Monday, 17 December 2012

Loch Sunart- Spurs

I had another trip bite the dust this week due to the weather. The strong winds forecast for Saturday and Sunday would have made it difficult to fish Grafham for Zander , indeed the water authority were doubtful I would have been able to take the boat out myself of Saturday. I called Gordon to moan about this on Friday night so it was handy he then invited me aboard his boat for a trip to Loch Sunart on Sunday to fish for Spur’s.

The loch seemingly fished poorly throughout the autumn but has showed signs of improvement recently. It can be dour place at times so my expectation weren’t too high.

Gordon hooks up a double shot on his first drop.
I thought we had better start taking a few picture in case the fishing went off.

There was a healthy mix in terms of size of fish  from about a pound up to fourteen pounds.
The orange Patagonia jacket that I'm wearing was bought for a trip to Norway 9 years ago. It was and still is one of the warmest pieces of their kit I have.The rip stop nylon is no match for these bad boys and over the years the Spurs have left their mark on the jacket after some winter wrestling.

Gordon had the best of the fish with one at thirteen and fourteen. I only fished one rod and a lure rod now and then with a 40g jig head/soft plastic trying to tempt a Spur on a scented jig. The best of my fish went over seven pounds.
I think this little chap smells the long awaited bacon rolls on the go...  
The fishing was constant for five hours with very few Dogfish amongst the 70 plus fish we had, nice days fishing.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Anybody for Cadiz ?

Long rod, long rigs , monster Gilthead (7kg about 7 mins in) and cracking Bass. Where's my  passport ?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

First time on the Zander

When I was travelling back from my trip to Ireland I got to thinking about what was potentially the end of my season. Of course there were the sea lochs and the east coast for Cod but in truth I’m finding it hard to get motivated by these at the moment.

A plan was subsequently put into play to have a crack at Zander with the venue being Rutland Water which has a reasonable head of smallish Zander. Time was not on our side as the season only opens for around 2 months for predator fishing so on Friday night I made the journey south accompanied by Scott. The weather forecast looked favourably on Wednesday but by Friday the whole trip was on the verge of failure. Fog was forecast on Saturday and we could lose valuable daylight hours waiting for it to clear before being allowed to launch. The Sunday forecast was frankly diabolical with 50 mph winds in the script.

After defrosting the car we hit the road only to kick our heels on shore till around 9.30am till it lifted enough for us to launch. Scott had been prowling around with his gear loaded up and rod in hand for most of this time and equally I felt frustrated myself. We then got the nod so off we went.
It’s not small water! It would have been nice to get a handle on where we actually were. Even with a map guide we struggled till Scott fired Google maps up on the iPhone as the fog closed in again.
Having borrowed a fish finder from Callum at Angling Active we easily located some water around 90ft deep with some baitfish marking. At this point there was not much of a drift on so after a couple of moves I had my first Zander! It took a  pearl Illex Nitro Spring on a 30g head.

Confidence was starting to build as we both had a few knocks and as the wind started to build it was time for the drogue. Shortly after this the sounder showed some baitfish and this was soon followed by both Scott and myself hooking up.
The same lure but the stinger hooked this one
My fish was on the deck and Scott thinking his was well hooked went to lift his in. The Zed had different ideas and promptly shook itself from the hook.
An hour or so later the easterly wind was much stronger, the rain constant and both baitfish and Zander had done a bunk. It was tough going even with two drogues slowing us down to get the jigs as vertical as we could. It occurred to us both that the fish Scott has dropped might be a sore one to take. We covered a lot of ground both drifting and slowly covering ground with the sounder on.
Scott then had a change of lure and bingo!

It might be small but when you’ve travelled 300 miles to catch a new species they all count.
The remainder of the afternoon was cold, wet and pretty miserable so 4pm came just at the right time. When we hit the dock we were told that no boats would be allowed out on Sunday. We were both pretty disappointed but understood strong winds even if we had got out would have made it almost impossible to fish effectively. So, mission accomplished and a few ideas to target these fish in the future we headed back for a few pints and some hot food.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Gaza Surf Club

A few weeks of back I listened to an interesting radio programme. One of the people participating in it was Doc Paskowitz he's passionate surfer now in his 90's.

He brought the first surf boards to Israel in 1956. He also managed to talk his way into Gaza with some surfboards doing his thing to bring people with a common interest together. It occurred to me when listening there are a lot of similarities with angling.

If the news channels are anything to go by at the moment we could do with more like him.

BBC iPlayer - The Gaza Surf Club

“People who surf together, can live together.”- Doc Paskowitz

Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Z

The Zander arrived in the UK in the 60's,  a few years before I was born.

As far as I'm aware they do not exist in Scotland but thrive in many European rivers and lakes as well as  existing in waters south of the border.

I'm thinking about having a crack at them on eithier Rutland or Grafham water before the predator season closes in November. If not there's next year I guess.....

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Day 5 Halloween Bass

My flight home was today but having lost a day I was keen to make the best of the time I had so I was on the pontoon at 7.30am. We rested the area we caught fish on yesterday and tried a number of spots where I might pick up a bigger fish. A couple of hours passed without a sniff so we had another move. I put the SG Slug back on and cast into a channel  about 20 ft. deep, keeping in touch with the jig as it fell I realised it wasn’t that shallow and lifted into a fish on the drop. The tide was fairly ripping and the fish fought really well going around and under the boat a couple of times before the net was slipped under it, smashing fish and the best of my trip. The picture doesn’t really do it justice.
The SG Slug again  but on the drop this time

We moved on and found the Bass and had another nice session in the last couple of hours with the SG Sandeel in pearl 20g getting the fish. I even had a fish on my last cast which was a nice way to end the trip!

The SG Eel's been scoffed

Getting a fish last cast is sure to make you come back!
If you want a day afloat in Cork Harbour you can get Richie here Eire Bass

You will hear the occasional bad joke but  in the process Richie should put you on the fish!

Day 3 Drinking Guinness Day 4-Bass

Day 3
When I got up the next day Kevin was a non-starter which left me in predicament with three days left and two days fishing down the pan. The best thing I did before I left home was take the Voda Euro zone tariff as I spent the next couple of hours surfing the net and calling around before hitting the road to Cork Harbour and Cobh where I sorted out accommodation along the way. Monday was spent travelling on trains and drinking Guinness.

Day 4 Bass
I fished with Richie last July when I took a short visit over from Wexford for the day. Today would be a four hours session with the son of a family friend of Richie’s, TJ. He’d never caught a Bass before so Richie was keen to get him a fish but was not optimistic about our prospects at this time of year.
As it happens we did pretty well in the time we had. I caught Bass hopping a Savage Gear Sandeel Slug in pearl and 12g head along the bottom. Initially this worked well but when the tide eased I tried a white Wave Worm, SG Sandeel and a One Up Shad which all caught fish. TJ got on the Bass with the SG Sandeel in pearl and we both lost a number of fish, no record breakers but great fun on a nice morning. Richie is rightly protective of his marks so some of the pictures can’t be used and as you will notice tend to have no background as such….
On the SG Slug

White or pearl seemed to work well due to the slight tinge in the water.This one took a Wave  Worm

TJ got his Bass and a few more ,we also had double hook up

Day 2 -Bass & Flounder

This couldn’t have been any different. It was blowing a hooli from the west with a fair amount of rain in the mix. It was time to go fish an Irish storm beach. We visited one of Kevin’s big fish venues where he’s had a couple of doubles. We were relieved there were no surfers but within 30 minutes we had too much weed to deal with clogging up the rigs and leader knots it made fishing impossible.

When we arrived at the next venue it looked superb and  I instantly felt more confident as I sent a large crab bait on a pennell rig out into the surf on one rod. The other rod had lug and razor on a two hook rig.
Good start

On the crab
Double shot
Kevin seemed to be struggling but this put a smile on his face

We had some weed to deal with but managed a nice session with Bass and flounders before the rising tide and more weed made it un-fishable again. We retired for a brew and to pick up the lure gear. Kevin started to feel ill so he stayed in the car and I fished an area on the drop that looked ok in terms of water clarity but failed to produce in two hours on a dropping tide.

Trip to Ireland - Day 1 Wrasse & Bass

My October trip to Ireland was problematic to say the least. This started with my original visit to Wexford being cancelled due to the forecasted easterly winds and poor conditions. With a few days to sketch out an alternative I put a trip together to Kerry with the intention of fishing four days. This too was cut short due to Kevin over in Kerry getting the flu. When I ended up in Cobh fishing Cork Harbour on Tuesday I had lost a day’s fishing and was truly on plan Z. Not one to be put off with a few setbacks I caught fish every day and had a great time. The Guinness was good and the breakfast’s full so I’ll be cutting back over the next week or two….
Day 1

The late morning session was uneventful with a cloudless sky and gin clear water with a cool NE wind blowing I fished an estuary for Bass. I rolled some Wave Worms, SG Slugs and a tried a variety of lures and had one offer. There was a slight break with some surf running from the beach into the channel of the estuary. With the sun shining through the waves I watched shoals of Mullet and probably some Bass using them to their advantage and dropping down into the channel as the waves broke down. Time for change, when the sun shines its Wrasse time.

My first fish in Kerry, not a place for vertigo
This mark was 30 ft high at the point we were standing on and into 60 ft of water. It was a nice platform to fish from and take some pcitures( unless it had been wet) Strangely not much weed but stepped rock ledges. I was standing on a major overhang and passed Kevin the rod as I handlined the fish up, some nice braid cuts for my troubles.

Wrasse heaven
Double hook ups

Kevin stuck with bait but after watching me catch on SP's tried a firetail and also had a couple of fish

I dont know how long these Lunker City Ribsters will last ?
A stray Pollack

My best Wrasse on plastic so far.It took what was left of a Ribster.
No doubt the best Wrasse session I've had. I can see why Henry Gilbey fished here to film an episode of Wild Fishing.

After some food I fished with Noel from Dublin who picked me up late on when I should have been thinking about having a kip. He has a place down there and despite asking around his mates nobody would try for Bass on lures at night with him. On our second mark I had this small Bass on my first cast after we moved. It was good to see that the same approach works over in Ireland and was the first of three fish.

My first Kerry Bass on a lure at night

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Dont you just love the weather?

The balls bounced out the roulette wheel and gone off under a table somewhere. Planning to fish SE Ireland in October is a gamble which has not paid off for me this year or in 2010….

It would seem it's time for plans B through to G. It's a tricky time of year to plan anything.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Pastures new

We travelled further than normal this afternoon to try a new mark arguably about 4 months later than we should have done. It would be a short session on a glorious evening on a very fishy area which will see a lot more attention from me next season.

I’ve not given the Yozuri Mag Popper much rod time this year and in fact not caught a fish on it so far. On checking my box it had been left at home. Jamie supplied me one with some nice fresh hooks so I put it to good use….

Off the top in October

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Sunset on a Sea Trout season

Before the season draws to close next week I had one more try  but drew a blank. The tides were wrong but having put the rod in the car it was worth an hour before heading back to my hotel. Worth the effort for the sunset.

A mission statement for life
I noticed this parked at a jaunty angle in a car park on my way home today. I thought about hanging around to check out who the driver was out of curiosity. The best advice I got today by a mile.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

First trip of October

I joined Stewart on  his boat on Lock Ken yesterday. The fishing was hard work but we managed  some Pike and Perch. The water level had gone up yet again....must have missed a lot of rain last week.
Where are the Loch Ken legendary Perch ?

As the light went the fishing got a little better and we came across an area with some active fish with  us both getting in on the action

Stewart also gave me this video clip from a trip in August, nice jump in the short clip

Crete Holiday

I got back from Crete mid-week, good times and great weather. We met up with our friends Andy and Charlotte and baby Eloise. Things got off to a shaky start with them arriving before we did to find the hotel we were originally booked into was hovel. We all got moved to here near Agia Pelagia. Nice resort, good food, cracking rooms. I would recommend a stay here as long as you don't mind hills.

View from our room and the beach in the video below

Some of the fish I could recognise from my pre trip homework were Bogue, Saddled Bream, Salema, Parrot Fish, Ornate Wrasse, Rainbow Wrasse and a solitary Octopus. Lynne is feeding the fish some bread in the clip above.

I’ve no doubt there were serious opportunities to catch but I would need to get a boat to get on the Dentex or AJ’s.  I had one crack at the cliffs which were properly dangerous. The one access point for me was a steep slope which turned out to be an hours walk each way in tough terrain…wouldn’t do that again so just fed the fish when snorkelling giving them and me a break.
The hotel was behind the cliff point way into the distance .I tried for a couple of hours but drew a blank.

Ready for a couple of Mojitos

Monday, 24 September 2012

Some video from yesterdays trip

I managed to convert these today, looks warmer than it was!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

It's simple, just dont blank

It would have been easy to better our last trip here earlier in the year, catch a fish, simple.

The morning was looking like another duck egg till Stewart caught a jack. The Perch had applied their cloaking device and it’s wasn’t looking good after numerous moves, stops and changes of lures.

I lost what I think was a decent Perch with the fish coming off just before I could see any colour. Stewart stuck to his trusty copper & silver spoon when we had a double he took the fish below and I had and 10 oz Perch on a Savage Gear diving prey….

I got some good video of this but HD takes crazy to time to load up on here, anyone got any ideas?

Davy was next up taking this fish on bait.
  I then hooked a fish jigging and I was hopeful it was my target of a decent Perch but it turned out to be a jack of about pound and a half.

After another move I connected with a Pike, fought & played, unhooked, say cheese time but the fish seemed to have rubbed itself with butter and after a kick and a flick it went back in the loch much to the guy’s amusement.

As we made our way back down the loch Davy got snagged and as the boat was positioned to free the lure I took the opportunity to sneak this one out. The reason I’m smiling as much below is the fish made a double break for freedom having applied the same butter as its pal I was just able to hold on to it.