Thursday, 24 October 2013

A Break in the Rough.

The weather has been atrocious lately has it not?! Rain pouring down the estuaries and high winds mean my local shore is wild to say the least. I have gotten out twice lately and after blanking the first time I fully expected the same today. 
The shore was strewn with large amounts of rotting weed, some of the deposits were of bail like proportions. The sea was rough and very coloured from both churned up sand and loose weed. I honestly did not expect anything, yet the wind had dropped and the sun did come out to play, so off I went on one of my long walkabouts.

I fished the last four hours of ebb and it was bloody hard going, I was genuinely surprised when I saw a small Bass following my Savage Gear Sandeel at one point, however it raised my hopes of beating the dreaded blank. After a few knocks I eventually got a take after managing to hit a tide rip with my cast, nice!

Real Pearl

Believe it or not that is actually the first Bass I have ever landed on a Savage gear Sandeel! I truthfully am not the biggest fan of them. I do not find they suit my fishing; I find the eye on the head is too far back and it often causes the nose to dig into the sand when you pull into it for bouncing over shallow terrain. I also find I have to crank quite fast to keep the things off the bottom, so they rarely see much water time when I have them.
Anyways, I can't complain today as it saved me a blank.

The fishing didn't exactly switch on though and it remained slow. I changed to a 120mm Fiiish Black Minnow and fished a sink and draw type retrieve and caught two more schoolies.

Black Minnow 120

I lost another fish shortly after hooking these two, that was a bit of a bugger, but there was no major size to it, so I wasn't too bothered.
As the sun dropped a very stiff South Easterly blew up and killed my chances of any more fish.

So I am not going to make a specimen hunter any time soon it would seem, yet I was genuinely pleased to have caught anything given the conditions.

I made my arduous journey back home being sandblasted in the process, on reflection it was a nice way to spend a few hours on my day off work.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Still searching.....

Today was a day of mixed blessings I guess you could say. On checking the weather forecast during the week things were not looking great for today, Met office had predicted strong winds and rain arriving midday. I was determined to get out anyway and if I had to battle harsh conditions then so be it.
Met office was characteristically wrong again, yet thankfully this time it worked in my favour. The strong winds had dropped off and although the sea state was rough, it was a cracking day.

I didn't fish the shore though, I had decided to try my new Apia rod on an estuary mark, fishing the last three hours of the ebb. 
Previously I had used the rod with my Shimano Sustain reel, yet today I paired it with my larger Shimano Rarenium 4000 and it actually feels better all round.

Now being that time of year I had gone out planning to catch a lunker, yet prepared to blank. I have not really caught a Bass of note in a couple of years and the constant stream of school Bass is wearing thin.
I fished the water from top down, starting with a Xorus Patchinko and going through a range of lures until I got to my Fiiish Black Minnows. Drifting the lure in the current and then a sink and draw type retrieve, the Black minnows did the business.

The first was a chubby 45cm schoolie and the first fish to be caught on my new rod.

Bass North Wales

OK, well it wasn't my big girl but it beats a blank.

A couple of casts later resulted in a leaner fish of around the same length.


Things went quiet for a little and a couple of other anglers turned up to fish not so far away, I was actually disappointed because I rarely ever see other anglers at this mark and I rather like solitude. They were no bother though and didn't stick around too long.

Whilst they were there I did catch another greedy little fish.

The fishing remained tough going, I did get the occasional knock but it was maybe half an hour before low water that I got my last fish. It was quite strange actually, the first bite came as the lure was falling from the cast, but it failed to hookup. I left the lure to drift a little, bouncing the sea bed as it went, when all of a sudden my Fiiish Black Minnow started swimming up current!
I set the hook and realised it was a slightly better fish than its predecessors. It actually put up a half decent fight, managing to take a small amount of line even with my drag set for a lunker.

Fiiish Black Minnow 120
She measured in at 55cm

Fiiish Black Minnow 12g

Well my search for a big fish is still on and I was a tad disappointed not to find one again, but it was nice to get out and catch a few. It was also nice to break in the rod a little and gain a better understanding of how it performs, its starting to grow on me now.

Still time for a decent fish mind and I yet remain hopeful.

Tight lines.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Apia Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML - First impressions

Well In my last post I said I had some Bass stuff to show off, well it mainly consists of soft lures and Jig heads, I've decided not to bore you with those for the time being.
The new rod however, I guess I should show off a little.

The Apia Foojin'AD Flow Hunt 89ML

Apia Flow Hunt

Now I have been waiting to get my hands on this rod for what seems like an age. I have been looking for a rod that would fish bigger lures, both hard and soft and is around 9' in length, this one seemed to fit the bill.
Well I finally received the rod on Friday after work and upon opening the tube I was impressed straight away. The rod comes in a nice neoprene type bag which is quite thick and cushioning, the bag has a simple velcro closure and separate pockets (front and rear) for the tip and but section respectively. I realise that no one catches fish on a rod sock, but a carefully designed package is something a lot of rod manufacturers could do with looking at!

Upon pulling the rod out of the bag and assembling it even my children exclaimed "wow, that is a nice rod!" and my children rarely get as excited as I do about fishing tackle.
It really is a nice build though with good attention to detail. 
The rod itself weighs in at an impressive 134g, will cast  a maximum of 34g and has an upper line rating  of 2.0 PE.
Now I am not going to pretend that I know anything about blank design, I know that Apia have employed their 4 way axis tech on this rod and that it features double cross wrap tech. Basically by laying the carbon horizontally, vertically and diagonally on the cloth the material eliminates "twist" which results in loss of power in the cast, yet still maintains integral strength in the blank. The design is to give the angler accuracy and distance (AD), sweet!

Incase you forget the name of the rod, Apia have decided to remind you of it in several places.
On the very strong looking joint;

And on the fore grip;

Shimano Sustain
Add caption

The grip and handle are lovely, I really like the mix of the AAA cork and Duplon/EVA, it looks posh and its incredibly comfortable to fish with.

The rod also features Titanium frame K guides which are also the smallest I have come across on a Bass rod, so small in fact that my JB clips that are said to "fit through the smallest of spinning rod guides", do not!

Well how does it fish? 
That is a difficult question to answer as yet as I have only used it once and despite expecting to catch, I did not!
I can say that, I wasn't expecting it to feel quite as stiff as it does and that will take a little getting used to, especially after using my lighter Megabass rod for so long. It does feel quite powerful though and is accurate for sure!
I used a range of lures on it from a 3.5g jigged and 3.5" soft plastic to the Xorus Patchinko II and Megabass 7"Dot Crawler. To my surprise it put out the 3.5g jig head softie combo a decent distance and I could feel what was going on subsurface very well, yet it also punched out the Patchinko II at 28g over the surf a respectable distance indeed. I found it very easy to work the Patchinko II on it which I have missed using somewhat.
I wouldn't say at this point that I like it as much as my lighter Megabass rod but, I have a feeling it will grow on me once I get into some fish. It certainly does what I want it to and that is to punch out some bigger lures in tough conditions. It did feel pretty good with the 25g Fiiish Black Minnow 120, but only OK with weightless soft plastics like the 6" OSP Dolive stick and the Megabass 7" Dot Crawler.

I am hoping the rain clears up soon so I can get onto one of my estuary marks to see how it fares there and hopefully find some fish to put a bend in it. 
As I've said though, these are just first impressions and I shall maybe do a more informed review after I have used it and caught on it for a decent length of time.

For now; Tight lines.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Light Lure Re-stock

A week or so ago I lost my Meiho reversible 85 lure box and it was full of all my light game hard baits, jigs and vibration baits. A small fortunes worth from brands like Ocean Ruler, DUO, Rapala and Sebile etc. I was truly gutted! Despite looking and re-looking on the beach, as well as my friends looking, it was not to be found. 
I have had to start replacing them recently. 

After seeing Scotts success with the Reins Palpuntin jigs, I decided to try some out. I also purchased some more Apia Seiryu mini jigs which have done well for me lately.

LRF Jigs

I'm going to put the Decoy DJ-91's on them to minimise losses of both the jig and the fish. The Reins jigs are not remotely cheap in Europe, they are half the price I payed in Japan, yet at either price I don't fancy looking any more gear!
The weight and patterns are as follows;
from the top; 5g in Shirasu pattern, 3.5g in shirasu,  3.5g in chartreuse/silver, 2g in shirasu and the Apia jig is 3g, in cotton candy. They should be enough to cover a range of situations for now.

Next up is a couple of hard baits.

Duo Tetraworks Bivi

The Duo Spearhead Ryuki 50S weighs in at 4.5g and this one is in Pearl Ayu. Really its a Trout lure ,but I shall see if I can catch another species or two with it.
The lower lure is the DUO Tetra works Bivi, 3.8g and in clear/red belly pattern. 
I actually preferred the pattern I had before which was a striped silver, but I got this one at a good price and will give it a bash.

I still have quite a way to go to replace all of my lures, I had the other Tetra Works stuff as well as my snazzy Ocean Ruler Ne'reid surface lures, but these are a start.

I also purchased some new braid to try out as my Sunline Small Game is done. I loved the Small game, but it wasn't the cheapest of braids and this one comes at a very decent price indeed from The Art Of Fishing.

LRF Braid line

120m should be just perfect on my Biomaster C2000S spool and I'm looking forward to trying this one out.

I have some new bits and bobs for Bass fishing to show off in the next couple of days, so stay tuned.

Tight lines.