Monday, 31 August 2015

Rock Roving.

I recently took possession of the new HTO Rock Rover which is a five piece light game pack rod, its 6'11 in length, rated 2-7g and comes with both a solid tip and a tubular tip. Well I was pretty excited about it and have been for some time so I decided to give it a whirl yesterday.

My choice of venue was Porth Ysgaden on the Llyn Peninsula as its a pretty nice place with good broken ground and a mixture of silt and shale. There was still a bit of swell running and a northerly wind blowing which did make for a challenge at times.

I started using the tube tip and flung out a Bait Breath Moysa on a 2g Aquawave Jighead which casted admirably and took a small Pollock and a large Launce on my first two casts, lovely!
The fishing wasn't exactly firing after that though so I moved to a different spot, casting a Hart Mebaru Blade across a small inlet from a precarious rock, there were Launce everywhere! 

I literally had one of these per cast and though they dont fight exceptionally well at all it was good fun indeed! The lure by the way, weighs 7g and is therefore at the maximum end of the rods stated capability and it coped no problem.

As the tide ebbed the Launce switched off some and the Pollock switched on, nothing big at all but they don't really need to be on an UL rod to be fun.

After I had had my fill of small Pollock and Launce I made the decision to head west along Porth Ysgaden's broken ground in search if a little shelter from the wind and swell with the hope of catching some Wrasse. Selecting the solid tip for some OTD and deadsticking action I fished some precarious looking ledges into deep sheltered gullies, using mainly the HTO Excalibur in white.

Well the Wrasse kindly obliged and fought with spirit ,putting a nice bend in this awesome little rod.

Some sweet action from one of my favourite UK fish to catch, I love how they sometimes just go pure mental, keeping you on your toes!
Sometimes the lure was intercepted on the way down by more Pollock which also provided some fun.

I made my last move to the north of the main cove and caught some more small Pollock on the HTO Mace before heading home. All in all though a fun day and I can honestly say I like the Rockfish Rover a great deal! Obviously this isn't a review as such as I haven't used it nearly long enough, but its pretty sick nonetheless.
The sky Last night was pretty awesome too!

Tight lines.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Rockfish Skiathos! Part 4

Now here's a strange thing I should've mentioned in my previous post; when we were in Skopelos and swimming on the shingle beaches my wife yelped a couple of times and said that she was being bitten by fish. Now I have to admit I didn't believe her so I swam over to where she was and right enough, within seconds I had been bitten too, I also yelled a bit but also laughed.
How strange though! 
Well you remember my daughter worrying about the wasps? Well it should've been these fish she was concerned about as on the last beach, she entered the water and got bitten immediately on the inside of her thigh, the thing actually latched on! She had to pull the thing off and I couldn't quite believe the nip it gave her, even drawing blood. She made such a commotion that everyone around left the water and to look as an outsider you'd think she had been the victim of a shark attack!
Well anyway I was wondering if any of you fishy guru's may possibly know what this savage critter would be? I didn't see the fish but my Daughter said it was green and spiky, if you know please let me know.

OK back to the report now.
My next session was just a kind of interlude whilst we were at Maratha beach between Troulos and Koukounaries, nothing terribly exciting and really just more Combers, Wrasse and small Bream but fun nonetheless. I got loads of follows from small Garfish but couldn't get them to commit, not only are they a fraction of the size here, they are also much more finicky!

It wasn't half hot hat day, in fact it was around 40 degrees for that week which saw my in the water more often than out. Predators to hunt or not, they were gonna have to wait until I had cooled my flesh!

Combers certainly were the predominant species caught over my time there, it was a bit ridiculous and they reminded me of the blasted Weever back home, they would just attack anything. I even had them on a small Seaspin Buginu!
In fact when I was snorkelling I even saw one with what looked like the tail end of a rainbow Wrasse hanging out its mouth! 
On that note, Snorkelling was a bit of an eyeopener, although I saw the odd larger fish, most were really small indeed, like 3" max! I wish I have had a go pro or something to film it all. I followed a Bream species which I think was either a Dentex or a Gilthead for sometime, he was around the pound mark I guess, but didn't seem bothered too much about me at all! 
A few other species like small Derbio, Salema and two banded bream were present too but obviously didn't like lures! I expect if I had've taken my Gulp Angleworm along I would've had a better chance at those.

However one morning when I decided to return to that tasty looking spot between Agia Paraskevi and Troulos I did eventually get a good fight when fishing my Hart RSF Mebaru Blade in a sink and draw style. Immediately after getting the hit at range, this fast silver object was leaping out the water and shining wonderfully in the rising sun, wow my heart was racing. I honestly can say I have never hooked something so damn fast and it didn't half strip line off of my Luvias. It was in fact a species I really had hoped to catch, a Palometa Derbio. I think this could easily be my favourite light game capture of all time, just down to the sheer speed and agility, I seriously thought I'd lose it on a couple of occasions. For this size it'd surely take some beating!

And yep that speck above my head is another bloody wasp in the shot!
Sadly there wasn't anymore like that, just more bloody Painted comber.
On the way back to the Hotel there was something else I needed to search out and indeed I found them where my Daughter told me they could be found about half way along Agia Paraskevi beach;

I am not exactly sure what type of Turtle or Terrapin these are but I bet my friend Russell Roster can tell me when he reads this! Totally cool though if not a little smelly.

With two days left I actually only managed one more session which was very short due to my feeling a bit worse for wear (leave it at that). I spent that time just sitting on a little breakwater (surrounded by wasps), dropshotting for small Bream and that was the end of that.

Now here's the thing; even though the fishing was pretty poor, I am told it really picks up through September and even through the winter and even if that was not the case I'd definitely still return. Skiathos is a pretty magical place in my opinion, the people are great and make you feel genuinely welcome, the food and drink is as good and the scenery is epic, I feel I still have so much to see there. Really I can totally see us returning!
I'm not even sure if there is anything I would do massively different, maybe try and spend more time fishing over the sand? Its just I love scrambling about on rock, its a major part of the lure fishing buzz for me. 
I know I would've caught more if I had've fished Berkley Gulp! products too, but that just gets boring for me at times and I need a proper challenge, therefore I would probably just choose a cooler time of year and fish for longer and at night more.

I had a great time meeting new people, seeing friends wed, spending time with my family and more. All in all it was a thoroughly good trip and some fish were just a bonus.

Thanks for reading,
Tight lines.

Rockfish Skiathos! Part 3

Tuesday morning saw me on the first day of out second week in Skiathos and still wanting some slightly larger fish, I didn't exactly want trophy fish, just something to take a little line at least.
I started using my lighter set up a little more and to be honest I'd forgotten how much of a delight it was to use as I have been using the Breaden most of the time both in the UK and away.
The Yamaga Blanks Bluecurrents are truly wonderful rods and I can see myself getting a newer version before long.

Anyway, due to My daughter being tired at the wedding and me taking her home early (the hotel felt like home), I was able to get out just before sunrise. I was working my jig with continuous short twitches but very little movement of the reel handle, a little like walking the dog, when I got a good hit close in. Hey this fish even made my drag sing a little, happy days!

Quite a nice little bream! I tried for more this size but to no avail, I did catch some smaller ones on ami's again though before heading west.

I scrambled along the rocks and bays further than I had done before and had some follows off of slightly larger fish, yet each time a flaming Comber would shoot up and intercept my jig before the other fish could get it, they started to really pee me off. 

This happened again  yet I saw the larger fish take cover under a ledge i was standing on and therefore dropped my jig down and it got snaffled by something small, not the fish I wanted but certainly not a comber either. The fish shot out from the ledge and tried to make it to another hole, so i pulled it up. Well bugger me, I have never caught a Goby on a jig before! I think this one is a Giant Goby.

Well I guess it was another species to the tally hey!
From then on it was just comber after comber although I did find some interesting ground to play on. I actually saw a decent fish come out from under a ledge and have a go at my jig but failed to hook up, very annoying but at least I'd found somewhere with potential!

Time came for me to return to the family however so I made my way back with intentions to return.

Wednesday I had planned to meet Stuart agin and fish Koukounaries Marina once more. I met Stuart at about 4:45am and we got another 20 euro taxi down the road and were fishing for 5:15am. I let Stuart have my Sardine jig again and I used my Reins jigs. It was a totally different day!
I was first in and managed a short succession of mini Barracuda but Stuart was blanking.

I allowed Stuart to take his pick of my jigs and lures to get off the mark but he was having a real hard time and I certainly wasn't managing anything too epic at all. I'd added combers too my tally but nothing remotely big. We did see some Bass deep down but they seemed so lazy, we put it down to the intense heat but who knows?
Eventually I suggested Stuart put on my Hart RSF Mebaru Blade and sure enough that got him a comber. Determined his sardine jig wold still work he persevered and also managed a small Gar later on. 
Well well, what a difference though! It was slow and tough with little to show for the early start. I still enjoyed my time with Stuart, but we decided to call it a day and head back. I didn't fish again until Friday as Wednesday was my Daughter Liberty's birthday and Thursday I went on the Mama Mia tour around Skopelos with my family, which was a great time (aside from the Abba)!

Remember I mentioned the plague of wasps? Well Liberty is terrified of them and on Skopelos she decided to eat her dinner under a towel, she was ok as long as she couldn't see them, a case of "out of sight, out of mind" I guess.

Well on that random subject I shall conclude another post. One more to come I think and then I'm done until another trip to report or topic springs to mind.

Tight lines

Rockfish Skiathos! Part 2

A few outside influences aided toward the making of this report; people with experience of the area and a new found fishing buddy!
Talking to Panos in the shop over the road from our hotel proved insightful, as he recommended fishing Koukounaries Marina at night and assured me big fish can be caught there, my friend Dimitrios (who resides here in the UK) also recommended fishing harbours at night and another friend Jon recommended fishing Troulos rocks. Well seeing as I was struggling I was going to damn well try at least once.

Now as I mentioned in my previous post the primary reason for visiting Skiathos was not based on fishing, but actually to attend our friends wedding. Weddings are great for meeting people and though I bored most with fishing talk I did meet a fellow angler who resides in Portsmouth; Stuart.
Stuart had commented that he usually brings a telescopic rod on holiday and wished he had this time, "thas ok" I said "I've bought two set ups" and a plan hatched. 

Myself and Stuart agreed to meet and fish early Sunday morning, (the day before the wedding) as it would be a day Stuart would be mostly sober.
We had to get a taxi at 5:30am to the marina as the buses do not run at that time, this was also the reason I didn't do it often as the taxi's are expensive!
Anyhow we arrived at the breakwater and I set Stuart up with my Bluecurrent 74, Luvias, 0.5PE braid and I selected the jig I thought would be the best one for catching; my only Shout Dangan Mame in Sardine (big mistake!).
I used my Breaden set up and rotated lures and jigs.

Well Stuart had never used light game gear before and was instantly blown away how far he could cast 5g and believe you me, he took to t like a duck to water, in fact he kicked my arse!

First in with a small Barracuda and then on to what I think are False Scad! Although he lost a fair few fish, he caught way beyond me and I just didn't get it.

Here he is;

Barracuda (one of mine)
False Scad 
Another False Scad!
No chance of me getting my jig back, Stuart was having way to much fun.
I did manage a few of the small Barracuda but never managed a Scad or False Scad at all, but it was great to have a fishing buddy and see him have some fun, honest!

I did in the end manage a small Bass on a Reins Swimming metal which reminded me I can actually catch fish!

As the sun rose higher things did die off and I switched to a dropshot rig to see if there were min's available and indeed there were.

Common Comber
Striped Bream
Rainbow Wrasse
Grey Wrasse
All in all a fantastic start to the day!

After returning back to the Hotel, my family had decided we should  go to Troulos Beach for a swim and I thought it rude not to take a rod, I actually took the Bluecurrent this time as it is lighter and easier on the bus.
After a wee swim I headed over to where my friend Jon instructed me, as it is quiet there and away from bathers. Ok I knew it was really the wrong time of day and it was blistering hot, still nothing ventured.......

My first cast actually resulted in a small Garfish and unfortunately I have no picture because the blighter slipped from my grasp and made a bid to freedom, I am only left with scales as proof of its capture.

Jon usually does very well here and has caught a number of decent fish including Dorado, Leer, Amberjack and Derbio, however once again I found the predators elusive and I settled for catching  lots of Painted Combers.

I couldn't get Koukounaries out of my head and how I had been royally owned and therefore decided to quickly shoot down there after a swim with my children.
It was a very different story in the evening though as the Marina was very busy indeed, there was no surface activity at all. All I managed were more small Barracuda, although I must say I had way more of them once I got my Sardine jig back!

Tiredness set in and the lure of the bar saw me heading back around 23:00 after watching the boats sort out their nets.

Well although the majority of fish were not mine and certainly not the larger ones, it was an enjoyable day and the best fishing yet. Myself and Stuart agreed to have another pop on the Wednesday too, I hoped to fare better then!

Stay tuned for another post or two. 
Tight lines