Thursday, 16 December 2010

LRF Estuary Pollack PT.II

So I decided to fish the same spot, same sort of tide state. Again, very still, clear water, but the air temp was colder. Decided to try a different way of presenting the lure. I had a Cultiva Rock 'n Bait Ring Kick Tail 2" rigged with a size 6 hook. I fixed a 0.8g split shot approx. 14" from the lure. Casting out into the estuary flow, and drawing it back, slow lifts taking up the slack, I was into the fish almost immediately, and it was non stop action for the whole session. Again, takes were on the drop, and the fish were giving a really good fight on the light gear. One thing I do need to work on, is maybe 'striking' into the fish earlier, at the first sign of a take, as some of these larger pollack were hooked very deeply, I am also considering going barb-less to help when deep hooked. A total of 9 fish landed, I stuck them on the measure for an idea of scale;

Definitely taking my landing net with me next time I fish at this spot, as each fish I caught had to be walked round the Quay and landed on the slip way.

Monday, 13 December 2010

HRF Wrasse South West Devon

Headed out to try and get my first Wrasse on the board for the competition on and just about succeeded. Calm sunny conditions, with a light cold wind, and clear water. Fishing near Salcombe, off the rocks into deep water, filled with gullies in a dropping off rock shelf.

Had a few bites, but unable to connect. Saw a Wrasse follow my lure up into the shallows, but no take, however, feeling confident it wouldn't be long. Long pauses, small lift or shake, and fish connected. Lots of line taken before I tightened up the drag, then it went to ground. Gave it some slack, more fight, and then it shook the hook. The lure looked very sorry for itself, bitten and torn. So slipped a new one on and next cast had another fish on. Felt smaller, and bullied it up and away from the snags, and soon landed, my first Wrasse for the comp, unfortunately, only a small one.

Measured 33cm. Caught on a DOA 4" CAL Jerkbait with a 5g cone head rigged weedless.

Fished on, moving about, but no more bites. Definitely loving the HRF soft plastic style, something I will be exploring more over the winter, ready for the Bass next spring. 

LRF Estuary Pollack

Very different session in comparison to my last try at LRF, which was in a Penzance town harbour. I decided to fish the flooding tide a couple of hours before high, off one of the small boat house quays at Bantham. The neap tides meant although there was a tidal current, as the water pushed through the narrowing estuary, just round the corner from the beach, it was not too strong to over power the small LRF tackle.

The water was gin clear, pitch black surroundings, and very still, amazingly peaceful. Started out with a 2" Reins Rockvibe Gold Legend on a 1.4g Decoy head, casting out into the moving water, and slowly drawing the lure back to me, with small, smooth lifts of the rod tip.

After around 10 mins, had my first take, away from the channel, and on the drop. Imediately could tell this fish was much bigger than any of the small harbour specimens I had previously caught. On the lightweight LRF gear, it really gave a good account of it'self. Clicked the head torch on, to see a Pollack fighting below me. Next problem, how to get it out of the water - It was too heavy to simply lift out on the rod tip. So I needed to work my way round to some steps, where it was photographed and released. Had to change my lure, as the Pollack had bitten the paddle tail off. I stuck my finger next to it for scale.

Continued on, now with a King Silver Rockvibe on. Shortly after, another bite on the drop. Fair bit of line taken, then nothing, stuck, fish had gone to ground. Could not simply bully it out, gear was too light. Gave some slack, a bit of movement, and the fight continued till I had another Pollack landed, biggest one of the night.

All fish were taken on the drop, with a very slow retrieve with small, steady lifts. The water was not very deep where the fish were taken, maybe 8' at most. Again, most impressed with the Varivas rod. Although very supple in the tip, with these fish, it showed it had some backbone as well, leading to a hugely enjoyable sport. To be fair, I probably could have fished my normal plugging rod, with regular sized soft plastics to get these fish. I went to this spot with no expectations, so was very happy to hook into one fish, let alone 4 within the short hour of actual fishing time.

LRF First Go

Having received the last bits of my LRF outfit today, time to try it out. Decided to head down to Penzance Harbour area. Luckily, it's a 10 min walk from my GF's house to the waters edge. Fished from 18:30 - 19:30, a quick hours session, half an hour or so before high tide.

Fished at the end of Albert pier, the harbour side (not open sea), stood at the bottom of some mooring steps, there was some light shining on the water from the surrounding town and pier lighting. Having checked it out on the low tide earlier, I would be casting out into a permanent channel, over a soft silt bottom.

I decided to go with the 2" Reins Rockvibe in Gold Legend, with a 1.4g Decoy head. The lure casted beautifully, surprising the distance it would go. Some practice and will be further, not that you actually need to tho! Within 10 mins of twitching and very slow retrieve, felt my first nibble, and fish on. Brought it to my feet, and I had my first LRF fish, a small whiting. Carried on, and it was a fish every ten mins or so, total 4 whiting and 2 pollack. I was casting near the opening to the harbour, but the bites were taken closer to foot, near the wall structures.

I only used the one lure, and stuck with it as I was catching. When I go again, with more time, experimentation will be in order. The lure actually met it's death, as on the last cast, though I had a fish on, but once at my feet, it was a crab the size of a fist, who decided to shear through the lure and disappeared into the depths.

So, my thoughts on LRF. VERY ADDICTIVE, can't wait to go again. VERY HAPPY with my outfit, feels lovely in the hand, and you really do feel every little nibble, and I am sure it will get better with experience. It's also really nice to be able to take a short walk to my mark, wearing warm clothes, and no waders or cold salty spray soaking me.

LRF Outfit

Received a nice little delivery recently courtesy of Mick @ Mr.Fish.

I have taken the plunge, and got myself an LRF outfit, ready to take on the mini species. The full list of bits is;

- Varivas Violente Light Game VLL-73-S (7'3 solid tip)
- Shimano Rarenium 3000SFA
- Varivas Light Game Merabu PE 0.3
- Triple Fish Fluro 6lb

- Cultiva Rock 'n Bait Ting Twin Tail 1.5"
- Owner EBI Bait
- Reins Rockvibe Shad Gold Legend 2"
- Reins Rockvibe Shad Aji King Silver 2"
- Cultiva Rock 'n Bait Ring Kick Tail 2"
- Cultiva Micro Worm Pink 1.4"

- Owner Split Shotter Hook Size 10
- Owner Split Shotter Hook Size 6
- Owner Slim Offset Hook Size 6
- Owner Float Rigger Hook Size 8

- Cultiva X-Head 1g
- Cultiva X-Head 1.5g
- Cultiva X-Head 2.5g
- Decoy Rocket Plus 1.4g
- Delalande 3g
- Zebco Lead Ball Assortment

Would like to give a big shout out to Mick at Mr.Fish, for his time on the telephone giving advice and info on all the above. Highly recommended as usual.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

New PB Wrasse 23 November 2010

Another calm day, another session. Decided to revisit a spot for the second time, one I fished last Monday. MUCH calmer conditions today, and spurred on by yesterdays first ever Wrasse, I was convinced this was the place to find more. Tackle loss was high last time, some snags, some carelessness! Fishing the drop 2 hours after high down to low, meant I would be able to see where the big granite lure stealing lumps and kelp heads were.

Arrive at the first granite outcrop that held promise, dropping off sharply into dark, rocky water. Having read about various HRF techniques, I was basing my fishing loosely on those ideas. An Xlayer, rigged with a Decoy Violence 3.5g head, tossed out, left to settle, and twitched every 10 seconds or so, taking up the slack. Wasn't long till I was well and truly snagged, lure lost. On with another, and soon felt a tap, different to the feel of the lure bumping rocks. Wound into the fish, and a good connection. Strong runs, gaining line, then stuck fast. Guess it found a nice hidey hole - Kept the pressure on, waiting for its next move, when it bolted, gained more line and brought it up in the water, away from the bottom. Once landed, lovely looking wrasse (what kind??), weighing in at 1lb 12oz, much bigger than yesterdays, and so a new PB!

Cast out some more, but then found another large submerged granite head, and lure lost again. Decided to head down the coast to the slightly shallower water, see what else I could find. Now fishing a 4" Reins Rockvib, with the same jig head as before. First cast at a new spot, snagged and lost the lure. Decide to try some shallow running plugs, as the tide was getting low. Maybe should have had a good look before casting at a new spot, as 10m from my feet, my lovely faithful Duo Tide Minnow 125 SLD found a monster kelp head, and decided it wanted to stay.

Feeling like I was throwing money away, decided to go with an old plug, overlooked by me in more recent times, a Rapala MaxRap in sand eel colouring. Was not long till the old overlooked lure brought in 2 fish, a couple of small Pollack.

It was approaching dead low, so decided to head back to where I had the first wrasse, to check out where more rock etc... was for the future. There were some very obvious granite towers, with channels in between. Slipped on another Rockvib, with the 3.5g head. Few casts, and felt a tap, but no take. Cast back to the same area, and soon had another tap, patiently waited, then wound into it, and BOOM, definite connection. Drag went crazy, rod bent over, manic for around 10 seconds, then stuck fast, holed up! Pressure on, had to play a waiting game as it would not budge. Felt it move, wind in, gained a bit, then stuck again, before another run. Felt like a decent fish (for me!), and finally had it onto the weed covered granite. Another Wrasse, this one weighed in at 2lb 6oz, my new PB! Caught at around low tide. Shame the sun was bleaching the photos, but fish first, photo quality second.

So, even with more tackle losses, I definitely understand this spot a lot better now, having seen where the features are at low tide. Having found the wrasse as well, definitely will be heading back there. Also, think that my loosely based HRF techniques are there to improve upon in the future. Would say I am definitely hooked on the wrasse now, love the way they fight, and the way you fish for them.

Bait Fish Mass Of Gigantic Proportions 24 November 2010

I went to explore on the North Coast of West Cornwall today. Wind had picked up, and I walked the rocks, rod in hand, looking for spots to fish from in the future, and to throw a few casts here and there.

After nearly an hour, reached a spot near a point, mussel covered rocks underfoot and deep dark water. Cast out a plug, and upon reeling in, could feel it bumping all the way. Slightly confused, looked down into the water beneath me, and it was a thick blanket of living matter. Not sure what they were, but they looked kind of like eels from above, but not just a shoal, literally so thick you could not see through. Tried to photo it, but very hard to capture.

So I cast out a bit more, maybe 30m+, and instant bumps, walk 50m down the rocks, and the same. The size of this mass was simply mind blowing to me. Maybe 80m out were a large flock of gulls feeding, so I guess it extended at least that far as well. The wind was blowing hard cross onshore, and they were right underfoot, tight against the rock edge and beyond.

I slipped an SP on with jig head, to try and sink below the mass. All the time, little bumps, sometimes stronger. Not sure if it was just hitting into them, or whether some were 'attacking' it. So I decided to strike now and then, and pulled in a couple of unfortunate fish, hooked badly in the body. Does anyone know what type they are, or will grow up to be?

Need some LRF kit!

I presume they are what the bait mass were, tho when viewed from above, looking into the water, they looked more eel like, hard to tell.

Fishing was never really going to be an option, mainly because I had maybe 15 seals sitting in the water, playing in the bait mass, I had already seen maybe 10 more walking to this spot.

My First Ever Wrasse 22 November 2010

Headed off to my usual West Cornwall spot, on the South Coast. Sun, light offshore winds and generally a beautiful day, with very clear deep water spots to fish from. Started fishing an hour before low, and on the flood for the afternoon.

On the low, checked out some spots that are usually cut off by the tide. Looked so promising, but not even a sniff! Thought with the calm conditions, would try out my Zclaw, see if I could work it out. Alas, no, think someone is gonna have to give me some pointers for this one, maybe at the Lure Forum Bumble.

Moved a long way along the coast, throwing various lures out as I went. 4 hours went by and NOTHING. Did some good rock climbing round the points tho! Arrived at my trusty pollack spot, and after about half an hour, finally hooked a fish. Just a small Pollack, but was a long wait for it!

Thinking now I had avoided the blank, time to head off after a couple more casts. I was using the Xlayer, but with the calmer conditions, a lighter jig head than I usually use, a 3.5g Decoy Violence. Felt nice, the Xlayer seemed more 'natural' with the lighter head in the calm conditions. Bang, another bite, much more fight than the first fish, hoping for a bigger Pollack.... Once landed, I was extremely happy to have caught my first ever Wrasse (can anyone tell me what kind??). Setting the benchmark, weighed in a 15 1/8 oz on the digital scales.

Really nice looking fish in the flesh. Have fished the spot I hooked it from a lot, only ever had Pollack, so happy to find there could be more Wrasse there.

So a long day, with all the action at the end. Learnt a lot tho, with the calm conditions, clear deep water, I was able to run through my SP and plug collection, see the action of them all, put it to better use when the conditions are more favorable.