen to lose stuff which they kept on the rock close to where they were fishing.
No matter where you are fishing, ensure that you have sufficient space to fall back to when the occasional larger wave comes crashing. Staying too close to the edge when the water hits can potentially throw you into the water.
As for belongings, make sure to keep them well away from the edge, and even behind where you are fishing. And if you are especially nervous, keep them above the barnacle line for good measure. There is no such thing as being too careful, after all!
The weather is self-explanatory when we talk about potentially throwing you off of the dangerous rocks. The first thing to do is to make sure you have no severe weather expected during the time you expect to go fishing.
Once you have that covered, look at daily weather forecasts. Even a bit of rain can increase your risk of slipping, so you have to have all that much care to make up for it. And if conditions are windy, then you have to go to safer regions.
One of the riskiest parts of rock fishing in windy weather is that waves get so much larger. To prevent getting swept away by the tides or swell waves, make sure you are safely away from the edge by a good distance. You should also decide whether it is at all worth it fishing during such risk.
Safety Objects for Public Use
Try to fish close to places where lifebuoys are available for use. It goes without saying, not only does it give an alternative to saving lives, but it is also more likely that there will be more people there. They can assist in times of emergency.
With safety instructions done and dusted, let’s figure out some of the fishing techniques.
Rock Fishing Tips:
While fishing is the same pretty much everywhere, there are some things that you can do to make sure you get rock fishing done better. In short, you can:
- Do ground or surface fishing
- Use live bait for groundfishing, but either live or artificial bait works for surface fishing
- Use spin-fishing during strong water currents
- Fish close to the water during safer periods, and increase distance as risk increases
- Catch fish close to the rock or where there is ample vegetation for more fish
Rock fishing can be tricky, dangerous, and rewarding all at once. That is why it is important to do it right so that you can reduce all the risks while still getting the benefits of rock fishing. Let’s face it, it is fun and quite rewarding! So let’s make it easier by taking measures to safe and have a good time!