Rock Fishing Tips


Rock Fishing is my favourite way to fish. Its challenging sometimes quite dangerous. If you do the basics right you will always catch a feed. We spent many years testing the Band Fishing Rigs Rock fishing. Fishing off Rocks as with any fishing good planning is essential, your gear needs to be up to the task and in top condition, not only because of fishing but sometimes gear gets dropped. Dropping gear on rocks is not a good idea. I remember a time when returning from a trip we had packs gear and fish climbing up a rock face, it was no problem getting down climbing back up with an extra load of fish was a far different scenario. Rather then planning we thought we could haul everything up in one go. Well it didn’t go as planned. I had a pack on my back a bag of fish an two rods when I got half-way up I slipped off the rock I had no choice but to let the rods and fish go. I managed to grab on using both hands but unfortunatley the rods and fish went crashing back to the bottom. There was fish scattered all over the place and one of the reels had broken. When out fishing there are always hidden dangers and adding stupidity to the mix doesn’t help at all. When out Rock Fishing always be careful if the sea doesn’t get you the rocks will. My companions were not happy. They seemed to be more concerned about the gear and fish.

Other dangers to be wary of especially when playing big fish is you constantly have to change positions so when your trying to rock hop at the same time as playing in a big fish can be dangerous and to top it off you have to constantly be aware of the waves. All this adds to the excitement of Rock Fishing.

On the News there are always reports of Fisherman being swept off the Rocks and Drowning it’s a dangerous method of fishing and no matter how careful we are there are always hidden dangers and it’s these hidden dangers that will get us. The article I wrote on the Rogue wave page is a constant reminder to me how close danger really is. I can recall many dangerous situations I have been in and it wasn’t through good common sense that I escaped it was just through pure luck or as my mum says through the Grace of God.




Rock Fishing Tips: For more fish...

As I have mentioned: first is good planning. Gear Must be maintained and be in top condition. You don’t know what your going to hook into out there so always be prepared to catch something big, and I mean catch not something big, not hook onto something big and your gear gives out. Safety gear first. The Ruapuke rock is notorious for its danger, many fisherman have fallen to their of been swept off by Rogue Waves. Because of that DOC have secured tethers around the Rock, fishermen can attach themselves to these tethers using a rope. In saying that I have never seen any fishermen use them. I must admit I don’t either. I guess one of the reasons is when playing fish you constantly need to move.


The Rod is crucial when Rock Fishing. I have seen many use the long surfcasters those rods are designed for surf fishing and are an absolute nuisance off the Rocks, not to mention dangerous. They are just too long and cumbersome. The ideal rod should be of 7 to 9 foot with a short solid base some power in the body and a medium to fine tip. There are Rods especially designed for Rock fishing so use them don’t compensate with anything else. Using the correct rod not only will you catch more fish; they will keep you safe because they are easier to handle on the rocky terrain. I have never seen a Surf Fisherman use a rock fishing rod for surfcasting so don’t use surfcasting rods for fishing off rocks.

On reels: most fishermen have their own favourites and I’m no different. I like the Shimmano Bait Runners and the Diawa Drum Reels they are both suited to all the fishing I do and have never let me down. Both these reels are of good quality and are rugged: so what ever reel you’re happy with, then that’s the one to use. There are so many Reels out on the market now it all gets a bit confusing so I just stick to the ones that I know.


Places like this provide some excellent Fishing but Safety First




Rock Fishing and Big Fish

Always check weather, tides, Moon-Phase before heading out. Make sure you have plenty of Berley. Berley is the Key before you start fishing a strong Berley trail is essential. Give the Berley time to work its magic, allowing you time to set up your gear. There is no point in casting the first baits out without a strong berley trail anyway. Use this time to set up all your gear. Your Berley supply should consist of a couple of berley bombs, Put them into a sack and just place them on the waters edge and the swell will do the rest, The next is to have a couple of kilos or so of bait you can cut into cubes and just throw them out into your fishing area, I like to use the Pilchards but you can use what you want. After about twenty minutes of Berley its time to fish. It won’t take long to catch your first fish. Usually its Kahawai or Trevalley, and usually the smaller snapper will start to feed as well. If all goes well then It won’t take long for the bigger fish to arrive. Now this is when its start to heat up, make sure you have some fresh live Kahawai for when the king fish show up, Have your live bait rig set up ready to go. But if your just after big snapper your fresh Kahawai is ideal cut into decent strips. Remember big baits big fish.

The danger with hooking big fish when your rock fishing your focus is more on the fish and its easy to ignore the rocky terrain and of course the swell. There is no fish in the world worth dying for. I have seen too many times fisherman risking their lives trying to retrieve fish that have been jammed in the Rocks and these are not even trophy fish. Mind you I have done the same thing. This usually happens when your day is not going well the fish are slow coming in and when you do finally catch a good fish the last you want to do is cut your line if the fish gets jammed.


Dangers of Rock Fishing This guy is Pushing his Luck




Rock Fishing-using the Band Fishing RIg INITIAL-SHOCK

It's one thing hooking a big fish it’s another thing keeping it on. Its not like surf fishing or fishing off the boat you don’t have the luxury of being able to bring in fish as they do, Many times Rock fishermen have deal the swell or waves smashing into to them and having to rock hop at the same time, it’s not easy. The Band fishing Rig when used will assist in playing the fish it reacts automatically to the fish: at the times when you have to avoid, waves or need to rock hop its hard to play the fish in these situations the fish has the chance to break off. The Band Fishing Rig will hold the fish in place and will play the fish for you. Your chance of losing that fish is greatly reduced. The Bands right down by the Fish. It takes the initial shock when the fish decides to take off. The Band puts less strain on your gear. With the rod, reel and Band combination the fish has no chance. Easier to play and less chance of it breaking off. Next time your out on the Rocks give the Band a try, as soon as you hook up on your first fish you will instantly feel the difference.

People always say fish won’t take the bait if they see the Band; well there have been thousands of fish caught with the Band all around the world. This means that all the fish that have been caught with the Band have been blind, somehow I don’t think so.


This Floating Rig Set up is Excellent off the Rocks


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