Friday, 14 June 2013

Festival disruption causes fishing chaos !

It's Festival time over here on the Island at the moment and thanks to the disruption it causes, my eldest son had the day off school naturally he and his mate wanted to go fishing!
I said o.k I would taxi them to where they wanted to go, and decided to throw my gear in the car as well, just in you do !
Things started off slow and the first half of the session leading up to high tide was a wash out with very little evidence of any fish present. A few nibbles from tiny Wrasse and Gobies all of which resulted in zero hook ups. I suspected that all this could change on the ebb and as I had to leave and go and pick up my younger son who still had school today I left my eldest and his mate to carry on. I returned about an hour or so later and found that my prediction had been correct and the fish had switched on during my absence. My eldest reported two Bass and a Pollock and lots more fish present, this being bolstered by a large flock of gulls working nearby too.
I parked the car up, retrieved my gear from the boot and re joined the boys on the Pontoon.

The water was full of pin fry which the Bass and other fish were merrily gorging themselves on, The trouble was, despite having my best selection of LRF lures with me, It was hard going matching the hatch due to the miniscule size of baitfish that the predators were preoccupied with ! In the end a 5 gram metal was as near as I could get and I managed to hook a little schoolie in short order but it was still hard going despite large numbers of fish present, the problem being the overwhelming amount of free food available.

In the end though we managed a few Bass, some Pollock and a Mackerel between us and my youngest son did me proud by being photographer for the session ! 

Action as a Schoolie takes the Metal !

The Mackerel were happy with Plastic !

Number one Son bags a Pollock

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Still slow

A couple of recent LRF sessions have yielded a few fish, though it's still been hard work for the time of year. The fish just don't seem to have established themselves in any numbers yet as in previous years at this time.
Anyway the first session saw me take my kids to a little pontoon the other night that is generally a great little venue for LRF. We managed a few Pollock between us during a dusk period in the tide, though the window and feeding spell was very small and there didn't seem to be any real numbers of fish like there can be here.

The second session was the same story really, visited another normally fun little LRF venue which is the entrance to a harbour mouth where large groups of schoolies gather at the right stage of tide and we have had some hectic fishing here at times on the ultralight gear. Last night however it was again hard work. There were obviously some fish present as the first bite came just on the dot of the flow picking up but this proved to be a false indicator and the bites were few and far between though both myself and my mate did manage pound plus fish each which was nice. Didn't get a picture of those one's though as the light was fading by then and I didn't want to spook any more potential fish with the flash as we were wading waist deep in the water and it had been hard enough work as it was ! So here's a pic of the first fish, only a half pounder but fun nevertheless...


Sunday, 2 June 2013

First strike to the needles !

Summer arrived this weekend finally, and with it the sport has just switched on pretty much overnight. Better two months late than never I guess ! 
Anyway taking advantage of the improved conditions my mate and I headed to what is commonly regarded as one of the best venues on the island in search of some fishy action. I have never fished here before, why not I can't imagine because it is simply a stunning venue with boulders the size of lorries in places and underwater topography so rough and extreme every nook and cranny must house a fish of some kind ! My mate had previously spent a little time here and regaled me with stories of lost monsters and unseen tackle smashing beasts ! For the first time in quite a long while I was actually excited about going fishing. Climbing over rocks and boulders after a long cliff path hike we found a lofty perch from which to cast. My mate was first in with a small schoolie and followed it with a second slightly bigger one. Not having brought any of the Dexter wedges my pal was catching on I decided to try one of the Superstrike Needlefish lures I got from the states recently. First cast and I was into a fish and first strike to the needles ! Sadly I lost the lure to the tackle eating ground a short while later and being the only one in a suitable daytime colour I was more than a little annoyed ! The Bass seemed to vanish after that so we plodded around trying to find some more fish while the rough ground ate up even our most weedless presentations. My mate managed a good sized Mackerel and I managed to finally extract a reasonable Wrasse before we called time on our session. No monsters but a few bites and a few fish during what we generally consider to be poor daytime conditions for Bass fishing, hot, bright and fairly calm. If I hadn't kept losing tackle and having to re rig every five minutes, I'm sure there would have been a few more Wrasse on the cards.
 We much prefer the cover of darkness for Bass, and we shall definitely be exploring the after dark potential of this mark soon as I am sure it will throw up a good stamp of Pollock once the light goes as well. At least things have kicked off properly now and we don't need to spend all our time wondering if the fish might really be there at all and concentrate our efforts on actually catching them !


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Big Hammer, small Wrasse !

Popped out for quick LRF session this evening and managed to catch this very striking Ballan Wrasse. I ditched my favourite Ecogear strawtails for this one and instead opted for a Big Hammer curltail grub cadged from my youngest sons lure stocks !

It's been very slow here and many of our summer species are still to put in anything like a consistent appearance, there are odd pockets here and there but nothing like we would normally expect for the time of year so I was very pleased with this fish !


Sunday, 5 May 2013

LRF long last it begins !

Finally the fish have arrived, only a month late but hey, that's just a small detail !  After four or five blank sessions in the last couple of weeks I was really getting frustrated and beginning to think it was never going to happen, but tonight it did !

Nothing earth shattering, just a short Lrf session at an easy access venue where five of us fished and we all caught. Myself and my mate, my two sons and one of their mates all had a variety of fish including some small Wrasse, Pollock and Pouting. The ever faithful Ecogear aqua products proving their worth again. It felt good to be back amongst the fish after so long even if they were only small, at least we know that things have kicked off and we can now hopefully look forward to some regular action !


Sunday, 21 April 2013

So close I can taste it !

Been out for a couple of practise sessions recently, no fish were caught and we never expected to catch any. The sessions were really just kit testing missions to make sure all was in order and iron out any teething problems. I took delivery of some Needlefish lures from the states about a week or so ago and the first session involved testing these great lures and finding out how they cast and fish. I'm pleased to report they do both very well ! I know they'll catch fish having fished soft needle very successfully in the past and these are pretty much the same but in a 'hard' version that will cast much further than the soft versions opening up new ground when the Bass are holding just that bit further out. More on these as and when I have some catches to report on them.

The second session was LRF based and though the day was warm the sea temperature still hasn't reached the magic number yet...
Still we hoped there might be a possibility of a few twinky Bass but it wasn't to be, however some other new items of kit were tested out successfully and again I'll review these in the near future once I've had a bit more time with them.

Despite the lack of any early fish I sense we are really close now, Sea temperatures are rising day on day and we're now close to the magic number and by next weekend we should be there...fingers crossed ! I think the whole Lure scene in this country is buzzing with anticipation right now with anglers desperate to start catching after having to wait for so long due to the extended winter we've had. Hopefully we will all make up for the late start with a bumper season ahead ;)

Tight lines everyone !

Saturday, 6 April 2013

On the up?

There's a hint of change here at the moment, a small rise in temperatures has raised my hopes of making a start in the next couple of weeks. The air temperature outside today is getting up toward 9 or 10 degrees and there has been a slight rise in sea surface temperature over night of almost half a degree...
Winds are supposed to finally switch from the seemingly endless easterlies and north easterlies that we have had for the last few months to a warmer but wetter south westerly direction. The Jetstream looks set to move northwards slightly pushing those cold arctic winds upwards and bringing this damper weather with it. I don't mind wetter as long as it's warmer and the sea temps continue to rise, and hopefully quite quickly, triggering our fishy friends interest in venturing inshore.

 The plan is to try for a few twinky Bass to start with either on the Lrf gear or maybe the Fly which would be a nice way to get things going. I love fishing the fly for saltwater species but the last couple of years conditions just haven't been conducive to pursuing this method. We've got a couple of nice venues lined up should we happen to get some perfect conditions for the fly where we would expect a reasonable stamp of fish which would provide some great sport on the gear...

I'm still waiting for my Needlefish order from the states at the moment but once they arrive I'll post a few pics and there's a new Lrf bag somewhere in transit as well which I'll review once it arrives.

We're close now so fingers crossed.....

On another note, you may notice that I have published a basic but hopefully helpful guide to getting started in LRF in the right hand sidebar next to this post. I hope anyone interested in trying the method finds it a useful starting point. If it has been of use to you please let me know, you can rate it on Yudu or let me know in the comments box if you like. Thanks.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Lrf, Needlefish and bloomin cold winters !

Cold isn't it?.. This time last year we were enjoying temperatures here of over 20 degrees Celsius....however I wouldn't say that the early season fishing benefitted from the unseasonably warm late March. This year is the total opposite, with the Jetstream sitting around 400 miles or so south of the British Isles we are trapped in a seemingly icy bubble of misery !
It's been a dire old winter, and due to my own lack of enthusiasm I have barely fished at all.
If I had got out early winter I could have enjoyed some success with the colder water species such as Whiting, but my head wasn't in the right place and it all passed me by.

But now I'm looking forward to the coming season, my eldest Son has been bitten by the fishing bug, and has already been out bait fishing with his friend despite the freezing temperatures ! In fact he has started as he means to go on and shown his old Dad up by scratching out an odd fish against the odds and weather conditions. His enthusiasm should help drive me on and his growing confidence and competence will mean I can concentrate a bit more on my own fishing again rather than having to instruct him in the basics.

I have been gearing up to try some new methods as well. While I was absent from the coast last year my friends were struggling to find any consistent Bass fishing mostly due to the appalling weather conditions we were experiencing as well as the apparent lack of fish in the usual haunts. This led them to experiment with alternative approaches, one of which was the American surfcasting method of Needlefish lures. The Americans use these lures to devastating effect on their native Striped Bass and for many are a go to method. To look at a Needlefish lure is to wonder what all the fuss is about. It is to all intents simply a straight piece of wood with a couple of sets of treble hooks attached front and rear. You cast it out and you wind it in just like any other lure, but with one or two differences or advantages. The first is that they cast a long way when coupled with the right rod and braid set up, meaning that adverse conditions can be overcome as the lure will punch through the wind, the second is the slight twitching action that is produced by the clever shaping of the head and eye area. What is produced on the retrieve is a very realistic swimming action. Now at the moment I can comment no further as to the effectiveness of these lures until I have had a seasons worth of use from them and then I can report back my findings, but if my friends brief findings with the Needlefish towards the end of last season are anything to go by, then I have high expectations.....

LRF will of course continue to be a large part of my fishing, especially now that Son is in tow and my other three children will be demanding Dads attention when it comes to catching fish. There is no denying that Lrf is a most effective way of keeping the youngsters interested, and probably above all other methods due to the physical contact they feel all the way through to the quarry from hand to lure to fish, very exiting for them, and probably teaches them more than using other remote more detached methods could ever do. The joy I personally get from seeing them catch is more of a buzz than I could ever get from catching fish myself too, having passed on certain knowledge and taught them such a simple joy as catching fish, teaching them to understand and learn about the species and to respect an conserve them for the future. 

Of course all this is academic without some fishing taking place, and I could wax lyrical until the cows come home about what I'm going to do and what might happen...
I predict it's going to be a late start this year, I'm guessing things will start to warm up air temperature wise around the second week of April, based on certain meteorological observations.... but how quickly the sea temperature will follow suit I don't the moment the sea surface temperature in the Solent is hovering around 5 degrees...much lower than this time in many previous years so it could be as late as a May start....Anecdotal evidence suggests that we may be in for a very hot summer which will hopefully benefit the fishing, but as I've said it's all academic until we get there.

I've changed the look of the Blog for this year, partly because I thought the old look was getting a bit stale and also to give me some renewed enthusiasm to record my thoughts and experiences regularly again, new dust, new broom and all that !

So here's looking forward to some fishing, old and new this space !

Thanks for reading