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Fishing How-To's

If you want to know how to set up a fishing rod, tie a knot, cast and catch fish with your kids, here are some easy steps to make fishing easy and fun for beginners.

fishing / HOW-TO'S

Dropping a line in the water with your kids is pretty simple - all you need is a rod and reel, a bit of bait or some lures (see gear). If you are using bait, tie a simple rig of a little hook and a small sinker to help the bait drop down to where the fish are. 

Check out this video, which gives some basic tips on how to catch fish with young kids.

We are busy filming new videos that explain how to set up a fishing rod, how to tie a simple knot, fishing with bait and lures and where to go fishing. We look forward to sharing these videos with you soon.

Tying a simple uni knot

If you don't know any fishing knots then the trick is to learn one basic knot and use it for attaching your rigs and tying on hooks. The more you tie it, the easier it becomes.

The uni knot is a good one to learn because it is strong and really easy to do - if you can tie shoes laces then you should be able to master this one. There are four steps to the uni knot:

1. Run the line through the eye of the hook and double back to form a loop by leaving the tag end over the double line

2. Wrap the tag end around the double line by going through the loop

3. Do this six times to give the knot strength

4. Moisten the line a little then pull the main line to tighten knot on the hook.

Notes: The 'tag end' is the end of the line. It is important to moisten the line as it prevents friction and helps the knot slide along the line. This is generally done by putting the knot in your mouth and wetting it a little. Cut off any extra tag line you have but not too close to the knot so it doesn't slip through. Attached are a few photos outlining the steps. I have used blue rope and a washer instead of fishing line and a hook so it is easier to see how the knot is tied.



A running sinker is a reliable, simple rig that can be used to catch a range of fish found in estuaries right through the deep-water. 

1. Cut about one metre of trace line (or use your main line if you don’t have any)

2. Tie a hook on one end and a swivel on the other using a uniknot

3. Thread a ball sinker onto your main line and join it to the other end of the swivel with a uniknot.


You will need to set your rod up which means threading the line from the reel through the eyelets on the rod and pulling it through so that you can attach a clip, swivel or hook on the end of the line.

The hook and sinker arrangement or what you put on the end of your line is called a rig. There are heaps of different rigs and it generally depends on the type of fish you are catching and where you are fishing. If you are fishing in calm water off a jetty, you may need only a small hook and sinker, whereas if you are beach fishing, you may need a big sinker and hook

2. Putting on bait

There is a huge variety of bait you can use for example squid, pilchards, prawns, worms or even bread. Research what your target species eats so you know what bait to use.

Match the size of your bait to your hooks. If you are chasing small fish, use small hooks and small pieces of bait and for bigger species, use larger hooks and baits.

Aim to fill the hook with bait however try to keep the barbed section on the point of the hook exposed so you have a better chance of catching your fish.      

3. Attaching a lure

Lures are very easy as you can store them in your tackle box and are great for situations where there are fish feeding on the surface, if there are schools of fish around or maybe some quid around.

The easiest way to attach lures is to tie a small clip on the end of the trace line. Then all you have to do it attach the lure onto the clip. If you want to change lures then it makes it simple to clip them on or off. A small clip is also handy if you want to switch to using bait, you can unclip the lure and then attach a bait rig.