Monday, 31 August 2015

Summer Wrasse wrestling

Summer has come and almost gone and not having caught a Wrasse it was about time to put this right. I had arranged to meet Gordon and Jim at our chosen venue. When Gordon called to tell me he had just arrived I had already lost three Wrasse, one of my first cast. I was hoping it wasn’t going to turn in to one of those days. I had started with a Lunker City Ribster on 7g weedless jig head which is a fairly successful Wrasse set up for me. After covering a few other likely looking areas without another bite I tried a different presentation moving on to a drop shot rig. I went through a few different coloured shads then moved on to Carolina rig with the Ribster. I was sure this would work but it proved to be fruitless. I dug out the jig head I had started with and put on the Ribster, having just started to slowly work it back towards me I felt a tap and connected to a nice fish, it too came off. Each of the fish seemed to have been well hooked, the hook point while not like new was ok, probably just more bad angling from me. Gordon, where’s the ragworm?

I went back to the Carolina rig, changed hooks and it was all business. The rod was nearly pulled from my hands on a few occasions.

A nice Ballan

The first of the Corkwings. Probably the smallest of them here, some of these were knocking on for 5oz+
As Gordon and I extracted Wrasse "words of encouragement" were directed at Jim who had stuck to plastics.
I changed over to using the ragworm  on a drop shot rig which improved my numbers of fish landed.

Jim made a few changes trying some different lures and was rewarded for his perseverance with a run of fish.
Gordon also managed a little Pollack
We had a visit from some Kayakers. Jim asked them get a snagged fish out for him on the way past. Just at that, Gordon hooked up again.
The forecast had rain in it. Thankfully this never came to anything.
Another chunky Corkwing
A great days fishing with a some laughs thrown in. Summer Wrasse fishing at its best.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Ebro Trip-coastal sessions

When we arrived in Barcelona we didn’t waste any time driving straight to Salou to try a likely looking spot Scott had checked out on Google. We spent a few hours on the rocks with me opting to try some small metals and Scott going for  Angleworm on a drop shot rig. Scott started getting a few taps here and there and caught the first fish of the trip, a Ringneck Blenny. Scott landed a few more but I blanked and we decided to hit the road for the next leg of our journey in-land to Caspe.
We hit the coast again mid trip. After an early morning session we finished up at 4pm and drove to L’Ametlla de Mar which was about two hours from Caspe. The venue was a commercial breakwater which looked to host a fleet of seine netting pairs. It said no fishing on the gate but we entered anyway and made our way to end, away from the boats. It had been a long day at that point and I wasn’t feeling particularly positive. Scott however was in his element handing me a rig and directing me to the tub of Angleworm. I had attached the rig to lightest set up I had with me which was my little Ultron drop-shot rod. Scott was still setting his own gear up when my rig hit the bottom, the rod hooped over in a nice curve and the first of few new species for me made its way up the harbour wall. This LRF malarkey in the evening sunshine in Spain was all right!
The bream we were catching pulled hard for their size and when I hooked this I knew it was something different. I had to walk this along the wall and down to the rocks. A smashing looking little fish with copper and purple colours. Scott reckons its a Brown Meagre but he's not 100%
So a nice evening was had before we hit the road yet again. Scott confirmed the ID's of my new captures, Saddled Seabream, Annular Seabream, Black Scorpionfish, Common Two Banded Seabream and what he thinks is a Brown Meagre.
Scott had the above as well as Striped Red Mullet, Damselfish and East Atlantic Peacock Wrasse.



Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Ebro trip- Wels Catfish, Zander, Largemouth Bass and Perch

Well, we're back from a week of sunshine on the Ebro. First off, thanks to Lee Carpenter at Propredator for looking after us. He’s one of the good guys you meet in fishing now and then. He didn’t sugar coat the prospects in terms of how the fishing was, particularly for Zander. He gave us sound advice and worked at getting us on the fish. In a system full of predators and stacks of baitfish it was never easy but we stuck at it with artificials. At times it sapped my confidence and it was hard to work out a pattern on any given day as to what the right approach might be. The fish we were after were there in numbers, we could see Bass, marked countless shoals of Zander and vertical jigged on Cats. On the last afternoon I felt I was just getting to grips with the Zander fishing, typical. I have some good video which will take me while to sort through. Some lost opportunities caught on camera, laughs, a few tantrums and of course the fish we caught. I’ll be back to fish with Lee, there’s a lump of a Zed that nearly gave me a last day meltdown. It’s waiting, somewhere, probably under a bridge grinning. Scott will probably do a more detailed report. I'll put a link on here when he has it written up. Here are some images from our Ebro tour.

Scott's first cat
My first cat
Me playing a cat on my Zander gear. The fish is visible on the screen.
The LMB were skittish.You only had a few casts at them before they went down.
When we found them the Perch were nice to catch in the sun
A Zed on a jika rigged crayfish plastic
Ooofff, pussy power!
They seemed to like a little Berkley Ripple Shad in red/white ripped past them
Scott with a nice one of 82 pounds on one of Lee's Spro lures..He somehow seemed to be cleaner than me after this picture was taken.
Handy for getting to the front of a busy checkout quickly when you visit the supermarket.
My 108 pound Wels caught vertical jigging. "fishing like a dick" was the catch phrase day to day when it was really hot. Now and then we both retained a wee bit of focus.
I caught this on a 6 inch Gary Yamamoto shad in white. Good advice from Lee.
My last Ebro fish. I lost two fish prior to this. One was a lump that I'm still thinking about.


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Most wanted

To take a leaf out of Scott's book( or rather his blog)

The first and last time I caught a Large Mouth Bass was a long time ago outside Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. I was introduced to the Senko by a local who knew the technique and did his best to show me the ropes. I was rank rotten at using them at the time. I managed a few fish but it was an education. They filmed the first Predator movie there, no mini guns or crazy aliens cutting around the jungle but that day I did have another first, a really warm  and cling film sweaty peanut butter/jelly sandwich. Pretty good as it happens.
Predators don’t come much uglier than the Wels Catfish, don’t see us getting any true monsters with our intended approach but I’m hoping we pick up a few.
They'll no doubt be a blow by blow account on my blog soon, win or lose we'll give it our best shot.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Jungle Warfare

I took a half day off work on Friday to fish late afternoon/evening and dawn on Saturday morning. I was in a hurry to get on the road and realised after arriving that I had left my paddle at home. I had to improvise and hoped my mirage drive didn’t decide to break. This was the first in a catalogue of errors. A combination of already being tired and also being in a hurry is never good; my plan to sleep in the car wasn’t really going to make it any better.

I opened the score line quickly with a two small Perch on a Daiwa D fin shad nose hooked on a drop shot rig. These came from a spot with a rocky bottom which generally has fish on it, they never seem to be very big but it was start. I then went on to struggle for a couple of hours. There was lots of baitfish around so the fish had plenty of choice for sure. The sun was well on the way down when I landed on an island. I’ve been around it a few times and marked some sort of fish but I’ve never had a touch.  My thinking was that I might be able to cover the ground from the shore at a different angle. As it happens, the side I wanted to try was heavily overgrown and I knew at this time of night the midges would be waiting for me. It was hellish but I was eventually on a run of fish. I used my buff to cover the back of my neck and the exposed area on the mesh at the back my of cap. When I got back afloat it was a relief.

Some nice  enough Perch in amongst the fish I was catching. It was a welcome change to be holding the rod at a natural angle. In the yak sitting down and holding the rod at the right angle whilst  keeping in touch when everything is moving puts a strain on my shoulder and forearm.

My alarm was set for 4.30am, it was still pretty dark and I awoke in the car far from refreshed. Ok, where are my car keys? An hour later I found them after emptying the entire contents of the car and checking down the edges of the seats by torchlight about ten times. I’ve no idea how they got inside the hood lining of my sleeping bag but somehow they did. On top of that I couldn’t find any fish when I got on the water. I had been working my way around some of the features I’ve plotted looking for them when I lost a rig. Ok, where’s my rig wallet? It was back to the car again. I was pretty well pissed off with myself by this point. I remembered I had it with me on the island after taking what I needed with me from the yak. I told myself I needed the exercise anyway so off I went on another tour of the loch. I found the rig wallet along with my little biting midgie friends waiting for me.  I covered up and prepared myself for some torment and maybe some fish.

                              In amongst fish like this I hooked what I thought was a Pike.

A peach, really pleased to find another big stripey like this. Also the best scrap I've had from a Perch, so far anyway. I would have weighed it but you might have guessed ,the scales were in the yak, at least I didn't think they were in the car.....

I planned to fish on for a bit longer than planned but the wind got up and it was blowing around 20mph. The way things had gone at times I might have forgotten my way home, thank goodness for sat nav.