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