Saturday, 1 December 2012

XLNT Sensory Perception.

Following on from my last foray with my new rod I just had to get back and try it again! It was to be a short afternoon session and for once everything went to plan with the sea state calm, a slight offshore wind and a flooding tide combining to make it perfect. When I arrived at the mark I also had the bonus of having it completely to myself and as it is a very popular mark it was pretty unusual! I tackled up the Savage Gear Dropshot XLNT with my Shimano Aernos 3000 reel, 20lb sunline momentum, 15lb fluro leader and on the business end a 4.5" Slug go mounted on a 10.5g football jighead. I began to cast the lure, allowing it to sink slowly through the water column and when I felt it hit bottom I would jig it up with a couple of sharp twitches all before allowing it to fall back again.  The retrieve as such is dead slow all the time feeling the lure bouncing over rocks and weed, the rod is so sensitive that you really start to get a feel for the contours and layout of the sea bed. Fishing these methods with this rod is brilliantly intense and I tend to fall in to a world of concentration mentally mapping the seabed and feeling the lure working in the water. I swear you can feel the fish swim by before they turn and inhale the tender Slug go! Sure enough it didn't take long to get my first hit and again I could sense the fish gently nudge the lure before it engulfed it. I set the hooks and enjoyed a spirited fight before landing another fine bass of 45cm which after a photo was quickly released.

Another XLNT Bass

The soft tip really allows the fish to suck the lure in with minimal effort and every take was really positive. Each of the many bass I caught that afternoon had the lure deep inside their mouths and I am convinced that such positive engulfing of the lure is partly down to the soft tip. It wasn't all fishing the slug go with this rod though and when I saw a shoal of Bass smashing baitfish on the surface I quickly swapped over to a silver Toby to get the required distance to hit the shoal. Sure enough the rod effortlessly cast the metal lure beyond the feeding fish and a quick retrieve had it pass above their shoal where upon it was nailed by another feisty bass which was quickly landed before being photographed and released.

It's not just slugs with me, Tobys also have their place!

I followed it up with a couple more before the shoal moved off out of range. The few hours I was fishing were really productive and brilliantly intense falling into an almost zen like trance when retrieving, punctuated by the electric suddenness of bites and the adrenaline fuelled moments of the fight.

A calm November afternoon, if only it was always this good!

All the time the weather remained calm and mild and as the light began to dim I decided to call it a day and headed back to the car thoroughly satisfied with the amount of fish landed. The main aim of the day was working the new rod though and again it was a real joy to use and I really wouldn't have had as much success without its XLNT sensory perception!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

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