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