Friday, 23 August 2013

Major Craft Shore Jigging

Spring low tide and crystal clear conditions have never been very productive at the particular mark I was fishing during the week. I had a theory that the fish were holding out in the deeper waters, around some kelp beds, out of the range of usual lure tactics. Seemed a good opportunity to test out one of the two new Majorcraft shore jigging rods rods that I recently got hold of.

The rods in question are the Majorcraft KG Evolution KGS-1002MH 10’ 20-40g and the Majorcraft KG Evolution KGS -1062H 10’6 40-80g These rods are not subtle, with large foam handles, and some real power in the blank. Designed really for hard fighting Pelagic fish, I wanted to try out the shore jigging styles, and maybe adapt them for the Bass in UK waters.

So armed with the heavier rod of the two, I paired it up with a Shimano Stella 5000SW, spooled with some Sunline Momentum 4x4 30lb braid. This line has the strength to withstand casting heavy metal jigs, whilst maintaining a thin diameter, to enable true distance casting. The lure I was using throughout this session was a 65g metal jig, rigged with both a treble on the rear, and a assist hook on the front. 

Within the first few casts, it was immediately apparent that fishing at distance was no problem for this set up. The metal jig flying through the air for some time before making it's splash down. The benefits of a 5000 size reel or bigger comes to light, as meters and meters peel off the spool. Letting the lure sink down through the water, then working it back to shore. I tried a few different styles of retrieve, from the fast jigging style, pumping and winding the reel, to the more traditional slower sink and draw. The first fish to be landed were some decent sized Gar, which were flanked by more Gar as they came in. Then it was into the Mackerel, mostly taking the lure hard on the drop off the cast. The Mackerel were real beasts, biggest I have had this Summer, thick and long.

In amongst the Mackerel shoals, I found a couple of Bass lurking. First one felt like a good size, heavy fight, trying to take me into the thick kelp beds. As the fish came in, it was then I realised I had a double hook up on the metal jig, with a Mackerel on the treble, and a Bass on the front assist. Not sure if the Mackerel was hooked first, and the Bass went in for the easy target! Following that, another Bass was landed, again taking the lure at distance in the deeper waters. As the tide began to push hard, I finished the session by landing numerous small Pollack, that were really going for the lure, when worked fast and hard.

First impressions of the rod were good, definitely a tool for distance when required. I was glad to find the fish, holding out in the deeper water, as under these conditions I have blanked before, using set ups that did not allow access to the far out features. Hopefully I will have a good session with the lighter rated jigging rod when I get round to trying it out soon.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Top Water Bass Action

Conditions looked promising for an after work session on a local reef. High tide meant some special tactics were gonna be needed to access the sweet spots due to the high spring tide. This is where the wetsuit, dry bag and of course the Van Staal VSB 150 reel.

The kit more specifically is a 3/2mm zipperless wetsuit by West (one of my many surfing suits), a Gill Pro dinghy spray top, some wetsuit fin socks, and my regular Patagonia wading boots. I use a 20L roll top dry bag with a buit in shoulder strap, some plastic sealed boxes inside, containing a small selection of hard and soft lures, as well as the tools and hardware needed for a session. With this kit, and the Van Staal, I am able to drop into deep gullies, and swim between rocks, to get the best access when waders just wont cut it.

The rod coming for a swim this evening is the Major Craft KG Evolution Hirasuzuki Series 11’ 10-42g, and the line spooled on the Van Staal VSB 150 is the tough and reliable Sunline Super Braid PE#3 (30lb). I have found this line to respond well to the rough environment associated with wetsuit fishing amongst the rocks, in the water filled gullies. PE#3 might seem a bit scary to people, but it really is not that thick in the fingers, and distance casting when using the heavier kit is not an issue. The fact it is a bit thicker, means you are less likely to have any braid related issues, especially when you are in and out of the water, rock scrambling and casting out in less than ideal conditions.

The shallow reef I was fishing out over is a bit of a tackle graveyard for anything that dives deep, or softies on jigheads. The minimal swell and fizz to the water was shouting out for some surface lure action. I worked a DUO Realis Pencil in a couple of colours, in between the rock heads, bringing the lure to life across the water. It was not long until the first Bass hit the lure, and brought to my feet. Only a small one, but a good sign that the fish were there. The next Bass was a much better size. It swirled twice at the lure, I kept working it back in, and the third time it hit, giving a good fight as it made a break for the deeper water. Another schoolie after that finished off a fun evening on the reef.

The Major Craft Hirasuzuki may be 11', and coupled with the Van Staal, it is not the lightest set up; However, working these top water lures for a good couple of hours, the set up proved to be very useable, both in the action imparted on the lure, as well as the effort required to sustain continuous casting and top water lure working. It's added length proved very useful when guiding the lure in and around the numerous partially submerged rocks, and made a good job of controlling the Bass in a tricky environment.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

West Cornwall Session

Squeezed in a half morning session down on my visit to West Cornwall this week. Headed out to the usual deep water rocky coves, for a long overdue chuck of some lures. Fishing with the Major Craft KG Evolution Hirasuzuki Series KGS-1102HIRA 11’ of casting machine with a rating of 10-45g. Paired up with the Shimano Stella 5000SW loaded with Sunline Momentum 4x4 30lb braid.

This combination opens up the world of distance lure casting, be it metals, soft lures or plugs. A comfortable rod to use for its length, I personally find it ok to work surface lures over a long session, like the DUO Realis pencil. Today I was fishing a selection of DUO lures, from shallow divers to sinking flutter baits.

First fish of the day came on a dropping tide, a Bass falling for the tasty size of the DUO Tide Minnow Slim 200. This lure is simply superb in the water, casts well and looks great, you just need to find a lure box big enough to store them!

 After the Bass, a few Pollack and Mackerel were landed, on the DUO Tide Vib Slim 140 and Press Bait Kamuy’s respectively. The Press Bait series work particularly well off the rocky deep water marks in West Cornwall, allowing you to search out the deep waters. The hits are usually fierce as well, as the fish smash the lure as it sinks back down.

Hopefully in the next few days I will be taking delivery of a couple more Major Craft rods, both from the same series, but very different to anything I have tried before, so looking forward to that a lot. I will get the details up once they are in my hands.

If you want to find out more about the DUO range of lures, then check out the English version of their website at