Hey there my fellow fishers and welcome to my post discussing my 5 tips for fishing on a jetski. Now, the other day I was setting up my kayak for a little fish and down the boat ramp comes this guy backing a nice big SeaDoo Jet ski (often also referred to as a personal watercraft or PWC) with a couple of rods on racks on the side.
So, of course, me being me, I let him get it all off the trailer and setup then went over for a chat. I asked him about it and what he does and found out that after a bit of setup (which is basically where my tips below have come from) he likes to take the vessel out over the bar for some reef fishing just off the beaches here.
So not owning one of these myself, I did a little more research to go with my chat as above and have come up with some tips for those of you looking to get set up below…
1. Know the rules
To be honest, when it comes to Jetskis, they are not the safest things you can ride on hence in many jurisdictions around the world, there are some rather strict regulations in place for their use. These rules can include:
- Licensing and training requirements for their use
- Mandatory wearing of lifejackets
- Be of a certain age to operate alone
- Jetski must re registered
In addition to this, most areas also implement strict go and no-go zones for where Jetskis are allowed to operate and at what speeds. So before you fish in an area it is important to not only adhere to the rules above, but also ensure that you are fishing in an area where your vessels are allowed.
Oh, and note that this can include areas that you have to cruise through to get to your fishing spot as well.
2. Choose the right jetski
Not all jetskis are created equal when it comes to fishing. Firstly, part of the reason I mentioned above that they can be dangerous is due to the fact that they are a little unstable on the water when drifting – which is something that you will need to do when fishing.
So firstly, you need to look for one built for stability with a wide hull rather than a long skinny option as well as being large enough to hold everything you need as well. After all we all know that when we are fishing, especially when off shore, you need to take some equipment with you – I mean a rod and reel at the very least.
Some models have features that make them more ideal for fishing, such as built-in coolers or storage compartments specifically designed for holding fishing gear. Do your research to find the best jetski for your needs before making a purchase.
3. Bring the right gear
Now obviously if you are going fishing off a jetski you are going to need a rod and a reel. However, in addition to this, there are a few other things you’ll need when fishing – especially if you are heading out a bit from the coast line.
One thing to keep in mind here is that just like a kayak, on a jetski you are severely restricted as far as real estate is concerned. We have discussed the selection of a good fishing jetski above, so once you have that out of the way, you should consider finding a place for the following:
- A GPS/Fish Finder
- VHF radio (See safety below)
- Dry bag
- Rescue board
- Rod holders
- Fish storage
And if you are heading a little further out, then a Fuel rack may be a worthwhile investment as well.
4. Be safe
This is again one standard tip when it comes to fishing of any kind. However, again, one of the challenges of fishing from a jetski is the fact that they are not the most stable craft you can sit on. So first up, especially if you are a beginner or have a new vessel, make sure you have taken all of the relevant training courses and the time to get used to handling your jetski in all water conditions.
Secondly – and this is a mandatory requirement in most areas – make sure you have a life jacket rated for where you intend to go. As an example, I have outlined below the legal requirements for New South Wales, Australia (the state in which I live) and also for Texas in the Untied Stated (as I have fished there as well).
New South Wales – Australia
- Closed waters – Level 50S or greater worn at all time
- Open waters (ocean) – Level 100 or greater worn at all times
Texas – United States
- Type I, II, III, or V worn at all times
And finally, for general safety, you should also have stowed with you:
- First-aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Food and water
- Any other supplies you might need.
5. Choose the right spot
And for my last point, we again revisit a common tip for any type of fishing in that it is critical that you choose your spots wisely – especially if you plan on traveling some distance to get there. So make sure to do some research ahead of time so that you can choose a spot that will give you the best chance at success.
So when you are doing your research, consider the following:
- Weather patterns – Noone can predict the weather (many have tried over the years of course) however if you have an understanding of what tends to happen that time of year, then you will have a greater chance of success. Know when the winds tend to get up and other seasonal occurrences happen as well (such as summer storms etc.).
- Water temperature – When it comes to water temperature, they can have a huge effect on how fish behave. In general, many species will come into shallower areas in the early morning or evening to find warmer waters than down deep.
- Structure – Most fish like a bit of structure to hide around or under. So look for areas where there are deeper holes, gullies, reef or underwater substrates or other structures such as fallen logs etc.
- What else is in the water? – If you are wondering what bait or lures to use then you will need to check out what is in the water naturally. It is no good tying your favourite lure onto the line if it doesn’t match the type of live bait that shares the water with your target species. See what is found locally and match your fresh bait or lures accordingly.
- Ask a local – Want to know all of the above – ask a local. Lake, beach or riverside tackle and bait shops are a good starting point here. I have some apps that will do that for me too!
And there it is – my 5 tips for jetski fishing this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences or any other tips you may have.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time