Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The BassFishin.Com Line Guide

(original post)

Knowing what size and type line to use for different baits is critical.

Fishing Line Test
To be the best fisherman you can be, you have to know which tools are right for the job. The BassFishin.Com Line Guide sets out to provide you with the most effective fishing line choices for various lures and techniques. In this guide, we consider monofilaments, braids, and the latest generation of fishing lines, fluorocarbons. All three line types are distinctly different and have their own unique pro’s and con’s. If chosen properly for your presentation, you will see noticeable gains in your success on the water.
While you will see various line choices for each lure or presentation, this Line Guide is meant to be very specific so you can purchase and spool your reels with the most effective line for the baits you wish to fish. This guide is also very handy for those anglers who have few rods, as you can easily see the possible combinations of line that you can spool up that will give you the greatest versatility for the presentations you foresee yourself fishing the most often in your bodies of water. While versatility is important, The BassFishin.Com Line Guide was created to convey the importance of getting line selection right and the big impact proper line choice can have in putting more fish in the boat. It makes a BIG difference.

How To Use The Line Guide:

Fishing Line
For each lure or rig, you will see the suggested line options for the most effective presentation. Some baits have very specific recommendations, while others have many options that are acceptable under various conditions. We do our best to explain the differences in line options for such lures. You will find any helpful notes or frequently asked questions in the box underneath the line recommendations. Use this Guide before you spool up your reels or when you are purchasing your line to help you make the best decisions.

Spinnerbait Fishing Line

Should I Go With Fluorocarbon or Mono?

There is currently a debate as to which of the two lines is better for spinnerbaits. Some anglers, like Kevin VanDam, favor monofilament because of its buoyancy. Because mono floats, you can keep the spinnerbait closer to the surface more easily, especially on long casts. It is often important to keep a spinnerbait near the surface so fish can’t get a good look at the lure, and mono allows you to do this easily.
Other anglers, like Skeet Reese, prefer fluorocarbon over mono when fishing spinnerbaits because of its enhanced sensitivity, lower stretch and greater invisibility. The common drawback of fishing spinnerbaits on fluorocarbon is you are often required to use a “high tip” to keep the spinnerbait close to the surface. A “high tip” is not the ideal rod position for setting the hook, and thus why many anglers favor monofilament.

Shallow Crankbait Fishing Line

Why Is Fluorocarbon Preferred Here?

The three big advantages fluorocarbon has for shallow cranking is greater abrasion-resistance, lower-stretch and it is much less visible to fish. Because shallow crankbaits are generally fished through heavier cover, fluorocarbon will resist abrasion much more than mono. Because it is low-stretch, you’ll feel more bites and feel the crankbait coming through cover better. A portion of anglers, including some top pro’s, prefer monofilament for various reasons when shallow cranking. One of these reasons is mono’s high-stretch, which will allow you to “pop” or “bowstring” your lure out of snags more often. Besides this reason, there isn’t much else that should sway you away from using fluorocarbon.

Why such heavy lines?

Shallow cranking is mostly done in heavy cover or snaggy environments. You’ll be pulling your crankbait through brush, stumps, and so on. Your line needs to stand up to the abuse and give you the strength to get fish in amongst heavy cover.

Medium-Diving Crankbait Fishing Line

I thought mono was better because it stretched?

Monofilament was long used for crankbaits because it stretched and helped not pull the trebles out of the fish’s mouth on hooksets and fish fighting. While this was certainly a benefit, most anglers these days know that using a medium-action rod (or composite cranking rod) with a soft tip will give the fish the play it needs to not pull the hooks out. With the proper rod, you can get away with the low-stretch that Fluorocarbon exhibits.

The “sink” factor:

Besides the “invisibility” factor, fluorocarbon sinks and will make your crankbaits run 1-3+ feet deeper than with monofilament. This is a massive benefit. Fluorocarbon is some of the most abrasion-resistant line on the market as well, so working baits around rocks, zebra mussels, etc. is good with this line.

Deep-Diving Crankbait Fishing Line

I thought mono was better because it stretched?

Monofilament was long used for crankbaits because it stretched and helped not pull the trebles out of the fish’s mouth on hooksets and fish fighting. While this was certainly a benefit, most anglers these days know that using a medium-action rod (or composite cranking rod) with a soft tip will give the fish the play it needs to not pull the hooks out. With the proper rod, you can get away with the low-stretch that Fluorocarbon exhibits.

The “sink” factor:

Besides the “invisibility” factor, fluorocarbon sinks and will make your crankbaits run 1-3+ feet deeper than with monofilament. This is a massive benefit. Fluorocarbon is some of the most abrasion-resistant line on the market as well, so working baits around rocks, zebra mussels, etc. is good with this line.

Frogs Fishing Line

Should I go with 40 or 65? Or somewhere in between?

We at BassFishin.Com strongly suggest focusing your frog and toad fishing at 50 lb test. We like 40 lb test for when you need to make super long casts to cover relatively sparse weedbeds that don’t pose much threat to losing fish. The smaller diameter will add a couple extra feet to your casts which will let you cover a lot more water. Use 65 when fishing closer wood or docks. 50 lb test is the ultimate in-between size that will work just about everywhere and in any situation.

Soft Paddletail Swimbait Fishing Line

When Fluorocarbon is the best choice:

Fluorocarbon should be your starting point for most bodies of water and presentations. It’s invisibility and low-stretch gives you the edge you need over mono.

So when should I use mono?

Mono is very buoyant and thus is great for when you want to work the swimbait right up near the surface. Mono also has a lot of stretch, which can be put to your advantage if the fish are being finicky and not slamming the lure when they bite. Often times bass will push the bait or be slow to fully engulf these large swimbaits, and monofilament gives you the extra time you need to let the fish get it in it’s mouth before you set the hook. You need to give them a second before setting the hook, and mono ensures you don’t pull it from them too quickly.

Heavy Hard Swimbaits Fishing Line

Why we like fluorocarbon better than braid:

Besides its low-visibility, fluorocarbon does have some stretch to it and will prevent you from snapping your line when casting these very heavy baits. Oftentimes when casting these heavy lures with braid, the spool will suddenly stop in mid-cast because the line coming off the reel snags the level-wind, is dug into itself at a certain point, doesn’t “jump” a high spot on the line quick enough, and so forth, causing the line to snap instantly and your $50 swimbait to fly off into the trees or water. It snaps because there is no stretch and 50 lb test line is no match for that sudden shock.
Fluorocarbon on the other hand won’t do this nearly as often, because it has some give to it. So if your line does come to a screeching halt in mid-cast, usually the bait will come to a halt with it and not fly off to never be fished again.

Not-So-Heavy Swimbaits Fishing Line

The Type of Line To Use Depends On Stuff…

Fluorocarbon is without a doubt the most versatile of the line types for the “Not So Heavy” hard and soft swimbaits and should be used in most circumstances except one, floating swimbaits! Since fluorocarbon sinks, it is often not a good choice for floating swimbaits. In this case, monofilament (which is buoyant) is a better choice. And with the right rod (softer tip), you can get away with braid even for those floating baits. We should note that there are a couple floating swimbaits on the market that actually perform better with fluorocarbon, but these are the exception, not the norm.

Not-So-Heavy Swimbaits Fishing Line

So Do I Choose Fluorocarbon or Mono?

For most applications, line-through swimbaits should be fished on fluorocarbon line. The reason you may want to use monofilament is two-fold. The first reason to use mono is lure depth. Since mono is buoyant, it can help keep a heavy swimbait near the surface. You can slow the swimbait down even more without having it sink deeper. Another possible advantage to mono is when fishing for smallmouth. Oftentimes, smallmouth will strike a lure with their mouths closed to kill it first before engulfing it whole. With mono, your reaction time to setting the hook is slightly delayed because of the stretch and thus you can sometimes have a better hook-up ratio with smallmouth bass by using mono in this circumstance. Other than these reasons, fluorocarbon is preferred and you should control your depth via insert weights, line size and/or retrieve speed.

Small Swimbait Fishing Line

Don’t some pro’s use mono for these?

Some swimbait aficionados prefer monofilament with these smaller swimbaits because of the stretch and claimed “better handling”. A few say monofilament gives these baits better action because it’s more limp. Also, many swimbait sink rates are metered to monofilament, so take that into consideration when using a different type line with different sink characteristics. We feel 12 lb. fluorocarbon is the most versatile choice for these smaller-sized swimbaits. Fluorocarbon offers low-visibility and greater abrasion-resistance.

When Would I Use Braid?

You want to use braid for your floating baits in this category of swimbaits. Since they are smaller baits and most of your 30 lb test line is out of the water, you can get away with braid in nearly any water clarity. Fluorocarbon gets the nod for any non-floating swimbaits of these sizes (hard and soft).

Drop Shot Fishing Line

Whoa!?! 7 lb. test fluorocarbon?? Who makes that?

Sunline makes a couple of fluorocarbon lines offering the currently rare 7lb test. Check out their Shooter and FC Sniper Fluorocarbon lines. Drop Shot aficionado Aaron Martens really likes the Sunline 7lb lines for drop shotting because it’s not as weak as 6lb test, but doesn’t dampen the action of the bait as much as 8 lb. It’s a good “in-between”.

Don’t Be Afraid of Even Heavier Line

If the water is a bit stained or you’re dealing with heavy cover, bedding bass, etc, don’t be afraid to try 10, 12 or even 15 lb test. You do sacrifice some lure action with the heavier line, but there are sometimes circumstances that require heavier lines, and in those cases, don’t be afraid to go heavy.

Lipless Crankbait Fishing Line

Don’t I need braid for ripping it free of grass?

In thick enough grass, you can get away with using braid and it will work well, however in most cases, fluorocarbon is the better choice because it still has low enough stretch to rip it free of weeds, but still some give if a big fish makes a run at the boat. Again, it’s invisibility is a big plus as well.

Big Range of Sizes There.. Which Do I Choose?

The size line you choose should depend on the depth at which you wish to fish. If you’re fishing shallow (say 5 feet), then lean towards a heavier line. If you are fishing deep (15+ feet), then lean towards lighter line, which will let you keep the bait down in the water column easier.

Wacky Worm Fishing Line

Should I assume 6 lb. is the “all-purpose” choice here?

Definitely. The wacky worm is a finesse technique that’s often used when bass are being finicky or when fishing pressure is at its highest. In light cover, 4 lb can really get a lot of bites. Go with 8 lb. if you’re in thick cover. But absolutely, 6 lb is your all-purpose line size for wacky worming.

Hard-Bodied Topwaters Fishing Line

Never use fluorocarbon!

Fluorocarbon sinks and will cause the action of the your baits to suffer tremendously. It’s extremely difficult to twitch a line that is completely underwater.

Why such heavy line?

Because hardly any line is underwater during the presentation, you can get away with much heavier lines with topwaters. Also, the heavy line helps keep the line floating and the baits riding higher in the water column. Mono is the no-brainer line for hard bodied topwaters. Feel free to use braid too if you are using a soft-action rod (like a composite rod). Many pro’s are switching to braid with composite/fiberglass rods for topwaters.

Carolina Rig Fishing Line

Can I use braid as the main line?

Absolutely, and it’s quite popular to use braid as your main line. Braid has no stretch and will give you better feel of the bottom… A BIG PLUS when fishing a carolina rig. But you can certainly use fluorocarbon as your main line too. A few pro’s don’t like using braid as their main line because they think it can snap their fluorocarbon leaders, but most pro’s it seems, don’t have a problem with braid main lines.

But doesn’t fluorocarbon sink? My bait won’t float!

You’re absolutely right. You’re bait won’t float that great when using fluorocarbon as your leader. But most baits don’t float anyway even with mono as the leader. You’re generally dragging your baits on the bottom either way, so might as well go with line that is less visible and more abrasion-resistant.

Buzzbait Fishing Line

Again, why such heavy line?

Hardly any of your line will be underwater, so you can get away with it. But the real reason to have heavy line is so you have the added buoyancy that a thick mono can give you, and you can really slow your buzzbait down to a crawl, which is often most effective. We especially like using braid for buzzbaits because of the rock-solid hooksets.

And I should never use fluorocarbon, right?

Right. Say no to fluoro. It sinks!

Jerkbait Fishing Line

Get better action with fluorocarbon:

You will get much better action out of your jerkbaits with fluorocarbon line because it sinks. Because it sinks, you’re line won’t have as big a “bow” in it, and it will be a much straighter and direct line from the rod tip to the lure. Thus, when you go to snap your jerkbait, that lure will really rip.

Working jerkbaits near the surface?

If you want to work your jerkbait right under the surface (or even twitch it on top), then monofilament will be your better choice. It’s buoyancy will help in that presentation.

Flipping Jigs Fishing Line

How do I know when to use braid and when to use fluorocarbon?

A lot of factors go into determining when one should choose to fish standard jigs on fluoro or braid. If you are fishing in light cover, clear water, or rocky terrain, generally fluorocarbon is the better choice because it’s less visible, highly abrasion-resistant around sharp objects like rocks, and still has low-stretch for good hooksets and feel.
If you are fishing thick cover or stained and muddy water, braid is generally your best choice. You can get away with visible lines in thick enough cover, and nothing beats braid when it comes to pulling fish out of heavy cover, especially thick weeds. Braid will cut right through that stuff.

Should I use the lower-end or upper-end of the lb. test recommendations?

Base that decision on how thick the cover is. The lighter the cover, the lighter the line. The thicker the cover, the thicker the line. Don’t really know? Go somewhere in between.

Football Jigs Fishing Line

Isn’t this kinda light line for jig fishing?

You really have two things that shape the 12 and 15 lb test recommendations for football jigs. The first is visibility. You’re generally dealing with open water, and in most cases, it’s clear. So you have to be cognizant to use line that isn’t too visible.
The second factor, and the most important of the two, is keeping your bait on the bottom. You’re going to be fishing in water 10 feet and deeper most of the time with a football jig. And using anything heavier than 12 or 15 lb. test will make it very hard for your to keep the bait near or on the bottom. Heavier lines will want to pick the bait up because of its water resistance. Fluorocarbon certainly helps because it sinks, but you are keeping a tight line most of the time when fishing a football jig, so you really can’t go much heavier than 15 lb. test.

Swimming Jigs Fishing Line

Large spectrum of strength lines to choose from:

With swimming jigs, you have a bit more wiggle room as to the lb. test you can choose to fish. Base your choice on how heavy of cover you will be fishing.

What if I want to keep it up near the surface?

Generally, swimming jigs are most effective when they are retrieved very quickly, so keeping it up near the surface with 17 or 20 lb. test fluoro isn’t too difficult. But if you plan on working it right near the surface all day long, then mono would be the better choice for that scenario.

Chatterbaits Fishing Line

Why not braid?

You don’t want to use braid for chatterbaits either because it’s more visible underwater. Since the hooks are exposed on a chatterbait, you can get away with the stretch of monofilament or fluorocarbon. If you are trying to keep the chatterbait up near the surface and you’re using fluorocarbon, you’ll need to use a “high tip”, which isn’t an ideal position for hook sets. If the water is heavily-stained or you’re dealing with heavy cover, then you can get away with braid.

Soft Plastic Stickbaits Fishing Line

Fluorocarbon will help you fish faster:

Because fluorocarbon sinks quickly, soft stickbaits will fall much faster and let you work the water column more efficiently and cover more water, while maintaining the action of the bait and having the added benefit of a less visible line.

Aren’t soft stickbaits a finesse tactic? Why not 6 or 8 lb test?

A lot of people think stickbaits are finesse, but they really aren’t. They’re thick baits that fall pretty quick on a long line. Since most anglers texas rig these baits (or tex-pose, which we prefer), you need the added strength for the hookset. Eight pound test would get you in trouble a lot.

When should I go with braid?

Braid is the excellent choice when fishing thick grass or weeds. You can get away with braid around thick grass and braid slices right through the weeds when you are battling big fish. Braid is your buddy when fishing thick grass with soft stickbaits.

Flipping Baits Fishing Line

Should I stick with the heavier lines here?

Absolutely. Flipping baits are synonymous with thick cover, so favor the upper-end of the line sizes in the ranges we recommend. You need the power to set the hook, get the fish moving out of the cover, and to flip them in the boat. You need strength and power.

Is there a preference for braid?

We think there should be a slight preference for braid in most circumstances for flipping baits. Thick cover lends itself to the fact that you can get away with very heavy line without spooking fish. And nothing is more important than knowing you can get the fish out of thick brush or weeds the moment after you set the hook. Braid on a flipping reel is a powerful winch that big bass can’t contend with. This is exactly what you are looking for with these baits. But fluorocarbon is a perfectly fine choice too.

Shaky Head Fishing Line

Low-Visibility and Low-Stretch is the name of the game:

The shaky head is a finesse technique when you are required to slow down and pick apart a smaller area. If there was one technique that fluorocarbon was made for, it’s shaky head fishing. Base your line size choice on two factors, how thick the cover is, and how clear the water is.

Blade Bait Fishing Line

I know braid is a bad choice, but why not mono?

These small blade baits are generally used during the winter months when bass sit in deeper water drop offs and ledges and become extremely inactive. Because bass are so lethargic, feeling bites can be nearly impossible because the fish suck in the lures so lightly. Because fluorocarbon has a lot less stretch than mono, it will help you detect these very light bites. Again, fluorocarbon is far less visible, and with these vertical jigging techniques, the bass will be getting a good look at your baits because you are working them a lot in one small area. The less visible lines will benefit you greatly.

Why not go lighter with 6 or 8 lb test if the bass are so finicky?

Here at BassFishin.Com, we think these small blade baits are “big fish” baits. Though you don’t catch many in the winter, what you do catch will often be very big since the small fish don’t group up with the big fish as much in the colder season. Ten to 14 lb. test is the perfect choice for getting the action you want out of the bait and having the strength to handle any size fish with confidence.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


0x0800Internet Protocol, Version 4 (IPv4)
0x0806Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)
0x8035Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP)
0x809bAppleTalk (Ethertalk)
0x80f3AppleTalk Address Resolution Protocol (AARP)
0x8100IEEE 802.1Q-tagged frame
0x8137Novell IPX (alt)
0x86DDInternet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6)
0x88a8Provider Bridging (IEEE 802.1ad)
0x8847MPLS unicast
0x8848MPLS multicast
0x8863PPPoE Discovery Stage
0x8864PPPoE Session Stage
0x888EEAP over LAN (IEEE 802.1X)
0x889AHyperSCSI (SCSI over Ethernet)
0x88A2ATA over Ethernet
0x88A4EtherCAT Protocol
0x88D8Circuit Emulation Services over Ethernet (MEF-8)
0x88E5MAC security (IEEE 802.1AE)
0x8906Fibre Channel over Ethernet
0x8914FCoE initialization protocol
0xCAFEVeritas Low Latency Transport (LLT)

Python File Read operations

Open and read file from within the Python program as a single string using 'read'

import sys
import os
import string

def file_read(file):
      rfile =
      print rfile
      file = file_read(open('readme.txt', 'r'))

We can also use 
Readlines - as list of strings
Readline - reads only a single line

Read file from command line
Command line arguments lists as string with sys.argv’
import sys
import os
import string

def file_read(file):
      rfile =
      print rfile
if len(sys.argv) == 1:
   file_read(open(sys.argv[1], 'r'))



BEST BAITS: Worms, sea, blood, wriggler. yabbies, pippies, prawns, small black soldier crabs.
The whiting likes to search the sea bottom for tasty morsels on the shallower, cleaner banks, where the tide is not running so fast.
Angling for whiting is made more interesting because their method of bite is not always consistent, and has to be assessed on the day. Whiting are shy of a lot of weight directly on the bait so a trace is used, about 40 cm long, but in some instances up to 1 m.
To keep the bait just on the bottom, a small 00 ball sinker is used on top of the bait. But in bright sunshine fishing, it has been found that a substitute of 50 mm or 80 mm of red plastic tube on the trace will give colour attraction and increase bites. Any further weight necessary, which should rarely be heavier than a No. 1 ball, is placed above a small No. 8 swivel or ring used as a sinker stop.
The usual method to lure whiting is by creating bait movement by a slow retrieve with the reel. When the initial nibbling type of bite is felt, the bait movement is continued until the weight of the fish bends the rod.
To set the hooks increase speed of winding, at the same time leaning on the upright rod. Do not try to strike a fish by jerking the rod.
At times when whiting prefer to rush a stationary bait, a little slack line left between the reel and the bait, will help give the angler time to position himself to hook his fish. Even if it bites wildly, do not let this make your actions frantic and wild. Still do not strike, just turn, wind and lean.
When fishing from a beach lift your fish to bring it ashore, as whiting are adept at throwing a hook if allowed to tumble in a breaking shore wave. Whiting dislike very clear water, so are best sought on an ebbing tide, when water is discoloured in most areas.
Any ripples or turbulence at meeting tides is worth investigating as it clouds the water, and stirs the sand, unearthing food particles.
They can be in water as shallow as 45 cm, particularly over a bait bank on the early ebb tide. If fishing areas with weed look for clear patches of sand which form amid these places.
When wading, a shoulder-bag saves unnecessary movement to and from the water, which disturbs the fish. With compartments for bait and fish caught, the bag makes the angler better equipped to search for fish.
Yabbies are a good all round bait, but wriggler, rock and bloodworms are excellent bait. Eugarie and surf worms seldom bring best results in stillwater estuaries, but are regarded highly for whiting fishing from surf beaches. A fine pointed French hook size 2 is used with yabbie bait, a size 3 with worm bait. These are areas where the unpredictable whiting is successfully fished with an anchored bait in a fast running tide. This departs from every principle of good fishing, but if you find these conditions you may have to adapt yourself. This fish cannot be easily recognized by its biting habits.
Whiting work up into the shallow corner of V shaped gutters, and again a rig with a trace is favoured. When using any trace in surf fishing, always rewind a few turns immediately the cast lands, to lay the trace out so that it will not become tangled.
Whitting are often located close to the southern side of a rocky headland.



BEST BAITS: Yabbie; pipi; sea worms; white pilchard; 1/2 blue pilchard; lure.
There are a large number of species in the Trevally family, from the very abundant, smaller swallow tail trevally to the large ocean going trevally. All are excellent fighting fish and make good eating. (Bleed fish on capture to produce best flesh.)
Deep, close in beach gutters, and run outs with white water are good locations to find these fish as well as off rocks. Traces up to 60 cm long can be used to attract these greedy feeders. Smaller fish travel in shoals but again the larger fish are fewer in numbers.
Much of the same fishing procedures discussed in the tailor section apply to these fish.
The trevally have small soft mouths, so do not use over a No. 2 size hook. When a fish bites lean and wind, do not strike with the rod. If you ever hook into a larger member of the trevally family such as the Golden or Snub Nose trevally you will experience the thrill of your life bringing one of these fish to the beach or boat.



BEST BAITS: Blue pilchard, sea gar, lures.
The tailor season on the east coast of Australia is from July/ August through to October. Tailor are most plentiful from Fraser Island in the north to eastern Victoria in the south. Some tailor are caught in Western Australia in the summer and occasionally in South Australia.
These fish are very aggressive hunters and an excellent fighting fish. They also make a very tasty meal if the fish is bled on capture by breaking its neck. Tailor usually travel in schools but larger fish can be found as loners or in smaller schools. Boat fishermen can catch tailor in the open ocean, but around rocky headland and in ocean gutters, with plenty of white water on the outer edge are the most popular spots. Dusk or early morning on a rising tide make excellent conditions but tailor can be caught through the day as well.
Tailor feed ferociously on small bait fish. When tailor are "on the bite" it is important to get as many baits in the water as quickly as possible as this situation usually only lasts 1-2 hours. Just as quickly they will go "off the bite" for no apparent reason.
When tailor are biting, cast out and return your reel to fishing position as soon as the bait hits the water. Take up the slack and your bait will usually be hit quickly. lean and wind with constant pressure to prevent the fish discarding the hooks. Tailor will fight hard and sometimes the line will need to be released to ease the line pressure. However as soon as the fish slows, wind again and get it on the beach as soon as possible.
If the fish are not biting try a half pilchard instead of a whole one or try a spinner which sometimes will stir a fish into biting. If a location produces no bites do not stay long, move to the next most likely location and keep searching.
Most surf fishermen will choose the Alvey 650 A or C models but for some variation the geared side cast 650 GRC can often produce remarkable results. With its long casting distance ability your lure can reach right out to the back of a gutter. The rapid recovery rate moves the lure quickly through the water, often encouraging a good fish strike.
The splash of the lure hitting the water also arouses the interest of any fish so always get your reel into fishing position as soon as possible. (Recovery rate of 650GRC is 49" 125 cm per turn ) Gear ratio 2.5:1
Always cast into the white water or over it and wind back through it.



BEST BAITS: Green weed, cabbage weed, sometimes yabbies or worms.
Here we have a fish whose feeding habits differ greatly from other species mentioned. A small mouthed, weed-eating fish, which must be taken with a slender hold, on a small hook, after a very wary bite. Add to this, they are one of the greatest light gear fighters for size, and it can be seen that skill and thought are needed.
As the premier method used is float fishing, and it is preferable to have your line from rod tip to float, out of, or on top of the water, heavy lines are out. .30 mm will do, but if your ability lets you, use .25 mm.
To enable you to regularly change the depth of your rig ( as gear which is quickly adjustable helps you locate the fish) your float is left running on the line, and the depth of fishing is set, by a wool or nylon tie on the line above it. Many anglers favour a 5 mm piece of plastic tubing or valve rubber, through which the line is passed twice from the same end. The free running float gives a compact rig which can be cast well back into the tide, where the weight of the sinker and bait will pull the line through the float until the stop is reached. The weight then stands the float upright with the stem above the water.
The size of the float depends on the turbulence of water, but in calm conditions the fine pencil type float is used. Your rig below the float is firstly a small No. 10 swivel, which will successfully eliminate line twist below a free running float. (Should the angler prefer a float, fixed to the line at a given depth, the swivel must then be placed on the line above the float.) Then a trace of .25 line ( clear if possible ) attached to which is a small No. 8 to No. 10 hook. The amount of weight used should be just sufficient to make the trace hang straight down, weighting the float until it is running with only 25 mm tip above the water. The lead used is No. 00 split shot, sufficient pieces of which are clamped to the trace until the desired effect is realized. The float must go down with the bite, not have to be pulled down. The bottom split shot is usually kept at least 22 cm above the hook, unless it is desired to sink the bait quickly to dodge unwanted butterfish, tarwhine, etc.
The best bait for the estuary is Alga weed, sometimes called Moss or Greenweed, which is plaited a few times around the hook shank, and trail of 15 mm is left below the hook. As this weed swells in water it pays not to overbait. The Ulva weed (sea cabbage ) also produces some fish in the estuary particularly if the smaller new growth leaves are used. Sometimes Black fish will take yabbies, prawns and worms, but this is not their regular diet, as they are a herbivorous fish and their natural food is weed.
To keep fish active in your area it is necessary to have a good supply of burley, made from 1/2 loaf soaked bread, 2 handfuls of Bran and some finely chopped moss. Mix with sand and in a running tide, select sand with a fair deposit of mud. Feed small squeezed lumps into the water slightly up-tide. Remember that indiscriminate use of burley can have an undesirable effect on your fishing.
Your method of fishing is firstly to determine the depth. When your bait touches bottom, the float will lie sideways. Alter your float stop and start trying with bait just clearing the bottom. If you get no result, lift your bait up a foot and so on. At times they come on 1 metre above the bottom.
Your rod is held up to cushion line, but a difference occurs when winding and leaning on the weight of the fish. Your "strike" if it could be called that, is made with the rod laid slightly sideways against the way the float and fish are traveling. Always allow your float to go well down before attempting to hook the fish. Take your time, let him bounce around for a while, keeping his weight on your rod tip. He will tire but until he does, you will experience a thrill in Luderick that does not always exist in other types of fishing. To protect your light line, lift the fish from the water with a landing net.
Luderick spots in the estuary are fairly constant and can often be learned just by asking. The areas to explore would be deep water banks where there would be sunken timber, rocky reefs, sunken hulls, or similar obstructions underwater. Around the piles of bridges and jetties is another haunt. Along rock walls, particularly where deep water holes, or changing wall formation have caused a tide to eddy or swirl, can give an area to fish successfully at all stages of a tide.
The fish dislike clear sunlit water, a cloudy day with the water slightly discoloured brings the best fishing. The last two hours of the ebb tide and the first hour of the flood tide, particularly if occurring around dawn or dusk, are the conditions most sought.



BEST BAITS: Live poddy mullet, beach worms, yellowtail or tailor fillet, whole small squid.
The first thing you require when fishing for Mulloway is a great deal of patience. Mulloway are usually targeted by an angler and many hours can be spent trying to catch one of these impressive fish. Deep surf gutters, rocky headlands and deep river holes are best spots to seek a Mulloway, at night (new moon) and on the top or bottom of the tide. From May until September is the preferred time.
Cast out and then play a waiting game. Remain alert. If a Mulloway picks up the bait and starts moving, lean and wind to set the hook. (Do not jerk or the bait will be pulled out of the fish's mouth.) Once hooked a Mulloway will make at least one good run, possibly two. Line will have to be released but the angler should apply controlling pressure to the spool so that not too much line is taken. When the fish tires, start winding, turn the fish and bring it in. Be alert for the second run as the fish comes in close. Repeat the previous procedure until you land the fish.
A large Mulloway is a very highly prized catch by all anglers and certainly tests an angler's skills and equipment to the maximum. (SPECIAL NOTE:- When you have landed a Mulloway and long runs with a lot of line involved, the line pressure on the spool could be excessive. The line should be run off as soon as possible and wound back onto the spool under normal pressure to avoid damage to your reel.)
To rig live bait insert single hook through flesh behind the head. (Do not pierce backbone.) 



BEST BAIT: Live bait - small mullet, yabbies, prawns, white pilchards, also lures.
The flathead in our estuaries are essentially daytime feeding fish, which are more prevalent in summer months.
Many fishermen never make flathead fishing a specialty, preferring to fish a heavily weighted line with huge hook loaded with an unwieldy slab of fish flesh. This unit is put into the sea with the hope that a flathead will come along and catch himself.
On occasions they do oblige, so the "sleeper" line as it is known, has become popular with pastime anglers. They are not aware of the quantities and class of flathead that can be caught by the fisherman who goes out with the single purpose- to catch flathead.
The fish is lazy, preferring to lie partially buried in the sand, awaiting food to come to him. So the flathead must be searched out, and presented a moving bait, particularly if by weaving the rod tip the bait is made to swim in a jerky movement, giving the appearance of a small maimed fish.
Convince the flathead that the bait is alive, but unable to escape, and it will rush the bait and take it in one gulp. The subsequent struggles throw pieces of bait around and arouse other flathead in the vicinity, making it a good policy to cast back into the same area as quickly as possible.
The most encountered size of flathead is the "schoolie" of from 1/2 to 2 kilos, so the rig is designed to accommodate it, yet be successful if a bigger fish comes along.
The rig is a No. 2/0 fine pointed hook on a 30cm trace attached to the main line with a No 12 swivel. This small free running swivel used above the lead weight will keep the line free of twist from any cause whatsoever.
The main gear alteration is that a running sinker is not preferred as it slides along the line causing the bait to sink unnaturally. A split shot, clamping down to the trace about 16cm above the hook is all the weight necessary and being fixed allows the angler to swim the bait forward and down in a most realistic manner. Practice this bait movement by lifting and lowering the rod slowly, in shallow clear water until it is perfected, for this is the main part of the technique.
In any estuary fishing, do not resort to wire traces as they are stiff and take all the natural movement from the bait. Traces of lighter breaking strain than the line are also not favoured as this deludes the angler on the breaking strain of his gear. The same size nylon, perfectly clear, is preferred. Some anglers take the precaution of using a 30 cm trace of heavier nylon, but the sawing action by the head of the flathead mainly takes place on the surface, and if the fish is kept submerged as you are playing it, you will rarely have trouble.
The favoured baits would be white pilchards, yabbies and fresh prawns. Fish flesh can be a tempting bait if cut into small triangles and left free to move on the hook by inserting the point through once only at the broad end of the bait.
The bite from a flathead is entirely different from other fish. The first indication is similar to being snagged, so it pays to treat all obstructions as flathead, until proved differently. The flathead will turn its head and give the well known bump, and a pause must elapse before you wind the fish and lean. While not a strong fighter, he does save an extra burst for that period just before beaching or landing. If you don't rush him you can usually count the fish as yours.
To handle the fish, which has spikes on each side of its head, it is well to remember that a sharp blow 3 cm or so behind the eyes will stop its movement. In fact many big fish have been landed without net or gaff, by knocking them out with a rowlock, short piece of pipe, or wooden waddy, while it is still in the water beside the boat. In using a landing net, always place the hoop of the net around the head of the fish. It is obvious that any attempts to net from the tail will result in the fish continually swimming out of the net.
Flathead feed near fast running water, so look for any different features such as a change in formation, meeting of currents, or sand spit edge which will just keep them free of tide.
Remember you catch big flathead in very shallow water, close to the shoreline. Do not wade in until you have tried these places.
Small surf gutters and holes close to the shoreline very often have good size flathead pocketed in them. The use of an estuary rod and reel, loaded with 4 kg line, smaller hooks and a minimum of lead weight, is adequate here.
In this type of flathead fishing, the rigs, baits and methods used, are similar to those described in estuary flathead fishing. It is still a matter of searching the fish out by working the bait through the holes and right to the shoreline. A nylon trace with a size 2/0 hook is again the normal rig. Never wade into the water before it has been well tried, as the flathead could be in very shallow water.