Getting Started with Greg James - How To Catch A ...
Here it is, you're all in one guide on how to catch a specific fish. Using Greg James' personal knowledge, gathered over years of experience (including both failures and successes!), you too can now share in his expertise on how to land the fish you've always wanted!
More fish will be added soon, so check back frequently!
Garfish tend to be surface-schooling fish and come from the marine half-beak species that are found right around the southern Australian coastline. Best rigs for these fish in my opinion are those that set your baits on or near the surface - anywhere within one (1) metre of water. Here's a simple but effective garfish rig from Greg James.
- Run the line from your rod/handline to a pencil float.
- Tie off another two (2) metres of line below the float with two (2) long-shaft hooks.
- Add a couple of split shot weights to the line if the tide is running fast (this will help sink the line a fraction).
- Bait hooks with either gents, cockle or even small soft pieces of fish flesh - I use the black cockle-piece for best results!
- Don't forget to use light pellet berley initially to attract the fish!
Big snook are best caught with a moving lure or bait, normally from a boat moving at around 5 knots. Greg James believes the real tip to catching them is to set your line to run about 1m below the surface.
Here are some other tips from Greg to consider when going for snook!
- Grab some barrel sinkers and thread them on to your line, using pliers to squeeze the ends tight. Greg believes setting them approximately 1m apart is best.
- Use a double-ganged (or triple) hook set up, and attach your bait in a ribbon fashion.
- As your boat moves forward, regularly pull/ease the line in a slow, deliberate manner to simulate movement.
- If you're fishing over a rocky bottom, you will get best results by fishing with the wind running behind you and against the tide.
- One of the best lures I find for snook is the touch white flotation bladder from the stomach of the fish itself! Gut the snook and at the very top/bottom of the stomach is a long, white, sinewy and narrow floatation bladder. Give it a go!
Greg James has caught many big reds in his time & would like to pass on his tips as follows:
- Local knowledge is best, so contact professionals like Greg (via his website).
- Greg James is always on the water fishing at least one hour before dawn.
- Greg James runs two types of rigs, regardless of the tide:
- A medium sized hook with small or no sinker & a big piece of cheesy squid
- A heavier set-up with the sinker either close or on the bottom using fish pieces, usually pilchards (mulies) and/or squid pieces
- If using a rod & reel, set the drag at 2kg or more
- Always (always!) use fresh bait _ndash; pilchards, squid, red mullet, Mr Ruffs in that order
- Oyster shells mixed with burley make the best ground bait by a long way
- If there are other boats already fishing, don't join the mob, anchor down tide & use your burley to cunningly draw the fish to you!
- Snapper are not always caught in the deepest water – I have a spots where the water is less than 8 feet deep!
Here's an example of a snapper rig made by Greg that has helped him catch many a snapper in his time...
Most anglers fish for whiting with rigs that put a bottom hook below their sinker. This rig works well with good tides and fresh bait - but, if you want to land one of those monster KG's that Greg loves to bang on about - here's the rig for you: run one or both (yes, both!) hooks below your sinker for anything up to a metre of line and don't worry if the bottom hook operates above the sandy bottom of the ocean floor. Tight Lines!
Squid are one of Greg James' most loved species - he especially loves it when he manages to get ink all over one of his fishing companions!
Big squid can be caught in the months of March through to May and often quite close to shore. Here are Greg's latest tips on how to bag yourself a couple:
- Carefully select an area approximately 1-2 kilometres off the shore line with a tape ribbon weed and flat rocky bottom.
- Often, just allowing your boat to drift with a light breeze or tide produces the best results rather than anchoring or trolling in earnest.
- Allow the lure to almost touch the bottom, or float marginally above the weed line.
- As you pull the squid up to the side of the boat, allow it to stay in the water at the surface for a moment to expel all its ink. This will prevent a messy clean-up operation later!
Here is Greg James' very own style of lure that has landed many a monster squid. The dual lure system fools the squid into thinking a bigger fish is chasing a smaller one, eliciting a stronger response from the big squid!
Salmon are a fish with the huge ability to migrate right across the southern coastline of Australia from east to west in the hot summer months of Janueary through to March/April each year. Salmon trout are juvenile salmon and grow quickly to maturity. Here are some hot tips from Greg James to help you lander a monster salmon!
- Salmon come in close to shore in our estuaries and bays as they feed in the shallows.
- Seek out the deeper holes and gutters close to shore and 'work" the area by moving and casting across a range of these habitats.
- Salmon swim in large schools and can often be seen running in close to shore when the water runs from deep to shallow very quickly, like on big surf beaches.
- Greg James has often found the best time to catch monster salmon is trolling just beyond the wave zone of medium-big surf beaches on days when the water is all "stirred-up" or murky.
When all your money is tied up for the month & you need to go to basics, try this fool-proof Greg James tip – for a great salmon lure!
- Cut a piece of clear plastic tubing about 50mm long.
- Remove a "U" shaped wedge removed from one end using pliers or scissors.
- Slide a hook into the wedge-end so that the hook is nestled in the tube and then affix the shank of the hook to your main line.
I have seen this absolutely clean up at Browns, Beachport, Nora Creina Bay, The Granites, Fowlers Bay, Waitpinga Beach, Emu Bay and The Dairy!
Tommy Ruffs are part of the herring, salmon, sardine & pilchard family & are a great way to get the family started in the responsible fishing lifestyle. Try a local jetty just after dusk or in the early morning for best results – here are some further tips from Greg James:
- Use light gear & a rod with a very flexible tip.
- Best bait is gents, cockles, worms or fish flesh, but needs to be soft.
- Try setting a small wire burley cage above your hook set-up.
- Fish over weed & rocky bottom where tommies are companion fish with gar & salmon trout.
- Attach some light ball sinkers below the burley cage/float to enable the baits to sink quickly to avoid the pesky smaller fish when first setting up.
Blue crabs are an amazing creature and need protection from over-fishing, so don't go out to catch the bag limit. 12 nice blueys is plenty for any family or friends to enjoy! Here are tips from Greg James:
- Blue crabs are seasonal & are best caught between September & April each year
- Use good quality crab nets from the boat or jetty or a rake along the beach shallows while wading (take a good pair of sandshoes!)
- The best bait is fish frames/heads and pilchards are an excellent back-up
- Snapper frames do not work, as snapper prey on blueys year round
- Put the bait in a bait basket to keep it intact
- Crab-nets must be attended at all times & should be marked with a white float
- Make sure you have a crab measure handy
- Females with eggs/berries are totally protected & must be returned to the water immediately
- Always cook the blueys in salted water for the best tastes!
Don't forget to try Greg James' Blue Crab Glaze!