Monday, 17 January 2011

Broke The New Rod In

Lovely near gale force winds, huge rough seas down in West Cornwall today. Really wanted to get out and try the new Nories rod, so decided heading over to the East facing side of the Lizard was in order.

Checked out a few possibilities on Google maps, and chose to head to a spot near the mouth of the Helford Passage. Have not been over there fishing before, it looked ok on Google, but I am sure many of you have arrived to find the rocks and easy access you were hoping for is actually a vertical cliff!

Arrived, geared up and set off along a coast path, and after a short scrabble, managed to get to some promising marks. Rocks, dropping off into what appeared to be very deep water, with many visible towering rocks, and deep gullies all around. I was fishing with an Xlayer, rigged with a weighted wide gape size 3/0 hook, held with a hitch hiker, and the hook point skinned in the top of the lure. I have not used these weighted hooks before, and instantly I was impressed.Casting out with the new Nories rod felt very nice. Small amount of effort, letting the rod do the work, saw the lure fly a good distance. I also noticed that the weighted hook rig meant the Xlayer flew very straight, no helicoper action at all.

I was doing a mixture of deadsticking, with an occasional twitch, and very slow retrieve. The lure was tight on the bottom most of the time, could feel every bump, small snags, and with a tiny twitch, it came free every time. A lot of feedback with the Nories rod, and superb confidence in the way the lure was handling the rough stuff.

After hopping to a couple of spots, casting close, felt the tap of a fish whilst the lure was stationary. Good initial scrap, and I quickly tightened the drag to stop it bolting too far. The Nories rod had a lovely bend in it, and felt superb as I brought the fish up, and away from the depths, and landed.

Ballan Wrasse, measured at 41cm rounded down, and weighing in at 2lb 9.5oz on the Berkley Tech digi scales.

Fished on for another hour, but no more takes. I was moving about a lot, exploring the new coastal stretch for future sessions.

So all in, a good day. Managed to find somewhere to fish, when conditions local to me were awful. Managed to catch first time at a new spot, catch first time using the new Nories rod, and cacth using a new approach to rigging the lure. Other things I was really happy with, are the Snowbee waist waders, and Snowbee XS Pro boots I have had for a few sessions now. And today was the first time I used my new Simms Head Waters Tech pack, very comfortable to wear.

New HRF/Soft Plastics Rod

Nories Rock Fish Bottom Light 6'10 7-15g

I have teamed it up with my Shimano Rarenium 3000SFA, loaded with 15lb Yamatoyo braid. Reckon with mono backing, the shallow spool has taken around 120m of the braid. Beautifully light and balanced, looking forward to getting out with it soon. It's dangerous setting foot in Ben's shop, The Art of Fishing. I only went in to get the Jig Power lure box, but his new deliveries are simply awesome, mind blowing choice of softs in his store. It's well worth popping into Bens shop in St. Merryn, Cornwall, or giving him a call to discuss the wide range of lure fishing gear he has for sale. Check out his website:

Home Painted Minnow

Started out with a second hand Duo Tide Minnow Surf, in a fairly decent condition, white and silver.

Sanded down, ready for the plastic primer to be sprayed on.

Finished lure, painted black, with a layer or green sparkle sprayed on, sealed with lacquer.

I wanted to try a black lure out for the gin clear days at the deep water rock marks I often fish, so will have to wait and see if it works.

New Year LRF

Headed down to the estuary at Bantham, 1.5 hours before high tide. Arrived in pitch black at my quay platform to find the wind was stronger than I thought, and large tides meant a huge amount of current flowing in the main channel,fair bit of weed and debris on the surface.

With the conditions as they were, fished with heavier jig heads than normal. Lost a couple, snagged in the weedy bottom of the estuary. Just about managed to tie another fluro leader in the wind with the 0.3PE, and slipped on another lure. Casting into the edge of the flow, and working the lure back with a slow retrieve and small lifts, a good tap lead to a fish on. The short fight and then nothing gave the Pollack away, and soon landed on the quay side.

Caught on a Cultiva Rock 'n Bait Ring Kick Tail 2" with Cultiva X-Head 2.5g. With the wind getting stronger, and another lure snagged and lost, decided to call it a night and wait for better conditions.

Few More LRF Bits

Some LRF lures from Ben @ Art of Fishing, with some jig heads from AGM.

Spro Trout Shad 28mm with 0.5g size 10 jig head (AGM) and size 10 carp hook.

Spro Trout Sbiro 48mm with 1g size 8 jig head (AGM) and Owner Slim Offset Hook Size 6 (MrFish)

Spro Trout Shot 35mm with 0.5g size 10 jig head (AGM) and Owner Split Shotter Hook Size 10 (MrFish)

2" Curl Tail Grubs with 1g size 6 jig head (AGM)

AGM Jig heads 0.5g size 8, 1g size 8, 0.5g size 6, 1g size 6

Had a little session down in Plymouth last night. I caught on the Spro Trout Shad in pink and yellow, rigged on the 0.5g size 10 jig head and also rigged carolina with a size 16 swivel, 2g ball lead, size 10 hook.

Christmas Bass

Decided to head out down the icy snow covered lane to the beach, to have a walk and chuck a few casts out into the rivermouth (one of Matts favourite spots!), as the tide was pushing a couple of hours after high. Beautiful sunshine, clean 1' waves rolling in, but bitterly cold.

Walked to a spot I call the landing strip, where the first bit of weed cover starts on the bottom of the estuary. A handful of Cormorant type birds diving and surfacing, maybe there is some bait fish about? Cast out upstream of the flow, and proceeded to shake and pause with the Senko, taking up the slack. Couple of turns of the reel, and the rod tip bent over, to my huge suprise, fish on! Short scrappy fight, and a flash of silver, followed by a bass landed at my feet.

Coming in just short of 44cm, and weighing 1lb 12oz on the digi scales. Tide was flooding really quick, and the cold had already started to get the better of me, so after only a few more casts, I felt as if it was mission accomplished, and decided to start heading back to the car. Total fishing time about 20 mins! Probably the last session I will have before Christmas comes.

Really happy to have caught a Bass again, especially in the bitter cold conditions. I guess all the snow melt had not brought the temp down too much in the estuary. This is the first Bass I have caught since 15th November!

Also the first fish I have caught using my new Snowbee Flourocarbon leader. Tried it out first on a Wrasse hunting mission, with snaggy conditions. Found that when the lure got caught tight in the rocks and weed, I was able to pull it free. Previously I was using 12lb Trilene, which often lead to break offs at the lure when snagged. It's thick, but this first Bass in crystal clear water is promising for future use.

Also just a close up of the lure I took todays Bass on. 4" Stinger Senko in Junebug colour, with a 7g conehead, held tight with a powergum stop knot. The hook is a Mustad 3/0 Ultrapoint Soft Bait Spike Hook.