Thursday, 26 June 2014

Good news!

Hi folks , I am really pleased to announce that I have joined the Tronixpro team, pleased is an understatement, in fact I am over the moon about it!
Here is the press release they sent out.
Tronixpro Blog
 I see this as a great opportunity to get out and test , use and develop products to suit our own British species and I will hopefully be able to show the fruits of this partnership on the blog!
Not much will change with the blog just now, all though there will be some news on that front soon I hope!

I have a few reports I am currently writing and the last couple of weeks have been very busy, with fishing and work. However I hope to get caught up and get them published before the beginning of the Cornish Lure Festival!
I had better get on with it!
Tight Lines

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Weekly round up 5 : Flounder and Trout

It's been a busy couple of weeks but I managed a couple of sessions after work trying for brownies. One had been eluding me in a particular pool and it took three sessions to catch him. At just under a pound he wasn't the biggest fish in the river but he was certainly one of the most satisfying.

This Brownie gave me the run around but it couldn't resist a Xesta Stick Star in glitter pink!

The weekend took an age to come but eventually I found myself at the sea with the intention of harbour hopping down the coast looking for flounders. Now the humble flounder is one of my prize summer species, aggressive in taking lures and hard fighters, especially when they get over a couple of pounds. With my PB flounder on LRF gear standing at 3lb and with the opportunity to best that fish you can hopefully see why I am so intent on fishing for them.
Armed with my LRF gear I stalked around the first harbour. Low water meant that fishing was limited to the main channel at the harbour. I worked a dropshot rig around, bouncing gulp sandworm across the sea bed but to no avail. I gave it about half an hour before deciding to head further down the coast.

After a 20 minute drive I arrived at the next harbour. An onshore wind had quite a swell going but the harbour was fairly sheltered and the water was crystal clear. For the weekend the harbour was actually fairly quiet. With the large swell preventing the dive boats going out it gave me some space to hunt flatties.
Using my dropshotted gulp sandworm mounted on a #8 hook suspended a foot off the bottom I cast and worked the lure across the sandy patches in the harbour. It was very quiet for the first half hour and the surprising lack of coalfish had me scratching my head. I would normally expect the harbour to be teaming with the wee brutes but they were conspicuous by their absence.
I soldiered on with the lure and as the tide began to flood in earnest I felt a couple of soft plucks at the lure and struck into the first flattie of the session. The flattie once hooked raced towards me before making a couple of spirited dives under the rod tip. I swung the fish in and was really happy to see a fat 28cm flounder of around the pound mark. I grabbed a couple of photos and dropped the fish back with a grin on my face.

He is not as happy as me!

28cm Flounder

I quickly re-rigged another gulp sandworm and went straight back to working the sea bed. With one flattie under the belt I was expecting they would really switch on to feed as the tide was flooding. This wasn't quite the case though as I had to wait another half an hour for the next fish. During this time I was joined by another group of anglers with a collection of rods and handlines. They were using bait and set up a multitude of rods all around the harbour mouth. This limited my flattie hunting somewhat, so I concentrated my casting further into the harbour.

I was working the lure quite fast along the sea bed when I was hit suddenly by a good fish. One savage bite and the fish had hooked itself, the fish ran towards me and I had to reel to keep up. It was a good fish and it was a struggle to get it up through the water column. The fish fought hard and clever, every time it came up to the top it would porpoise on the surface a bit before trying to dive into the kelp band that ran along the edge of the harbour walls. As I let the rod wear the fish down I had a bit of a dilemma as to how to land it. I could climb down the ladder and land the fish by hand, which would involve a one handed climb back up with the rod in my teeth, or I could attempt to swing it in. In the end I went with the grunt and lift approach and, despite the alarming curve in the rod, the fish made it to my eager hands. It was a beautiful fish, all be it a bit spawned out, and was my biggest flounder this year going 38cm on the ruler and weighing 2lb - a proper Scottish specimen. The beastly flattie had gathered quite a crowd of anglers and tourists and rather nicely one of them offered to take a trophy shot before I released him. I dropped the fish back and felt genuinely elated. It was such a dramatic take and fight and I will remember that fish for a long while.

38cm flounder!

This makes me a very happy angler!

I carried on fishing and by this stage the other anglers were really taking an interest in what I was doing. They found it difficult to believe it wasn't a fluke (so to speak). I was busy explaining the technique to them whilst working the lure when I was hit by another nice flattie of about a pound which put a good bend in the rod before it was swung in. How's that for a perfect demonstration!

The final flounder of the session

This long spined scorpion also made an appearance.

The other anglers changed their rigs to smaller hooks and began to cast around where I was fishing pushing me further off my flattie grounds. I was still on a high from the last fish so I didn't mind too much and I was genuinely pleased when one manged to hook a wee flattie. This however turned to disappointment when I came over to see it; the fish was so deeply hooked and I watched with horror as the angler pulled on his snood to free the hook. He pulled so much that he snapped the line before delving in its mouth with the forceps to retrieve his wee spoon, leaving the hook embedded somewhere in its gut. He did release the fish but it soured my fishing and I had a chat with him to try and educate him on how flounders actually feed. I made the point that if he wanted to return the fish then he must hold his rod and feel for the bites, then strike quickly to avoid deep hooking.

After this I popped down the coast to sea trout town and racked up another 1/2 dozen or so sea trout on mini metals before calling it a day and heading back.

All in all it was a great week, big flounder, trout and sea trout, pure distilled LRF fun!
I managed to put together another short film of the flounder session so have a wee look if you are interested.

Tackle used:
Rod :GraphiteLeader Corto EX 7'9" 0.5-8gram Tubular tipped.
Reel :Shimano Technium 3000
Line :Duel Hardcore X4 PE0.6
Leader :8lb Greylon  Fluorocarbon.

Thanks for reading!
Tight Lines

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Weekly round up #4 : LRF bass, HRF Pollock.

Last week saw me heading to the coast armed with my LRF gear hoping to find some silver spikey fish. The weather has been problematic for fishing this mark but a combination of flat calm and a rising tide filled me with hope. I worked the reef firstly with my HRF gear, bottom bouncing sluggos around but apart from one or two knocks the fish were fairly unresponsive. As the tide flooded the reef I switched to my LRF gear as I could run a light metal jig over the top of the reef. I went with a 7gram Xesta After Burner and began casting around with a jerky retrieve. I covered the gulleys and newly flooded rock pools with the mini metal and it really didn't take long before I was hit by a feisty wee bass. I enjoyed the feel of a bass on the line and quickly landed, unhooked and photographed the fish before releasing it back.

Not big but the first bass of the year is always special
I carried on with the same approach and about 20 minutes later I was hit again, this time by a slightly bigger bass. Whilst the bass wasn't very big it was caught at range so I got to enjoy the fight for a wee bit longer than its previous shoal mate. Again it was unhooked and quickly photographed before being released back.

Bass on LRF gear = Fun!
The only other fish on the session came in the form of another sea trout, a species that seem addicted to Xesta after burners! Even though I have caught a silly amount of them already this season I still really enjoy catching sea trout in the sea and after a couple of pics I released him back to the reef.

Yet another sea trout falls for a Xesta After Burner mini jig
Next session saw me head out to fish the harbours from low to mid tide before hitting the rocks at Eyemouth. Conditions at the harbour weren't great, the water was very cloudy from the recent rains and a strong gusting wind meandered around the harbour, seemingly unable to decide which direction to blow. The wind made using light jigheads too problematic so I went with my trusty Dropshot rig. A size 8 Owner mini offset hook was tied, via a palomar knot, about halfway up a 3ft Fluorocarbon leader and a 7 gram dropshot weight was clipped onto the end of the line. I rigged a 3" tail section of gulp sandworm and began to cast about the harbour's sandy patches. With a slow retrieve I let the weight trundle along the seabed puffing up little clouds of sand and a constant shaking of the rod caused the lure to wriggle and writhe, what flattie could resist?
The answer the to that question was all of them! After an hour or so of fishing I had felt no evidence of feeding flounder, although there were plenty of wee coalies and after catching half a dozen I continued my way down the coast.

At Eyemouth I met up with Ritchie and we headed off down to a new mark which Ritchie had been fishing. The mark is situated really close to Ritchie's house and after a short walk and a scramble down the rocks we were there. Ritchie had managed some red cod from here the last time he fished it and we were hoping for more of the same. The mark we were fishing is a big kelp forest which gives way to clean sand about 50 yards out, prime pollock and cod territory, so with this in mind it was out with the slug-gos and HRF gear. We began to fish the mark; I concentrated on casting to beyond the kelp bed then bouncing the slug back over the top of the kelp. As the tide began to flood in earnest the bites began to come and I was into some nice pollock, the biggest being about 3.5lb. Keeping the powerful pollock from diving back into the kelp is always a challenge and certainly adds a bit more spice to the fight. Over the session I managed 3 and Ritchie had a few coalies but, as so often happens to me, the cod were not about. Again on this session I had problems with the video camera with the battery running out as I arrived at the mark. This went totally unnoticed by me and I preceded to get some "great shots " of the fish going back before discovering that they didn't exist when I got home!

A great fish for a fight, this one weighed 3.5lb
Hard fighting fish always put a smile on my face!
He does not look quite as happy as me though!
Despite that I still had a not bad snapshot of the week's fishing in video format so I managed to put together a short film.

Tackle used:

HRF tackle

Rod : Shimano Yasei Red Drop Shot 2.7M
Reel :Shimano 3000
Line :Sunline Super PE 20lb
Leader :16lb Greylon Fluorocarbon

and my LRF gear comprises.

Rod :GraphiteLeader Corto EX 7'9" 0.5-8gram Tubular tipped.
Reel :Shimano Technium 3000
Line :Duel Hardcore X4 PE0.6
Leader :4lb Scierra C-thru Fluorocarbon.

It's been a great week and the return of the bass signals the start of our summer species returning and its very exciting to think that the fishing is going to improve week on week, I can't wait to get out again!
Tight Lines