Friday, 25 March 2011

It Was T H I S Big

Check this video I found on YouTube. I'd seriously hate to be the Mullet! Which by the way is apparently 50cm itself. The guys estimated the Bass to be in the 130cm mark!!!!

There have been a few reports of Bass starting to take lures, so hopefully I'll see some action on the planned trip for tomorrow. I'm on the hunt for a lunker this season, with a set target of 70cm. A big fish, but a definite possibility if I find the rite ground - I've got a feeling it's going to be from a nasty, weedy reef somewhere. I guess time will tell eh.

The Pollack are definitely showing a better size still, with many fish over the pound pulling our strings in flowing current. Last night a few of us fished a relatively new mark (for light game) in Plymouth and it was absolutely alive with fish. Decent schools of Smelt, Mullet and even Launce under our feet, plenty of food for lurking predators.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New Ground

Sunday saw me make the journey to a mark on the South Cornwall coast, to meet up and fish with Luke Fox and his buddy Shaun from the Lure Forum. I arrived at the estuary mark on low tide, to find a rather large and exposed sandbar. I could see from where I was stood, there were massive undulations in the sand - perfect for holding bait fish in the current, and consequently Bass. I had a great feeling about this place from the offset. On top of that, the weather was great with just a little cloud cover.

As I have a fair amount of experience fishing estuary flow, my plan of attack was to drift small hard bait's in the current. Hopefully seeking out any pockets of fish. Upon wading out, I spotted several Sand eel half buried, that appeared to be basking in the sun.

Adding to this the odd fish (likely Mullet) breaking the surface, further enforced the feeling that today would see a Bass or two, but unfortunately the fish hadn't read the script and failed to make an appearance. The tide then turned pretty viciously and began chasing us off the sandbar - I'm glad I wasn't fishing there on my own for the first time, as it would of been so easy to stay put just a little longer. Before you know it though, the bar is completely surrounded by flooding water moving at a rapid rate of knots. The day was still young, so I was escorted to a rock mark 10 or so miles down the coast to try for Pollack and Wrasse with an outside chance of Bass. Walking down the coastal cliff path, I was taken back by the ground down there. Amazing shallow reefs with drop offs in to deeper water, deep kelp strewn gullies and ledges over broken ground. Awesome stuff. The boys were rite about the Wrasse. Although today the star of the show was Shaun.

In an error of judgement, I had not come prepared for Wrasse fishing - Leaving all weedless hooks at home. I had a small selection of jigs with me, but they just weren't up to the job. Shaun managed 3 Wrasse, all of which came from a thick tangle of tackle hungry kelp. Weedless presentation was a must! I had one rattling bite in between tying new jigs on. Was still great to see a few fish caught and Shaun was more than happy that he had bagged his first lure caught Wrasse. Well done that man.

I'll definitely be heading back down that way a few times this year. These guys have a few nice marks up there sleeves that have yielded several Bass over 70cm and up to 78cm!!! In one season! Now that's good going for sure. Thanks for the hospitality guys, I hope I can return the favour over the coming months.

The light night games are still going strong, with good numbers of fish per session. I'm sure some of you guys will be aware of the raging debates centred around LRF/HRF at present. It's all a bit mad really. Arguing about fishing? LOL. Come on, what's that all about? This stuff is fun, so let's please try and keep it that way. It's not cool for people who are just entering the world of lure fishing, to get smacked in the face with this stuff.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Buggin Out

Wow! What a week. I'm sure most of you guys that read this blog have been following the events in Japan. Just seems to be going from bad to worse for those living in the north of the island. The images shown have been of devastation that is quite frankly, out of this world. Of all the nations on earth though, you can bet it's the Japanese that'll bounce back from something like this and hang a 'business as usual' sign from their door.
*** Just read this post by Jed of Oriental Angler Store in Japan. It's his account of the earthquake and his efforts to get home to his family***

The last few sessions have seen 'bug' baits proving their worth, claiming multiple species in multiple sessions. Generally speaking, these baits are a bit of a mouth full - so the takes are usually with some gusto. I'm finding these work best on a twitched retrieve, or slow lift and fall. Think of the way a shrimp darts around, or even better - a squat lobster, which is probably the best profile match for these baits.

Last night was the fortnightly Plymouth meet, fish were caught and good banter was flowing freely. The vibe at these meets is definitely that of a social event. A good chance to have a natter about techniques and tackle. It was mentioned though, sometimes this can have a negative effect on your fishing. It's all too easy to stand in one spot chatting for an hour - Obviously that's fine if the fish are in front of you, but remember to move on if they aren't biting. This was proved last night, when Ben suggested a move around the corner after bites dried up - We were in to fish almost instantly. 

Yet again, a new face attended to check out the growing LRF scene. From my brief chat with him, he was most definitely a level headed angler with an open mind. Coming from a coarse fishing background, he had a good understanding and knowledge of the attraction around light tackle. He did however point out a few things, from a non participant point of view. Expressing that LRF'ers seem to over hype and maybe put too much emphasis on the technical side of things, making it seem a little daunting and elitist to those who are on the outside looking in. The thing people need to understand with this stuff, is that there are a whole bunch more ways to catch a fish - on-the-drop, twitch and pause, shakey, lift and drop etc. To those who are used to cast and retrieve plugging or spinning, it's a world apart. But it IS easy to learn. That's really the problem, you need to get out there and have a go to appreciate what it is all about and how these simple, but highly effective techniques work.

This Sunday I've got a trip planned down to Cornwall targeting estuary Bass, but with an added bonus of hooking a Sea Trout and I'm also told, Salmon. Should be interesting!

Please check out Paul Gunning's awesome blog 'Smells Kinda Like Fish'. He's been out literally destroying the Wrasse on lures this week - both HRF and LRF! He's a cool guy to fish with and has learnt a huge amount about lure fishing in a relatively short space of time. His is probably the best presented 'amateur' blog out there at the moment, with real good content. Well worth adding to your favourites list!

Friday, 11 March 2011

My Thoughts....

My thoughts this morning go out to those in Japan, after reports of a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

I hope that the damage is to be minimal and there is a speedy recovery for all those that are affected in any way.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Yamatoyo Spinning Fluoro

After now fishing with this as my mainline for a couple of fruitful sessions, I thought I'd share with you the delight that is Fluoro mainline for Light Game work.
3lb was used in this test
At this point, I feel that I must tell the complete story of the Fluoro and I. It all started at the last Plymouth meet. I arrived to see others already fishing and I excitedly set up next to Paul, anxious to try out the new line. It was spooled perfectly on to a brand new Shimano Rarenium 3000 and balanced beautifully on my Light Game rod. Lure tied, bail off, cast..... SPLASH!!! WTF? Look at rod tip, still there - Phew, thought I'd snapped it. Work my way down the blank checking for anything missing or broken, but it looks fine. Get to the reel - Or at least what's left of it! In my excitement, I had loosened the spool just a little too much. Ok, way too much! As I cast, the spool had actually flown off of the reel and in to the water. Not impressed, the air may have turned just a little blue. Fear not though, all ended well. I managed to pull the actual spool straight back out of the water, but was missing the end cap(drag adjust). Thankfully, it was a particularly low tide that night and I managed to find the end cap by climbing down a boat access ladder and foraging around in the weed. Lesson learned.

Pollack - Yamatoyo Spinning Fluoro 3lb

I really wasn't too sure what to expect from the Fluoro mainline, I did know however that the Japanese use it for most of their Light Game applications - Choosing it for various reasons over super fine PE braids. The two facts that interested me most were that you can feel 'drop back' bites (fish picks up bait and runs toward you), and also that the line sinks, enabling you to utilize retrieve styles more effectively. Upon making my first cast, I actually felt the lure splash down, and the feed back through the rod was reminiscent of my days beach casting - where you could often feel the bait hit the water when casting at range.

The next thing that I noticed, was casting range. I didn't expect it to match the normal 0.4PE braid I use, but I wasn't to be dissapointed. Perhaps 30% down on distance. This was made up for though in the fact that the Fluoro didn't get caught in the breeze, instead it traced the exact arc of the lure during the cast. Excellent. Something that seriously annoys me while fishing fine braid is the huge arc you'll get floating through the air in anything other than 'sneezy' conditions.

FISH ON - Now this to me is obviously the most important bit. If it doesn't feel rite when you're actually fishing it, you'll lose confidence by the load. The good news is that it felt awesome with a fish on. I kind of preferred it over the PE braid if I'm brutally honest. The slight stretch in the Fluoro seemed to compliment the action of the rod perfectly, and the lunging runs of each Pollack were absorbed with a far less 'jagged' feel than usual.

So, in conclusion. I don't see the Fluoro mainline as any sort of replacement for PE braid, but more as a compliment to it. They both have their uses for various methods we are fishing. For OTD and deeper water, it's always going to be the braid for me. But breezy conditions, shallower water and slow retrieved styles are definitely going to see me using the Fluoro mainline as 1st choice.

 Yamatoyo Spinning Fluoro is now available from

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

So Close...

Literally just weeks now and the local Bass fishing is likely to shift in to gear. I can't wait!

While fishing a new mark on Sunday evening, instantly I noticed there were bait fish breaking the surface. Every so often though, there would be an almighty crash of a good fish breaching the surface. At first I thought it would be Mullet, but the bait fish would go a little crazy just seconds before a fish smashed the surface.

I managed a couple of nice Pollack to the usual Light tactics. With a pretty heavy flow of water running from the estuary, my casts were pin pointed to a bridge support and then left to drift down the eddy. Bites were extremely tentative and reactions needed to be super sharp to connect. I'll admit, I missed a good few 'unmissable' bites though - Lost my focus while watching the bait fish and imagining a 'lunker' Bass about to inhale my bait at any given moment.

Last week's Plymouth LRF meet went pretty well again, with a good number of species landed - Including a bonus Schoolie for Ben. His first of the year, still nice and early. He looked a happy man!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The Rock Fish Files #2

Any of you guys who are into, or even interested in 'LRF' Light Rock Fishing seriously need to check out the new edition of the 'Rockfish Files', this is dedicated to the light approach to lure fishing, that is spreading like wildfire among open minded lure anglers. Stacked with info and techniques, as well as bonus content from overseas writers.

To say the least, I'm pretty chuffed that Keith White et al have used some of my photo's and a couple pieces that I wrote, happy to be involved!

Rockfish Files Issue #2 Light Rock Fish

Enjoy the road to enlightenment....

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

It's All Gone A Bit Wacky

One of the great things about LRF, is the simple fact that you can't help but experiment. Even better though, most things you are prepared to try just seem to work. A session on Sunday evening dedicated to using Zappu Inch Wacky heads, with Gulp Rag worm saw amazingly good results - With no less than 6 species landed and in good numbers too.
Rigging the worm Wacky style gave it the most natural presentation possible. If you have ever seen a Rag worm swimming, you will have observed the snake like undulated movement. With a little subtlety on my part, I was able to emulate this pretty nicely. This fish obviously agreed, they weren't shy about engulfing it.
The build of these heads is pretty awesome, using a non-toxic Tungsten, rather than Lead weight that they call 'space Metal' - They are also nowhere near as harmful to the environment. Can't be a bad thing eh.
They are built on quality Owner hooks, a nice gauge wire - Being designed primarily for the hard fighting Black Bass market, they are definitely capable of holding much bigger fish. I'm looking forward to trying this with the Wrasse come Summer, I can see them really smashing this stuff.
Finally managed to bag a (tiny)Flounder LRF. I'm not really surprised that it came to a worm imitation as Rag worm are probably the main food source around this time of year, it makes sense that they'll be on the look out for anything that looks, or moves in a similar way.
The photo above show's Mike Sullivan's first Scorpion Fish - New species? Dwarf Sea Scorpion LOL. Mike has just started writing a Blog dedicated to UK Rock fishing. He's enthusiastic about his fishing and I'm sure there will be some pretty cool content in there over the coming months and hopefully years.

I just want to add here, that anyone who believes LRF and associated tactics are nothing new and do nothing to build your lure fishing skill set - You really need to start opening your minds and thinking outside the box a little. LRF isn't going to be for everyone, but experimentation works and builds an ever bigger picture.