All round angling adventure arsenal…
Take stock of all the times you’ve admired a bewitchingly fishy looking gutter or headland while cruising the beach. Or slowed down to inspect a remote creek or stream that couldn’t not be teeming with bass, trout or perch
It seems as though you stumble across these types of joints almost exclusively when ill prepared and under gunned.
Loading and fine-tuning tackle boxes and lure kits, servicing reels and carefully packing rods are all part of the fun of getting prepped for a proper fishing mission.
Not so much when you’re just trying to get out of the driveway and beat peak hour for a quick run up the beach.
Time off out in the bush is a precious commodity, all the more so for those attempting to manage at times competing camping, 4WDing and fishing habits.
The brain wave that resulted in me packing a basic fishing kit and stowing it under a seat in the back of the fourby, along with a two-piece spin rod, has revolutionised my annual fishing calendar.
On top of local sessions and three or four dedicated weeklong piscatorial parlays annually, I now manage to wet a line on at least half a dozen additional vehicle or product testing trips as well as family camping getaways.
Manage to get the rig into low range, sleep in your swag and wet a line all in a single weekend? Truly something to brag about come Monday and you can call that a win/win/win!
WHAT’S IN THE BAG?
A small waterproof backpack houses an ideal multi-purpose fishing kit. There’s ample space to store a couple of tackle trays of lures, some packs of soft plastics and jigheads, a tray of hooks and terminals plus a knife, multi tool, scaler, spools of leader and the other requisite odds and ends.
The idea when building your kit is to winnow away the superfluous and specific and include the sort of multi purpose equipment that translates well across most light to medium tackle fishing applications.
A few packs of size 1, 1/0 and 2/0 suicide and long shank pattern hooks will snare anything from whiting to soapy jew in the estuaries and off the beach, as well as trout and carp in freshwater lakes and just about any freshwater native in inland streams.
The same three to four inch soft plastics and shallow divers you cast for flatties and bream at your local sand flat will do the job just fine when trying your hand at Tasmanian brown trout or a stealthy jungle perch in the Atherton Tablelands.
While a dedicated fishing knife is useful for preparing rigs, cutting bait and filleting and dispatching your catch, a multi tool will become your go-to gadget, with dozens of useful applications that’ll become apparent every session.
Each individual’s ideal fishing kit is going to look a little different. While it’s great to be prepared for a range of angling scenarios, it’s much better to be realistic in your targets in order avoid lugging around a heap of gear that will hardly ever get used.
If the bulk of your local fishing forays centre around targeting estuary staples like bream and whiting, build your kit with that focus. Likewise if freshwater natives or bait fishing the beach tends to account for most of your hours on the water.
It’s certainly handy to include some multi purpose lures like shad and wriggler tail soft plastics that can be adapted for many purposes, and proven lure patterns like Bomber minnows and Reidy’s B52s that account for everything from barra to flathead, jewfish and tailor on the regular.
Once you’ve built your kit and ferried it along on a number of outings, it can be worth sorting through tackle trays and cutting down on unused items while supplementing those lures that tend to get a swim every session.
TELESCOPIC VS. MULTI-PIECE?
Telescopic rods sound great in theory as a space saving initiative, but in practice their action is soggy and clunky and they’re a real drag to fish with.
If space is severely limited such as when hiking into a remote destination, a telescopic stick can do the trick, although a quality multi piece spin rod will serve much better most of the time.
A spin rod rated to 2-4kg won’t take up much space in the back of the rig and is a perfect stick for flicking soft plastics, lures and baits for estuary species like flathead and whiting, and should hold up to the occasional encounter with larger predators.
Matched with a small spin reel loaded with 10lb braid, said setup can be used effectively when fishing from the shore as well as from small boats and kayaks and you can adjust your leader strength down if stalking finicky freshwater targets, then beef things up when fishing amongst structure.
A sturdier 8-10kg rated rod will be a better option if you tend to target top of the food chain predators like jewfish or barramundi up north.
If most of your fishing sessions involve casting baits to frothy beachfront gutters, a longer 10-12ft two-piece surf rod will have you sorted.
JUST DO IT
Throwing together a basic fishing kit and stowing it in the back of the rig allows you to fish with spontaneity. Having the option to cast a line when pulled over for lunch or after pitching camp for the day adds a new element to offroad drives and camping trips, and you might just be surprised how often spur of the moment fishing sessions can pay off.
There’s not much better than catching a haul of fresh fillets off your own steam while out exploring a new location, plus you might just inspire yourself to get out there a little more often if tasty camp cooked seafood dinners start turning up on the menu more frequently.