Fishing - is it luck or probability?

May 15, 2018

In his latest blog post, Dane Radosevic looks at the factors that contribute to an incredible day's fishing, and how to align these factors in the future to increase the probability of angling success.

There are many factors that can contribute to an incredible day’s fishing- monitoring and predetermining the right tides, moon phase and wind direction just to name a few. These are all observations most anglers make before venturing off on their next exciting trip. By aligning these key factors you can definitely increase the probability of a fantastic day fishing. Notice I used the word ‘probability’ and not ‘luck’ this is because I believe fishing is a sport of probability. For example if you target a certain species that you are unfamiliar with and out of season your probability of catching that species is low, you weren’t just unlucky. Whereas, once you begin to align key factors, understand the target species and work out its seasonal run your probability of catching that species all of a sudden is far greater.


On this particular trip it was early March, a prime time to target pelagic’s in Hervey Bay and that was our goal for the day. After analysing the conditions we had a lead up to a full moon, with a mid afternoon outgoing tide and a light South Easterly breeze blowing which were ideal conditions. Giving us a predetermined plan of where we might find some pelagic action, our probability of tangling with a few speedsters was increasing. We ventured out to our desired location, a massive sand ridge that comes up out of deeper water, an area heavily influenced by tide. On an outgoing tide this ridge forms an incredible pressure edge that congregates large masses of nervous bait right the way along it. This in turn increased the probability that the predatory fish wouldn’t be to far away as they pursue their next feed.


Being observant is another key factor to increasing your probability of catching the target species. By monitoring important factors such as the water colour and temperature, bait and fish life being marked on the sonar and a very important factor that resulted in our success on the day, observing the bird activity. A circling flock of birds should never be ignored without a quick investigation to see why they are congregating in an area and on this day they turned out to be hovering over massive patches of yellowfin tuna, with Spanish mackerel and GT’s all mixed in and beginning to ball up the bait along this sand ridge.


Once we had scoped out the area it was evident that there was plenty of life and the fishing was about to go mental. By looking at the returns (arches) of the screen shots from my Simrad NSS Evo3 units it was easy to tell that the fish were active and beginning to feed as they worked the bait to the surface. Armed with an arsenal of poppers, stick baits and soft plastics we were ready as we waited for the feeding frenzy to begin and like a flick of a switch the first school burst through the surface as they began gorging themselves on the helpless baitfish. This action was insane and would have to go down as one of the most intense few hours of fishing I have experienced in a long time, with double and triple hook ups creating total chaos on the boat, we were having an amazing session.


Suddenly the birds began to disperse, the tuna activity on the surface died off and we were left with stretched arms. Some may think we were just lucky but we knew our target species (pelagic’s), monitored the conditions, hatched a game plan and stayed observant which all attributed to our increasing probability of a great days fishing.