Sunday, 30 October 2011

Wrasse-ville, Lrf !

Lrf techniques never fail to surprise me about just when and where fish can be caught. Last weekend I fished a new spot with my eldest son and we had a good little session in the time we were there. My mate had tried it the day before and had come away with 40 odd fish so credit to him for having a go here. My son and I came away with nearly 40 fish between us so it is a very prolific spot. Most of the fish are Wrasse, a large percentage being Corkwings but a few Ballans thrown in too, also there are Pollock here too and we had a few in our tally.
Another thing that surprised me is that we caught the majority of the fish no more than a few feet out into the water, and its only really a normal beach to all intents and puposes, though there is deep water close by. It was great fun especially for my lad, so I now have a couple of places I can take the children where they can catch in relative safety and enjoy the joys of lrf. My boy remarked how he could really feel the bites through the rod and braid as I had recently passed my old Sakura Shinjin lrf rod onto him as I had upgraded to a Graphite Leader Calzante. He certainly had no trouble connecting with the bites and was putting me to shame in the early stages! I blame it on my reactions being slower as im a lot
Looks like the Whiting have arrived here now as there have been a few reports of them here and there, so we will be targeting these as soon as we can find a viable venue from which to catch them, another species to add to the diverse list of captures on Lrf, including Crabs that seem to have a liking for Gulp Sandworms!

A pretty little Corkwing Wrasse.

Monday, 17 October 2011

One more..

...Session last night resulted in another four fish for me, the biggest this time going 4lb 4oz. Thats 15 Bass from this spot for me this week in four 3 hr sessions, a very nice result in less than ideal conditions with the bright moon and I look forward to seeing what this venue has to offer when it all comes together properly!

4lb 4oz

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Moonlight Battle

Like a great searchlight, the not quite full Moon glowered in the night sky just over my right shoulder, illuminating the back of my right arm and hand, and extending it’s ethereal glow along the blank of my rod. Lights on the mainland and further along the coast peppered the dark shadows of distant as well as not so far away civilisation. All was still and calm save for the slightest hint of cool breath from the south east. Waist deep now, the water pushed past my companion and I, left to right as the tide flooded inwards. Standing a yard or two apart, my partner and I covered two slightly different areas of the black liquid salt that we hoped would yield the silver prizes we coveted. No words were exchanged at this point as we were both lost in deep concentration, extending our senses out into the night, from our fingertips, along the rods and down through the braid to the soft lures being carried along by the current, feeling for our chance to make contact with our quarry. A cast had been made and now I was feeling my lure along the drift line, whilst slowly turning the reel handle to keep a balanced contact, My soft plastic swung across in front of me two thirds through its trajectory, when I sensed a changed in the weight of the rod tip, followed by the gentlest of taps, and by another, and then a second slight weight shift, then the rod tip slowly began to tilt downwards ever so lightly. This was it, a fish had picked up my offering and was making ready to swallow its meal. With my grip on the rod being light I allowed the tip to tilt further down towards the water all the while preparing to set the hook. All this happening in just a few seconds, waiting for absolutely the right moment to make my play. With a tightening of my grip and a turn of the reel handle, I uttered quietly, “ I’m in..” to my companion, who turned to watch just as I made a sweeping strike, setting the hook. The rod buckled over and on feeling the resistance, an unseen beast set about making the reel concede line, tearing off on a powerful run, I braced against the forceful pull, praying the hook had set properly. Bass had been hard to come by this night, compared to previous forays, the bright lunar lamp in the sky keeping them out in the deeper un wadeable water, only the odd braver fish venturing into the shallows to hunt for prey, whereupon this one had encountered what it thought looked a suitable victim, but by the time it realised it’s mistake it was too late, and now, here we were, immutably tethered in battle, two warriors clashing swords by the light of the moon….

Inspired late season Bass session.

An inspired suggestion by Mr B had us heading to a new mark a couple of nights ago, in search of some Bass. On arrival it was clear that it had all the necessary hallmarks of good Bass ground, structure, Current and shallow enough for us to wade. Dusk was setting in fast due to the cloud cover that evening, and the timing felt just right as it was the tide had just started to push in creating a nice rip line around the feature we had chosen to begin on. First cast, a few turns of the reel handle and bang I'm in straight away! Like I said, Inspired Mr B ;). It had been a while and we had struggled to find any good Bass fishing since earlier in the year, our early season mark had been seemingly deviod of fish save for a few small schoolies here and there in recent times, and the weather had been too rough to target the areas 'out back' where we knew the bigger fish were. It looked like things were possibly about to take a turn for the better as I landed a fish of around a pound. Successive casts produced a couple more fish of the same stamp, and then there was a little lull. As darkness fell, I hit into something that felt a bit better as it tore off with several yards of line, Oh how I had missed that feeling, and without even realising it! Moments later a half decent fish came into view and I handed out a fish of around three and a half pounds. A while later another decent fight resulted in another fish of slightly lesser proportions probably an upper two pounder. A few more smaller fish and my tally stood at six Bass and Mr B had managed one, ( due to some 'technical issues'!). Things seemed to go quiet after that and with just the odd tap from small fish, possibly Pollock, we opted to try another spot for half an hour and then call it a night. The new spot produced some bites, but again seemingly not from Bass, so we toddled off home very pleased with our new venue.
Of course we had to have another go the next night, ( last night ), this time we were joined by Mr H. No two nights are ever the same and tonight was definitely a different night, the sea was very calm and the tinge of colour of the previous evening had dropped out and the water was quite clear. With it being a big moon phase I prayed for some cloud cover, as to date I have never done particularly well on bright clear nights in the salt. Well I got my wish as darkness fell and a bank of cloud covered the sky overhead, obscuring the bright moon. No first cast fish this time and after a while I began to feel that it wasn't going to happen. Now we had been wading fairly far out up to this point and had heard the odd fish splash behind us in some much shallower water. Yet again in another inspired move a cast behind us by Mr B had him engaged in battle with a good fish, and clearly not the Mullet we assumed they were! The fish charged around in the shallow water creating a lot of commotion. Eventually it was in the net and a fish in the upper three's was being admired. We continued for a while but I wasn't feeling it so went off to investigate another spot for a while, but returned still biteless to find Mr H had bagged a fish of a couple of pounds and Mr B also had taken another couple of fish, so it looked like I had missed out by not sticking around.
Some time later it seemed that things had definitely quietened down and a move was in order for the last hour of our session, my two companions focused on one spot and I opted to try another, as yet unfished one. Cutting a long story short I saved a blank by bagging three Bass in the new spot to around two and a half pounds, but my companions failed to catch in their area but Mr B did lose a good fish. And that was that...
Only it wasn't! Third night and we were faced this time with clear skies and a very bright Moon..would they still play ball?
In short, they did for a very short while, and the two fish that came to me and the one to Mr B all came from maximum range and the deeper water as opposed to the close in shallow areas we had caught in the nights before. They were obviously reluctant to come in too close at this stage, perhaps later on in the tide they would briefly venture in, but the cold was getting the better of us this night so we called time and took away some new information from this session. Traditionally we  had never done at all well on a full moon phase and clear conditions, but it seemed tonight we had proved that it was possible to catch in the bright conditions but that cloud cover during such phases is preferable. 11 Bass  in three sessions is a good result, factor in Mr B's 5 fish and Mr H's 1 fish and we have 17 fish of good average size in the 3 sessions, each lasting around three hours. Pretty good fishing in my book, in probably less than ideal conditions,  I feel that this venue has much more to give, how much more this year I do'nt know, the weather is closing in and temperatures are set to drop this week, but if at all possible we will do our best to keep trying for as long as we can...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Hot October action on the Pier!

Phew! that was a hot day, 1st of October and Temperatures in the high twenties! Bizzare but beneficial to the fishing, especially the species hunt contest between my mates and I...
Two of us fished today, we started off on the front of the Pier and bagged a couple of Bream and Gobies, but it seemed slow and so we moved to another spot on one side where it is a bit shallower and there is a weed bed to attract the fish. It turned out to be a good move because he action was fast and furious from the start. First up were the Wrasse, that seemed almost suicidal, as I caught fish after fish, and in the end lost count how many I had, but it must have been around twenty. There were plenty of predators around as well, including Garfish of which I managed to catch one to add to my species hunt list. Small pollock were also putting in the odd appearance and my mate also had a couple of Mackeral. Late in the session we had an unexpected capture in the form of some Smelt, a welcome surprise addition to the species list, and a nice change from the expected captures.
A great day out during which we chopped and changed methods regularly to search out the various species that were present and maximise on the sport.