Thursday, 23 October 2014

Good News Day!

Hi Folks, well I am pleased to say that I have teamed up with Sea Angler Magazine as one of thier LRF / Light Game contributors! I am very pleased about it all and today is the day my first article is published.
Entitled "Just grab and go!" its a piece about short session success.  I haven't made it out to the newsagents yet but I can't wait to see what the magazine have done with my first article!
Tight Lines

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

LRF + Wrasse = Awesome!

I had a couple of fantastic sessions with Ritchie and Rory on the east coast rocks, with all of us getting a great variety of species and specimens. Ritchie had learnt wrasse whispering and he was winkling wrasse out all over the place! Rory had just got hold of a new LRF rod , the rather sublime Graphiteleader Corto and he was keen to add to his LRF species tally. So we spent a couple of sessions playing with good size pollock, wrasse, scorpions, Flounders, Codling and some huge mackerel made an appearance too. The most successful technique was dropshotting 4" Gulp sandworm a nice slow twitchy retrieve seemed to attract all species bar the mackerel which really wanted 4 inch jig head mounted sluggos!

After these two fun filled sessions I was keen to go back for more, but with Rory and Ritchie both busy with work it was time for a solo session. The weather was playing ball and it was a pleasantly warm day with the sea state nice and calm, perfect for wrasse!

After a short drive I grabbed my bags and hurried down to the mark, a quick scramble and climb later and I was there for slack water at low tide. I quickly rigged up my LRF gear which comprised of my new HTO Rockfish 73 1-8g rod, 3000 size reel, PE0.6 braid and 8lb YGK Flurocarbon leader.
I went with my "go to" dropshot rig with a # 6 slim offset worm hook, tied via a palomar knot with a 30cm drop. The hook is very important for fishing on such a kelpy and rough mark and the offset worm hook gives me the ability to rig my lure in a weedless fashion. 4" Gulp sandworm in natural colour was duly rigged on the hook and I began to explore the kelp forest that surrounds the rocks I was on.

I was full of hope and excitement there there is nothing like the prospect of wrasse to get me all a flutter! I began by concentrating on the rocky kelpy fringe that surrounds the rock mark I was standing on. As I worked my way along the rocks I came across a ledge of rock with an overhang into quite deep water. This looked very wrassey so I perched myself right on the edge of it and dropped my rig straight down into about 20ft of water. When the lead hit the bottom  I started adding a few twitches , tapping the weight on the rocky sea bed and dropping the rod tip to allow the lure to flutter down in a seductively weightless fashion. It only took seconds before I felt a sharp tap on the lure, the unmistakable bite of a wrasse! Tap....Tap , the bites felt like electric shocks running down my arm and the super sensitive rod only intensified the bites. I allowed the bites to develop as wrasse have a weird habit of plucking at the lure .Next bite I felt a bit of weight so I struck and all hell broke loose. The wrasse dived towards the kelp wall I was standing on boring hard for cover, then suddenly all went slack! The air turned blue with some choice curses as I reeled in, but the wrasse had gone and it felt like a good one too.

 My rig was still intact so it was just a case of re-rigging  some more Gulp sandworm on the hook and dropping back down. One of the many fascinating things about the wrasse is that they seem to come back for a second go even if they have felt the hook. This time the lead dropped to the bottom, I tightened up and instantly felt weight on the line. I struck and my rod lunged over as a wrasse took off for the kelp!
I wasn't gonna lose this one and a short brutal fight commenced, with my drag cranked up I quickly lifted the rod above my head to get the fish clear of the kelp. Then I had to hold my nerve as the fish dived for cover, the rod hooped alarmingly but this wee rod is deceptively strong and as I cranked up the pressure the fish started to come up in the water. The rod quickly sapped the strength of the fish and soon it was sliding over the rim of my landing net. A really nice fish too which weighed in at 3lb 2oz, I took some pics and then returned the fish back to the kelp forest.

I rigged up another Gulp sandworm and repeated the process , dropping down next to the ledge I was standing on. The lead hit the bottom and again tap, tap then I felt weight so I struck into a big fish!
More brutality was heaped upon the rod as at hooped over. Again I cranked the fish away from the kelp as quickly as possible by lifting the rod above my head. It was a tough fight the wrasse doing its best to stay deep and thumping the rod down at an alarming angle. But I gave no quarter, allowing the rod to tire the fish and soon I had colour as a pig of a wrasse came to the surface. As it slipped into my landing net I began to laugh, I couldn't believe it! It was most certainly a new PB and it measured a whopping 49cm and weighed 4lb 1oz. What an amazing fish and to catch such a beautiful yet brutal fighting fish on LRF gear was a fantastic challenge.

I was fish drunk by this stage and after taking pics and releasing my wonderful prize I got back to looking for more! More fish followed ranging from 1/2 a pound to around the 3lb mark and the action was constant. The fights were intense rod bending affairs every fish had my heart in my mouth and adrenalin swishing around my bloodstream. From the one little spot a managed a further 11 wrasse before the action stopped.

I had spent the last part of the session in a happy daze,and by the end of the session I was satisfied, my hunger for wrasse was sated. As I floated merrily back to the car I still couldn't believe the perfectness of the session, lots of wrasse including a new pb all on LRF gear. As many of you know LRF gear does not mean little fish, in fact it is quite the opposite but one thing is for sure. LRF + Wrasse = Awesome!
Tight Lines