Skill Is The Real Deal

When it comes to fishing, I am a dinosaur. I haven’t changed my methods since I caught my first fish in the Tweed River many moons ago. Bait on hook, toss out and hang on. I reckon, if it works keep doing it. Well things have changed. In recent years the fishing game has gone through a revolution, particularly with the introduction of “plastics”.

You may recall some time back when the Americans sent us “Mr Twister”, the forerunner to the modern plastic. A weird rubber lure resembling a jelly snake. Most, including myself, passed this off as just another American trick. How wrong we were.

For the uninitiated, a plastic is basically a wriggly, wobbly substance resembling a bait fish, prawn or worm. It might be obvious to us, but fish are convinced that the plastic is the real deal and attack with great intent. Just about every fish is interested in this strange intruder that continually teases their curiosity. Snapper, flathead, bream and mulloway are all keen to feast on this strange object.

One old rule still applies and that is – you will not catch a fish where they aren’t. So, finding where fish are, remains the real skill in fishing.

And that’s another story, for another day. Tight lines!

Fishing writer, author and radio presenter John “Stinker” Clarke can be heard weekly, throughout NSW, on popular ABC Regional Radio fishing program “The Big Fish”. Check him out on or send an email to with your information and questions. 

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