Methods of Fishing
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Inshore Methods of Fishing

There are three main methods of inshore fishing- drifting, trolling, and surface casting, and with each method there are several variations. Each of these methods is effective when performed correctly, but the one used is determined by circumstances such as weather, tides, and type of fish being pursued.

Bruce Copley with this nice 30 lb bass in June 1999

DRIFTING- When drifting, the boat is taken out of gear, and only the tide and surface waves determine the movement of the boat. Individuals hold their own rod and set the lines by themselves- which means customers become familiar with skills such as setting the drag, dropping your lure and "finding bottom", setting the hook on a fish, fighting fish, and often baiting your own hook. It is very "hands-on" fishing, and good for people who want to get involved or learn how to use the equipment. Drifting is most common when fluke fishing, but can be and often is done successfully for bass and blues.

TROLLING- Trolling is the method most commonly used aboard the Mataura because it is usually the most effective way of catching fish. It can be done effectively with both experienced and novice anglers (with a little bit of instruction). When trolling, lines are dragged behind the boat with lures designed to mimic baitfish swimming in the water. Some lures attract fish by themselves, and others need to be "jigged", or given action, to lure fish in. Trolling can be done on or below the surface.  However, customers find surface jigging for bass (mainly in May or June) to be an especially exhilarating experience. 

SURFACE CASTING- Surface casting is done with either spinning or fly rods, and is done when fish are feeding on or near the ocean surface. Often, when you see fish and birds splashing, there is a good chance that you will be able to catch them using this technique. Casting does require some experience and skill, and is not for everyone, but when done correctly it can really be a thrill. Customers who want to try this are welcome, although it does require good conditions. First, there have to be fish visible on the surface, and second, there has to be little to no wind in order to cast effectively. For those who are fly fishermen, you are encouraged to bring your equipment in case the right conditions present themselves.

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