Sunday, 28 September 2014

Its Not A Competition, Right?

Myself and young Ben have had a fairly bad run of late, even during days when we have had textbook conditions, the fishing has hardly set the world alight.
We have both remained pretty determined to keep on slogging it out however and today we headed up to the North Peninsula for some Rock-fishing.

Our mark looked promising on arrival; a slight westerly breeze blew as the tide rose. Water clarity was near to perfect and Launce were smashing baitfish in the margins, everything looked a bit better than what we have become accustomed to this year.

We had our day pretty much planned; we decided to fish the natural harbour area with light game gear until the ebb and then move to access the deeper water on the ebb.
Ben has just started out lrf'ing and it has been quite refreshing hearing someone so excited about it, especially given some past comments from him on the subject. :)
Ben was actually first into the fish, catching a couple of greedy Launce, but refused to have his picture taken with one.

I was fishing for Wrasse using a Texas rigged HTO Mini Stick in Ayu, which are my "to go" light Wrasse bait these days. Although I was getting bites pretty instantaneously, a Wrasse would not be my first fish, in fact it was a Launce.

Apologies for the quality of the picture, for some reason I find these fish difficult to photograph, which is a shame because they are a nice looking fish.
I found this capture really strange though, I never thought their jaws would be strong enough to expose a weedless hook let alone pull it through the lure!

It wasn't long before I did get some Wrasse though, one of them even managing to reef me before I got it out, I would have sworn it to be bigger!

As I was fishing for the Wrasse, I spotted a Scorpion fish on a ledge just by me and called Ben over. Ben took a peek and with true lrf stealth, he stalked the fish and offered his white HTO Mini Stick. It was proper kool watching the wee Scorpion dart off the ledge to intercept and engulf Ben's lure, his first Sea Scorpion on lure too!

Shortly after this I also managed a first for me; I cast out my Ayu Mini Stick towards a pot buoy and let the lure fall through the column, when I got hit! I knew it wasn't a Wrasse and thought it to be a Pollock, yet to my surprise after a pretty good scrap I actually landed a Codling, my first ever on lure.

I was and am pretty pleased about that one!

Another Wrasse followed before the bites went off the boil a bit;

 With the bites starting to decrease I scaled down to fishing a 1.5g #10  Jighead and a Berkley Gulp Angleworm. Bites again were pretty instant and I caught a succession of Corkwing Wrasse and Blennies;

The fish that bites back!
Ben also followed suit!

After having our fill with the seriously small stuff, we moved off to try our luck with some HRF tactics in deeper water.
Ben was having trouble with the Ballan Wrasse today and hadn't caught one. Even with the move he struggled to turn his bites into hookups, I really felt for him as I bagged up.


HTO Rockfish Revolution Rod

HTO 3.8"

Fair play to Ben though he persevered and switching back to lrf tactics eventually managed to catch a couple of Ballan Wrasse.

Well with that we decided to call it a day; well almost! "Time for one last cast?" I asked Ben, "Yeah OK" Ben replied.

I did give Ben a bit of grief over getting such a battering, but hey, its not a competition right?

Well all in all, a pretty enjoyable days fishing, nothing big, nothing epic, just enjoyable!

Tight lines.

Gear I used;

Breaden GTRF85 PE Special Houri Island
HTO Rockfish Revolution 7'10" 7-28g

'12 Daiwa Luvias 2506H
Shimano Complex CI4+ F6 2500HGS

YGK Jigman X4 0.5PE
Duel X-Wire 0.8PE
Seaguar Ace Fluorocarbon leader
Varivas Fluorocarbon Leader

HTO Mini Sticks
Berkley Gulp Angleworm
HTO 3.8" Pro-Worm
HTO 3.8" Real Stick
Nories Ladyfish

Terminal Tackle;
Texas cone weights 2g-14g
Gamakatsu G-Lock hook #2 (more like a 4)
Decoy Rockfish Hook #1/0

Monday, 22 September 2014

Tough But Rewarding.

Myself, Ben and Ed met up for another bash at the Wrasse and Pollock yesterday, deciding to fish once again in the Uwchmynydd area. After some of the sessions of late I was not getting my hopes up on an epic session.
Uwchmynydd usually fishes so well but of late it just has not delivered what we have come to expect, I guess down to dodgy winds and uneasy sea states.
On arrival the conditions looked great. We would be fishing an ebbing tide with a 0.8' swell, bright sunny conditions and really everything we could have hoped for for some Wrasse.

The fishing started very slow with just a few bites here and there to keep us interested but it was becoming apparent as time went on that I was correct not to expect an epic session. I was fairly content all the same, it was a beautiful day to be on the rugged coastline of the Llyn Peninsula and we were treated to some pretty spectacular sights.
A large pod of Bottlenose Dolphins came along the coast where we were fishing and hung around for some time. I must confess to downing my rod and just sat watching them for sometime on a rocky outcrop, I always feel so privileged to see such sites and feel they are worth the pause to take in.
Despite my best efforts they proved hard to photograph with the limitations of my compact camera, but I managed to get a couple of marginally acceptable shots of a dolphin that seemed to drift from the pod.

No photo can do an experience like that justice anyhow, you need to see it firsthand to capture the excitement.

Back to the fishing; I have been fishing with the HTO Rockfish Revolution 7'10" rated 7-28g lately, which is a pretty nice rod to use and will actually comfortably cast lighter than 7g on the right braid.
Yesterday I was using my Shimano Complex Ci4+ 2500HGS loaded with 0.8PE braid, cone weights between 3.5g and 7g with 3-4" lures.
Anyway, tapping the bottom at close range I started getting bites as the tide slackened off a bit, a few lures were bitten in half before I struck into a feisty fish that took a fancy to my Nories Ladyfish.

The revolution bent nicely and the power kicked in as a spirited fight ensued and I bullied the fish up through the depths. A beautiful flash of red appeared and fighting still, to get back to the Kelp below.
At this exact point Ed was into a small Pollock just around the corner, so it was a joint "first blood".
I landed my Wrasse that went 2lb 14oz on the scale.

Due to the double hook up hopes were raised of the fishing kicking into action but sadly it remained tough. a slight move along the headland did increase the bites, but I suspect they were small fish pecking at our lures.
Changing to a HTO Pro Worm I managed to get my first and only Pollock of the day. It too put up a good scrap and managed to reef me momentarily.

Ben and Ed were still struggling to get into fish and I suggested a move, but the guys were wanting to stick it out seeing as I was getting fairly regular nips.
Shortly after the Pollock I did hook up on what felt like a very heavy fish but sadly it reefed me and even when I got it out, it managed to bust me up as i lifted it away from the kelp. After a few expletives were yelled, I rigged up again and opted for a  T-rigged HTO Real Stick in Ayu and again, I was getting some good taps before I took another Wrasse of around 2lb.

I was still getting bites but I was convinced they ware smaller fish so we eventually decided to move and fish a gully which can throw up some good Wrassing.

Pretty much straight away after the move, Ed was getting bitten off by a Wrasse under his tip. Determined to get a Wrasse, Ed stuck at it and eventually got a positive take. Strangely, Ed did not pull up a Wrasse, but a Cod!

A pretty nice surprise for Ed until it shat down his arm and yes me and Ben certainly laughed!
I felt for Ben as he was still blanking and was noticeably agitated, thankfully that didn't last long as his lure was attacked by a feisty Wrasse chasing it up through the column!

Sadly however, we had to draw the session to a close. There was always hopes that the fishing would improve, but how long do you realistically give it?
It was still good to meet up with the lads and get out and I hope we'll be to again soon for sure.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Dire Year!

I hate writing negative stuff on my blog, but I have to report the worst year I have ever known regarding my fishing. Plagued by long periods of South-Westerlies and now Easterlies, fishing has been exceptionally tough. I haven't been out to target Bass much this year and when I have it has been disappointing at best! Even on the Wrasse front things have been poor of late, the Mackerel shoals I have enjoyed for the past two years have been absent and I have only seen short flurries of them in the distance here. Its seriously bad, you know when its this late in the season and you are now pinning your hopes on a "red letter day", that the angling is utterly crap.

I've scrutinised my fishing and can't help but wonder if I am doing something seriously wrong or if it is just poor conditions set against me?!

However, one thing I have not been short of lately is the ever invasive Lesser Weever! I keep really hoping to get some Turbot or Flounder, but my lures are ambushed on every mission by these critters!

There is genuinely only so much you can take of these and posting report after report containing Weever would be almost as boring as it is catching them!

Small Pollock are still the main catch for me in Barmouth too, equally as boring but handy for refining my Caro technique at times I suppose.

I have picked up the odd Wrasse on disastrous sessions too, but it has been far from epic. One session of late, I had plenty of bites and bitten off lures, yet failed to properly hook up time and time again, even loosing two decent ones before I finally managed one of average size. 

A similar story today only a bit worse, when I caught a Wrasse (after several moves around the coast) on a HTO pro worm only to drop it in the water before I could get a photo!
It almost seem ironic that I am made Prostaff with Tronixpro amid the worst years fishing I have ever had!

The phrase "a bad days fishing is better than a good days work" does still ring true somewhat and its still nice to be on the coast under any conditions. There are excellent experiences to be had, be it watching dolphins;

Rescuing Bull Huss;

Or just enjoying the views;

That being said I can't help feel utterly disappointed with fishing in 2014 and I am just hoping Menorca will be good and provides some kind of redemption!
I am there in just under a months time now so please send me some good fishing vibes so I can provide a worthwhile report.

Take care and tight lines for now.