The lifestyle of Jetskifishing sure has its bonuses, this trip showing the freedom of an impromptu fishing session. All a result of a break in the weather, I decided to prep the Sea-Doo GTX in time to collect my youngest son Cooper from school.
Anyone who has a ski setup for fishing will have experienced how quick and easy preparation is for a spur of the moment trip.
3:00PM pick up after school and for a surprise with the ski in tow, Cooper asks “are we going fishing?”
“We sure are!” With all his gear ready we were straight off to the local ramp and this image shows our route direction out towards the Ahahaa’s.
It was smooth waters enjoying full speed for the Sea-Doo, with a completely dry ride to our destination. We were briefly distracted by the excitement of dive bombing Gannets and a feeding frenzy with the Dolphins before Maria Island. We were targeting Snapper, but to no avail as we were only soft baiting amongst the schooling bait fish.
*Rather than fishing blind, it is best to be equipped with quality electronics so you can assess what is beneath, as to whether you persist at the one spot.
I have the luxury of the Raymarine technology on the Sea-Doo, fishing with confidence with seeing quality images through a “true” thru-hull tilted element transducer. There is no lag with the transducer not reading though dirty aerated water via the jet pump and for this option we specialize in these upgrades at the Jetskifishing Store. You may question cutting a hole in the hull, this is no different to the procedure with a boat to enhance your electronics performance.
At the Jetskifishing Store we have completed over seventy of these upgrades with nothing but positive feedback.
Here is an example of the clear readings displayed by the Raymarine A67 with the 600 watt transducer. This image showing the Yellowtail beneath the ski once drifting past the Snapper I was targeting.
Once we were settled in for our drifts the fish slowly increased interest in the soft baits. There wasn’t much tidal flow and there was little wind to help our drift. In hind sight we could have done with dropping down a few grams in jig head weight. Dropping weight would encourage a better soft bait action throughout the water column. Instead I was having to cast the bait further and work the bait harder as it dropped through the water while presenting it to the area the fish were holding. In these situations with the fish not being overly aggressive, we experienced the larger fish would only hit the bait as it was dropping at the lowest six or so metres. The fish weren’t interested once it was at rest at maximum depth, so it was a case of retrieve and recast to have the opportunity to strike the fish. I was hooking and catching a few for dinner, yet Cooper was struggling with the technique which develops as you grow your soft bait experience.
The best way to teach a new soft baiter is by increasing their strike rate with the fish. A proven technique, is to down-sizing the bait to a smaller size, visually enticing the common sized fish feeding. My advice to Cooper was the Gulp – 4” Pumpkinseed, straight away changing his luck. This was a similar colour to what had been working for me and made a big difference to his hit rate with our limited time frame.
The Igloo chilly bin was filling fast with fresh fish for dinner, a great feeling to start the weekend! With the sun dropping fast, we made a quick move to one of my pick ‘go to’ spots on my sounder, just beside the Ahahaa’s.
I was after one better sized fish for the smoker as we had guests coming over for dinner on the weekend.
The fish were visible on the sounder and the spot has proven to be very productive at a depth of 18 metres. Even better, it was Cooper on to the screamer. The fish hit his bait as he was slowly retrieving, the first time the fish dropped the bait and I advised him to quickly let out some more braid so it may hit it again. Sure did, the fish was hooked and peeling line with my 10 year old son in for his biggest Snapper battle yet! Cooper’s skills with soft baiting have definitely advanced over the last six months, now being more patient and happy to let the fish make some runs. With experience he is now lifting the rod to the correct height (not to high) then on the drop doing some quick winds to keep on top of the fish.
Once I could see some colour of the fish we were both so excited knowing it was certainly his new personal best.
Moments like these are memories forever. Get out there fishing with your kids at an age they start showing interest.
Our ski has proven to be a great fishing platform for our adventures, now having all three members of the house with personal bests within the last six months. If you to want to be setup to the next level in Jetskifishing with whatever brand is your preference, come see me at the Jetskifishing Store for proven and experienced advice.