WAYNE’S TOP TEN – Frequently Asked Questions
1.) Fixed spool or multiplier?
Generally for heavier work where bigger leads are required, particularly when boat fishing, a multiplier will be the favoured reel. There are of course fixed spool reels that are capable of heavy fishing, the Slammer range from Penn have oversized support shafts and drag washers to cope with the rigours so it comes down to personal preference, the key is to match the reel to your fishing needs and buy the best quality kit your budget will allow.
2.) Do I need any qualifications to drive a boat?
In short no – but anyone new to the world of boat owning would do well to consider an RYA course such as the Powerboat Level 2 which will guide you through the basics of boat handling etc.
3.) Do I need a shock leader?
If you are just dropping the weight over the side of a boat it’s not really necessary but if you are beach casting then it’s definitely wise to use one. If the weight you are using exceeds the strength of your mainline you need to use a shock leader. As a rule for every ounce of weight you need 10lbs of mainline – in other words if your casting a 6oz weight you should use 60lb shock leader.
4.) What is the best all round bait for boat angling?
There is no real answer to this question as it depends on the species you are targeting. Worm, Cuttle, Crab, Squid, Fish and Shellfish all have a place, but of the baits mentioned one of the most versatile is Squid. Whole or multiple Squid will account for Cod, Bass, Tope, Conger, Hounds and Ray amongst others. Strips of Squid will pick up Bream, Gar, Whiting, Mackerel, Pout, Gurnard and any number of other species will all take Squid bait in one form or another.
5.) Braid or Mono?
There are pro’s and con’s for both – Braid allows less lead to be used when boat fishing and gives more detection as there is little stretch, also it does not break down when exposed to UV rays so while it is more expensive than Mono it tends to last longer. The downside is it is prone to cut off’s if caught on sharp ground etc, also any tangles that pull tight are difficult to undo and it can seriously cut into fingers if your not careful.
Mono has plenty of stretch which can help when playing a fish, its cheaper and easier to tie knots with, it is also far less prone to tangling then Braid.
Both have a place and at the end of the day it usually comes down to personal preference.
6.) Do I need a licence to fish in the sea?
No – unless you are targeting Salmon and Sea Trout in which case you will need a Migratory Fish licence.
7.) Fresh or frozen baits?
Most Squid and Cuttle comes frozen and although I have used freshly caught Squid/Cuttle as bait there has been no difference whatsoever in catch rates as long as the frozen bait is good quality. The same goes for Mackerel, I have had some superb catches on frozen Mackerel and on more than one occasion it has outfished the fresh offerings. There are occasions when a live Joey or Launce will heavily influence your catch rates especially when Bass fishing on banks and wrecks but generally good frozen bait is just as effective as fresh.
8.) Can I cure my sea-sickness?
Well there are a few things that may help – do not go on the lash the night before! You will regret it when you are on the water the next day. Eat little and often and stick to water as opposed to fizzy drinks. Ginger can help if you don’t mind the taste and you can try one of the medications that are on the market.
9.) What safety equipment do I need on my boat?
Lifejackets with crutch strap (worn not stowed away!) VHF radio, Flares, Charts, Compass, GPS, Spare Anchor, Fire Extinguisher, First Aid Kit and a fair few other items such as spare clothing, drinking water, torch etc can all be useful. A good idea is to book a Sea Check with your local RNLI, its free – although a small donation is a nice touch – and it will give you a good idea of what you will require aboard your boat.
10.) How can I improve my catches?
There is nothing like experience. Getting yourself out on a boat or beach and actually putting some hours in is your best bet – however if you know someone with a bit of experience who is willing to offer tips and advice then all the better.