Jump to content

Must Haves When Rock Hopping

the one that got away

Recommended Posts

Hey Raiders,

With it being spring and summer around the corner and me moving houses, I'm super keen to get into some rock fishing for everything from Luderick to Kingfish. I know it's not the safest of fishing options, but I'll will go out with someone more experienced my first few times until I feel more confident.

That comes to my question to some Raiders that enjoy rock fishing, what are some must haves when rock fishing? Everything from fishing tackle, to safety equipment, to even some small things that might make a big difference!

Would love to hear everyone opinion, and it'd be greatly appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mate common sence is one of the biggest things but you will need rock boots with cleats a light life jacket a fishing mate as well never fish off the rocks alone seriously it is not worth it. a phone to check up on the wind/swell direction/height just be safe don't take stupid ricks. we fish off the stone on the central coast

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Proper footwear - I've found the best are the slip over ice-climber style cleats.

Grip super well, don't wear down like the spikes, light, can scrunch up and put them in your bag & the best part is you just slip them on when you get to your destination (no need for two pairs of boots, or unnecessarily wearing down spikes).

* General fishing tackle (swivels, hooks, trace, sinkers, floats)

* Rod grips (gives you a hand free) + 2 piece rods are great.

* A good hiking pack that can take a lot of gear.

* Water & Food

* A bucket + Rope (may not be needed, but if you're using livebait pools then you will + its always good to have)

Also i like to take rope + a carabiner clip, to attach to my reels if i leave them in rock rod holders. (Incase a large wave come up and wash your gear in... never had it happen but its insurance).

Also a tip, look to see what rocks have water on them/are wet, this will give you an indication of where the waves are breaking/getting to. If its not high tide yet, its going to get worse. Always look at the location for 20 mins to scope it out and make sure its safe. And put your gear back a long way if you don't want it getting washed in!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A piece of advice that I received from an experienced angler when I first ventured into the rock hopping world many moons ago.

The advice is "Whether baiting up, pulling up a fish up or just gazing around, never ever turn your back to the water when fishing off rocks, even when you think it's calm enough"

It only takes one wave to sneak up behind you and it could be fatal.

I have always stuck to this rule, and (knock on wood) have never had any issues.

On the contrary, my mates have done the opposite and have ended up with a lot of cuts and bruises (luckily not 6 foot under).

You would think this is common sense but you would be surprised how many people get "too comfortable" out there.

Another rule I stick to is...."Don't take unnecessary risks, no fish in the world is worth your life!"



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Theres some great advice above!

Common sense is definately a "must have".

I also have a saying " if it's in the drink, let it sink".

An automatic reaction to having your gear swept in is to try and retrieve it. Many people are no longer with us just from trying to salvage their bucket or tackle box etc.

A must have for me is a bucket with rope but also use one with a tight lid so it can be used as a life ring if needed!

Cheers scratchie!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest123456789

Everything listed here plus:

A friend

Fishing licence



Aniseed pellets

Fishing pliers

Keeper net


Brag mat or measuring tape

Head lamp (red light)

DONT take a net or gaff. If you can't get the fish up onto the ledge than it's unsafe because YOU won't have an exit point should

you fall in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep been rock fishing off midnth coast since i was 14 (took my dad on his very first expedition ) hes a bass fisho opened his eyes up a little , check the area yr thinking of going too even just go there a few times with no intention of fishing just to watch for a few hrs , go on a incoming tide then maybe when its full , take into consideration of swell and sea heights and wind direction , wind i find is critical in some spots , make a massive difference to wave heights and ricochets of the rocks near where youd be fishing

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

long handle gaffs make landing the fish of a lifetime possible...try washing out a 30kg cobia....also depending on where u r fishing cleats are not always practical..a lot of central and north coast ledges are conglomerate and cleats are a no.no...we always carry a long length of rope..we are very careful but as they say sh@t happens and a rope may save you or someone else in the worst case scenario....I have personally fished lbg since I was 16..i have saved three people in38 yrs and have been in the drink once myself..im a spearo so getting out was easy for me but some may injure themselves or worse ..if u can fish with an experienced lbg guy a few times you will soon learn easy rules of survival...I will be keen to have a fish next summer season so maybe a trip chasin longtails may be on the cards ??????..rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

scope out and exit point just in case you end up having an unwanted swim, if you do end up in the water first thing to do is swim out away from the rocks I spent many years spear fishing around headlands and the most dangerous point is near the edge I have been washed up on the rocks buy a big swell fortunately I only came away with a few bruises and severely wounded pride

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All the above plus know your ledge! How does the water wash up on the ledge how does it exit the ledge! It will vary depending on swell direction. Is there a swell magnet near the ledge ie a trench in close and shallow out back. Look at the doughboys a classic swell amplifier! Ha e an escape route of the ledge should you see one coming. Avoid ledges that are low and close to sheer cliff lines that a leash is what may get you. Amd one thing dad taught me watch the ledge for 10 to 15 minutes if it looks okay then fish it if not go elsewhere or go home and live another day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest123456789

Guess I'm lucky where I fish no one uses gaffs and yes I've seen some massive fish surfed up onto ledges. But some spots it's probably needed, saw jervis bay on tv they used gaffs there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

life jacket



foreign legion type hat

clothes to protect you from the sun in summer

light clothing only (in case you go in)

dont wear heavy shoes or boots

I wear my high vis work shirts

mobile phone for emergencies

never take your eyes off the sea and never turn your back to the sea,always look for the one wave that will pop out of no-where and come over your ledge.

I only take what I need for the fish I am targeting for the day,becomes a pain carrying all your gear for long walks.

I basically carry a bucket for my tackle and my rod as well as the above.

always tell someone where you are fishing or plan to go even if you live alone write it down on a piece of paper at home leave it on the kitchen bench.

sunscreen / zink

first sign of lightning or thunder get out of there as quick as you can.

fish with a friend or someone.

dont get trapped at high tides,some places you can get to only at low tide,at high tide the access to them become limited and even dangerously blocked off leaving you stuck on the rocks.

make sure you have a fishing licence $25 a year is better than a $200 dollar fine and yes they do come out to the rocks and tap you on the shoulder in a good swell,happened to me at bear island once.

I forgot to mention polarized sunglasses.

good luck !

Edited by D.G
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...