LBG – Spinning From The Stones


Goshie with another super-impressive catch from the rocks – a longtail tuna.


High-speed spinning from the rocks started way back in the early 1960’s when high-speed reels with multiplier ratios of 6:1 first became available.

With high-speed reels like the Seascape the pioneers of high-speed spinning were able to fool fast swimming gamefish like tuna and mackerel by retrieving metals slugs through the water at break neck speeds. In the modern era of LBG spinning from the rocks is still a very popular method of targeting large pelagic fish.

It is also the most common type of lures used by the current crop of anglers are metals, swimming lures and surface lures as Goshie explains in this action-packed article.

Heavy Metal

Metal lures are simple, effective and are relatively cheap. These lures are really popular amongst rock fisherman as they are durable and cast extremely well even in moderate winds. Metal lures are usually chrome plated and are perfect for imitating popular baitfish such as slimy mackerel, herring, mullet and garfish. Species such as tuna and mackerel love fast moving targets and when they see a silver flash dart through the water they will commonly attack on instinct.

For targeting larger pelagics such as Spanish mackerel, longtail tuna and cobia I normally use metals ranging between 60-100grams. I usually cast my metal lure as far as possible and then I allow the lure to sink to the bottom. As soon as my metal has hit the bottom I crank the lure back to the rocks as fast as possible hoping to entice a big bone jarring strike from a large pelagic predator. A lot of gamefish will also attack metal lures while they are sinking through the water column as these shiny lures imitate a wounded or injured baitfish. As a result it is important to be ready for a strike at all times when casting metal lures. Some of the popular lure designs include the Surecatch Knights, Surecatch Bishops and the Iron Candy.

Deep Divers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADeep divers also work well on a huge variety of gamefish. These versatile lures are made with an in built action and are designed to swim through the water with a seductive wobble. This creates plenty of commotion and vibrations through the water which will often attract the fish.

When it comes to a finding a minnow which features a realistic swimming action it is very hard to go past the trusty Rapala X-Rap SXR14. Over the years I’ve seen this lure capture a wide variety of pelagic fish from both southern and tropical waters. These lures work best with a medium paced retrieve, avoid winding these minnows too fast as they will simply skip out of the water. The most popular colour used by rock fisherman seems to be the classic glass ghost colour. These lures work extremely well on kingfish from the NSW south coast ledges.

Another swimming lure which has gained a lot of popularity in recent years is the 5 inch Mack Bait made by Lively Lures. These bibless minnows are great for casting from the rocks as they contain an internal lead weight in the front section of the lure and weigh approximately 75gms. The body of the Mack Bait is also made from Polyurethane which is not only excellent for rock abrasion but this material is also tough enough to withstand the razor sharp teeth of a Spanish mackerel. When casting these lures from the rocks I usually let then sink for approximately 5 seconds before cranking them towards the rocks. When a Mack Bait is retrieved at high speed these lures vibrate and flash through the water which makes them highly visible to predatory fish. My favourite Mack Bait is the new “king of chrome” colour.

Surface Lures


Mack Baits work well for fast predatory fish like this shark mackerel.

Any good tackle box should also include a range of surface lures such as plugs, stick baits and poppers. Casting surface lures at big angry pelagics is an extremely exciting method of sportfishing and a solid surface strike certainly gets the heart rate pumping. The commotion caused by these surface lures is excellent for species such as tuna, mackerel, kingfish, queenfish and trevally.

Some of my favourite surface lures include the GT Icecream and the locked Up pencil popper. These lures can be skipped across the surface with a medium paced retrieve and are excellent for sight casting surface cruising fish such as longtail tuna.

Big blooping poppers with huge cupped faces are capable of tearing huge holes out of the ocean and are often used to target monster GT’s and kingfish. The River to Sea Dumbell, Halco Roosta and the Black Jack Cuberas are all proven performers and are well weighted for shore based casting.

High Speed Spin Tackle


Jack Davanzo with a solid Spaniard on a Rapala X-Rap in the popular glass ghost colour.


Goshie with a Spaniard taken from the legendary Steep Point on a chrome mack bait.

The most important part of any spinfishing outfit is definitely your reel. A good quality threadline reel with a gear ratio of 6:1 is highly recommended. With this kind of speed you can retrieve more than one metre of line with every turn of the handle. Continually casting big heavy lures from the rocks and the heavy work load associated with high-speed spinning can be very punishing on your outfit. Avoid using cheap reels as they are lucky to last a season on the stones. The majority of dedicated spin fanatics use quality threadlines such as the Daiwa Saltiga and Shimano Stella range.

When I’m spinning from the rocks I usually carry two outfits. The first outfit is a heavy spin rod matched up with a Saltiga Dogfight reel. This outfit is capable of throwing big heavy lures that are 85gms or heavier. For this outfit I use 50-65lb braid and prefer a relatively stiff rod which is around the 8-9ft mark. The Saltiga GT86 and the Live Fibre Venom PE8 are two excellent rods for throwing large metal lures, poppers and surface plugs.

My second outfit is an 11ft Assassin Shore Game 2 X Heavy rod which is matched with a Saltiga 6000 reel loaded up with 30-40lb braid. This outfit is ideal for casting swimming lures like the Rapala X-raps and Mack Baits. The extra length of this rod is ideal for whipping out these lighter lures into the strike zone.

Some of the Best Ledges for High Speed Spinning

By travelling further the modern day anglers from this generation have been exposed to a greater variety of spinfishing ledges especially in more tropical and remote areas.

On the east coast the most well known spinfishing ledges are Hat Head in northern NSW and the Catwalk located at The Town of 1770 on Central QLD Coast.

Along the west coast there are also plenty of productive spinfishing locations such as the Quobba coast and Steep Point which are both found in WA’s Gascoyne region.

In recent years plenty of superb spin fishing captures have come out of these iconic locations and this has made spinning off the rocks a fast growing sport.


So there you have it, Land Based Spin Fishing 101 from Goshie.

Next month our intrepid correspondent continues this series with more Land Based Game advice for you!


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