There is no better feeling of excitement and anticipation, than when you come across a patch of fish that lights up the sounder and you drop your line over the side as the skipper sets up the drift to do a bit of bottom fishing.
You know you have hit the mark when your line starts to scream of the reel like you have just hooked a freight train, and the adrenalin kicks in as you start to wind and try to turn it around, and bring it to the surface to see what it is!
If you are going to get a chance to experience this buzz you will need to have to get a few things sorted out before you even hit the water.
The term fishing tackle sort of covers all things you would use when you go fishing, so I like to break it down into sub categories, to make it easier to explain all the areas that you need to consider if you are going to have the best chance of landing that fish of a lifetime.
Quality Fishing Gear is a Must!
A good days bottom fishing has a lot to do with having the right fishing gear, like a quality sounder that can handle the depth you are wanting to fish in, a GPS that is accurate enough to put you on the mark each and every time, and the right Hardware (rod and reel), and terminal tackle to handle whatever species you are targeting once you have found your mark.
Fishing gear covers the necessities like a sounder/fish finder, a GPS and then all the other sundries that are more for comfort than need, like landing nets, lip grips or under water cameras to photograph your prize catch.
I know we used to do a lot of fishing before we had these luxury items, but today they are a must for safety and to get the most out of your trip, poor quality or lack of this necessary fishing gear, can lead to frustration if you cant find the fish, it is a big ocean out there and drifting around in the hope of finding something to catch can be hours of wasted time, or poor quality gear can put you in danger if it lets you down when you need it most.
The Right Hardware for Bottom Fishing
Hardware covers your rod and reel, not the end of the world if they let you down, but with the right combination can make fishing a much better experience, and increase your chances of a successful day on the water.
There is a lot of debate as to what is the best kind of rod for bottom fishing, and I think the only way to answer it is to decide on the type of fish you target most often.
Obviously if you only own an overhead reel, then it would make sense to pair it with a rod designed to handle that style of reel.
Overhead rods have the line guides and reel seat on the top of the blank, which allows for much greater pulling power against big powerful fish.
The rod is designed to spread to load over its entire length as the line gains tension over each interval at the base of the line guides.
This tension can be used to drag up a fish by leaning against the pull of the fish and letting the rod do the hard work as it lifts against itself.
Overhead rods tend to be stiffer than spinning rods which compromises their sensitivity for feeling smaller bites.
<<Check out the Best Overhead Rods Here!>>
Over the last 10 years spinning rods have become much more popular for deep sea fishing, due to their improved design and versatility for different fishing styles and applications.
Matched with the right sized spinning reel these rods perform well for bottom fishing for most reef species or heavy jigging for king fish, sampson or cobia.
Spinning rods come in single, 2 or 3 pieces and are great for the experienced to the beginner, being lighter than most overhead rods, you have the sensitivity to feel a lot more from the rod tip and this can increase your hook up rate if there are a few smaller ones around.
The overhead reels are the powerhouse of your fishing hardware, and for bottom fishing they are perfect if you are targeting big fish.
Good quality overhead reels are built to perform under stress and under load, with good quality components they will allow you to skull drag the biggest of fish from the depths time after time without fault.
Having the ability to adjust the drag with a lever drag system gives you more control if you have to fight a fish away from the reef in a hurry, and gives you the ability to play a larger fish with a steady retrieve ratio.
Combined with the right rod you can have some serious fishing power.
<<Check out the Best Overhead Reels>>
A Spinning reel with a big enough spool to handle the depth you will be fishing, can be a versatile reel for bottom fishing.
The benefit of these reels is you can have a spare spool with a different line class already on it, that you can easily change over should you need to on the go.
Some spinning reels have more than one drag setting, and for drop and wind fishing styles like jigging, they are easy to use for any level of angler.
A quality spinning reel and rod are a versatile combination for most deep sea fishing styles.
<<Check out the Best Spinning Reels Here!>>
Whether you are using the old standard paternoster rig with a bit of squid or pilchard, or you are dropping a live bait to bottom, your terminal tackle is the first line of defense.
It wont matter how good your fishing hardware is, if your terminal tackle lets you down, it’s fish off!
The type of rig you use can be determined by what bait you have to use, and what terrain you are predominantly fishing over, and most anglers have a preference for what they think works best, my advice is start with the basics, like the paternoster, and then experiment from there, you can check it, and other fishing knots and rigs here!
There is no substitute for quality when it comes to hooks, swivels and line, each one of these can be the week link in the chain if you hook up on a big fish, so for my money the few extra dollars for quality tackle is always worth it.
<<Check out the Best Bottom Fishing Tackle Here!>>