Fishing with Tony Lincoln | How to use Burley

Published 9:42am 17 November 2021

Fishing with Tony Lincoln | How to use Burley
Words by Tony Lincoln

IN this edition, we’ll follow on from my last column and cover how to use burley.

Burley can be introduced to the water in many ways, the easiest and cleanest of which is by a burley pot or bag.

They are available purpose-made from most tackle shops in many configurations, or they are a simple piece of tackle to make yourself.

The basic design is a perforated container or mesh bag into which our burley is placed and subsequently lowered into the water for the current to carry the particles and scent away, hopefully attracting fish and bringing them to our baits which we've positioned in the trail.

This method, when practical, is far easier and lower maintenance than dispersal by hand which can be continuously messy and can result in the trail being broken if we become distracted. However, dispersal by hand allows us to increase the area of the start point of our trail by scattering our mix into the water over a much wider area and also allows us to target any specific currents or structure that may not be reached with a trail starting from one individual point. Either way, it's critical to maintain the trail, as fish are following the scent and if it breaks off they can turn back to follow it as it drifts away in the current, resulting in our broken trail actually taking fish away from us.

Our pot can be suspended at any depth dependant on how we're fishing. For instance, I generally have mine at or just below the surface as this covers the entire water column, top to bottom, giving me a much larger vertically covered area and I can cast into the trail at a point of my choosing.

However, if we're fishing with handlines, or unable to cast any distance, it may be practical to weight our container and lower it to the bottom and fish our baits right at the source.

Give it a go, you might be surprised at what comes up the current. Especially after a couple of hours.

Thanks for reading again, and remember;

Talk to old people, they know stuff you don't.

Talk to young people, they know stuff you don't.


  • Feedback this issue has been very limited, as the weather hasn't been playing the game.
  • Summer whiting are patchy but a couple of nice fish being caught here and there around the peninsula off the beaches and flats.
  • The odd school mackerel turning up here and there for our land-based anglers
  • Some GTs around Scarborough.
  • Squire, snapper and some grassy sweetlip off a couple of the rocky points around the peninsula.
  • A respectable land-based jewfish capture in Bramble Bay.
  • A couple of mangrove jack being caught as well.
  • A few sand crabs being caught in Bramble Bay and Deception Bay.
  • Hopefully the rain coming down outside as I write this will start to flush the rivers and creeks and push the bait out to ring the dinner bell for our summer pelagics.


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