Monday, 3 September 2012

LRF : Dropshot success!

Last Monday I received a delivery of some Delalande 6g drop shot leads and some #8 Decoy MG1 mini hooks from Art of Fishing. I have been meaning to experiment a bit more with the technique of drop shotting as I feel it can be great for keeping the lure in "the zone", the heavier weights can help combat wind and current and with the mini offset worm hooks it would be surprisingly weedless. The plan was to go to a mark Scott had heard reports of Yarrrel's blenny being caught from and I was keen to investigate the surrounding area a bit more. When I arrived it was cloudy but warm and there was quite a large rolling swell. I was using my Graphiteleader 7'9 Corto EX tubular tipped rod, Shimano Technium 3000SFC reel spooled with Sunline 6lb Super PE as main line and a 4' 6lb drennan flurocarbon leader. I tied the hook via a palomar knot 2 foot up the leader leaving a 2 foot long tag end to which I clipped the lead. These leads are designed to grip the line without tying a knot and in the event of a snag will allow you to get your rig back leaving the lead behind. I rigged a 2" section of gulp rag on the offset hook so that it was weedless.Initially I was slightly wary of casting hard with the rig, however it casts like a dream and was pretty aerodynamic and the lead ,despite not being tied on, was secure.

I began fishing on the gantry that overhangs the mark so it was just a question of dropping it down. This I did and I felt the familiar sensation of the lead falling through the kelp before tapping on the rock below.To test its weedless capabilities I lifted the rig back up through the kelp, gave a couple of turns of the handle and allowed the lure to fall back into the kelp. I did this a couple more times and it didn't hang up before I felt something pecking at the lure. I waited letting the bite develop, a couple more pecks then the tip of my rod lunged down as the fish seized the lure proper. I struck, the fish tried to get into the kelp but was quickly lifted clear and as it came to the surface I saw the beautiful colouration of a small wrasse. I swung it up to my hand and realised it was a corkwing and a real clonker too.

I love the myriad of colours on corkwing wrasse, a real exotic looking little fish.

I was really pleased and amazed too as it was caught on my first cast and I was really only testing the rig! I was also amazed at the corkwing as I had no idea that the mark held them and for beauty's sake are one of my favourite fish to catch. I took a few pictures and released my prize all the time marvelling at its colouration. I made a cast out again  and carried on bouncing the lure in the kelp. I was practicing keeping the lead in one place and just jiggling the rod tip with a bit of slack line. This gives the lure a weightless action and you can get the lure to twitch and shiver in a very natural fashion. I say I was practicing this but in reality I gave the rod a couple of shakes and was hammered by another fish! The rod went straight into its fighting curve and the fish stripped line off the reel with a surging run and must have gone about 15 metres before I gained control. I turned the fish and caught sight of the big bronze flash of a good pollock before it went on another run. I really lent into the fish allowing the rod to soak up its power and was surprised at just how well the rod brought the fish under control. Soon it was on the surface, albeit 15 feet below me! With no drop net I had to give the fish a bit of line, walk back along the gantry, climb the shoulder high metal fence one handed and climb down the boulders that make up the sea defences. All the time keeping the rod high to avoid the rocks. Amazingly the fish played ball and I managed to grab the biggest pollock I have landed on the Corto which weighed 3.5lb.

At 3.5lb this pollock is the biggest I have had on my Corto EX rod.
The little size 8 hook was only just strong enough to cope with this fish.

Unbelievable, two casts and two fish caught, the second being a great battle to land. I held the fish in the water till it had revived and then it swam strongly away. I still had the section of gulp on so I decided to fish from where I landed the pollock. After about ten minutes I again felt the small taps of a wrasse before I struck and landed another fine corkwing.

Another beautifully marked corkwing and another Specimen

I carried on fishing but after twenty minutes I hadn't had any more bites so I went back up to the gantry. Virtually straight away I was into some great corkwings each one a real joy to catch and admire their wonderful colours.

Another perfect specimen Corkwing falls for the Gulp! Sandworm
A bit more detail of the rig here,devastatingly effective!
This one wasn't over 4oz but made up for it with stunning markings!

I get the same buzz from catching corkwing wrasse as I do crucian carp. They can be quite challenging to catch and fight very well for their size. The majority of the fish were very large too with most being between 4 and 5 oz, with one just over 5oz only 1oz under the Scottish record!

This is my new PB corkwing wrasse and weighed 5.4 oz. Only an ounce under the Scottish record!
A real clonker!

Brilliant specimen sized fish which in Scotland is anything over 4oz. The sport lasted a couple of hours with a couple of long spined sea scorpions also landed as well as another pollock, all be it smaller at about a pound.

A long spined sea scorpion also couldn't resist the drop shotted Gulp! Sandworm.
My second pollock of the session, although not as big as the first, still gave a great fight!

The sport was so good that as I made my way back to the car I was grinning like an idiot! No Yarrell's blennies this time but the discovery of a corkwing hotspot that throws up such good sized fish more than made up for it. Add the fact that my experimentation with a new method proved to be so effective and it ended up being a brilliant session. I can't wait to do more drop shotting and really see just how big these corkwings can get!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

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