This is the most common type of line fishing used by commercial marine scalefish fishermen in South Australia.
Primarily used in inshore waters, fishers may use hand lines with up to three baited hooks or jigs to catch such species as King George Whiting, Snapper, Wrasse, and Southern Calamari.
This method results in fish being in prime condition when they are caught and, in the hands of an experienced fisher, is very selective with little or no by-catch.
The bait used varies according to the species but includes fish, squid and razor fish. Most of the bait is caught by the fishers themselves.
A few fishers use drop lines which are a vertical line typically employed in deeper reef areas for catching snapper, nannygai and Wrasse. They are held in position with a weight and float and made up of hook and bait configurations that target specific species the length of the line.
There are limits on the time drop lines can remain in the water (i.e., the ‘soak’ time) which ensures that by-catch is minimal and predation of caught fish, for example by sharks, is minimised.
Unlike long lines that are used by ‘industrial’ fishers in other countries that can be several kilometres long, South Australia’s marine scalefish fishers use short longlines that can be handled and hauled from a small boat.
These longlines are made up of a mainline that is positioned horizontally, via weights and floats. The hook and bait configuration, as well as depth, can be used to target specific species over a distance, typically offshore.
Surface long lines are sometimes used to catch Whaler Sharks while long lines for snapper and gummy shark are set closer to the bottom. Like many other species, the fish caught be long lines are subject to strict quotas and other management arrangements that ensure the sustainability of the fish stocks.