Mick from Pickles Fishing & Outdoors tackle store in Eden shares some old-school commercial tips.
THE GLITTER BAIT
I have to admit it, I love glitter. But it’s got nothing to do with the recent Mardi Gras in Sydney. No, it’s part of my game-fishing arsenal and I use it to stupefy tuna. It’s all about tricking the fish into a feeding frenzy. And a proven trigger for that is a fish-and-scales combo in the water. Cubing is one way (cutting pieces of pilchards and throwing intermittently), but that only entertains a few fish. There’s another, arguably more effective, way — the glitter bomb — and it will seduce the whole school. This method was perfected back in the halcyon days of tuna poling. Canny skippers would use every tactic in the book to draw up a school of fish — or steal a school feeding from a nearby boat. They’d flush tuna down the toilet, into the macerators, and out into the sea. Now, I’m not suggesting you release a shower of glittering shit upon the fish. There’s a more effective way.
A glitter bomb is composed of cubed-up pilchards mixed with silver glitter (environmentally friendly, of course). The glitter needs to be frozen in with the cubes and stored in a small bucket no bigger than an ice-cream container. Tip: A bandsaw is handy for bulk production. It’ll cut through those frozen blocks in no time. In the morning, pull the bucket(s) out of the freezer and store it/them on the boat near your rods. When you hook up, throw the glitter bomb in then start cubing.
• Cubed pilchards
• Glitter from a discount or craft shop
• 1L bucket
ANOTHER VISUAL TRICK: THE SPRAY BAR
Ever wondered how those tuna stay at the back of commercial boats? It’s the water sprayer, usually employed in conjunction with chumming.
The water splashing on the surface mimics a bait school and drives fish crazy. We set up a spray bar on the old Bertram, The Iceman, a boat known as a proven fish killer. It had a dedicated pump and a PVC tube running across the transom. The same method could be used from your deck wash, bait pump or bilge, fitted to a nozzle system. The key for a sprayer is to create a hard spray to break up the surface tension on the water. Use a sprayer bar, glitter bomb and cubes in unison and you’ll attract more fish than an Oxford Street bar does party people on Mardi Gras night.