Saltwater Float Fishing In The Sea In South Africa Tips & Information
Float fishing is a very interesting form of South African angling and many anglers over look this type of fishing. Many saltwater fish species can be caught while float fishing all sorts of different methods can be used when float fishing. It is a great way to catch a variety of fish on light tackle and not worry about getting your sinker caught up every 5 minutes... Float fishing is very much hands on and is all action. Saltwater float fishing is basically the art of drifting your baits with the current to make them look natural and it works very well!
Float Fishing Techniques
There are two main techniques when it comes to float fishing, but before I explain them to you this is what you need: Small split shots of different weights and a float, either a cork, a porcupine quill float or a policeman (Red and white) float. Depending on the depth your are fishing you will need to move the float accordingly to get close to the bottom. Your float should always be on the surface so do not put too much weight on it and if you are using a porcupine quill style float make sure it always stands upright.
Drifting The Float
This technique requires some flowing water. Find a spot and drop your float into the water and leave the bail of your reel unclipped. Hold the line with your finger and let the float go out as far as possible by letting line go off the reel while keeping tension on the line. Then reel your line and repeat the process. Try fishing different depths until you find where the fish are.
Following The Float
This technique is mainly for gully or sea fishing opposed to the technique above that can be used in large rock pools. This technique is simpler as you cast your float out and you just keep tension on the line or release line when necessary. Just remember to watch your float carefully and if anything suspicious happens, strike. Watch for unusual bobbing or the float going under the water.
Baits For Float Fishing
All sorts of different baits can be used when saltwater float fishing in South Africa... My personal favourite is chokka soaked in sardine blood... The chokka should be cut into a strip, resembling a worm which creates a lot of movement and with the assed sardine flavour the fish go crazy for this bait. Another great bait is small pieces of sardine or sardine fillets, all fish and fleshy baits are perfect for float fishing. Other baits such as oceanic worms are deadly and you will often pick up very big fish on worm baits that are drifted.
Artificial baits can be used as well with great success. Berkley's Gulp Camo Worm and Maggots are superb for float fishing and you can target all fish species using these. McCarthy 3 inch bloodworm is also another great bait and can be rigged up like a worm, ie. straight through the hook or similarly to the Bass technique the wacky rig.
Tackle For Float Fishing
When floatfishing for saltwater fish in South Africa one should use the lightest tackle possible, such as a rod between 4 and 8 feet in length, a small coffee grinder reel between size 2000 and 4000 and light line between 7 pound and 19 pound. It all depends what fish you are planning to target and the size of the fish. Hook size can be anywhere from size 18 up to a 2/0. I like to fish smaller hooks such as size 8 - size 4 as you can catch all sorts of fish from Mullet to Musselcracker with this size. I use 10 pound line tied straight onto the hook, although a small fluorocarbon leader can be tied directly onto the line or by using a swivel, just remember that you need to be able to adjust your float according to the depth and you need to have a split shot or two on your trace.
What Fish Species Can You Catch While Floatfishing?
When Float Fishing you can catch almost any type of fish it all depends on if you are in the right place at the right time and what bait and size hook you are using. Float Fishing is a great way to catch mullet for live bait and all other fish species such as Blacktail, Stone Bream Bronze Bream, Rockcod, Galjoen, Strepie, Kob, John Brown, Red Fingers, Klipfish, Shad, Cape Moony, Wave Garrick, and many other species will be able to be targeted using this float fishing technique!