Extreme Light Tackle Rock & Surf Fishing Tips & Information

A lot of the time when people talk about light tackle fishing in Rock and Surf they mean lighter line, a more sensitive rod and smaller sinkers. The light tackle fishing I am talking about here is when you are armed with a small coffee grinder reel, a 6-7 foot rod and light line, such as 10 lb and then you go in search of gullies and intertidal zones that you think might hold fish.

Blacktail (Dassie)The advantages of this type of fishing are that you do not need to lug heavy tackle up and down dunes, over the rocks etc. You are very mobile, and all you need is a rod and reel, tackle and bait. You can walk as far as you want to and try fishing spots that not many people have before because of how mobile you are. And besides that, hooking a nice fish on this tackle will be memorable, without a doubt. Just be prepared for the burn offs and lost tackle that inevitably happens a few times, but these experiences will just keep you going trying to get that great fish!

What You Will Be Targeting?

Essentially smaller edible species, but larger fish often come around and then all you can do is hold on and prepare for the fight of your life. The beauty about this type of fishing is that even when you hook a Karanteen or small Blacktail the fight is still extremely fun. The fish that we target in this facet are mainly large Blacktail, Bronze Bream, Galjoen, Stonebream, Zebra, Kob, Steenbras, Wave Garrick, Small Kingfish & Musselcracker, Wrasse, Rockcod, Mullet, Moonies and many more.

What To Look For?

Perfect spot for light tackle rock and surfRocky spots, gullies, sand banks… Mainly structure; and areas where the casting distance doesn’t need to be far. Large Rock Pools exposed to the ocean are also great spots to look for. Areas with lots of kelp, white water and rock coves and gullies. Basically any area that you think could hold a fish or two would be perfect.

Tackle Needed?

Penn Powerspin 2000As light as possible! This type of fishing is not for the guys who are looking for that 10kg Musselcracker off the rocks; it is for the angler that loves to catch species and enjoys the fight and feeling the deep burn off the rocks. 6-7 foot rod, try get a rod that is sensitive to small bites but has backbone to keep a 3kg Rockcod from running back into his hole. A nice quality ‘coffee grinder’ reel, between sizes 2000 and 4000. The lightest braid or monofilament you are comfortable using for this discipline, I normally use 7lb Double X. Then a light leader, 15lb Fluorocarbon is perfect.

Traces/Rigs Needed?

Porcupine Quill FloatThere are two traces I use when fishing this discipline, a bottom trace and a float trace.

The bottom trace is a small bottle sinker ¼ - ½ ounce, with a size 4 Mustad hook. Remember the sinker line should be considerable lighter than your leader and ties a knot in the sinker line just in case you get stuck when you are into a nice fish.

The float trace I use a simple trace… Size 4 Mustad hook, porcupine quill type float and then a few split shots below the float, so it “stands” perfectly in the water and drifts around freely. Try get the hook as close to the bottom as possible.

Best Baits?

Before I discuss the best baits, it is always a good idea to cut up some sardines into small pieces and throw them out in the area where you will be fishing. This normally puts the fish into a feeding frenzy and gets them feeding freely. Best baits are small pieces of sardine, chokka; especially pieces of the tentacles soaked in some sardine blood, pink prawn, sand prawn, black mussel and cracker shrimp.

Now all you need is to get out there and catch some fish!