Rock Fishing

THE REEL

Alvey “E” series reels are specifically designed for rock fishing.   650 has both a graphite and steel backed models with positive direct wind to winch fish up the rocks and a one way drag that controls the feel if you take your hands off the handles.   650BE1   650E5 (Rapid retrieve handle versions also available)

THE ROD

You can use a surf rod off the rocks but usually because of having to lift fish, a heavier rod is used with 7 wraps, 8 wraps or even 9 wraps of glass in the rod.   Alvey Rod625

THE LINE

Normally 10kg line or heavier would be used around rocks.   We recommend Platypus LoStretch or Platinum lines.   The line should match the rod’s capacity which is usually marked on it.

Rock fishing can be dangerous and therefore not for the novice, however it can produce excellent results. There are some hard and fast rules that must be followed if you are contemplating fishing from the rocks. Never fish alone. Go with a mate, preferably an experienced rock hopper. Always keep your eye on the water and if possible, retreat on the first sign of dangerous swell. If you are caught by a surging wave, stand with one foot in front of the other, with your weight on the front foot facing the surge and watch out for the water sweeping in around behind you. Bad weather and a rising tide will create dangerous conditions, so spend time watching the sea conditions where you want to fish before committing yourself.

Channels, gutters and white water caused by waves breaking over submerged rocks are excellent cover for fish.

Fishing on the bottom will naturally result in snags and lost tackle due to the wave action sweeping your gear around rocks. If you can put up with this, good fish can be caught. Fishing under a float will minimise lost tackle and allow your bait to move with the surge. A large running “bobby” float with the bait set just short of the bottom is the best method.

When you hook a fish from the rocks, strike with the same lift and wind method used for all other forms of fishing, but play the fish out in open water before bringing it close in.

Some fish, if they are small enough, can be lifted out of the water, but large fish may need gaffing. A rock gaff should be about 3 to 4m long. Gaffing the fish is the most dangerous part of rockfishing. The person gaffing the fish has to expose themselves to danger by getting close to the water to reach the fish and can be distracted attempting

to sink the gaff. Therefore the angler playing the fish must be ready to warn of impending danger.

Spinning off the rocks with lures is just as successful as on the beach. Use the same lure types and methods, but be prepared to lose a few of them to snags. If you have to bring your lure or tackle over shallow rocks, lift the rod and wind fast to skip it over.

Handy Hint: Place knives and other sharp objects in a safe location.