Thursday, 28 June 2012

Spiky Success

Being a Brit the weather is never far from conversation and the conversation has been particularly poor this June. The rain and wind seem to be incessant, though two nights this week I have managed after work sessions and two nice sessions at that.

Tuesday night I decided to take my Daiwa Infeet 83T rated 2-8g, Shimano Exage 1000fc and a selection of lrf lures down my local beach to see what I could pluck out. The beach is not exactly classic lrf terrain, rather it features miles of sand and shallow water. However I have seen plenty of flat fish here before and thought to my self I would try for these.
After tackling up with a 3g Cultiva Mebaru shot and a Gulp Sandworm at the business end, I worked the beach fishing very slowly in the hope of a Turbot. I fished for an hour or so with no bites but I was not to despondent as I had not expected to catch anyway. I watched the Sun setting and the sky change colour, I was in awe of the stunning place in which I live.

After taking a few pictures I changed my lure to a 2" pearl Gulp fish fry and cast into the now pushing tide and received my first bite, on my second cast with the fish fry I winkled out a small spiky fish.

A Lesser Weever! Not what I had hoped for but welcome all the same. Another species for the list this year and a blank beaten, I returned home happy enough.

Wednesday, after seeing it had stopped raining around 16:00, I decided to go out when I returned home from work. I got home around 18:40, had a brew, got my kit together, waders on and out the door.
Arrived at the beach and the water was coloured and choppy, I did not expect to catch a lot.

I started to work the shore line with a Gulp Sandworm on a 2.5g Decoy head, but despite a few shy bites I had no hookups.
The beach here has some relatively strong currents and being sand can change quite often, so I went on a search for features. I found a nice looking gully that was interesting some Gulls and waded into about 1.5 feet of water, casting up current and allowing the lure to wash down and into the gully. Fishing very slow, I started to get bites.

Soon enough I got a good take, a nice scrap before landing a nice spiky schoolie;

Not having a great deal of success this year with the Bass, I was very happy!

A few more casts later I hooked another Weever that wriggled off as I lifted it from the water.
Cast in again, allowed the lure to wash and started a slow retrieve, I had a better take and a nicer scrap before Bass number two was landed;

Berkley Gulp Fish Fry

Ima Turtle head

54cm of prime fighting Bass and excellent fun on the ultralight gear.
As the tide pushed the fishing went off the boil and after finding the path off the beach in the dark, I returned home a very satisfied angler.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Small but beautiful!

Fishing has been slow and infrequent this year due to the truly awful weather conditions. If you, like me seem to have your days off from work  when the worst of the weather hits, then you will understand the frustration.
Well yesterday was my day off and after three days of sunshine I looked at the weather report, the forecast was not good. High SW winds and rain, I was fuming, sod it I thought I am going anyway! I decided to head up to Porth Oer on the Lleyn Peninsula with the lrf gear and my good wife agreed to drop me off up there. The day started very grey but the winds were certainly not as expected and mid afternoon the sun was shining, it wasn't bad at all.

I arrived at my mark and tackled up my Major Craft Solpara with a 0.9g Cultiva Mebaru shot and piece of Power Isome on the business end. I flicked the lure into a gully and allowed to fall, I took in a little line so get the lure just off the bottom and just allowed it to wash about in the current. It was not long at all until I got a good take and landed my first Pollock of the day.

I had another flick and allowed the lure to fall over a rock ledge slightly to my left and had another good take, however the fish slipped the hook, in fact the fish had bent the hook right out! Not good.
I knew by the take it was a Wrasse and therefore tied on a Decoy Rocket Plus head and rigged an ima Trilobite, these lures have caught me a lot of fish this year and I would highly recommend them.
Dropping my lure over the ledge it was not long before I had my first Wrasse of the day, shortly followed by a second.

Decoy Rocket Plus

Decoy Rocket Plus
A close up shot of the first Wrasse.
The Wrasse were not as big as I had hoped for, but welcome all the same and feisty for their size.

I moved along the coast to the west, trying different ledges and gullies along the way and picked up a lot of small Pollock mostly taking the lures on the drop. I did not take pictures of a lot of these as my memory card would have been full of small Pollock, however here is one;

At various marks I did a little rock pool fishing also, hoping for some new species. Although I did not get any new species for the tally, I had fun with the Blennies.

I returned to near my starting point and fished off a small island that becomes accessible at low water, returning also to the Wrasse techniques. As I listened to the distant thunder, I caught another two small Ballans;

Major Craft lrf

Shortly after the heavens opened and it poured down and sadly I noticed the tip on my Solpara had been damaged, which ended my lrf'ing and my catching. I fished for another hour and a half with my heavier Megabass setup, along with some larger lures, but despite one missed take I had no more action. I am miffed my Solpara is out of action, but all in all it was a good days fishing.
The Lleyn peninsula is a stunning place with a stunning array of wildlife, the walking was almost as good as the fishing. I watched Gannets diving, saw Butterflies of all different shades and sizes, the headland was full of different grasses and wild plants, holding a variety of bugs that would excite my youngest daughter no end. Its not uncommon to see the seals close in here and occasionally the odd Basking Shark, but the lrf'ing is so fun and stimulating, I love the place and highly recommend it.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

So why Lure and Light Game?

Light game or lrf is really just another discipline and part of lure fishing, so why separate it? Well as much as I love casting out hard lures and bigger soft lures for Bass (which I shall also converse with), light game fishing has really found a special place in my life this year. I was first drawn to this style of fishing in 2011, when I joined the Lure Forum and read the variety of catch reports from Scott Hutchinson and Jake Schogler aka “Schogsky and Hutch.” It was then I decided to give lrf a go. I bought myself a Major Craft Solpara solid tipped rod, an Exage 1000fc reel, some braid, a bunch of Jig heads and small soft-lures. Since that day through trial and persistence I have really come to appreciate and enjoy this game for myself.

During an online discussion with Mike Sullivan the other day, it really dawned on me why this is so. Apart from being just plain friggin’ awesome, consistently these days, I hear from anglers this sort of comment; “The thing is about lrf’ers, they are always smiling no matter what they catch.” And isn’t that statement so true?
 Look at these photo’s I took of two friends at a Lure Forum Bumble a few weeks ago;

A small variety of small fish, but very happy faces and it was a cracking time fishing with the guys above, a lot of fun!

I realise that lrf is not for everyone, but if you, like me are seeing these guys get out there and seeing the way they seriously enjoy their sport, I think you will recognise as I did that their attitude and enthusiasm is utterly infectious. It certainly drew me in and I'm totally glad it did.
I am so encouraged and refreshed by the attitude of lure anglers in this country and especially on the lrf side of things for that reason, its pure fun.
I see old trends changing in fishing and thankfully some old attitudes dying. A new breed of angler is springing up among us, a breed that fish ultralight and for what ever is out there. The light game angler seems to have a profound respect for every species that swims our shores. Delights to catch Weever fish, Blennies, Wrasse, Flatfish and any other species that will take their lure. Taking photos of their catch, posing for shots with beaming smiles and releasing their fish healthy, into the habitat from which they were caught.

I buzz off the social dimension of lrf, the competitive side to, where it becomes fun to compete for the number of species caught. I love the tackle talk and variety of technique involved, the innovative attitude that see's no boundaries as to what species can be targeted and caught on lure. In all this and more, I see lrf as being a lure fishing discipline that will continue to grow, be influenced by and influence lure fishing as a whole. Furthermore I think lrf is definitely here to stay, both as part of my personal angling journey and as part of the UK lure-angling scene.

If you would like to know more about the technical aspects of lrf or to just socialise with other light game anglers why not check out either The Lure Forum or the incredibly knowledgable people at Jersey Bass Guides.