Sunday, 26 June 2011

Lrf weekend

A last minute decision to fish a pier again last night, the wind had dropped which gave us a window to fish through dusk and into dark for some Pollock. I must admit the Pier fishing has been a bit of a mystery to me so far. They hold plenty of fish to target with Lrf gear but, finding the right way to present a lure to them is crucial. The fishing position is awkward at best, and not the most comfortable fishing I have ever done, i.e hanging over the side of a Pier!
Anyway after some huffing and puffing and a few tips from my friend who seems to have the knack, I began to get the hang, ( no pun intended ), of it. Several Pollock were landed in quick succession by me and between us we probably managed a dozen or so before they seemed to go off the feed. Lure choice was crucial, I tried all the usual suspects to no avail, before, once again, my friend came to the rescue with the required choice. Thanks J.
So that was that, and today was centered around finding some Wrasse to fish for. The first venue, was out of sorts, though we tried for a while and found a few bites none of them converted in to fish. Our fishing position was beginning to get a bit uncomfortable due to swell so we retreated to another venue where we hoped things might be a bit calmer. On arrival things looked good, still plenty of tide to go at and the water was crystal clear, and the wind was practically non existent, ( makes a change ).
First cast and I'm into a hard fighting fish looking to get into any little bit of structure it can, the shinjin is bent double but I keep the pressure on and in comes a decent Wrasse. Good start!
Another three followed over the next hour or so, all around the same size, all fought hard and were a better stamp than I have had before. No monsters, I left that to my mate who landed a clonker ! ( well done J ), along with a few other smaller fish as well. The Lrf techniques are certainly proving their worth at the moment, and done properly it's immensley enjoyable. Light lines, tiny lures and a 0.5-7grm rod equals lots of fun!
There is a promise of some warmer weather this week, along with a lot less wind, fingers crossed that this will be the case and that it will bring the Bass back in, much as I'm enjoying myself Lrf'ing, the lure of some big Bass is calling.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Pier palaver!

Another trip to the pier, well a different one actually, last night. This one fishes well on the ebb for School Bass, Pollock and Mackerel, normally, and on arrival we saw one or two Bass being lifted onto the Pier. Great! or so we be honest it turned out to be a bit of a struggle. Despite the great number of fish that were obviously present, and we could see them darting about in the current, for some reason they seemed reluctant to take our offerings. Trying many different lures and techniques of presenting it to them, OTD, Swinging, drifting..a few bangs and taps, and I managed one reasonable, Pollock ( for the venue ), but the promise wasn't fulfilled, and it turned out to be rather a stuggle. It was busy with Anglers all trying similar things, so maybe that was spooking them, and plus the wind was horrendous yet again, making presentation difficult to say the least. Excuses..
One of my mates did a bit better with a 3 species slam, Mackerel, Pollock, and Bass, so well done to him. The wind is still blowing, strongly, it's June for goodness sake!! Still I suppose it makes it all the more rewarding when we do catch in spite of the conditions, but it's nice to have things easy once in a while!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Second place in the Scorpion race!

A little fun on the local Pier last night with my mates, Lrf stylee, targeting Pollock, Bass, Wrasse and Scorpions. The Pollock didn't show and nor did the Wrasse, but we managed a couple of small school Bass and my first Scorpion fish, using the Lrf which gave me second place for these in our species hunt this year! Ugly little critters aren't they?!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Rough with the Smooth..

Just had to have another crack at it while the tides were right, so off we toddled again to the same venue. It looked good, wind had dropped, sea was calm, confidence was high. First cast..and the lead broke out almost straight away. Apparently there was quite a lot of weed around and with the strong flooding tide here, holding bottom was impossible, the only chance we had was to wait until it slackened off towards the top of the tide. We messed around for a while and found a spot further along the beach where the tide and weed were negligible, but it just didn't feel right here, we are so used to fishing in current and finding the fish there that to fish slack water now seems pointless. We waited some more, finally I could stand it no longer, we were approaching the top of the tide now, so I whacked a Crab out and waited to see what would happen. Still weed was collecting on the line, but by slowly paying out line and creating a bow I was able to hold fast in the tide for a few minutes. Watching the rod tip carefully, I saw it tap quite hard like a fish had hit the bait, then a moment later the line seemed to slacken, so I wound down to see if there was anything on there. Difficult to tell at first, then as the bundle of weed neard the shore I saw a tail wag behind it, Fish on! It was only a small one of about 1-2lb but it was a start. We all cast out again and it seemed that the tide and the weed was indeed slackening. Mr B was the next to connect, again only a small fish but at least we were getting bites. A short time later I was stood watching my rod tip when I had an almighty whack on it, I grabbed the rod, wound down and hit it, I was almost dragged into the water as the fish powered off on a tight clutch! Frantically I slackened the drag so the fish could take line, it was clearly of a good size. It fought hard in the flow and really pulled hard, Smoothound really do fight, and on the light Bass rods it really doesn't get much better! A few minutes later the fish was tailed by Mr H and I at last had a good Hound, which turned out to be a new personal best of 8lb 4oz. To say I was pleased was an understatement, and I smiled smugly as the pictures were taken. ( as you can see! ). One more fish was landed by Mr B, again a smallish one, before the tide once again began to run and the weed came back, but it didn't matter, time was up, some fish had been caught and fun had been had despite the hard work with the weed and tide.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Not so smooth operater..

Owing to the constant and wearing wind, and the fact that we like to diversify from time to time, some bait fishing was scheduled...Target this time was Smoothounds which we get a great run of every summer. It's been a good few years since we last fished for the 'Smuts', and I was very much looking forward to the fight you get from these powerhouse fish. Now, in keeping with the way we have been doing things lately, we wanted to fish as sportingly as possible, not that they are'nt sporting on standard beach gear, but we wanted to really make it fun! Bass rods in the 1-4 oz would be the choice of weapon, along with fixed spool reels loaded with strong braid. Good quality Crab was sourced as this is the Smoothound bait par excellence, and off we went to our chosen mark last night. Things were looking good and I felt confident as we tackled up the rods. All the rods signalled some interest in the baits right from the first cast, but were more like Dogfish bites than Smoothie bites, just small taps, rather than the rod wrenching over and the reel screaming! It wasn't long however before Mr H was the first to wallop into the target species, and after a few minutes of playing a good strong fish a nice size Smut was landed. The excitement rose as we congratulated him on a nice specimen, and we turned our attention back to our own rods in anticipation of some further action, because when the Hounds are on the hunt they normally do so in packs and the sport can be fast and furious! Mr B was the next to recieve a good bite, though he wasn't paying attention at that moment and he missed the bite when I yelled at him that his rod was bouncing about in the rest! Anyway, jammy so and so that he is the same thing happened again a few minutes later and once again I had to shout at him that his rod was doing the fandango! This time luckily the fish was already on and so it was his turn to do battle with an angry mini shark. Once again the fish tussled for several minutes, with his Bass rod displaying a serious bend, I grabbed some action shots while he played the fish, and Mr H waded out to grab it as it came to shore. Photo's done, I turned my attention back to my own rod and wacked out another Crab bait, but something was wrong, the 4oz lead was bouncing merrily along in the tide, strange I thought, but it turned out that the tide was slightly earlier than we had anticipated, DOH! 
That was it for that spot as when the tide runs here there is nothing to do but pack up and go home as the strength of the flow is tremendous and even 8oz would stuggle to hold in the flow, and besides that the weed that collects on the line will break the lead out.
I felt a bit dejected, and I think my friends were sympathetic as they suggested fishing a bay around the corner out of the main flow, chances of a decent Smut were thin here but there are normally some school Bass about willing to take a bait. Not long after casting out I recieved quite a sharp tap on the rod tip, winding down I hooked into what we thought would be a little schoolie, but in fact it turned out to be a Smoothound...probably the smallest one in the area and couldn't have weighed more than half a pound or so!! We all laughed but at least I hadn't blanked and had caught the target species, I mean you can't always odds the size of fish can you?! Maybe we should target these babies on the LRF that would turn a few heads!

Mr H's Zziplex bends into an angry Hound

Mr B taking the strain with a glorious sunset adding to the atmosphere

The end result, a good few pounds of sheer muscle and attitude!,( and the fish aint bad either!! ).

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Lessons in LRF

Took my two boys LRF'ing yesterday for small Wrasse. Both caught their first Rockfish, to add to their already impressive tally of fish. They are spoilt really as they have had it easy with me to teach them, and sometimes they take it for granted. They are learning that Sea fishing is a lot harder than coarse fishing however, and that is a good thing as they will begin to appreciate their catches that little bit more. The oldest one is already doing that, as he is a very keen angler and has had some frustrating moments since he started coming Sea fishing with me, so even the tiny Wrasse that he caught yesterday had him beaming from ear to ear as I took the picture.
Mind you I know how he feels, because despite my success with the Bass fishing this year, the Wrasse still remain a bit of a nemesis for me, certainly the larger specimens. I have never really struggled that much when targeting particular species of any kind, especially in recent years, so my lack of consistency with this species is coming hard. Having said that I did do reasonably well yesterday, even though the fish were only small I began to get a feel for how they wanted the lure fished, and when the bites dried up, ringing the changes with lure colour seemed to spark their interest again. Something to carry over when attempting to fool their larger bretheren. Lure wise smaller definitely seems to be better, and is something I think I need to get right in relation to the size of fish to be expected at any given venue. It seems they will attack almost anything of any size but to get the hook ups the lure needs to be of the right proprtions. Still a long way to go yet but the five or six fish I had yesterday have boosted my confidence and given me a better idea from now on. Anyway we all enjoyed ourselves despite the unrelenting wind yet again, ( when will it ever end?? ), and we are coming into some nice evening floods again this week so hopefully some windows will open up and some fish will be caught.

A selection from yesterday:

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Metal Mayhem!

Had a couple of hectic evening sessions lately, daylight leading into dusk. First evening my friends and I turned up at a regular venue where I managed to spot some birds working several hundred yards down the beach, my mates thought I was seeing things as they couldn't see them, but I have bionic long distance sight, and knew I wasn't imagining it! We set off and as we got closer my companions began to realise I wasn't losing the plot after all!

The activity was still out quite a long way even though we were able to wade out from the shore about 70 yds, and so the old Dexter wedges came out to enable us to reach the fish. From the first cast it was obvious there were a lot of fish here, nothing big, mostly small schoolies but it was hectic fun and we regularly had multiple hook ups at the same time. Didn't last long but we had near on 30 fish between us. Then we moved along to another spot where we took a few more slightly better fish before the light went and we headed home with aching arms!

Last evening visited another venue with just one of my mates, first tried for Wrasse and despite a few bites, no hook ups for me, but my mate had a small one. With the light failing, we decided to focus on an area of current, again at range with the Dexters. Bites were forthcoming almost straight away, and despite no obvious signs of fish, we had most definitely dropped in on yet another good shoal of fish, they fought very hard in the current and their strength belied their size, most were around the pound mark but they fought like twice or three times that! We took about 8 apiece before the light failed and the fish moved off. A good couple of sporting evenings fishing, but the wind is back today having calmed down a lot for the last 48 hrs, so once again we will be back to struggling with the conditions! Sorry no pics as didn't have time during the action. lol.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Wind-ows of my mind..

Boy have we had some wind here in recent times, it's just incessant, I can't remember the last calm period we had. Frankly it's baking my noodle a bit at the moment, as trying to fish any sense  when it's constantly blowing a minimum force four and gusting to five or six all the time, is nigh on impossible! There have been a couple of times when it has just about dropped to an only just manageable level towards dusk, once the other evening when I managed a single Bass of around a pound and a half, and this evening, when my friends and I put a few fish together between us, though the window for the action was very small. Still a few fish is a few fish even though they were below par for the size that we had previously caught from the same venue. Some more settled warmer weather is whats needed to bring the shoals of baitfish back inshore I feel, and then hopefully things will start to pick up again.