Wahoo fishing gold coast

Burley – How To Do It Right – Gold Coast Fishing

Catch More Fish Using Burley!

The use of burley while out fishing is a great way to improve your catch. Burley can attract various fish species from far and wide, depending on the strength of the current.  Used correctly it be the difference between an average day or an awesome days fishing. There are numerous species that respond well to a good trail. With a decent unbroken trail, some fish such as Cobia and mackerel will swim right up to the back of the boat.

The fish should always be able to see the next bit of burley drifting towards them after they have eaten the last. A broken trail will not be as effective and can see quality fish swim off into the distance.

snapper barotrauma
This one was successfully released to fight another day.

Why and When Should it Be used?

The simple answer to WHY is it will attract fish to area you are fishing, more fish in the area, equals more bites and a better overall catch. As for WHEN, we recommend you use it whenever the conditions allow it to work. Ideally you need to have your baits set in the middle of the trail. If the current is too strong, your burley will be swept away too quickly and your efforts will be wasted.

Mackerel Palm beach
The Main Summer Target Species. Mackerel.

What Should Be Used to Create Burley Trail?

There are many things that can be used for burley, but its ideal to use something similar to your bait in the mix. For instance if we are targetting Snapper, mackerel or Tuna and using lightly weighted pilchard pieces as bait. We would be sure to have some smaller pieces of pilchards amongst the mix. But pretty much anything on the list below can be used to create a good burley trail.

  • Bread and bread crumbs
  • Fish scraps
  • Pilchard pieces/cubes
  • Chicken pellets
  • Dog or cat food
  • Fish fillets such as Tuna and bonito
  • Prawn heads and shells
  • Beach Worms
  • Fish frames
  • Sand
  • Boiled wheat
  • Corn
  • Tuna oil

How Should It Be Deployed?

 All forms of burleying should follow the number one rule. A little often rather than lots sporadically.  This ensures you create a constant trail as you deploy a small amount on a regular constant basis. Fish will follow your burley trail looking for the source of the meal. This is exactly where your baits need to be positioned. Dump a heap of burley at once on an irregular basis. The fish will feast on it, fill up quickly and move on. When burleying offshore in blue water for pelagic’s such as mackerel, cobia, and even snapper will come close to the surface following the burley trail to the source

Putting Burley in The Water

There are various means of delivering your burley, the simplest method is to chop pilchards or similar into small pieces, place them in a bucket and then use your hand to trickle them into the water slowly.

If you are fishing from a boat a visit to your local chandlery for a burley pot is a great idea. If your handy you could even make your own. This can be bolted to the transom of your boat and will allow burley to trickle out through the holes below the surface. All you need to do is thrown in fish fillets, scarps, bread etc and then mash it with the burley basher that is supplied with it.

burley bucket

Other devices are available also, a net bag with fish frames and fillets in it can be quite effective for creating a trail. When the current is running hard and your fishing deeper water a burley bomb can also be useful for deploying burleying further down in the water column. This will keep the burley closer to the boat for a longer period of time.

burley bomb

in conclusion burley can be used from the shore or out of your boat. You will need to experiment a bit and allow for a period of trial and error. But the results will be well worth it when you get it right.


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