Thursday, 30 December 2010

Happy New Year

Having severe computer problems at the moment, hopefully all sorted by next week. Just wanted to get on here and wish anyone that reads my blog 'all the best' for the year coming.

Here's to beating P.B's and pushing ourselfs to try something new in 2011!!

Have a good one people.


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Light Rock Fun

**Posted this on the Forum, but thought I'd share on here also. Lazy? Maybe :)

Managed a couple hours out last night, this time armed with some bits I picked up at Bens' shop - A Mebaru pocket in pack and some Spro 28mm Pearl shads.

I fished a 10 meter stretch of Harbour wall, managing 3 fish - 2x Pouting and a Pollock. The interesting thing is that they all took the lures in different ways. The first Pouting was taken a 1.5'' Grass Minnow on a swung drop, parrallel to the wall - maybe holding a foot off the wall. The take was pretty positive. After that, interest wained and it was time to switch tactics.

On with a 2" pink Power Shirasu, no interest at all. Change over to the same lure in pearl colour, no interest on the drop - let it settle on the bottom, shakey shakey and deadstick = fish on. Very aggressive take, shot off like a Wrasse, Pouting number 2 on the deck. Thinking that this may be the key now, I stick with the shakey style, couple nibbles but no more takes. I bring the lure up slowly until possibly 2 meters deep, and all the way I'm getting bights that I just can't connect with - as the lure comes in to sight, I can see that there are 2 Pollock flanking the lure, but clearly never taking a bite. Interesting. Now I know that not every bite I'm feeling, is actually a bite. Swap around lures a little, get exactly the same reaction from the fish, no bite, just flank.

Last lure to try is a Spro Trout Shad, which comes in at 28mm - pretty minute. I see some decent mullet cruising past, manage to sight fish to them a little. No interest whatsoever, even put it past ones mouth and it either didn't see it, or just didn't care. Will try again for those guys though for sure!

Slight change of tactics, I'm able to cast just short of the boats moored opposite. Try out a 'swung' drop for a bit, no interest. Then I recall some stuff about 'feeding the fall' and getting the lure to drop horizontally. I get a couple of positive plucks at the lure now, nothing that I'm able to connect with though. So I follow the same pattern, feed the drop - but now I start a dead slow retrieve(KVD??) and within 5 turns of the handle, solid hit and fish on. Nice powerful fight on the CarboStar, beaming smile and Pollock on the deck.

So as you can see, I kind of had to keep adapting to induce the takes - But this is what I'm loving about LRF - True adapt and overcome stuff.

All lures were on 1.8g Shirasu heads with #6 hooks, I'll certainly be going lighter and experimenting more as my collection grows and I'll be sharing any findings on here along the way.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

LRF is go

Just got in from a short and very cold session at a local harbour - well, one corner of it anyway. It's pretty massive. Plenty of action in the water, with small Pollock flanking the lure constantly on the drop, but not committing to eating it.

My LRF lure collection is very limited at present, but not for long. Should be expanding rapidly over the next week or so. I think if I had a smaller(than my 2.5''grub with 3g jig) lure, chances are I could of induced more bites - Here's to 1'' baits with 0.6g jigs and size 12 hooks!!
In the end, I did manage a Pouting, by cutting most of the curl tail from the grub, I got less interest with the bastardized lure, but what little interest it raised, converted to a fish at my feet. Going to be a lot of 'adapt and overcome' moments with this stuff I can see.

Got a Bass session with a few of the Forum members planned for Sunday, a few local reports of fish starting to pop up on the Forum have got my hopes up. The plan so far is to hit some deeper water marks in S.E Cornwall - marks that have produced plenty of fish this year, so if the Bass don't play, there should be Wrasse and Pollock to keep us warm.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Well, I'm not sure if this major cold front is to blame, but the Bass fishing is definitely dropping off. There are a few pockets of fish around, but unfortunately, they aren't present where I've been fishing.

I attended the Cornish Bumble on Saturday, what a great turn out - Possibly 30 or so people from most reaches of our nation, and a who's who of The Lure Forum members from the UK main land. Was great to see a few familiar faces from the previous Devon and Cornwall meet, but also to meet a bunch of other guys and put faces to the names. Wish I could of stayed around and joined the festivities, but alas, with prior commitments for the Sunday, it just wasn't to be.
I'm thinking that I'll still squeeze a few Bass sessions in over the next couple of months, when conditions are decent and the wind isn't giving me ear ache!

My main focus of winter though, is undoubtedly going to be LRF (Light Rock Fish). There are a plethora of mini(and some not-so mini) species around our sea front that will readily take a lure. All be it a very small lure, but a lure all the same. There are already a few guys from the Forum getting some good results on this ultralight gear, as well as the guys on the Channel Islands who have really worked to push this style of fishing forward and make it available to the masses.

There are 2 stores that I know of, who are putting they're neck out and stocking 'proper' LRF gear. you should have a look Here and Here at the array of little sparkly things. This form of fishing is absolutely HUGE in Japan, with them generally being just as enthusiastic at a 1lb Aji(Japanese Horse Mackerel) as a 15lb lunker Bass.
Anyone who is interesting in LRF(or any lure fishing for that matter) should really be joining the Forum, the info on there, is literally light-years ahead of anything posted on the other UK forums. The members here really are some of the most forward thinking anglers in our scene, so much to learn and so many people willing to share their knowledge. Long may it continue!!

Monday, 22 November 2010

A hard week

Been out fishing a few times in the last 7 days, Bass count = 0!!

We had a decent blow around the South-West, resulting in water that stayed murky for a whole week. I managed one hook up on a mid week session and that was pretty much that. Until I decided to have a crack at LRF(Light Rock Fish). Had been reading a fair bit about it, and even though my gear was far from suitable, I still managed this little monster on a 3'' Big Hammer shad and 3g Jig - this by the way, would be considered as going pretty heavy by LRF standards.
I'm going to try and pick up some Ultralight gear this week and have another crack at the little rock dwellers. From what I've seen on the Forum, there are a few guys local to me that are interested in going light for the winter, so should hopefully hook up soon.

While I'm on the subject of the Forum, I'd like to say a big thanks to Mick and Nicola for organising the big give away yesterday. This was to celebrate the first birthday of the Forum and was a huge success. I managed to win some SP's, but saw some truly generous prizes go to people who took part.

This weekend see's the Forum Cornish Bumble, with something like 50 lure anglers from various parts of the UK attending. It also coincides with a new 'lure only' tackle shop opening. I'll post some details of the shop once I've been and had a look. More shop's like this can only be a good thing for our ever growing sport and I always admire people for having the stones to set something like this up. Best of luck to you guys!

Monday, 15 November 2010

The true cost of safety

Can we really put a price on our safety? We take part in a sport that involves standing on rocks and being battered by waves, wading in currents up to 8knot and sometimes even doing all of the above at night. We've all been there, you cast out and begin your retrieve, before you know it a wave that appears from nowhere has jacked up before your very eyes and you can do nothing but brace yourself and take it. If your lucky, you've stayed on your feet. But what if you don't? What if you get washed off the rocks and straight into the turbulent water that you're fishing? I Consider myself a strong enough swimmer and spent my youth Surfing in the sea, but with waders and chest pack on, how efficient a swimmer will I be? And in those conditions? Scary!

If you spend as much time trawling through Japanese video's as I do, you'll notice something. They're always wearing life jackets. No matter what sort of mark and in what conditions. As I don't understand a word of Japanese, I'm not sure whether they are bad swimmers, or if they are genuinely safety conscious(and rightly so). One thing I do know, is that some of the life vests they have available to them are very cool!
Take this Mazume Redmoon 111 for example. It looks a very stylish and useful chest pack, with the real bonus of being a safety device. I've seen Japanese Bass guys wearing them on video's and they hold decent lure boxes as well as everything else you're likely to be carrying with you. I know there are a couple of guys in the UK with them now. Yes, they are pricey at anything up to £300 delivered(including UK taxes), but when you consider what you're actually getting, they don't seem so expensive anymore.

After reading Toby Harnett' report on the Forum, how he got himself into a real pickle yesterday while trying to rescue a snagged lure, getting washed into the sea in the process and being saved by the fact he was wearing a Snowbee auto-inflate vest, can you guess what's just found it's way onto my Christmas list?

The fishing this weekend has been terrible, persistent rain, heavy winds and water that's just too coloured to fish effectively. Still, as they say; A bad day's fishing beats a good day at work. Put me on those rocks, soaked to the bone and blanking over being sat here at my desk any day.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

All work and no Bass makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no Bass makes Matt a dull boy. All work and no Bass makes.... Well you get the idea.

Last weekends session feels like an eternity ago. The move went well and we're settled in already, so now I'm looking to Friday's planned session with a few boys from the Forum. The weather isn't looking great so far, but rest assured, I'll be out no matter what! Had a new toy turn up this week in the form of a very red Tenryu Red Luck Super Distance. Can't wait to get it out and take it through it's paces and with any luck, connect with a few fish.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Halloween Bassing

Managed a few hours out on the favourable Estuary mark yesterday. Arrived an hour or so after high tide, with the intention of fishing it down to low. Conditions were nicely overcast with intermittent, showery rain and wind was manageable. There was a huge swell running on the beach, which was just broken up before reaching us. Steve did cop a decent slab to the mid-section, which I thought was going to have him swimming, but he just managed to regain his balance. Got to keep your wits about you while wading this place, as essentially it's a run off into a surf beach which itself is a real hot spot with surfers from near and far.

I messed around for a while with different lures, using a Rudra suspended and drifted in the flow. After an hour or so of no interest, decided to put the Athlete SS out for a swim.

Casting well up river and then pretty much bouncing it along the bottom, just jerking it up every now and then to impart a little life. Pretty much exactly how I work an Xlayer in the same situation. It's using the Athlete this way that makes me certain the Driftbait's that I mentioned before are going to work at this venue. It wasn't long before I have a sharp snatch at the lure and it was fish on! A decent little scrap(as with all Bass in the main flow of the river) and I guided a lively 2lb Bass to my waiting Bogas.
A few more casts with the Athlete saw no more interest, so out with the Giant Xlayer(Ayu) and straight into the next fish. That pretty much set the pace, and next hour was pretty hectic with a total of 6 Bass landed. No fish of any size, all between 1-2lb, but the sport was great. Even had one fish leap well in to the air upon realising she was hooked.
I'm sure we could have seen more fish, but Steve gave me the wrong time(thought it looked pretty light considering the clocks had gone back!) and we set off back to the car. On the plus side, this gave us the time to stop off for a pint of Ale. Nice to wind down and reflect on the fishing.

Not able to get out for 2 weeks now(!!), as I'm moving this weekend. Staying in Plymouth, but just up sizing to a larger apartment. I'm sure drooling over tackle choices for next season will keep me going until my next session.... Just!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Look Forward

Now I'm no authority on who does what with the fish they catch, and I certainly don't hold anything against anglers who keep a small number of their Bass for the table. But when you see the photo of 5 or 6 breeding size fish, lined up dead and waiting to go home, I can't help feeling almost cheated.

As a lure angler, I think you naturally develop of tendency toward catch and release. Myself, I haven't killed a single Bass this year. If I'm honest, I doubt I will again. It's just a personal choice, I'm not a preacher and each to their own. If you visit various Sea Fishing forums, you often see posts complaining of how marks 'just don't fish like they used to' or 'the netters must have been here'. With commercial pressure on the stocks, can people really afford to keep bagging up hauls of Bass? We really should be looking forward now, with a little forethought we can work together and help protect this valuable fish.

I had a great feeling when an angler watched me revive and release my PB Bass, he was gobsmacked and I really thought he was going to jump on it! But that warm feeling was almost as enjoyable as the fight I had from her.

Keep the odd fish, but don't slaughter them. When I release a fish to grow bigger, it's a lure fisherman I imagine catching her when she's a lunker!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Found a few video's that are of interest, thought I'd share them here and here. The Japanese really are on top of their game. I don't think their light years ahead of us with techniques, more that anything they're passionate about, they throw lots of money at. The video's on the Shimano site are a prime example, just check out the adverts that come up in them every so often, they wouldn't look out of place on national TV!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Looking Forward

I know that here in the South-West, there's still a fairly decent run of fishing ahead of me this season, but I can't help but cast my mind forward to next season. I've learnt so much this year and am still absorbing information at a rapid rate of knots, I just don't have enough time left this year to deviate from what I already know will catch me fish.

There are a few things I'm looking forward to trying out next year. Driftbait's being one of them. I've had a fair bit of success using Softbaits drifted in a local Estuary mouth and know that sinking plugs work also, so these Drifbait's seem the natural lure of choice. I was put onto these by a Forum member called Dave Irving, who has had a good deal of success using them in Estuary marks that he fishes. As far as I can tell, they're ultra popular in Japan and catching some BIG Bass over there(picture below).

As far as I'm aware, these slow-sink Lures are import only at the moment. Although I'm guessing it won't be long before one of the specialist Lure shops stock a few.

The other thing that is playing on my mind is rod choice for next season. I just can't help feeling that most of us fish too heavy for our Bass. I'm leaning more and more to rods rated up to around 21g. I don't exactly fish with a heavy rod, but considering that most of the Bass I catch are 1.5 - 3lb, surely I should be fishing with a set-up geared toward getting the most from fish of that size, but capable of handling bigger specimens when they come along. I was originally leaning toward a Tenryu Injection, but after much trawling of Japanese sites, have come to realise that there are so many rods of just as good quality, for at least £100 less.

The meet on Sunday was a success, with a turnout of 13 that proved to be a lucky number as all but one person caught Bass. Stevie managed 5, with the biggest of the day going to one of the Falmouth lads, at a shade over 3lb. Was an excellent day out, conditions were near perfect and I'm looking forward to the next meet already!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bored in work, weather looks nice... How many fish am I missing out on??

Really need to get my Boss into Bass fishing!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

This coming Sunday

Most definitely looking forward to this coming Sunday. Seems there are a good few from the Forum attending the meet that I've set-up at Whitsands Bay in S.E Cornwall. The forecasts are showing that there should be a bit of movement in the water and I'm in high hopes that we'll see a decent fish between all attending.

For anyone that doesn't know, Whitsands Bay is a surf beach that stretches almost 3 miles and is known for holding decent Bass, in fact, the best fish I've heard of from here is 12lb! On bait admittedly, but still.... Just imagine!! I've seen Turbot while wading here at low tide, so those using SP's stand a chance of adding one to their species list.

Look forward to seeing everyone there.

Monday, 18 October 2010

A Top(water) Day

Had a nice day out yesterday. Went with Stevie over to Whitsands Bay in S.E. Cornwall and met up with Lure Forum members Marq and Toby Harnett. Arrived to Mediterranean looking water, with little or no movement and barely a breeze. Hardly ideal Bass fishing conditions, but a nice day to be out all the same.

Toby had already had a Bass at 44cm(Bent Minnow), good work in the conditions. It was clear that things would be slow though. Managed a Gar on the Feed Shallow Mullet pretty early on. There wasn't much else happening, so it was decided we'd explore a few gullies a bit further up the beach.

We all spread out over what looks like some of the Bassiest looking water I've ever fished - can't wait to fish some of these gullies with some movement in the water! I quickly winkled out another Gar, this time off the top and on the slinky little number so fondly known as the Pink Lady.

I hear calling in the distance and I'm was being beckoned over by the others who were making off back down the beach. I then noticed why, a decent amount of bird action with possibly 20 Gulls picking food from the top layer of water. By the time I got there, the birds weren't so localised and had spread out. Tried with the Lady for a little longer with no interest, so decided to try the Patchinko(Nacre). Surely far too lairy for these conditions? Apparently not, hooked into a Bass that probably wasn't much more than double the size of the lure. Hungry? This kind of set the tone really, as the only other Bass I managed was pretty much of the same stamp although taken on the Lady. Did managed a follow from a group of fish next cast, but they hung pretty deep underneath and didn't make a concerted effort to rise into it.

Organised a bit of a meet at this spot for the coming Sunday, initial weather forecast looks like a mostly dry day, with winds up to 35kmh from the North. Will keep an eye on these conditions and hopefully see a drop in the wind by then, but retain some movement in the water. Looking forward to meeting some of the names from the Forum.

We won't talk about Stevie blanking.....

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Had a few days off this week and with the Mrs busy at work had 3 days of fishing planned! First off was Wednesday. Was up early and off to my favourite estuary mark to fish 2 hours down to low. Had a go with the Spindleworms, not a sniff though (not sure if the local fish like Bovril ?). Ended up hooking and losing one fish on a giant Xlayer(Ayu), frustrated I went home shortly afterward. Stevie had the next 2 days off work also, so needed to do a bit a planning as the conditions weren't looking great. We set off at 5.30 the next morning and ended up on the North coast of Cornwall. We arrived to some decent swell on Boobies Beach and little wind. I took this Bass on an IMA Sasuke 120 in Red and Gold, that went 2.8lb on the Bogas and fought like he was at least double the size.

Within an hour the cross-on shore wind had picked up and was making fishing pretty annoying. as we we're local Stevie wanted to check out Ben Field's shop Art Of Fishing in St. Merryn. Ben and his partner Jo are proper nice people and took the time to chat and show me some of the Tenryu range he has in stock down there. The Injection is beckoning me, I can feel it!!

We tried a couple more spot's in the area that day, after Stevie almost getting floored by a BIG wave we decided to make the journey back up the A38 to Plymouth. While on the way back, it was arranged that we'd hit my favourite estuary mark again the next morning.

Arrived at the said mark by 8am and were met with a clear sky morning and a very swollen river mouth (5.8m local tide... Pretty big!). I've fished this place successfully with SP's, but never used plugs or hard lures, so when Stevie suggested sinking plugs (Jackson Athlete SS), it kind of made sense in this ultra fast water. Wading out into waste deep water that is snorting past you at a mega rate of knots is an exhilarating experience and something I just love. After only 2 casts I hooked into a fish and lost it within a few seconds, Stevie had cast and drifted his lure drifted into the same place and he was into this little fella.

Possibly the smallest Bass I'd seen taken on a lure. The tide was dropping rapidly so I positioned myself a little further down and clipped on a Giant Xlayer(Ayu) with a 10g head. I didn't have to wait too long before a fish snatched the Xlayer as it bounced along the bottom.

With the water moving so fast, I had a real fight with him as he used to current to his advantage. This saw me running down the bank to keep parallel as I didn't want the force of the water to pull the hook. Great fun!! With no more fish showing and low water fast approaching, we moved across to the opposite side of the beach to explore some gullies that we hadn't previously fished.

Stevie was first into a fish, tempting a scrappy little fish on a Feed Shallow(black and Gold?.

The fish took the lure while it was lying motionless on top as Stevie moved back on the rock to avoid a wave. This prompted me to pull out the Patchinko, but didn't get a sniff, so on with the subtle and slinky Z-Claw (Pink Lady) and within a couple casts had a 1.2 and 2lb fish succumb to her powers. Nice thrash and splash take from the 2nd fish, great fun.
The tide had turned now, so back over to the river to try and catch them on the way back up. Various tactics employed saw no fish until 2 hours in and and unfamiliar take and fight on the Xlayer. Felt quite strong and was using the tide and staying deep. Then just as I got it close, i could see it was a Flounder(my first on SP's!). Was a nice plump fish and guesstimated at 2lb.
Stevie pulled out another small Bass and we decided to call it a day. Not exactly the two day Bass bonanza we had been hoping for and we never saw the lunker we had been anticipating, but still a good couple days on the Coast.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Stormy Sunday

Went out with Stevie on sunday. Decided to give a local surf beach a shot with plastics. As we arrived it was clear that neither of us had actually checked the surf report!! Got down on the beach and it was probably close to double overhead, so that was wading the rips and gullies out of the question. Ah well, make the most of it! Plenty of rocks to climb on.

We we're both using Lunker City Fin's'Fish, Texas rigged with cone weights. These fished almost completely weed free. Although the 10g weight was probably a bit OTT for normal use, it was definitely neccessary in the conditions, doubt we would of kept in contact with the lure else.

Anyways, no fish for me(thats 3 blanks in a row now!?!). Stevie managed to winkle out a 2.8lb nicely conditioned fish that put up quite a scrap in the rip.

Got a few days off work now, so hoping for some fish. Had some Megabass Spindleworms  turn up today, funny that they  smell like Bovril?! Lol. If they work, I may just start smearing my lures in the stuff.

First post.... Of many?

Well here it goes, always seem to have a lot to say, so might as well start saying it!

Got to say, living in Plymouth is amazing if you're into any sort of sea-fishing. The variety of ground around here is mind blowing. Whether it's fishing reef, surf, currents, estuaries or anything in between, we really are spoilt for choice.

This last season has been such a learning curve for me, with the addition of fishing (with effect) Soft-Plastics - in various ways, including HRF and in currents - as well as honing my watercraft further. I'll be the first to admit though, I've still got a lot to learn, and I'm having real fun learning!!

I'll post some stuff on techniques and tackle that are working for us around here at present and also review bits and pieces that I think people might be interested in.

Ciao for now.