Looking back it's been a strange year so far!
After a long battle with cancer my father lost his fight a few months ago, I will admit that I have not got back to people who called and emailed, I know I have missed people, but I hope you can understand that I put other things to the top of my priorities. We are getting back to normal now and I know I have to get back to calls and emails quicker, I just keep running out of time!
Fishing.....this summer saw my first trip with my son, most people know me for lure fishing, you may like to know I also freshwater fish quite a bit to. I enjoy feeder fishing for bream, winter chubbing on the river and pole fishing. I have spent some time with my son hopefully showing him how to catch some fish! Keeping sessions short and choosing the times when catching is likely to be on the higher return rate. The first trip below was only a couple of hours and all time spent with him on the waggler catching and loosing a few, I wish I had someone to show me how to fish when I was his age.
My son and his catch
For him, the promise of the Mc Donald's after! For anyone who does this as well, you will understand my problem now, he expects a Mc Donald's after every trip!!!!! He had a few perch, roach, rudd, skimmers and a tench, the tench made his arm ache....those were his words.
The bass fishing has been slow for me this year, the better times to go have been when I have had other commitments and just couldn't get to the water. I have managed a few trips and had a few bass, but nowhere near in the numbers I had last year, hopefully this will improve as we move into autumn.
A small bass from my last trip.
The new game!
A while back I had a few conversations with Will Harding ( Next Generation Angling ) after repairing and rebuilding some rods for him about going out and trying the lrf & hrf fishing that he has been heavily into. Now, I have done the ultralight for perch, chub & caught pike in freshwater, so to give this a go took a while to get me to take him up on the offer due to the fact that I have always been so heavily into my bass fishing. The ease of the 'lurfing' is that I can introduce my son in as controlled an environment as possible to lure fishing in a short session to catch fish. So far that is what I have done, caught fish!
'Lurfing', so many similarities to the freshwater ultralight fishing that I have done in the past, you can make it as simple as you want or add in all the extras of knowledge that you may have from other angling experience. The basic start up I was shown was the braid or mono attached to a small swivel, from here you attach your leader/hooklength & tie the hook direct to this. As in the picture above AAA shot attached to the line direct to get the soft plastic down to the fish, don't forget though not all the fish are hard on the bottom as in freshwater different species are at varying water depths.
Hooking the sp's (soft plastics) is straight forward, threaded through, 'whacky' or add in other variants!
The last couple of trips & tonight I have been experimenting with rigs as in the picture below.
Adjustable depth rig
By changing the rig, there are so many you can try, different species can be targeted as you find the depth they are feeding at, this alters in day & night. The picture above is a simple rig that has no other components to add weight to the set up, thus not over loading the rod and making sure the tackle is balanced. I have taken from my freshwater rig making to use loop knots (figure of eight knot) to change over hook lengths & weight drop line, this makes it all quicker and simpler to change over tackle & you can make up ready made spares! The build above has a short weight line tied to the leader with a grinner knot that will run up and down the leader as I require to change the depth, to stop this is a power gum stop knot(red), this stops the weight sliding down further than the required depth. You can increase or decrease both the weight line length and hook length as the tide increases and decreases, this will allow the sp to work to full potential either being worked, fluttering on the drop or on retrieve. Once you find the depth of the species your targeting, you can if you wish measure the depth length to make sure if the knot does slip or you break up you can remake the rig at the depth you were fishing at. Another way if you want to fix the lines permanently is to use the water knot. With the ready made spare lengths of hooklengths/weight lines you can simply use the loops to do your attachments, makes life easier in the dark!
Megabass 'Rocky Fry' ( Chesil Bait N Tackle)
Tonight I got out with my son for a short 60 minute trip in Weymouth, not a bad evening he got to see about 6 or 7 different species from pollack, pout, whiting, wrasse, blennies, goby's. The Rocky Fry above from Megabass took most of the species tonight, the glow that this sp gives off once livened up from the torch or headlight attracted the attention of the fish. By adjusting the hooklength to a longer length and on a slow twitched retrieve gave the results. The highlight was on the Rocky Fry when I hooked into a larger fish in the dark....the line pulled, reel sung then the surface splash and slap! For about 20 seconds I'm looking at my son and his face as he's looking at the water and the fish jumping about, the next jump saw the fish throw the barbless hook! Right, next predicament barbless or barbed? I have always used barbless in my freshwater, this makes for easier release and less fish damage. When it comes to this type of fishing where they are to be released all I can say is barbless all the way!
You may loose the odd fish, but the damage you will do if not treating these fish with the proper care will cause there death, opinion I know that is my belief. If you are new to fishing this will make it easier for you to remove a hook and when you become more experienced, you can make the change if you so choose. A few other tips when it comes to fish welfare; a disgorger is a must to remove the hooks, quite a lot of these species will engulf the hook down there throat if you don't hook up in time. Try to make sure your hands are wet or you use a damp cloth when handling them. You may want to check the species on the end of the hook, be aware of spines, especially if you catch something like a weaver fish!
Don't forget to join them on Facebook, they have an ever growing number of lures and specialist lure tackle in store, the inventory is growing daily and not everything is on there website! Lots of new toys in store and they are the lure specialist shop on the south coast.
If you're into your bass lure fishing, LRF or HRF they have it all to kit you out to fish!
Back to the last few fishing trips!
After turning into a mountain goat and buying a new pair of walking boots (which were a must), we found some fish. My last few trips have been with Will as above who has just joined the 'Sunline' team, we have been on the lrf and hrf.
The last trip saw lots of smaller wrasse in front of me, and by the end of the day I had lost count of the amount landed. We moved 3 times up and down cliffs, back to the car move on to no avail to find the larger fish of any species. I am an angler and will fish for whatever species is in front of me.
Me & one of the numerous small wrasse caught.
Lots more fishing to come this year and I haven't even touched on the recent rods being built!
The next instalment will be an update on recent rod builds and I hope some of the specimen fish that Dorset is known for.
Signing off for now, thanks for reading.