Monday, 30 January 2012

Ecogear LRF Softies

When fishing LRF (light rock fishing) or however else you want to describe using tiny lures and light rods, braid and fluoro's, one lure manufacturer I can always rely on to produce the fish, is Ecogear. Having been introduced to them just over a year ago, I have been able to use a cross section of their gear, and they have accounted for many of my fish in 2011 and early 2012.

One of my favorite set of lures they do, is the Ecogear Aqua line. These lures are 100% biodegradeable, and have a scent in the water that makes fish bite and hold on. The number of Ecogear Aqua lures in the range are steadily increasing, giving the angler more choice. My latest Aqua lures come in the shape of these Katsu Mebaru Shirasu 2''

The Ecogear 2" BugAnts have been a very successful lure for me. I have found them to be great for Wrasse, especially when you are getting lots of tail nips, and missed bites on bigger lures. I tend to rig them weedless, Texas style on a size 4 EWG hook, with sinkers between 1-3g. They look fantastic in the water, and tend to stand up well on the bottom, with it's thin limbs waving around in the current. I find the natural greens and browns work best for me in daylight, but the pearl white has taken a few bass in the dark.

Small paddle tails are very versatile, generally I rig them on a jig head, usually the Ecogear Shirasu Fine in weights from around 1-2g . Cast out and allowed to fall through the water, often takes come as the lure decends without a turn of the reel. A slow straight retrieve can also be used, with the light tackle, you can feel the small paddle tail vibrating as it moves through the water. I have found them also effective, fished off the bottom, hoped and skipped over the rocks and weed, with long pauses in between. The lure below is the Ecogear Grass Minnow S 1-3/4''

Drop shot techniques have proved successful this winter, in the Harbours and also the deep water rocky marks of West Cornwall. I find a slim long lure, flicking about, works well, and the Ecogear Sansun 3" fits the bill. It can also be rigged on a small jig head, or Carolina style, with a weight up the line, allowing good castability, but giving the small lure freedom to move on the bottom.

The full range of Ecogear lures, can be found at The Art Of Fishing. If you are unsure about what might work best for you, or how to get the best from the lures, give Ben a call in the shop for some great advice.

Couple of other lures I have picked up recently, are the Rapala XR-6 and Rapala ULM. Both these lures come in at 60mm and 4g, small light plugs for use with the light gear. I have been building up my collection of sub 80mm plugs lately, and can see myself using them more and more in 2012. As with most my small plugs, I have changed the rear treble for a Decoy single hook;

Finally, big reminder that including today, there is only 2 days left to enter my Sunline competition, to win a spool of Sunline Momentum 4x4 braid. To enter this competition, take a look HERE. The winner will be drawn and announced the first few days of February. Good luck!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

First Foray Into Freshwater

I have never fished a fresh water venue before, so I jumped at the chance to meet up with Matt N at a Cornish Reservoir, and spend a day hunting for new species. Getting my one-day license online the night before, paying the day visitors pass for the Reservoir, selection of small plugs and light fishing kit in hand (Nories RockFish Bottom UL 1.8g-7g rod, Daiwa Certate 2506 loaded with Sunline Small Game 0.4PE / 8lb), it was off to check the water conditions and cast a few lures.

The wind was blowing, a lot harder than predicted, but I was assured the water clarity was good, so confidence was high. Few words of wisdom from Matt on where to search out the fish, and it was game on, walking the path, fanning out the casts at each peg. We had it covered with me using various small plugs, and Matt fishing spinner baits and soft lures.

It was a while till we found the first fish of the day, casting short near the bank, I had a take. Excited to see what my first fresh water catch would be, as it came to the surface, a small Jack of around 2lb, and Matt netted it, for the unhooking and photo. Thee lure it hit was an Ecogear 70S;

 We fished on, both sides of the Reservoir, trying different things, but no more fish. So Matt grabbed his light gear, and we fished for Perch in a weir pool, lots of knocks, but difficult to keep a fish on. Managed to land just one small Perch myself, really stoked to catch such a cool looking fish.

 A small run off stream nearby had Matt’s interest, and he floated a small plug downstream, and on his first retrieval, was hit by a Brown Trout. He went onto repeat this twice more further down, with the fish  bigger each time.

 Heading home in the car, reflecting on the session, was happy to have caught my first fresh water fish, extremely happy that it was a Pike and Perch, the fish I really wanted to target. Big thanks to Matt  for the heads up on the day, and looking forward to bigger and better fish in the future.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Testing Sunline FC Sniper Fluoro 23-01-2012

I have been hitting the rocky rough grounds recently, and the line I have been using and testing out is the Sunline FC Sniper 10lb. I have a spool of 150m loaded onto a Daiwa Certate 2500, and today it was coupled to a Nories Rockfish Bottom Light (6'10 7-15g) rod.

One thing I do love about using a fluoro straight through, is the time saved when rigging up lures, no need to tie and re-tie a leader, as is the case when fishing with braid, just thread it through the rod eyes, and tie your jig head direct, or Texas / Carolina rig etc... I find it means you are more willing to chop and change set ups and fishing styles, as you are not hindered by time out of the water rigging up.

Today I was mainly fishing Senko style worms, some rigged wacky with insert weights in the lure, some Texas style and a few fish were taken on standard jig heads. The Wrasse were particularly interested purple/blue Senko's, with some hard takes, fighting well in the deep kelp and rock strewn waters.

The Sunline FC Sniper performed really well, as it has done over previous sessions. I find it is great for abrasion resistance, a great quality when fishing for the toothy critters amongst their rough lairs. The knot strength proved itself today, when snagged in the kelp heads, clamping the reel with one hand and pulling straight, you could feel the hook tearing through, breaking free, the knot holding out. I also find I can run my drag pretty tight with the fluoro, as the stretch in the line (in comparison to braid) helps to cushion the hard fighting Wrasse, bringing them up in the water column, away from the snags. However, the stretch, does not mean a total loss of contact feel. It transmits well the bottom bouncing of a lure, the rocks, weed, sea bed, and the hits from a hungry Wrasse a very evident!

Don't forget, you have until the end of January 2012 to enter my competition to win some Sunline Momentum 4x4 braid (original blog post HERE) Entry is free,  all you have to do is email me the answer, and a winner will be drawn at random at the beginning of Feb 2012. 

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Birthday Pressies!

Well, January is the month of my Birthday, which I recently celebrated. Along with the fine dining and gifts, I received a selection of very tasty lures, which can be seen below;

Jackson Risk Bait 70mm 7g

Jackson Risk Bait 70mm 7g

Jackson Risk Bait 70mm 7g

Dice Seira 80S 84mm 7.6g

Ecogear MW 72F 72mm 4.7g

Ecogear CX 40HS 40mm 4.5g

Ecogear SX 40LC 40mm 2.6g

Ecogear VX 45 45mm 8g

Ecogear VX 45 45mm 8g

Daiwa SC Shiner 50mm 3.5g

New Helly Hansen jacket. My old HH jacket was sent back due to broken zips, HH replaced it FOC with an improved newer version and with a very quick turnaround; 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Light Fun With The Wrasse & Pollack 10-01-2012

With the wind predicted light, and the swell showing as minimal, the opportunity was presented to fish some exposed deep rocky grounds down in West Cornwall with the light gear. Fished from low tide, through the push for a couple of hours, tackle was the Nories Slow Retrieve 0.9-5g rod, with 3lb Sunline Small Game Fluoro straight through. Arrived to find the water clear, with some movement, swirling the granite towers. 

Rigged up a Ecogear 2" Paramax Texas style, with a 1.8g sinker. This combo was a winner from the first cast, with both Pollack and Wrasse going mad for it. I get my Ecogear stuff from Ben @ The Art Of Fishing

The Wrasse were all on the smaller side, but when fishing light, each of these fish gave a good account of themselves, pulling hard and bolting for their hidey-holes!

Total of five Wrasse landed, with a few Pollack in between. As the tide got higher, also fished a small Jackson Cymo vib lure. I have been trying out my small metals with single hooks, replacing the small trebles, this Pollack certainly liked the look of it;

Don't forget, you have until the end of January 2012 to enter my competition to win some Sunline Momentum 4x4 braid (original blog post HERE) Entry is free,  all you have to do is email me the answer, and a winner will be drawn at random at the beginning of Feb 2012.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Early Doors West Cornwall 09-01-2012

Had one of those nights where 0300hrs was the time my body wanted to wake up ready to go. Not being able to sleep, and after early morning TV and YouTube vids, headed out for some fishing in the dark. Arrived at a familiar rocky mark, with the first signs of light starting to show. Bit of wind and swell, but the deep water was clear.

Started off with some small sub-7g plugs on the  Nories Seabass Program (5-12g) with 0.8PE Sunline Castaway on the Daiwa Certate 2506 reel. Very, vey slow retrieves, with an occasion jerk, Second cast in I found the Pollack, nothing big, but a welcome start;

As the dawn broke, headed off to another cove along the coast path, to revisit some thick kelp gullies that get exposed on the low tide, and where I have had some good scraps from the Wrasse before. Switching over to Texas rigged soft lures, with 4-5g weight, bounced the bottom in amongst the rock and weed. As the wind and chop was building, managed a couple of Wrasse, both fighting well for their size, one bolting for a rocky ledge, the other trying to bury himself into the kelp heads. Having learnt from previous sessions here, a tight drag helps stopping them finding the cover which is so abundant at this mark. Called it a day, and headed home to to the gym for another punishing session, so hopefully should be sleeping well tonight!

Friday, 6 January 2012

New & Old Tactics Wrasse 06-01-2012

Slight break in the winds down here in West Cornwall, clear morning skies, so off on a Wrasse hunt. Still amazingly mild temperatures, remember last year freezing hands and layer after layer of thermal clothing, none of that today. Whilst digging through my gear, found an old box full of 3 different flavour Xlayers mounted on rusted hooks and jig heads. Stripped them off, bagged them and decided to give them a bash, as it must have been around a year since last using them.

Fishing with a Nories Rockfish Bottom Light 7-15g, Daiwa '10 Certate with a 2500 size spool, this would be the first time out using a higher breaking strain fluoro mainline (already using lighter fluoro for LRF purposes). The line is the Sunline FC Sniper 10lb;

Rigged the Xlayers up Texas style, 4-5g sinkers and a size 2 weedless hook. Water was deep and clear, tide an hour into the flood. Fishing over 3 hours, the Wrasse came consistently, biggest was 2lb 7oz (first one below), had a total of 7 fish landed, with a few missed.

First impressions of the fluoro mainline are good, really nice feel, and totally different to braid when playing the fish, really feel the stretch in the line. First few bites were missed, but quickly learnt how long to leave before winding into the fish. Looking forward to trying out future sessions with it. As I was fishing shallower rough ground, over barnacle strewn rocks today, great confidence when hooking into a fish at a greater distance. All fish were taken on the Xlayers, they simply do work, and when it's a bag of manky old ones, don't feel so bad when they get smashed up by the Wrasse!

Don't forget, you have until the end of January 2012 to enter my competition to win some Sunline Momentum 4x4 braid (original blog post HERE) Entry is free,  all you have to do is email me the answer, and a winner will be drawn at random at the beginning of Feb 2012.