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!