Friday, 16 May 2014

Weekly round up #3 : LRF a versatile week!

Sunday and I headed to the coast again and this time I was looking for Bass. It was good to be back on the reef and although I didn't catch any bass I saw one or two so I will concentrate a bit on them soon. Truth be told that after a couple of hours working the reef I turned my attention to delights of the rock pools and spent a fun hour or so winkling blennys and long spined sea scorpions out of them before moving off to hook up with Ritchie for a harbour session.This predictably turned into another rampant sea trout frenzy with loads of trout falling for Xesta After Burners as well as Ice jigs. What was especially weird was that we were vertically jigging the mini metals in a style normally reserved for coalfish, the trout seemed to love this style of retrieve as much as the coalies! It was silly fishing but fun none the less, I can't help wondering where the coalfish are as they are normally the predominant species.

Another week another load of wee sea trout!

Tiny but pretty, this one fell to a vertically jigged Ice jig

It's been a year since I last spooled up my reel with line and my Pontoon Exteer PE.1 braid was needing to be replaced. Now I am aware that technically PE.1 braid is a bit heavy for LRF purists but due to having no money I had bought a spool as it was the lowest diameter, quality braid that I could get for £10! I have decided this year to go lighter when I can so when I saw that Art of Fishing had some new braid in from Duel I was really keen to get some to try. I have always been a sucker for Duel and Yo Zuri products and I associate the brand with usable high quality products. I do admit to being a Duel fanboy though!
After a brief discussion with Ben I settled on some Duel Hardcore x4 PE0.6 as the breaking strain was the same as my previous line but nearly half the diameter! Now I generally don't believe the stated breaking strain on most braids as they very rarely live up to their claims when used in the field. All I was interested in was if the new line was as strong as my old line.

New Line,Duel Hardcore X4

When it arrived a couple of days later I was straight into it for a comparison test. I took a meter section of each line and tied a figure of 8 loop on each end of the line. I then attached one end to a set of scales and pulled on the other till the line snapped. A primitive and brutal test but both lines broke at the same breaking strain despite the new line being nearly half the diameter, perfect.
The colour is Milky Green and is certainly way more visible than my previous dark grey line, whilst still being on the subtle side of hi vis lines. The feel of the braid is comparable to other high end Japanese braid being very soft and smooth .
when I came to use it it was brilliant, the lower diameter added yards to the cast when it came to using 1gram jig heads. It was smooth and tough and even though I put it through various snags , trees and fish it performed faultlessly and I didn't have to adapt my fishing style to cope with the lower diameter as it was just as strong as my old PE.1 line.
In short, I love it!

As well as re stocking various dropshot weights and hooks I also bought a packet of Xesta 1.6" Stick Star lures as they look custom made for trout and they came in my favourite colour,pink/pearl glitter (LPBS).
I nipped down to the river to try them out and mounted on a 1gram #8 Xesta Slow Down Star head they were dynamite! Within a couple of hours I had landed two good trout both going 27cms  and lost a couple of others. The fish really hammered the lures and despite getting two fish, a few trees and numerous rocks the soft lure was still in tact. They really are surprisingly durable for something so soft.

Trout dynamite, Xesta Stick Star 1.6" lure mounted on a 1g #8 Xesta Slow Down Star Head

Wild urban brown trout , brilliant!

I love catching them!

Trout number 2 was a real leopard spotted one,both fish were 27cms.

A couple of days later I headed off to the perch loch with Skippy (my boat) and first mate Ritchie Bewsey. Having bought our Permits we launched into the loch eagerly wishing to see one of the stripey denizens of the deep. It was hard fishing ,using our light rock fishing gear we concentrated around the normal haunts but there was hardly any perch activity. There were however plenty of brownies and Ritchie soon succumbed to temptation and rigged up a Xesta After Burner having replaced the hook with a #8 fly ( forgive me I can't remember the pattern!).

A few casts later and he hooked and landed the first fish of the session a beautifully golden wild brown trout which was released after a couple of pictures. 

Ritchie shows off what tipping a metal jig with a fly can produce, what a magnificently golden trout!

I stuck to diligently dropshotting for perch and I took the boat into various bays and weed beds to try to find them. Ritchie found them before me and manged a couple of nice perch on a soft lure/jighead approach. Eventually I manged to hook a good fish on dropshotted Lake Fork Live Baby Shad, looked about a pound but I will never know as I bumped it off the hook whilst trying to land it!
It was disappointing but I was truly heartened to see the perch back feeding in the loch and figured I would find some more feeding. It wasn't until the last half hour when I found them and managed 3 perch all falling to the lake fork with the biggest going maybe 0.75lbs.

This was the biggest of the 3 perch I had, I am just so relieved to see them active in the loch again!

So there you have it a fairly fun week with all fishing done on my LRF gear and I hope it shows how versatile this style of fishing can be as well as how much fun it is.

I have also made a video compilation of the weeks fishing, I hope you enjoy watching.
It can be viewed in 1080p.

Tackle used

Rod: GraphiteLeader Corto EX 7'9" 0.5-8gram Tubular tipped.
Reel: Shimano Technium 3000
Line: Duel Hardcore x4 PE 0.6
Leader: 6lb Greylon Fluorocarbon

Tight Lines!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Video Roundup #2 : Flounder, Sea Trout and Brownies.

Another week and the fishing is really starting to pick up now. First session of the week saw me back at the coast with the intention of LRF flounder and bass. Conditions were pretty good, nice and calm with a slowly flooding tide and I rigged up a dropshot rig with a section of Gulp! sandworm. It probably only took about 10 minutes before I was into my first fish. It was a strange soft take and then the fish ran towards me making it hard to be sure I had even hooked it! When it did break the surface I was relieved to see a hand-sized flounder. I made the schoolboy error of thinking there would be better fish about so I decided to not take pictures and let the video tell the tale. A foolish move on my part as there were no more flounders biting and after an hour I headed off to the bass mark. This too proved fruitless and after a couple of hours I headed further down the coast to hook up with Ritchie and hopefully beat the blank by hitting the sea trout again. Never in a million years would I have thought that sea trout would be a blank-saving choice but sure enough they were there in numbers and we had some ridiculous sport with them. This time to confound things the video camera's battery had run out and I went back to good old stills for the sea trout, balancing both types of media is hard to do, especially when in full-fevered fishing mode!

This "finnock" took a 5gram Xesta After Burner...

and this one took a Ecogearaqua Katsu Aji Straight mounted on a Xesta Starhead Slowdown 1 gram jighead...

as did this one...

River to Sea tungsten 2.5gram trout spoon did for this one.

As the week ground on I had limited time to fish and when I was presented with a spare hour before tea I grabbed it and bolted to the river. One of the many joys of light rock fishing tackle is the ability to just grab my rod and lures and I can be fishing the moment I reach the water. As I only had an hour I decided to fish three pools and rather brilliantly I managed a trout from each of the pools before heading home for tea. Yet again I messed up with the camera stupidly leaving the memory card at home and  again I had to rely on the Veho MUVI action cam to capture the action. I am still finding it difficult to focus on filming , taking photos and fishing but barring silly mistakes I am getting the hang of it!
I have put together a short film compilation of the weeks fishing, I hope you enjoy watching (it can be viewed in 1080p).

Tackle used -
Rod: GraphiteLeader Corto EX 7'9" 0.5-8gram Tubular tipped.
Reel: Shimano Technium 3000
Line: Pontoon Exteer braid PE. 1
Leader: 6lb Greylon Fluorocarbon

Tight Lines

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The "Wanderer" returns...

Hi folks, well I was back down south in Wakefield for Easter and I managed to get another year's membership to Wakefield Angling Club.
This gave me access to fish the nearby canal and I spent two or three days fishing it mainly with dropshot techniques. I ended up having some great sport with perch up to 1 1/4 lbs, I also had 10 mini pike and a common bream weighing 4lb! I was dropshotting with various lures but the top three were:
3" tail section of Gulp Sandworm in natural colour
3" Fish Arrow Flash J split tail
2.5" Evergreen C4 shrimp
I knew there were some good bream present in the canal but I didn't think I had much chance of catching one on a lure, I was secretly hoping for a chub though. It was the thought of various coarse species that made me stick with the gulp sandworm as I have had some great coarse fish on it before. What I found interesting about the bream was that it struck just after a barge had gone past and the ship's passage had really kicked up a big cloud of sediment. I was working my lure slowly through the muddy water when I was walloped by a fish, which nearly wrenched the rod out of my hand such was the ferocity of the take.
I was sure it was a pike as it hit so hard, then tore off up the canal on a blistering run. When the fish breached the surface I was shocked to see a large and feisty bream which fought hard all the way to the bank. I have caught bream before with carp gear but never on LRF tackle and it really was excellent sport. I weighed the fish which came in at 4lbs a new PB as well as being my first lure caught bream.
The perch fishing was wonderfully consistent and although I only manged a couple of fish above 1lb it was really fun fishing.
I will be back for a chub later in the year I hope!

Here are a few pics from the sessions

Mini Pike were present...
And they liked Gulp sandworm...
Who ate all the pies?...
The fattest perch of the trip...
Evergreen C4 shrimp at work...
A nice size for a surprise...
The Bream took Gulp! Sandworm in natural colour...
As did the biggest perch of the trip...
Evergreen C4 shrimps were utterly devoured...
As were dropshotted Ecogear Aqua Bream Prawns...
They loved 3" Fish Arrow Flash J split tails too...
The weirdest catch goes to this swan mussel, I must have dropped my weight right into its shell, which promptly closed onto my weight!

I made a short film while I was there too and this time I had no problems with the editing software!

Tackle used -
Rod: GraphiteLeader Corto EX 7'9" 0.5-8gram Tubular tipped.
Reel: Shimano Technium 3000
Line: Pontoon Exteer braid PE. 1
Leader: 6lb Greylon Fluorocarbon
Thanks for watching!
Tight Lines

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Urban trout and LRF sea trout

April 1st heralded the start of trout season in Edinburgh and as far as I was concerned it couldn't come soon enough. On day one I fired down to the river armed with my trusty Ecogear Pocket in kit and although it is meant for Mebaru (Japanese Rockfish) the lures are truly Trout dynamite.The joke however was on me as I managed to hook and lose 2 fish, my trout skills were a bit rusty!
I was really pleased to see the trout though and planned to go back the next day. It rained overnight and the river became too high to fish.
After a couple of days the river came good and I was straight back out again and over the course of two short sessions I managed five trout with the biggest going 25cm. The fish were taken on a couple of different lures mainly Ecogear Grass Minnow SS and Ecogear Power Shirasu, mounted on a #12 -1.5 gram jighead.
OK, so the fish were not huge but the pleasure I get from being able to pop down the river after work and street fish for wild brown trout can be measured in buckets!

The first trout of 2014!

The biggest urban trout so far this year...

As the weekend rolled up my mate Callum Conner got in touch to see if I fancied hitting the coast for a spot of Light Rock Fishing, the answer to that was a big fat YES! Callum had got some serious cabin fever, despite guiding clients to some fantastic catches he hadn't been able to wet a line for an age (being a conscientious guide he never fishes when he is with his clients!).
We headed down the coast from town and we were both excited at the prospect of catching something other than the salmonoid species that had been filling our time.
First port of call and we arrived to find it pretty gusty. I went with a dropshot rig and gulp sandworm as the lure. I thought we may have an outside chance of a flounder but I was really expecting coalfish. After about 10 minutes I felt a some sharp plucking at the lure as I was slowly retrieving. That sort of bite meant one thing only, flounder and I struck into a hand sized flattie.
We quickly landed it and after a couple of pics released the fish, I was over the moon as it was the first flounder of the year.

This is the earliest harbour flounder I have had and another 2014 first...

We tried for a bit longer but nothing else was forthcoming.
We bounced further down the coast but our usual marks were devoid of fish and we tried lots of methods to no avail. I decided to push a bit further south to the next harbour again hoping for coalies. When we arrived I still had my coalie rig on, which is really just a bastardised dropshot rig only in place of a weight I rigged a small metal jig. This allows me to fish tandem lures and I rigged an Ecogear Aqua strawtail as a teaser on the dropshot hook.
After only a couple of casts I hooked into a small fish and thinking it was a coalie I quickly reeled it in. As the fish came closer I suddenly realised it was a small sea trout!

Instead of the normal coalies the harbour was teeming with these guys...

Callum displays his first sea trout of the session...

Ritchie displays his first ever sea trout...

Callum captured the biggest fish, I love the black fringe to the trouts tail

So much fun on our LRF gear.

We were not expecting that at all, nor were we expecting the decidedly daft fishing that happened afterwards! We had stumbled across what can only be described as a hoard of ravenous sea trout and we spent the last few hours catching trout after trout from the harbour. Ritchie also popped down and managed to bag his first sea trout as well as about a dozen others.
Such wonderful irony to be chasing brownies all week then head out for sea species only to only to end up catching trout in the sea.
In the end it went from a hard day to a crazy red letter day with Callum catching the biggest fish and it's these sessions, filled with mates and laughter and lots of fish that really live long in the memory.

Tackle used -
Rod: GraphiteLeader Corto EX 7'9" 0.5-8gram Tubular tipped.
Reel: Shimano Technium 3000
Line: Pontoon Exteer braid PE. 1
Leader: 6lb Greylon Fluorocarbon

I have also managed to do a compilation of the week's fishing on film, something I hope to be able to bring to the blog on a regular basis. Although I am finding it hard to balance taking stills and video footage. Rather annoyingly the editing software got the best of me on this one, there is a weird flickering at one point but it does go away! Also there are some random black and white footage that the editing software added of its own accord. Either way I hope you enjoy the footage.

Thanks for reading and watching!
Tight Lines

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Never mind the Podleys, here's a video!

At the beginning of April I got hold of a VEHO MUVI action camera, with the aim of filming some of the sessions. I foolishly thought that it would help me cope with the ever increasing amount of catch reports , cutting down time, but here I am writing about it as well!
At the beginning of April I managed to get a couple of sessions in back at St Abbs.On the first session we were both using our LRF gear and various tactics, dropshot, jig head rig and small metals. I had bastardised a dropshot rig replacing the weight with a 5g Xesta after burner mini jig, and an Ecogear Aqua straw tail lure on the dropshot hook.This teaser lure proved to be irresistible to the hoards of coalies and it was very hard to drag myself away. I have really missed them even though they are small they attack lures and fight like little demons. I wished I had got the first cast in though as Ritchie beat me to it landing a nice Jumbo coalie.It was hectic sport and brilliant to be getting hit every cast agin, even if it was freezing!

Gear used-
Rod :GraphiteLeader Corto EX 7'9" 0.5-8gram Tubular tipped.
Reel :Shimano Technium 3000
Line :Pontoon Exteer braid PE. 1
Leader :6lb Greylon Fluorocarbon

The next session was much harder, I think I managed about 6 fish but they were all better sized. Ritchie drew a very rare blank and it just goes to show how hit and miss it can be early in the year.

The videos will get better as I get used to the camera and editing software, thanks for watching.
Tight Lines