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In this finding the fish series we are now moving on to fishing from rocks in deeper water close in with calm seas. First of all though safety. Although these are very different surroundings than those we are maybe used to it is very easy to slip into a false sense of security. Safety must come first and rocks the world over are dangerous places to fish from. Apart from being slippery some of the rock down in our part of the world is very sharp lava rock and falling on it can cause serious lacerations. It is vitally important that if fishing alone that you inform someone of your intended destination and roughly how long you intend to fish for. A mobile telephone some very good sturdy footwear and a first aid kit are definitely things you should have with you. If you can take a friend along even if they do not fish then arm them with a good book and let them soak up the rays as it is always best to have someone nearby in case of problems. Another danger that is very rarely thought about when rock fishing is Weils Disease. This disease is spread by rat urine and can be fatal so do not wash your hands in rock pools. It is best to have a packet of antiseptic wipes with you and regularly wipe your hands, especially before eating.
The fish species you will catch from rocks are so much different from the surf areas and the Vaca is probably the most popular. It can become a nuisance fish some days as every cast with whatever bait you choose is grabbed within minutes by these huge mouthed fish. Be wary also when handling these fish as the dorsal fin spikes are very very sharp. Try and grip the fish at either side of the head to release the hook.

The beauty of fishing from rocks into deeper water is that you do not need to cast out a long way as fish are generally swimming around the rocks looking for food and at the same time trying to avoid the predators which lurk looking for their next meal. When the sea is very calm float fishing can be a lot of fun, just a bubble float and a little split shot on the hook length with a bread flake or crust catches fish. We tend to become a little too technical at times and going back to the more simple techniques can work wonders. Other baits to try are squid and sardine but remember to keep your hook size reasonably small if you want to catch. If you wish to spend all day waiting for the big one then by all means use a bigger hook and bigger lumps of bait.
For the bigger fish try a sardine cut in half and threaded through the hook line using a special baiting needle and Sardine Rig then some baiting elastic to hold it all in place.

A Good place to try for fish, when off rocks, if it is deep, is immediately below the edge as these ledges and rocks form great hiding places for bigger fish to surprise their quarry. A simple paternoster with two or three hooks gently lowered down over the edge. It is always advisable to make rigs up using stronger line than when fishing in surf as sharp rocks and the risk of snagging can cause damage very easily. 0.50 line is best and for the hook lengths to fasten to it is best to use metal three way swivels for the purpose so the hook length is tied to an eye rather than relying on a knot as we would if using a crossdrilled ball. Maybe even use different baits on the different hooks and see what works. When the weight bumps the bottom just tighten the line a little and back the clutch on the reel off and wait. Next time we will cover more about rock fishing but a good piece of advice is, as my Spanish fisher friends keep telling me, a small hook will still catch a big fish and I have to agree with them. Do not get carried away with large hooks if you want some results.
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