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!

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