Gideon “Gido” Mettam
Land-based Specialist and Youtuber
Gido is a keen rock climber and land based fishing fish who specialises in big, tough fish from the rocks. He’s combined these two passions and developed a knack for targeting some tough species that aren’t normally considered lure fishing targets.
Gido’s Top Tips For Albany Blue Groper Fishing
- Blue groper are relatively common in the Albany area, but are not typically aggressive lure takers. The secret is to find an area where there are plenty of groper present and then keep fishing until you find one that’s willing to take a lure.
- Gido looks for rock ledges that give good, safe access to the water with minimal structure immediately in front of the ledge for fish to bury themselves in.
- Groper fishing spots don’t have to be deep water. Fish are often in relatively shallow water and Gido has seen them rolling on their sides over bommies to take barnacles and other food items.
- Research the area you intend to fish on Google Earth before you leave home. You’re looking for ledges close to the water with not too much structure immediately below the ledge where fish are to be landed, but with plenty of bommies within casting distance. Groper are structure oriented, so look for places with ledges, caves and overhangs.
- Groper fishing isn’t overly dependent on tides, Gido finds most species fish best on a new or full moon, but groper can be caught on any tide. The bottom of the low just as it’s starting to rise and on a bigger tidal cycle are his favourite option, if he had to pick. Right through the day fishes well, it’s not just a low light opportunity.
- This is not a situation where fish can be allowed to run far. Using a very heavy drag, pump and wind the fish to turn its head away from structure as quickly as possible.
- Gido uses abseiling equipment to access some of the better ledges, where fishing pressure is obviously quite low. However, Gido was an experienced climber and abseiler before he combined climbing and fishing. Please don;t attempt to climb or abseil to fishing spots unless you are a competent and experienced climber.
- When fishing the ledges Gido leaves his abseiling harness on and adds and anchor point down near the ledge. This will ensure that he’s not dragged off the rocks or left swinging like a pendulum if a freak wave hits.
- Wear an inflatable PFD when fishing the rock ledges. Gido prefers manually inflating pfd’s because they make it easier to swim away from the wash zone and into safer water before deploying them.
- Gido finds that socks (no shoes) give the best grip on the black slime covered wet rocks of the South West Coast.
- Be sure to check the weather conditions carefully before leaving home, and once out on the cliff tops, spend plenty of time watching the waves to get a feel for the sets before heading down to a ledge to fish.
Gido’s Tackle Recommendations For Blue Groper
- GT Popping gear is the norm. A 9ft PE 6-8 rod and a Stella 20,000 reel is a good combination that allows for long casts, helps steer the fish away from structure and can handle the heavy lures and locked drags typically associated with this style of fishing. He loads his Stella with 80lb Tas Braid with an FG knot to 2-3m of 170 or 200lb fluorocarbon leader.
- Gido also has a PE 4-5, 10’6” rod with 50lb braid that gets used for this style of fishing also.
- A long pole gaff is useful for landing fish. A net attachment for the gaff can be useful for catch and release, but can be very difficult to use with barnacles and structure present in the wish beneath a ledge. A cliff gaff that slides down the line is the most useful tool for landing fish and sometimes (but not always) pins a fish in the mouth, allowing for catch and release.
Gido’s Blue Groper Lure Selection
- Z-Man Jerk Shads are a good plastic to use. 5-8” models in pink or white work well when cast to the bommies and allowed to sink close to the bottom, then worked back in a series or rod jerks and sweeps to allow the lure to sink back close to structure. 3 oz jig heads are the norm for casting long and for getting the lures down in the current and when there is plenty of wind. A 1 or 1.5 oz jig head is sometimes used on the lighter and longer rod. Hooks are typically extra strong 7/0 size.
- The Abrolhos McPaddle is an effective blue groper lure in glow white or purple and has caught more groper for Gido than any other lure. He fishes it in a similar way to the Jerk Shad but less aggressively. Most strikes come as the lure is on the drop.
- Chase Baits Smash Crab is Gido’s third choice and he’s found it very effective on groper. This lure comes with hooks and weights installed and is a little light for the rocks, so Gido fishes it on the lighter of his two rods. Usually fish strike this lure once it reaches the wash zone and is wafting around like a stranded crab.