Greg "Doc Lures" Vinall
Podcast Host, Lure Maker, Scientist, Educator
Greg has hosted the Australian Lure Fishing Podcast since it started in January 2019.He’s a qualified environmental scientist, lure making educator and tragic lure fisher.
Greg’s Five Estuary Fishing Tips
Estuaries are incredibly productive systems and there is plenty of great fishing to be had for those who play their cards right. They’re often tough to fish during holiday periods because of the extra traffic and commotion that disturbs the fish.
Anyway, here are five tips to try if you find yourself estuary fishing on one of those tough days!
Tip Number 1: Get An Early Start
Being out on the water before dawn enables you to catch the last of the night feed and to diligently work your lures during low light periods before the majority of the boating traffic hits the water. Once the water skiers and jet skiers arrive the fish often shut down, so it’s good to be very early, even if it means you’re not fishing the perfect tide.
Tip Number 2: Find Areas Where The Water Is Moving
In many places and for many species the old saying “No Run, No Fun” is true. Tidal currents aggregate baitfish, oxygenate water and concentrate predatory fish. So if you find yourself fishing at the top or bottom of the tide, or on a neapish tidal cycle, look for creeks, drains and windswept areas where there is at least some water movement. These areas will generally hold bait and fish.
Tip Number 3: Switch Things Up
Just because a spot fished well this time last year, last month or even yesterday, doesn’t mean it will fish well using the same lures and techniques today. By all means, start with the same lures and techniques. But if they’re not working, don’t persist and stay there doing the same thing for hours on end. Keep trying different things until you find what’s working – or shift spots and find active fish, perhaps coming back to the original spot later.
Tip Number 4: Pay Attention To Detail, Do The One Percent Things
The one thing worse than having a doughnut day is to have a donut day because you threw away opportunities. One tough days you have to make every chance count, so make sure your hooks are sharp, check the health of your leader, retie your knots, apply some scent, be stealthy and methodical as you work your way towards catching some fish.
Tip Number 5: Work Your Way Through Your Lure Box
Most of us have a large selection of lures to choose from, but we fall back on a few favourites for any given species and location. If those reliable favourites aren’t doing the job it might be that fish are wise to them, or just that they aren’t attracted on the day. I like to start with lures that are similar to, but different from the old favourites – not just a different colour though, different size, shape, sound or vibration. If that doesn’t work I’ll start going through the whole box, trying anything and everything in the hopes of getting a reaction bite. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to a different spot or school of fish. Maybe come back to this school later 😉