Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Ready to go!

Feeling much better now and ready to engage in a little LRF.
Soon there should be some Whiting around once we get the first proper frosts, along with the obligatory Pollock. There will be Flatfish about to target too, and Rockling...
Some new venues to try for these species which should be interesting too.
Having topped up my depleted Lrf kit, I'm just waiting for the right tides and weather windows to get out. Blowing a hoolie here at the moment which is typical now I've decided to embark on a little mission..oh well!
Will report back as soon as I have something to blog about!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Long time no see....

I feel I owe anyone who visits this blog and apology, particularly those who are or were regular visitors as well as those friends and aquaintances I have made while participating in this side of the sport, for not having updated for such a long time. You see to put it bluntly the Bass fishing this year has been totally crap here! To compound things I have been dogged by some health problems that have affected my ability to venture to the more physically demanding to access venues where I might have stood a chance of catching something. Sure, I could have stuck to the LRF side of things to keep the interest up but even that was sometimes too physically demanding for me and left me aching and in pain even from short sessions on the Pier. So I had to give it a rest in order to recooperate from my physical ailments.
So what could I do? I still wanted to fish but had to find something less demanding that would allow me to continue angling and still get myself better....
Being an allrounder and having Coarse fishing as a more relaxing alternative, this seemed like a possible solution, I could still fish but also benefit from the less physically demanding aspects of it.
Now earlier in the year, I had the opportunity to fish a quite special little lake, that contains some very worthy cyprinids, in other words, Carp.
I had intended, along with my two angling buddies, to target this water during the coming winter, but now it seemed I had just as well make an early start and get to know the lake and it's inhabitants and their habits during the warmer months while they were easily observable and catchable.....
And that is where I will leave this story here on this blog. To find out how I am getting on please follow the link at the top right hand corner my other blog.

Regarding the Saltwater side of things, I will be back, I am learning to cope with my ailments and realise my limitations, and as long as I remember not to over do it I should be able to resume reasonably normal service by next season. There will probably be much more on the LRF side of things and any Bass fishing will be done as and when I feel physically able.
So to finish, apologies again and thanks for reading.....In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger....ILL BE BACK!!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

His first Bass !

Once again I woke up to good signs yesterday, on opening the kitchen blind all was fairly still outside, although dull. Checking my weather resources on the Net, it seemed we would have a good chance of getting out for some fishing this evening. The only sticking point being that the wind which would be light NE for most of the day would be switching to SW for the evening and picking up slightly. As a contingency, two plans were made in the event that this would happen. If the wind remained as was, then we would head out to the back of the Island for some HRF Wrasse and Bass, however if the forecast was right, as most of our shallow north coast marks would still be heavily coloured, we would head to a Pier on that side of the Island for some LRF. Note, at this point was no heavy rain forecast...
Three o' clock in the afternoon arrived and with it came some light drizzly rain. OK fair enough it wasn't up to much so carry on regardless with the plan.
Between five and seven in the evening the heavens opened and it lashed it down! At what point was that forecast? I wondered...I also noted the wind had switched to a brisk SW...
Plan B then, and I concurred this with my mate via text. Our south coast venue involves a treacherous cliff path trek to the beach and the heavy rain ruled this out alone for safety reasons.
Hoping the rain would ease, we decided to still proceed to the Pier, we just had to get out.
As the plan had been revised My eldest Son was to accompany us as he really enjoys the LRF.
Having collected my mate, at which point the rain seemed to abate, we headed off to the Pier.
Conditions looked good on arrival, wind a little brisk but at least it would'nt be in our faces.
First drop in and it seemed there was little flow, a crucial factor when fishing the Piers both for presentation and for the fish to be feeding. I switched us over to a carolina from a jighead to see if there were any Wrasse or Scorpions about on the bottom, but strangely we remained biteless, most unusual...
After a while I suggested to my Son we try another spot near my mate, who was bait fishing off the front of the Pier, for a while until the flow picked up and we would be able to fish our present spot properly.
A few little bites from the new spot had us hopeful of a fish or two but after a while we were still fishless, but the flow appeared to be picking up and the floating weed was now beginning to move.
Back to our previous position then, but Son was getting bored and starting to ask when we were going. I told him to be patient as I was sure we would catch something....
At last a bite came, I wasn't sure what it could be at first and then surprisingly a Bass of about a pound appeared on the surface, good start !
And what a start, to a surprisingly good evenings fishing considering the slow beginning.
With a bit of coaching my Son managed to bag a small Pollock, which immediately re awoke his interest, and he began fishing with renewed enthusiasm and focus. He's been keen to catch a Bass for a while now, and I had promised him, that this year We would make sure he caught one.
By now the tide had picked up nicely and presentation was a doddle, cast out, swing with the flow and retrieve steadily. We were back on the jigheads and the good old Ecogear Aqua Strawtails In Orange were threaded on the hook. It seems that not only do Pollock like these, but Bass are rather partial to them too !
From then on the action was steady and we got plenty of bites, I organised it so that we took turns to cover the area where the fish were hitting the lure until we had a fish and then swapped over until another fish was caught. Coaching my Son he hooked into another fish, Bass on ! The little Calzante Lrf rod hooped over, with the fish taking line,  Son was very excited but played the fish nicely on the light gear and very soon he was grinning widely while posing for a picture with his very first Bass ! Yes! I was so pleased for him !
This continued for the next hour or so, with us taking turns to catch fish, I ended up with seven Bass from a pound to a pound and a half, along with a couple of Pollock, and Son managed two Bass of the same size and four Pollock, So nine Bass and half a dozen Pollock between usmade for a very good nights fishing in the end !
During this session I was using Fluorocarbon mainline fot the first time in the form of Berkeley Trilene, in 4lb breaking strain, and I have to say it performed very well. Very strong, knots well, and is thin and limp but very abrasion resistant. It was definitely less affected by the wind than braid would have been and allowed better contact with the lures. Bite registration was very good with an excellent hook up rate. So a great session all things considered, and well worth the effort of taking a chance on the inclement conditions.
Oh and of my mate who was bait fishing? He blanked ! sorry Mr B ;-)  LOL !

Still locked in attack mode!

The Blood on the Gill cover is mine..ouch! those are sharp !
Lovely irridescence along the back of the fish...

Pollock of around a pound and a quarter.

A very happy chappy !

Yummy ! Strawtails !

Note the Fluorocarbon on the spool, very impressed.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Spur of the moment Lrf session

Something strange happened today...
I opened the kitchen blind this morning, and I noticed that the wind wasn't blowing!
Seriously, it's been that bad lately. A quick check of the forecast indicated a small window of possibility, so I siezed it with both hands and once the kids were ferried to school I shot off to one of the local Piers for some Lrf fun!
Conditions on arrival were almost mediterranean. All was calm and bright and warm, and the sea was clear. Lovely!
Well, almost. The sport to begin with was very slow, in fact it took me a good hour or more to get my first fish, a small Pollock. This was followed a short time later by a Garfish, so it looked like there were some summer species around, I hoped for a Mackerel to put in an appearance as they are fiesty customers on light gear. Try as I might I just couldn't seem to muster another fish, of any species, a most unusual occurence for this Pier.
I was fishing the ebb, which my friends and I normally find to be very productive at the venue, and it was getting on towards low when I noticed some surface activity, signalling that the Bass had come on the feed and were blitzing on fry or shrimp. In quick succession I managed to finish off with two Bass and a Mackerel.  All the fish fell to the ever reliable Ecogear strawtails in various colours, coupled with 2 gram jigheads from AGM products.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A few Bass at last !

Only small, but a welcome catch of half a dozen fish to around a pound and a half. Things looked good after the warmer day yesterday and a small window of opportunity presented itself. Here's hoping this is a start to the season here, as so far things have been pretty dire on the Bass front !

3.5 " Black Rockvibes fished on 3.5grm Jigheads proving their worth yet again.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The sum total...

....of my efforts lately.

Not particularly good. I think I have blanked more times in the last few weeks than I did all of last year. The Bass are very conspicuous by their absence...
This time last year my mates and I had already taken a substantial amount of sizeable Bass ( all catch and release ),. The same venues so far this year have produced zilch. Worrying times, the Island is being heavily netted and trawled at the moment which is not good. This could well be a year to focus on the Wrasse, if the weather lets us...
Diabolical is the only way I can think to describe the conditions of late, low temperatures and high ( northerly ), winds all serve to prevent opportunities from presenting themselves, and a few small Wrasse are hardly anything to write about. I really hope things improve.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The weather seems to be very changeable at the moment, this morning here it is blowing a hoolie, rattling with rain and quite mild. Yesterday evening however was very different, bright but cool with fresh breeze. Despite this we decided on another Lrf session on one of the local piers, ( we have three to choose from ). My eldest son accompanied me this time keen to expand on his ever growing sea species list.
I set us both up with carolina rigs to start off to see if there were any bottom dwelling species about. Sections of Gulp! sandworm on a size 8 hook were offered to any prospective diners.
My son got a bite on his first drop in which he missed but the next try produced a new species for him in the form of a fiesty little Scorpion that kept grunting!  ( note the section of sandworn still in its mouth, it didn't want to let go of it's meal ! ).

No more bites were forthcoming on the bottom so we changed to OTD techniques, a 2gram jighead with a size 4 hook, and the lure was changed to my favourite of the moment, an orange Ecogear strawtail. A succession of small Pollock fell for the strawtails for both of us, pretty little fish covered in speckles.

Then unexpectedly, something a little more fiesty hit the lure, and my first Bass of the year was landed. Only a fish of about a pound, but on lrf gear great fun !

Soon the tide went slack as high water came and the bites tailed off. By this time we were both quite cold and decided to call it a night. No doubt we could have caught more if we had waited for the tide to turn and the fish to come back on the feed, but being a school night and the fact it was already quite late, that wasn't an option !

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Graphite Leader Calzante Lrf rod.

I have had this delightful little rod a while now, and I have caught a great many Lrf species on it, including Pollock, Wrasse, Garfish, Scad, Gobies and Smelt, and I can say it is an absolute joy to use. Very slim, extremely light in weight for it's price point, sensitive enough to be a ble to see and feel bites from the smallest of fish, yet it still has enough reserve power to deal with the odd rogue bigger fish.
The short butt section at just 12 inches is just right for holding the rod for long periods, and it enables the 7ft 6 blank to fish long enough to keep hooked fish away from potential obstacles, and if you are fishing over railings such as on a Pier, the handle doesn't keep clonking on the rails!  Weighing just 95 grams it is one of the lightest rods in this price bracket. The casting rating is 0.6-8grams or 2-6lb line. It is built in china, but to Graphite leaders exacting standards. The blank, which sports the superb Fuji 'K' guides, measures just 9.2mm at the butt and 1.1mm at the tip, so you can get a sense of just how slim it really is. Even modest fish put a good bend on the rod allowing for a great fight from small fish and yet you can feel when you hook a better fish, such as the 1.5lb Pollock I had the other night that gave a tremendous scrap, that the rod is still able to cope with crash diving fish like this! Overall I am really pleased with the Calzante, It's a super little rod for the money and the build quality and finish is much better than some more expensive rods on the market. It carries a comfortable handle and reel seat which is very comfortable.The colour scheme is pleasing to the eye, and the woven carbon section carrying the product designation adds nicely to the attractiveness of the rod. The rest of the rod is finished in unground Carbon, which I personally like, and the tip section is painted white with hi vis orange ring whippings to aid visual bite detection. I would thoroughly recommend these rods for Lrf fishing, and I am looking forward to catching many more fish on mine.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Lrf pier session

An impromptu Lrf session on a local Pier produced a couple of nice Pollock for me this evening, both put up a hard scrap on the light gear and were taken on Ecogear strawtails in Orange colour. These are the first decent Lrf fish of the year so hopefully things should begin to pick up shortly as the Bass put in an appearance.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

First LRF session of 2012!

I'd been keeping an eye on the tides with a view to a possible session or two, and last night a nice little window opened up and on the spur of the moment I decided to nip out for a quick session !
Having collected my mate on the way, we arrived to find flat calm sea, and no one around, dark was just beginning to set in and the setting looked perfect for a few fish. It felt a bit strange at first as I set up the gear, but I opted to fish an Ecogear aqua strawtail in red, on a small shirasu jighead, perfect for 'swinging' in the flow and fishing OTD.
It was apparent on the first cast that we were a little early, as this venue relies on the tidal flow to bring bites from the resident fish population, and it was about half an hour or so before the jigheads began to be pushed along and we were able to present the strawtails effectively in the flow. As if by magic the fish began to appear, as some tiny Pollock hit the plastics. Sport was a little sporadic and I was definitely a little rusty, but It began to come back to me and I nailed a couple of slightly better fish, on an orange coloured strawtail, the best going about 12 oz's, which put up a good fight on my Graphite leader Calzante lrf rod !
Altogether my friend and I managed five fish apiece, as well as a few missed bites, the fish did seem quite lethargic probably due to the water temps being around 8 degrees at the moment, the air was certainly cold and we decided to call it a night when neither of us could feel our hands anymore!
I had a great time and it reminded me just what I had been missing out on while I had been neglecting the salt in favour of freshwater.
I had hope to venture out again this evening to one of the piers, but that's not going to happen now as overnight the wind has picked up and it's blowing a hoolie now!
Really looking forward to the next session now and many more after that as the season proper gets underway.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Roll on the spring!

It's been a funny old few months since I last wrote in this Blog. I've been fishing, but not in the salt, which I think may have been a mistake. Whilst I thought I was enjoying what I was doing in freshwater, It seems in all honesty I was just going through the motions this winter. I thought by setting myself some targets, i.e a big Roach and a big Perch, that it would keep up my interest, and, whilst it worked to begin with, I am now struggling to muster any enthusiasm for it anymore. It seems freshwater definitely does not hold the interest for me it once did....
The whole saltwater experience, encompassing HRF, LRF and Fly fishing have really got under my skin. The techniques, the tackle, the sport, the magnificent raw environment and scenery, and almost no competition for 'swims' or someone ruining your day by casting at you, across, you and / or just being a general nuisance cocking up your chances of a few fish!

Unfortunately we are at that time of year in the salt where fish are harder to come by, paricularly Bass, as they are spawning offshore and only a few fish are venturing closer in now and again when conditions suit them. Even Lrf'ing for the smaller species can be tricky. I'm waiting for a decent enough tide to try a bit of Lrf at the moment. Hopefully a few fish will put in an appearance.

In the meantime obviously my thoughts have turned to preparations for the coming season, and as a result, I made the decision to sell my Kayak, the proceeds of which have gone towards the purchase of a new HRF rod in the form of a Century HPR lure rod, I chose the popular all round 7' 3" EBT model, as this will cover most if not all my wading and shore fishing requirements. Obviously I cannot give a proper review of the rod until I have used it extensively, but my friend has this model also and used it a lot last season, and from what I have seen it promises to be a superb tool for the job, and will hopefully help to improve my lure fishing skills as well as assisting me in catching a few more fish. Credit to Keith White and the gang over at JBG extreme fishing, who helped design and field test these rods extensively, these guys know their stuff and the input into these rods make them one of, if not The best lure rods on the market. There's lots of new soft lures I want to try this year, along with some new ( to me ) techniques, so I'm really looking forward to this season. Our first season was very good so all being well this one should be even better now we have a better understanding of what we are doing, and the places we are doing it.

I also want to try and utilise the Fly rod a bit more this year when conditions are suitable, as I believe there is some superb sport to be had fishing like this at some of our venues.

Lots of new venues are going to be explored this year too, as well as getting to grips with some newly discovered one's from last year, we really aim to maximise on the potential of these spots whenever possible, and find the best methods to use to catch the fish, whether they be Bass or Wrasse, or any of the other species available.

I'll be keeping a close eye on the sea temperature in the coming weeks, waiting for those steady 9's to appear, although it has been a very mild winter so far compared to the last couple of years and as I said there is the odd few Bass putting in an appearance already, so just maybe that time will come a bit sooner rather than later......

Looking forward to many evenings like this......