Choosing the right sinker size for estuary fishing

Choose the right sinker size

You’ll catch more fish if you choose the right sinker size.

If you fish too heavy, fish will feel the weight and drop the bait before they’re hooked.

Too light and you won’t be on the bottom.

It’s critical to choose the right sinker size and get your bait on the bottom when fishing for foragers like bream and fingermark.

This is not something that you just set and forget.

It’s something that needs to be adjusted throughout your fishing day because there are several factors that interact with sinker size.

The key is to really NOTICE what your line is doing and change up your sinker size accordingly.

First up – what type of sinker?

Typically for estuary work a ball or bean is used on a running rig however a dropper lead is mostly used on a paternoster or dropper rig.

A 1,2,3 or 4 size will do for most applications.

However as the run picks up and you go deeper, sinkers of several kilos can be used. Such is the case for deep dropping.

Although in many instances, more important than the type is the sinker size!


What to look for when choosing sinker size.

Observation is the key to all things fishing!

So I regularly drum into my fish smarter students that the key to fishing success is observation.

Because unless you notice, you won’t be able to fix it!

First up, notice how quickly the line runs off your spool.

This will give you a good indication of how your terminal tackle is being affected by the current.

Choose the right sinker size so your bait is on the bottom.

You know you’ve hit the bottom when the line stops running out. But if the tide picks up – this could change so be observant.

Line angle shows you when you have the right sinker size

These two otherwise identical outfits have two different sinker weights. The red one is on the bottom and shows the correct angle. While the yellow one has lifted up and needs a heavier sinker.

Probably the easiest way to demonstrate how to choose the right sinker size is on the video below.



Change it up, don't just set and forget.

People often ask me how I catch so many big fish and in many cases, it just comes down to using the right gear at the right time.

Hence I change lures, sinkers, rigs etc regularly.

And before I did this professionally (many moons ago) I used to practice practice practice to tie my knots Fast and Tight.

However, when fishing for a living you need to minimize every second baits and lures are out of the water yet always ensuring you are in the target zone.

For me, fishing requires constant observation and changing things up to suit ever-changing conditions.

The same trial and error are sometimes required to choose the right sinker size.

Plus top Sounder Skills to make sure you're fishing on the fish in the first place!




For more great tips and free training be sure and sign up for our fishing community. Enter your name and email for great tips by Master Angler Ryan Moody and go in the draw to win a full-day masterclass with him in YOUR Boat.




About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

Facebook comments

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field