1.   Planning Your Land Based Fishing Trip

  • Newbie lure fishers are often surprised at how much preparation top anglers do behind the scenes. If you have one or two spots and fish them all the time with mixed results it’s time to put a bit more thought and strategy behind your fishing.
  • Know what species you plan to target and get to understand their habits and behaviours.
  • Use Google Earth Pro to look for places where the habitat preferred by your target species exists, then check access, steepness and so on. It’s preferable to download the app to your computer, rather than use the browser version as pro is free but has lots of useful features not on the cloud version.
  • Drop pins on your google map where there are likely spots, then think about what tides, winds and other conditions favour each spot you’ve marked. You can save this as a kml file and open it on your mobile phone (the cloud version of Google Earth is fine for this).
  • Make sure when you leave home you have identified several spots to try on various stages of the tide or wind conditions. This gives you a plan A, B, C and D in case things don’t work out at your number one spot.

2.   Land Based Lure Fishing Tackle

  • Obviously, land based anglers must carry their gear to their chosen fishing spot and don’t have the luxury of bringing multiple fishing rods – unless the chosen spot is one that can be driven up to!
  • Having a target species in mind narrows down the amount of rod and reel combos you’ll need to carry. Choosing versatile combinations of gear enables the angler to target by-catch species if the opportunity presents itself.
  • Going slightly heavier on lines and leaders than you might for boat or kayak fishing will compensate for the more limited control land based anglers can exert on a fish and the frequent need to land fish close to structure or sharp objects.
  • Sun protection clothing, first aid kits, polarised sunglasses and good footwear are part of the land based luring kit.

3.   Lures For Land Based Fishing

  • It’s hard to ignore soft plastic lures for land based fishing – they’re light to carry, versatile and effective on lots of species and in numerous scenarios. A selection of paddletail, grub and jerkbait style soft plastics is worth having in your land based fishing kit, in sizes to suit the species you’ll target. Standard jig heads are great, but having some unweighted worm hooks, some snakelockz style weights and some tungsten putty enables an angler to fish plastic topwater or at depth, even if there is wind and current to contend with.
  • Metal lures such as spoons and jigs are great as they cast like bullets and are very effective fished briskly for pelagics or sunk down and fished with jerks and twitches for demersal species.
  • Topwater lures such as poppers and stickbaits are perfect for shallow water fishing where other lure styles might get hung up in submerged structure. Besides, it’s always a blast watching lures get smashed off the water surface!
  • The above lure styles should be staples in a land based fishing kit, in my opinion, but most lure styles can be useful for land based fishing at times. Spinnerbaits are versatile and snag resistant and definitely have their place, soft vibes, metal blades, hard bodies (especially deep divers) are all good in the right circumstances.

4.   Land Based Lure Fishing Techniques

  • Don’t always make a beeline for places where you can get a cast into deep water. Lots of fish species come into shallow water and close to shorelines to feed, yet lots of land based anglers overlook the shallows and miss out on some exceptional fishing.
  • Big fish come into shallow water purely to feed, so when you find them around the edges and in the shallows they’re highly likely to take a well presented lure.
  • It’s often a good strategy to make a few casts from well back away from the water. Often by walking to the waters edge you’ll be spooking the fish that are in the shallows feeding, so start casting from well back and then work your way up to the water, fanning out casts as you go.
  • Before making a cast, have a think about your strategy when you hook a fish. Taking the time to present your lure from an angle that allows you to draw the fish out of structure is a good idea.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and observant for indicators and signs of when, where and how to fish. The three B’s are all good signs that you’re fishing in the right place (ie bait, birds and bust-ups) as they indicate either that there are feeding fish there or that there are prey items that will at some stage attract a feeding fish.
  • Be methodical and work each area thoroughly using a handful of lures and trying various retrieves with each. Once you find a lure and retrieve that is working you can rinse and repeat at similar locations and will likely get results.
  • The use of a small clip (eg a Mustad Fastach) will allow quick lure changes, since you probably wont have six rods pre-rigged with a bunch of different lures. It also means you’ll spend less time cutting and retying your leaders.

5.   Land Based Lure Fishing Techniques

  • It can be challenging to land and safely return a fish to the water when you’re land based fishing. For boat fishers, the catch can be lifted into the boat with an environet, laid carefully on a cool, wet surface for unhooking and then returned to the water without bruising or loss of scales.
  • Land based fish are often washed up on rock ledges, dragged up sandy beaches, pulled over oysters and so on. Once landed they might find themselves on a rough jetty surface, hot rocks, burning sand and so on. Try and handle your catch as sensitively as possible. If you’re keeping it you’ll find the fish is better eating if it’s not bruised and battered. Obviously if you’re releasing your catch it’s best to do so in a condition that gives it a good chance of survival.


Fishing from a boat or a kayak often makes fishing that much simpler and easier not to mention more comfortable, at times. However, you don’t need to go to the expense of buying or hiring a boat to enjoy your fishing, learn a ton and catch a few fish too. Like any discipline, the results you enjoy from your land based fishing are proportionate to the among of planning and effort you put in!


Greg Vinall

Greg “Doc Lures” Vinall

Mad Scientist, Lure Maker, Podcast Host

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.

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Episode 547: Fishing Around Exmouth In Spring With Steve Riley

Episode 547: Fishing Around Exmouth In Spring With Steve Riley

Every time I interview Steve Riley about fishing the Exmouth area I get blown away by the opportunities on offer, but I think this interview could be my favourite so far. Steve spills the beans on five land-based fishing spots that are available to visiting anglers during spring. In the course of the conversation we cover everything from bream and whiting to tuna, reef species and pelagics including monster GT from the beach. What a destination!


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