Monday, 31 December 2012

Last Fish of 2012

The final session of 2012. With the typical howling winds and monstrous swell, decided to seek the shelter of the large Estuary mouth. The wind would be minimal, and on my back, and guaranteed flat calm, my final chance of 2012. Bad news was the tides were not great for this spot, fishing the last couple of hours down, and a couple into the flood. Arriving at the headland, before my descent, a look at the water and it was as I thought, nice and calm. Just another of those amazing views that seem to greet me every time I head out to fish in West Cornwall.

With the Wrasse in mind, today I was fishing with the Nories Rockfish Bottom casting rod, paired with a Daiwa Ryoga 1016HL baitcast reel, with a spool of Sunline Siglon Fluorocarbon 10.3lb and a spare spool loaded with Sunline Castaway 1.5PE (25lb). A decent selection of Ecogear soft lures in the 3-5" range, and some weedless wide gape hooks, a range of Texas cone weights, perfect for searching the estuary bottom, with a mix of shail and heavy weed with submerged rocks. The view at water level looked very promising, with the clarity being decent considering the weather conditions of late.

The fishing was slow, very slow. As the tide turned, I started to get a few tell tale signs that the Wrasse were about, with a few nips at the lure, but with no hook ups, most probably some smaller fish. Switching over to the braid spool, started fishing at greater distance, hoping to find the fish as the moved in with the tide onto the reef. The flurocarbon is great for the close range work, especially for its abraision resistance amongst the rough grounds, but the braid definitely beats it for fishing at distance, especially for contact feel with the lure further out. After a couple more tentative knocks, finally hooked into a fish, and landed the only Wrasse of the day, my last fish of 2012, taken on an Ecogear 5" Paramax.

One thing that I noticed of late, especially when stood around out in the elements fishing, is just how mild the weather has been with these recent storms and winds. I fished this session without the gloves and base layers I would normally expect to wear at the end of December.

One thing that has changed in my gear the last couple of months is I no longer wear waders and wading boots. My waders have started to leak in the stocking foot after just over one and a half years. Not bad going really, considering the distance I walk in them, and the fact they are really designed for fresh water wading, not the rough tough salty environments I put them through. So now, I am wearing a pair of lightweight waterproof trousers, and some boots.

I deliberated over what boots to get for a long time, with the winter months in mind, they had to be waterproof, tough, and cope with the mud and sludge of the coast paths. After looking over the designer walk boots, and trail boot options, I bought something very different.

These are the winter issue Army boots. Leather, fully waterproof, even when submerged to above the ankle, Goretex lined with a Vibram sole. I then added some cheap Snowbee studs, for a little extra winter grip on the slippy stuff. I have been wearing them for the last couple of months, and very pleased so far. Tough, supportive and warm, not had any issues, as you would expect considering what they get put through in combat! The beast part is the price, as you can pick them up on the auction sited in the region of £30-£50. Well worth checking them out for a winter boot option.

So that's the end of 2012, looking forward to 2013, where I hope we can get out there fishing a lot more if the weather plays ball. If not, my plans are to tackle it head on with the gear to match, so have a great New Year - Cheers!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

2013 - Looking Ahead To Bigger Things

2012 will not be remembered as the best for fishing results, personally I have had a bit of a stinker this year, with less fishing opportunity due to the continual crappy weather, and consequently less fish landed! So as this wet and windy year ends, here is a glimpse into my thoughts on how I am going to tackle the new year as we move into 2013 in a few days.

The key word for me in 2013 is going to be SIZE. This is in relation to tackle and lure size I am going to try and work, and importantly that size will be bigger! I started out my lure fishing using an 11' spinning rod, and 2013 will see me once again head out there with a rod of 11'. This is a big change from the last few years, as I have greatly favored, and fished with rods of a length that would be considered by many as 'short', and most definitely from the lighter end of the casting weight scale.

The rod in question is the Major Craft KG Evolution Hira Suzuki Series KGS-1102HIRA. This rod is 11' with a casting range of 10-45g. You can check out the full specs on the Major Craft website HERE I should be picking this rod up for some test sessions soon from Matt Newcome, who gave it a good hammering in the summer of 2012, and posted his thoughts on the rod HERE If you want to check out Matt's sessions and thoughts, well worth taking a look at his new look blog

I am hoping this rod is going to widen my opportunity to fish. With it's length and power, I should be able to punch a lure out in windier conditions, and also fish from a higher rocky perch when the seas are rough, something that is very common at my regular marks in West Cornwall. It will also be interesting to see if ye olde lure fishing argument can be proved, that a longer rod, covering larger distances equals more fish landed.

There are also another couple of Major Craft rods coming into my collection soon for 2013, in the form of two Volkey casting rods. Although under the same label, these rods will be very different in their purpose. First up is a Major Craft Volkey Big Lake Custom Series VKC-70H/BL. This is a one piece 7' rod, rated 3/8 - 1.5oz (approx 10-42g). You can check the full spec HERE Something about about a one piece rod excites me, and looking forward to pairing this rod with my Daiwa Ryoga 1016HL baitcast reel.

My plans are to use this rod in the fresh stuff, as I step up my Pike fishing. The heavier casting rating will allow me to throw a bigger profile lure, and see if I can tempt my first double figure Pike. Also I am planning to take this rod out on the coast, and see if it can perform fishing heavy style for the Wrasse. Heavy Carolina and Texas rigs, with some bigger soft lures, see if I can make 2013 the year when I improve my PB on the Wrasse, by tackling deepest and roughest of ground if necessarry.

At the other end of the Volkey scale, another casting rod moving into the finesse scale, a Major Craft Volkey Bait Finesse Series VKC-69ML/BFS. Again a one piece rod, 6'9 and rated 1/16 - 3/8oz (approx 2-10g). You can check the full spec HERE I will be pairing this rod with my Shimano Calcutta 51DC baitcast reel.

This rod, as with it's heavier brother, will be used in the fresh and salt. Hoping to get amongst the Perch with more regularity in 2013, and for fishing in the smaller more confined coarse environments, with the overhanging trees and submerged logs. The baitcast approach to fishing is something I will be hoping to move forward with in 2013, having had some good success using these styles at the latter half of 2012.

I have already started to collect some lures in bigger profiles, such as the DEPS Bubleshads and Death Adder sticks, and I will be adding some more softs, as well as jointed hard baits for the Pike, and some bigger plugs for the surf environment. Now these lures may not be big by some peoples standards, and some folk are regularly launching lure combos in the 40-100g range, but it will be a big step up for me over previous years, and I am looking forward to seeing if it is an experiment that works out.

This does not mean I will be shelving my lighter tackle and styles, as it is a way of fishing that I enjoy a great deal, and has given me great results. This upping the size trial will be in addition to my light game, and will hopefully become another way in which I tackle the sport we love. If I don't try it for myself, I wont know otherwise, so it is going to get a good outing from me. The weather may be bad, but it's time to tackle it head on, put on the full wet weather gear, get out there and see what is about!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas 2012 - DUO Updates

With Christmas just a few days away, seems the weather is doing a good job at trying to spoil the party. No doubt 2012 has seen it's fair share of bad weather, which in turn has affected the fishing opportunity. However, seems insignificant when you think about how these most recent floods from the last couple of days, and looking to continue into tomorrow, have affected people at this time of year when celebration and fun should be number one. Travel has been near impossible in some areas, landslides, flooding in domestic and commercial properties, and not for the first time for many people this year.

Hopefully, reading this, your Christmas plans have not been interrupted, and you get to enjoy a few days of festive fun. With all the crap on TV over the Christmas period, you may be at a loose end for some satisfying viewing. Good news is, the guys over at DUO have been working hard, adding and updating their content on the DUO YouTube channel, where you can check out some of the great lures DUO makes in action. Just take a look HERE for all the action.

Amongst the videos are new underwater footage of some of the lures in action, as the fish see it in the water, such as this one of the DUO Realis Minnow 80SP. The plan is to keep adding content, and to expand it across the whole DUO lure range.

You may remember a while back, DUO ran a contest in which people from all over the world were asked to give input into what lure they thought would be a good addition to the current DUO range. After receiving many great replies, you can now take a look at some of the answers received from lure fishermen and women from all over the globe. If you want to check them out, it is available on the DUO websiste: Or take a look below at the three parts;




Thursday, 13 December 2012

Winter Days

Seems that winter is starting to show it's head around here a bit more each day. As with the rest of the country, down here in West Cornwall, the weather of late has been bad, leading to small, short windows of opportunity to get out on the coast. It seems that there is either big seas, gale force winds or monsoon rain to contend with, at least in the far reaches of the South West, we are not experiencing the cold, frosts and even snow that I seem to be updated with regularly by folk on Facebook in other regions of the UK.

Well the next few days, and even next week are once again not looking promising, so when I took a look out to one of my favorite points close to home, the wind was manageable, and the swell looked to be just about safe enough to fish, so a quick session was on. The point on the horizon below was the mark.

After a short hike from the car, and a climb down the cliff to the rock ledge, time to get some lures wet. Conditions were rough, with a strong side wind, but still very much fishable. Started off by firing out a selection of metal jig lures, in the 20g range, with the Daiwa morethan Branzino Urban Side Custom, searching the full depth of the water column, as the lure fluttered down beneath the swell.  Nothing happening, so a I cycled through various plugs, from shallow to deep divers, sinking pencils and vib lures. After an hour and a half, nothing... I was pretty much stuck with one spot, as the conditions made it unsafe to roam like I usually would.

So even with a blank, my first for a long time, I was glad to have got out on the coast, especially knowing it wont be possible again till the weather settles, hopefully sometime before the end of 2012! I have a couple of rods on order at the moment, and they should be coming into the UK early next week, so when I get my hands on them, some fishable conditions will be top of the wish list.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Deps Bumble Shads!

Since I first heard about the Deps Bumble shad, I really wanted to get hold of some. The problem was, at around 26g before you add a hook or jig head, in the past, I have not owned a rod capable of casting them! Well, this is hopefully soon to change, with a 3/8 - 1&1/2oz rod (roughly 10-42g) on it's way.

Eagerly anticipating it's arrival, got straight onto getting my hands on some 6" Deps Bumble shads. I went for a pack (5 lures) of Kohokushaddo and a pack of Black Sumokupeppa. These colour patterns should be a good start, and I am gonna be throwing these in both the fresh and salt waters I fish. Probably looking to use them weightless for the Pike, and maybe try out a few weighted jig heads, to get them down in the deep waters off the West Cornwall coast.

Whilst on the big Deps lures, also picked up some of the 6.5" Deathadder sticks, in the Dead Shad pattern. These come in packs of six, and are physically a big stick/worm bait. Weighty enough to be used on their own with a single hook, I have also used them in the past with a nail shot, to get an interesting fall, depending on where you choose to stick it.

If you are interested in checking these out yourself, now is a good time, as Ben & Jo at the Art of Fishing have a Christmas sale on at the moment, and these Deps lures are amongst many of the great bits and bobs on sale, from small lures to high end rods

As I like to fish with mouthful size lures for the Wrasse, in the 2-3" range, the quest for small, strong weedless hooks in ever ongoing. I have picked up some new ones, and have high hopes, from just handling them out of the packet. They feel strong in the hand, and have a good shape for weedless applicatiion, with the hook point 'skinned' in the top of the lure. Looking forward to trying them out soon. You can check them out at

Friday, 7 December 2012

DUO December Contest

December is upon us, and with the festive season fast approaching, here is a great opportunity to get your hands on some treats from the guys at DUO lures. The latest contest from them requires you to email DUO first, and then you will be sent out a survey form, and upon filling this form out and emailing it back to DUO, you will be entered into the contest.

Stage 1: Send an email to with the subject title 'DUO Contest #11 - Survey'

Stage 2: DUO will then send you back an email with the survey attached.

Stage 3: Fill out the survey and email it complete back to DUO at the above address, to be entered into the contest draw.

The winners will be announced on January 25th 2013, so you have until then to get your entries in. And the prize?? As this contest requires a little more time on your behalf, DUO have decided to choose 5 winners this time, each will get a prize pack including 5 DUO lures, a cap, t-shirt and lure box. Good luck!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Ultralight Pike & Perch Hunt

The weather this week down West has been interesting to say the least. Gales earlier in the week, horrendous rain storms and gales today, a slight weather window yesterday presented the only sane opportunity to get out fishing. With sunny spells and light winds, the coast was still being battered by by swell, so a long overdue fresh water mission was planned.

Still being new to this game, decided to visit a Cornish reservoir, in search of Pike & Perch. The reservoir I decided on was new territory to me, but with a few wise words from friends, I headed out, with ultralight gear. Rod of choice was the Nories Slow Retrieve SR74F (0.9-5g) paired with a 2506 size Daiwa Certate, spooled with Sunline Small Game 0.4PE 8lb braid. As Pike were a possibility, a 30cm wire trace was needed. I have found the Drennan Soft Strand 10lb wire, with a rig made up with crimps, a good trace that does not affect the use of small 2' soft lures on ultralight jig heads.

Conditions were good on the reservoir, with a light wind, but superb water clarity. It's a reservoir that you can follow the footpath all the way around, so pick a direction, and head off, taking care not to disturb the resident carp fanatics!

Shortly into the session, a hopeful short flip in between some trees, saw the line scream off the drag in a short burst. Playing the fish, it turned, and surfaced, with the toothy face of a Pike looking back at me. I had to get myself into a position to land the fish, as there were partially submerged logs to navigate, and the fish was landed, up onto the bank for a quick photo, unhooked and safely returned. This was my biggest Pike to date, but not hard to beat my previous, as this fish took my tally up to number three!

From then on the bites dried up. It was not till I had made my way round to the other side of the reservoir that I had my second Pike landed of the day. This one was much smaller, but gave a good surface action show, as it thrashed and turned. The lure which I caught both fish on, was an Ecogear Grass Minnow in size 'L'. I had it rigged on a 3.5g jig head for the deeper areas, and switched to a 2.5g in the shallower parts of the reservoir.

As I neared the end of the looped path bath towards the car, the tree line thickened, with some opportunity to switch up to a 2' Ecogear Para Max on a 1.8g jig head, for a bit of jigging amongst the submerged structure for Perch. Was not long until a flash came out from under cover, and grabbed the lure, leading to my only Perch of the day, in super-micro size! That signaled the end of my session, but a good first scouting of this particular spot, and I think I will definitely be putting in some more time here over the Winter months, try and improve upon my freshwater tactics and techniques.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunline Siglon Fluoro Vs Wrasse

I have previously mentioned on my blog, that I loaded up one of the spools on my newly acquired Daiwa Ryoga 1016HL baitcast reel with some Sunline Siglon Fluoro 10.3lb mainline. This line is available on a 275m spool, so plenty of line for a deep spooled reel, or even enough for a couple of shallow spools, depending on your reel size. This line is available in lighter breaking strains, down around the 3lb mark, so good for an LRF or light game mainline, as well as as the heavier BS such as the one I am testing out at 10.3lb, so ideal for the Bass & Wrasse.

So to give this new line a good first work out, I decided to head out into the rough stuff West Cornwall has to offer, at a very deep water mark, with thick kelp and huge granite heads, the perfect Wrasse playground! Rough conditions which seem to have plagued us of late, had subsided, with minimal swell and wind, and a little bit of bonus sunshine.

Fishing near vertical into the deep trenches, decided to go with a drop shot rig, with a 10g sinker, Decoy size 1 hook with a wire weed guard, and the lure to kick things off was the Ecogear Minnow M. From the first drop, the bites were there, and fish were being landed. I had my hook set a good 50 cm up from the sinker, keeping the lure clear of the thick weedy mat covering the bottom at this spot.

Searching a bit further out, switched to Texas rigged Ecogear 3" Bug Ants, and also some of the Ecogear 3.25" Straights, both of these are great lures for targeting Wrasse, a good mouthful size for most fish, with the hook up coming from the first hit. I use the Bug Ants a lot for LRF duties in the 2" size, but the 3" on a slightly heavier rig are certainly producing results just as well.

Biggest fish of the day was this one below, just as the afternoon light began to disappear, with the sun setting beyond the headland. A good, strong scrapper, taking some line against the tight drag. This was the biggest Wrasse I have had for a while, can't say a weight or length, as I have stopped weighing or measuring my fish for the meantime. Even managed to get the camera set up for a self shot!

A good mid November session, and good to be able to get out on a mark that is so open to the elements. The Sunline Siglon fluoro has been very promising on it's first outing, and was easy to use on the baitcaster outfit. Will be putting in some more sessions with this line, get a good feel for it, and gathering my thoughts for a future review.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Back to Basics After a New Arrival

You may have noticed that my blog has not had the regular updates of late. This is due to the fact my opportunity to get out on the coast and into the harbour environments being cut short. The good news is, there is a very good reason for this lack of fishing and blogging. Three weeks ago, my son was born, Thomas Charles Denton-Gunning, a fit and healthy 7lb 2oz. My girlfriend and I are obviously over the moon, as are the rest of our family.


So after the break, it has been a while since I wet a line. With an opportunity to get out in the Penzance area, I decided to go back to basics, with some light lure harbour action, targeting the Pollack, with a variety of methods, to get myself back into the swing of things.

Tackled up with the Nories Slow Retrieve 74F, and the line I would be using is the Sunline Small Game Mono in 3lb. I have been using this line on and off since June 2012, where I posted my initial thoughts after testing HERE. This line comes in 150m spool, and available in the following breaking strains; 1lb / 1.5lb / 2lb / 2.5lb / 3lb / 3.5lb / 4lb / 5lb / 6lb. The RRP for the 150m spool is around £12.95.

Onto the fishing; Started out fishing the seaward side of a Harbour wall, from around 20' up, over a mixed sand and rocky seaweed bed. Tied up a dropshot rig, with a 3.5 tungsten weight, with a size 12 barbless carp hook about 30cm above it. Lures doing the business were the Ecogear Aqua range (Straw Tail Grub, Katsu Aji Straight & Katsu Mebaru Shirasu), and of course the Power Isome. The Pollack were there in numbers, simply dropping the rig vertically into the water beneath me, getting bottom contact, and small twitches, combined with the tide and wave movements, bringing the lure alive.

After several Pollack falling to the dropshot, a move to the inner Harbour was made with a change of tactics. As the big tide flooded into the entrance, went with an Illex B'Eye jig with an Ecogear Aji Shokunin mounted on the assist hook.  Cast into the tidal flow, the small heavy jig sinks quickly to the bottom. Bumped along the bottom, did not take long for the Pollack to start hitting it.

Rolling the changes, clipped on one of the superb DUO Tetra works lures, in the shape of the small vib 'Bivi', searched the water column higher up, with a shallow sink and draw, letting the lure buzz up, before picking up takes on the drop. Working this lure quicker than the others so far, the takes were aggressive, with the flash of a fish visible before being hooked. 

Final method of the day was a small metal, a 3.5g Reins Palpuntin. Similar to the DUO lure, a sink and draw method, but this time much slower, searching the full depth of the water, making most of the flutter on the downward drop. A much longer, slower raise of the rod tip, taking up the slack line, picking up the bites thick and fast. On the day, this lure was pulling out most fish, and with the small rear treble changed to a tiny plugging single, unhooking was nice and easy on the small fish. 

Although a short late afternoon session, good to get back out there, and pick up with the basics again, getting the speed of lure right, and presenting the lure in the best possible way. Fishing these methods, the Sunline Small Game Mono feels at home. As I have previously mentioned, there is a noticeable stretch in this line in comparison to braid or even fluoro, but this is not always a bad thing. Sink and draw for example with small light lures, the stretch allows for a smoother lift, or with the drop shot, adding movement to the lure is easy, whilst maintaining bottom contact. Throughout my test sessions, I have found this line to wear well, and the knot strength good even in a light breaking strain with a low diameter. It behaves well with the wind, and in the swirling currents, cut through the water well, especially with the sink and draw lures. It's not a line to replace your braid or fluoro mainline, but can be a welcome addition to it for certain applications, and it comes in at a great price point, so definitely worth trying out.

Friday, 9 November 2012

DUO Contest November 2012

 The guys at DUO have another great contest underway. The reason behind this contest is to celebrate the fact that the DUO FaceBook page now has 10000 fans, a great milestone, and I am sure this number will grow and grow, because lets face it, DUO lures are simply fantastic!

The contest rules are simple and entering is easy, so no excuse not to enter. You simply have to be on FaceBook, and become a fan of the DUO page. On the page, you need to 'share' the 10000 Fans pic (as seen in this blog post) and leave a comment of your choice. And that is all you need to do!

Good luck to all those who enter, and don't forget to check out the DUO website, as well as the FB page. They have a full English language version, with a comprehensive catalogue of all their lures, as well as amazing international catch reports. Check it out at

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Quick Urban Session

Managed to sneak a quick urban session whilst en route to Penzance to do some last minute work on the house. With grotty weather, one spot guaranteed to be sheltered from West & South Westerlies is down at Newlyn, walking along to Mousehole. Decided to go light, so fished with the Nories Slow Retrieve, and Sunline Small Game PE, to present a selection of 2 & 3" Ecogear lures.

Having pulled a few fish from here in the past, was confident I would avoid the blank (just!) even tho the water clarity was far from perfect, and with a lot of shredded weed and debris suspended in it. Just a couple of fish, a Ballan Wrasse taken on an Ecogear 2" BugAnt, rigged texas style with a wide gape weedless hook, and a micro Pollack taken on a 3" ParaMax.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Daiwa Ryoga 1016HL

To go along with my newly found fondness for bait caster set ups, I recently acquired a sturdy, no nonsense salt water safe reel in the form of a Daiwa Ryoga 1016HL. This is a Japanese reel, from the Japanese domestic market, not readily available over here in the UK.

I do tend to go for fishing gear that not only performs well, but also has to look good, and make you feel good when using it. Part of this is my liking for round bait caster reels. This Daiwa sits next to another, smaller round reel in my collection, the Shimano Calcutta Conquest 51DC. The Daiwa really is a nice bit of kit visually, the strong looking machined frame, with the milling marks still visible on the surface, definitely meets my liking. This is the left hand wind, high gear version, with a retrieve ratio of 6:3:1, with the standard model being a 5:3:1. Similar to the Calcutta, there is a really pleasing click to the spool adjust and the drag, so it sings when a decent fish takes line.

In addition to the reel in standard form, I decided to go for some aftermarket bling, in the shape of an RCS carbon 90mm handle with clear cork RCS knobs. The carbon handle does make the total weight a little less (fairly heavy little reel), but it's more for the looks than performance. The clear cork knobs match well with the cork grips on the Nories RockFish Bottom TR rod, upon which this reel will sit. To help with the performance, I added a RCS 1012 shallower spool (100m of 12lb opposed to 135m 12lb on the original). The second spool also means I can run with a braid and also fluro, being quickly interchangeable.

So on the 1012 spool, I have loaded up with some Sunline Castaway 8 strand 25lb / 1.5PE line, and on the factory spool, a new fluro mainline to test out from Sunline, in the form of Siglon Flurocarbon 10.3lb. I will be giving this new mainline a good going over in the coming sessions, so will be able to post my thoughts and impressions of it soon. Comes on a nice big spool, with 275m of line, more than enough to fill most reels or two.