Saturday, 27 June 2015

A bag for life?

Just a quick post today. 

More a tip then anything useful. 

Get yourself a couple of bags for life. Or at least nick a couple out of the boot of your mrs car. 

I use the sainsburys ones pictured below as the are touch bigger then most and apparently they are strong and sturdy. 

Firstly they are good for protecting your scales instead of having them rattling around in there with a load of leads and whatever other junk festers in there. I just wrap it around my scales (I use salter electro sampsons) and it gives the scales a bit of protection from knocks and water. 

Then when (or if) you catch a fish they make a brilliant weigh sling so you don't have to jam the hook through the fishes gills. The bags weigh 3oz but I always put the bag on and then tare the scales. Much better for the fish if your going to release it. 

But if your going to keep the fish then these bags also make brilliant fish bags. They are water tight so don't leak slime/blood all over the boot of your car, they are strong enough to cope with Bass spines and they are easy to wash out when you get the fish home. Dry them out overnight and then re wrap your scales again. 

And there you have it.....get yourself a couple of bags for life. Handy as hell. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

They won't escape out of the bucket. Honest. How to keep and use peeler crab as bait.

Picture the scene. You've got just walked back through the door after a long few hours stomping through knee deep mud collecting crab. You put your bucket down on the kitchen and you hear the usuall "your not keeping them in here" 

to which I replied, 

"how the hell are they going to get out of there? They'll be fine"

Hours pass by and we are sat in the sofa watching the telly. Tappa tappa tappa tappa. Tappa tappa tappa 

"What's that?" I was asked 

"What? I can't hear anything" (which of course I could) 

"Those bloody crabs had better not of escaped"

"How the hell would they have gotten out of that bucket? It's impossible"

Another minute or so passed by when CREEEEEAAAAKKKKKK, the living room door swings open and in walks a gurt great louster of crab and plonks itself down on the new IKEA rug. 

Well, that's not how to do it, so to save any of the the potential divorce that nearly followed said incident I thought I'd do up a quick guide for beginners on how to keep and use peeler crab as bait. 

I'm no scientist but shore crab peel the throughout the year as part of their natural growth cycle, similar to how a snake sheds its skin. They are generally collected from traps or pots which are set in the mud at low tide. People are very protective over their pots so don't be tempted to go raiding. 

Like any other natural product there a shortages and gluts. As I write this now there is hardly a peeler crab in Cornwall (apart from in my personal stash!) yet a few days ago I was buying 200-300 every couple of days. 

Any good stockist will try and keep a few hundred in stock. This is because the crab will be in various states of readiness and for fishing you need them to be cracking or popping, literally shells falling off. The image below shows what a crab should look like when you buy them from a shop. 

You'll see the back shell is lifting and will easy peel away from the crab. The reason I keep hundreds in is so that I can bring the crab on to the stage where it is ready to fish. Some of the crab I get in will take well over a week before any cracks start to appear and if the cracks are not there then it just won't peel and you might as well be using hardbacks. The adverse side is that once a crab is popping you've only got around 48 hours before he will die. I am able to manipulate the crab to either hold them back from popping or bring them on based on demand. 

When crabs are in stock your best bet is buy in bulk. They are easy to store and look after and can last a while. I often have people ask me for 50 or 60 who have 30 that are ready to use and another 30 that are not quite there. They will use the ready crab for the first couple of days and by the time they are ready use the harder crab, they are ready too. You'll probably not get any discount buying in bulk (you won't in here anyway!) but it does guarantee you that you've got the bait if you want to go out fishing. And what you don't use, you can freeze down and use for the winter cod fishing. 

To keep crab all you need is a small cool box, a couple of freezer packs and a small hand spray bottle with a bit of salt water in it. 

The crabs just need to be kept cool and moist so all you need to do is keep them somewhere cool (the garage?) in a box, change the freezer pack over every day and give them a quick squirt of water a couple of times a day. It really is that simple. 

Let's say your crab are a bit hard, what you need to do is warm them up slightly so I would leave the cool pack out to let them come to room temperature and wet them down a bit more. This can turn a hard crab to a popping crab in less then 24 hours. If you want to hold them back then you need to keep them as cool as possible. 

So now your able to keep crab all you need to do is peel them. It's pretty self explanatory really. I always take the claws off first. I grab the bottom segment, nearest the body, and twist as I pull. The twist saves ripping the crab to bits. 

Once you've done that then I peel his top shell off. From the back

Then I take his thorax, tail cover and side shell off

Leaving me with a plum, juicy, soft crab. 

I then put my hook through it a couple of times and give it a good wrap with bait elastic. A wise man once told me there was no such thing as too much bait elastic-a philosophy I stand by. 

I always make to sure to have plenty of my hook showing so as not to risk obscuring the point. 

There are many variations of this. Some people leave the legs on, some people don't, some people only peel the top shell off. There are no right or wrong ways to do it. It's the quality of the bait that counts. 

A bit of a disclaimer here too-you can usually expect your crab to be a fair bit bigger then the ones pictured here. The reason they are so small is because I keep the small ones for myself to save any of you lot moaning about the size of them. If I do have small ones in I sell them BYGOF so no one loses out. 

As always, feel free to ask any questions and I'll try my best to answer them. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Fishing for Gilthead Bream:the basics

I'm getting more and more questions about fishing for gilts so here's a quick blog about how to go about fishing for them. As with all of my posts all I can do is tell you how I do it-it will be different to how many others do it but what follows works for me. 

Gilts arnt hard to catch. You don't need to cast too far, you can use relatively light kit, the rigs are simple and you don't as get as hammered by the elements as you  do on the open coast. 


The estuaries are the best place to start. We are lucky enough to have 3 in Cornwall-the Fal, the Helford, and the Camel. All of these hold bream. The trick in deciding where to fish is knowing where to be and when to be there. Unfortunately the only way your going to find that is by hauling your arse out of bed and fishing. I've put far too many hours in tell the whole world what I've learned, and even then I'm often proved wrong. The fish move up through the estuaries to feed on crabs and shellfish. They will pass through different marks at different times of the tide. 

The best place to start would be google maps. Below is a screen shot of the Helford but basically all you need to do is zoom in and out of the river, find where a road passes fairly close to the river and have a scan around. You can see places to park and places to fish, then all you have to do is try. 


You can catch bream at any time of day but there is no substitute for first light. I'm frequently up at 3am, fishing for first light and at work before 9am. Then you need to fish your spot hard. Cast to different areas, closer in, further out, towards any features or in the channel. The first morning is easy, the 2nd gets a bit harder but it's the 3rd and 4th morning of getting up at 3am that kills me. 


You can start with pretty much any sea fishing kit. You don't have the swell and wind to content with so you can get away with much lighter kit. I started out with a 4000 sized fixed spool and a cheap 3lb test curve carp rod. This was fine but as time has gone on and I have spent more time fishing for them I have upgraded to what I think is the best kit on the market. My current set up is a pair of Anyfish Anywhere 11'estuary rods matched up with a pair of Daiwa Cast'izm 25's. It's not a cheap set up but it's quality. Light enough for a 2lb'er to bend the rod but heavy enough to stop a proper fish if needs be. 

But you don't need to spend silly money. A pair of 1-5oz Bass rods and a pair of 4-6000 sized fixed spools would be perfect. Load them with 12-15lb mono and a 30lb leader and your away. You can even get away with fishing heavier spinning gear if you have to but you'll struggle to land a big fish on that sort of set up. Plus if there's any weed moving up the river then you would struggle to haul in the 20 or 30lb of weed that accumulates on your line very quickly. 


Keep it simple is the key here. I fish a running ledger using a Gemini zip slider and swivel, 18" of 30lb amnesia trace and a mustad 2/0 hoodlum. Your not casting a million miles so no need for fancy clip down rigs. I also take a variety of 3oz leads with me and decide which ones to use based on the conditions on the day but I do like the flat sided aquapedo's and Gemini watch leads. 


Crab. Fresh crab. There is no subsitute. Sure, people catch them on all sorts-razors, worm, mussels and limpits but personally I wouldn't bother going if i didn't have fresh crab. It's not the cheapest bait in the world but it's easy to look after, lasts for days (if not weeks) and can be frozen down for winter of its on its last legs. All you need is a small coolbox and a few freezer blocks. I take 40 or 50 if I know I'm fishing a few days and just rotate the freezer blocks to keep them cool and save my mrs moaning about there being bait in the fridge. I'll do a more detailed blog on using and keeping peeler crab in the next couple of days. 

And that's about it. If you put the time in you will catch the fish. You can make it as complicated as you want but if you follow these simple guidelines and put a bit of time and effort into it then you'll catch yourself a few fish. 

As always, feel free to pop into the shop if you have any further questions.   

Tight lines. 

Ps. Excuse any spelling/grammatical mistakes as I'm going to try use/keep things updated using my phone. 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Pulley rigs

A pulley rig accounts for probably 90% of my fishing. It's a simple rig to tie, doesn't many components, it's good to clip down and I rarely get any tangles. The pulley effect also lifts the lead off of the deck and away from any snags whilst your retrieving (assuming that the fish you catch is heavier then the weight!) Here is how I tie mine.

Components used:

Amnesia 40lb black rig body-20"
Amnesia 30lb clear snood-16"
Tronix pro pulley bead
Sakuma size 2 swivel
Breakaway imp
Sakuma 545 manta extra 3/0

I start this rig by cutting the rig body to length. As I'm sure I've mentioned before I like to keep my rigs pretty short-the less there is out there, the less tangles you have. As a rule i use 40lb black amnesia for this job if I know I'm going to be using my Century TTSM LD's as they are a 5oz rod but If I'm stepping up to heavier gear then I would use 60lb.

Then I tie on an Imp. I've used many bait clips over the years but this is the one that I find most reliable. Yes, they can be a pain in the knackers to put together but they just work.

Next I put a free running pulley bead on the rig body. I will say tat the Tronix pro pulley bead is the only one i have used and I've never had one let me down so I've never bothered trying any other. The plastic isn't too hard and the swivel isn't too big. Again, they just work.

Hook selection is pretty important and I decide which hook to use based on a couple of things. Points to consider are target species, mark and baits. For the rig I'm tying today I have opted for a single manta extra 3/0. I've chose this as I know that I will be fishing single crab baits for cod. The hook is plenty big enough for the job without being  massive, man enough to lift a fish at low water and has a nice wide gape so as to not obscure the point/barb if the crab slips down the shank. If i were using bigger baits like whole or double squid i would up the size and possibly add a pennel hook. Another example would be when ray fishing i use a pair of 4/0 540 mantas as the pennel hook holds the eel up nice and straight so stops it slipping down around the curve and sitting bent on the sea bed.

And that is pretty much as simple as it is. 4 knots, a few components and you have a very versatile rig. Here is a crab bait sitting in behind my favoured Gemini 5oz flat backed lead. It's nice an aero dynamic and there is plenty of hook showing.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Scratching rig's

It's that time of year again where is decent scratching rig is invaluable so this is how I make mine....

Here's the components I use and why I use them:

Rig body-Black amnesia 40lb. I'm not sure why but i prefer the black in 40lb. It's a toch softer and less wirey then the clear.

Traces- 30lb amnesia. It might be overkill breaking strain wise but it's that much stiffer then the lower breaking strains which gives you a boom type effect-simply it just doesn't tangle as much.

Hooks- Sakuma 540 manta 1/0's. Strong enough to land a decent fish, a decent gape for a small hook and very sharp. I've never had one let me down yet.

Crimps- gemini micro crimps.

Snood swivels- breakaway swivel T's. Again, these give you a boom effect and help stop tangles

Beads- Sakuma 5mm rig breads and Gemini lumi rig beads for the snoods

Main swivel- Sakuma round eye rolling swivels size 1

Lead clip- Breakaway fastlinks.

2 hook or 3 hook? For me it depends on a few different factors. How big the sea is, the wind, the swell, the tide,how busy a mark is and how lazy I'm feeling. Where possible I always fish 2 rods as you can have a scratching rig out and a big bait but there are plenty times when it's just not practical so I do like to have a 3 hook rig in the armoury.

So here is how I set up for each of my snoods. Crimp, bead, swivel T, bead, crimp. I don't use a crimping tool but just a small pair of pliers. I keep the distance down in between each of my snoods as I'm not a fan of gurt great long rigs. With a 15" spacing between your snoods and 8" between your snoods and a 8" space between the traces and the top/bottom (the swivel and the lead clip) you end up with a rig a little over 4', which for 3 hook rig isn't too bad.

I like to keep the traces nice and short. Somewhere between 3" and 6". It ensures your baits are hard on the bottom and the less line you have, the less likely to tangle you are. With the spacing that I use there is also no chance of the snoods tangling with each other. I also tend to put a single luminous bead on. Does it make a difference? I don't know to be honest but I do know that it definitely doesn't do any harm.

My rig's are then finished off with a decent quality swivel on the top and a good lead clip on the bottom. I wrap the whole rig around my fingers and pop them in a little 3"x4" bag and I'm ready to go. And that's about it, It's as simple as that. Tight lines.....

EDIT: I nearly forgot bout this. How can I post about scratching rigs without showing you the gayest rig that I've ever seen. And he was honestly going to cast this monstrosity out.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

A new year, some new targets.

The new year is a bit of a funny one for sea anglers. It's not really a new year as such. Certainly i never see it that way. My fishing year starts sometime in March when the mackerel turn up in decent numbers and ends sometime in February when I've had enough of blanking in the cold.

Naturally, it's a good time for many clubs to start there new years and for everyone to renew there subscriptions but I've always wondered why none follow the seasons rather then the calender? I suppose the tail end of the winter gives the competitive anglers a month or so's good fishing to get a good start in for their club and county championships?

On that note, I'm sure that most of you are aware that the CFSA and it's member clubs are taking a step into the unknown and introducing  catch a release championship. Details are available but it's pretty straight forward. I just hope that we get enough anglers sign up to make it worthwhile. I'm 99% we will be starting it on 1st of February but I'll confirm that in the next week or so.

My own fishing has suffered in recent years. I've just struggled to get the motivation. Most of you look forward to your night fishing whilst your stuck at work but obviously i'm surrounded by it 24/7. Not that I'm complaining. I love fishing. I'm just hoping i can keep the enthusiasm up this year.

This year I'm going to spend a lot more time on the estuaries so I'm going to base my targets around them. I've really gotten into my floundering this year so on the front, my first target for the year is a specimen flounder. Not too many 3lb flounders get caught but you might as well set your targets high. I guess i'd be happy with one over 2 1/2 though. I've go a good month to go now so it'd be nice to get that one ticked off the list this winter.

Next one my list is bream. I've spend a reasonable amount of time breaming over the last few years but only ever in fits and starts. This year I'm going to try a bit harder. Only part of my goal is fish size-obviously another specimen would be nice but I'm going to set my target at 5lb. The other part is to spend a bit more time on new marks rather then fishing the same old marks on the Fal. Marks that don't get fished as often. I've also never had a single session on the Camel targeting bream so there's a good place to start.

Those are my 2 main targets but I'm sure things will change throughout the year. If I'm going to be spending more time on the rivers then there will be plenty of other fish to target. Both of my PB Huss and Eel's came from the rivers (Fal and Fowey respectively) and it'd be nice to have a few more rays this year.

So there you have it. That's my targets for the year set. A decent flounder and a decent bream. Hopefully I'll have them both ticked off by the end of April. 

Tight lines

P.S I'll try a bit harder to keep up with my blog this year. Expect a few more reviews and tutorials over then next few months.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Penn 525 mag 2 manufacturing quality review

It can't have been too much more then a year ago that Penn released the predecessor of the legendary 525 mag. The new version being imaginatively entitled the 525 mag 2.

Well, the first of the mag 2's that i have sold came in for a service yesterday so i had my first chance to have a look at the quality of the internals.

I'll start off by stressing that I have never even cast one of these reel's. This post is purely looking at them from a manufacturing basis.

Having stripped and serviced an inordinate amount of reels I'm always way to excited to be having a tinker with something new, looking at it's construction, what's done different and how the parts work.

I'll start off with something that most people would over look but it's something that anyone who has serviced a lot of reels will know is important. The screws. This was something in the front of my mind as i spent a bloody age servicing a pair of Daiwa 20 SHV's yesterday. The servicing itself isn't really any more challenging then any other reel but the issue with the whole of the sealine range are the crappy, excessively long, excessively numbered, soft, brass screws. They are just not up to the job. But I'm happy to report that we have nice, short stainless screws on the Mag 2's. They are flat head which is a bit of a pain but it's still better then Daiwa ones.

The reels came apart really nicely without any need for 'persuasion' and had a sensible amount of lubrication in each (you would be amazed at how many reels i see with far to much grease and oil in them) For those that are familiar with the old 525's Penn have stuck with the tiny screw that sits underneath the gold side plate surround and have still left enough room so that the surround can be removed without having to remove the clutch handle. The clutch mechanism is the same as before with a clutch handle attached to a clutch cam which turns as you operate the handle. This cam then moves a plate up and down, which in turn moves the pinion gear up and down taking the reel in and out of gear (see 4th picture down) Another point worth making is that the clutch cam is Brass as opposed the sealine range which is plastic (again, something that is fresh in my mind as i spend ages pinpointing and fixing a problem with the plastic clutch cam out of an SL20 last week)

 Next it's worth a look at gearing / drag system. As with most other reel's they are integral, as in the drag washers sit inside the main gear. The main gear itself is (I'm guessing) what pure fishing call durabrass which is a brass based alloy that's harder and wears better then just brass, But still not has hard as stainless. Interestingly though, the pinion gear is stainless. This seems a bit daft to me as both will wear a different rates. It remains to be seen what, if any, effect this will have. The pair that i have just stripped are showing no sign's of wear at all after a year of use. The speed of retrieve is 6.0:1 which seems to strike a nice balance between the power of lower gearing and the time taken to retrieve a bait from a hundred yards plus. I'm not sure what the holes in the gear are in aid of but it could possibly be a weight saving measure.

Here is a picture of the inside of the handle side showing the most part of the internals all together. It seems to me that this is the best system for taking a reel in and out of gear. Much more simple and less prone to failure then Abu's system. It's worth me pointing out that the pinion yolk (the bit the pinion gear sits and rotates in) is also metal. The plastic ones in the abu's are another weak point of those. Especially in the 6500 high speeds.

Here is a look at the difference between the drags of the new mag 2 (top) and an abu 6500 (bottom) You'll notice the bigger gearing which gives the ability for bigger drag washers. The bigger the drag washers, the more friction and the more friction the more drag pressure. This is absolutely going to assist in hauling that big ray up off of the bottom or lifting that winter Bass up 30 ft.

This part of the reel really interested me. This is a shot of the inside of the left hand side plate. The side that houses the magnetic controls and the ratchet. I'll start off by saying that it's a shame that they stuck with the stupidly complicated ratchet clickers but seen as it rarely goes wrong that's not too much of an issue. What was interesting though was a magnetic control system that i have never seen before and a very clever on at that. To explain why I will explain to those that don't already know that there are usually 2 ways that magnetic cast controls are configured. Slidey and knoby. Slideys are controlled by sliding a button back and forth and knoby's by twisting a knob on the side plate. Both do exactly the same thing to the magnets though, in that the move the magnets closer to, or further from the spool giving a greater of lesser magnetic effect, speeding up or slowing down the spool. This system is different. The picture above shows what it looks like with the magnets fully off. There is a piece of plastic that contains the magnets under the metal. When you twist button on the left hand side plate it slides the little bit of steel across and exposes the magnets, exposing them, which gradually has a bigger effect on the speed of the spool. I don't know the science of why it works, but it does. I'd go as far as saying that this reel has a much greater range of magnetic effect then any other i have ever played with, meaning, with the end float set at the same tension, it will run like a machine with the magnets fully off but slower then tar with them fully on.

After all of this praise, the only issue that i can find with them is the cage, and even then, they are still an improvement over the original. It's the same plastic but in a much thicker gauge so it shouldn't break a easily. My concern would be where the footplate is riveted to the cage. It was too hard to photo with my phone but i would say that the 3mm thick plastic where the footplate is attached is a touch too thin, leaving potential for separation. But after a bit of research i cant find any instances of this so maybe that's me just being picky.

On the whole i really am very impressed with them. I have heard nothing but praise from there users, I've had no warranty returns and they are very well built. I'm so impressed that i think I'll sell my toriums and get myself a pair of these.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have through my facebook page. Just clik this link

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Time to dust off the old blog

Well, it's been a couple of month's since i posted anything on here. But to be honest it's been a couple of month's since I've felt even a bit of enthusiasm to get out. Of course I've been out fishing most weeks and caught a few fish but really I've been going just for the sake of going. But this has changed after our last session.

At the start of the week I'd decided that the combination of the tides size and time looked best for Thursday but come Tuesday morning i felt a calling that i hadn't felt since the end of last year. I actually wanted to go fishing. Yes, the wind was blowing a steady 10 knots South easterly, the tide was smaller then a small thing and there was barely a ripple of swell but for whatever reason, i really fancied a go. I picked Woody up just before low water to give us the chance to get set up in the day light and be fishing in time for the pushing tide. We crested the hill to be greeted by this glorious sight (left) and made a quick pit stop in the lay by to see what was what. Unusually the whole beach seemed pretty uniform.

On such a big beach there tends to be big differences in how big it is over the length of it but i think that the small tides and flat sea had smoothed out any of the contours and gullies that would have been present if the sea had been a little bigger. The conclusion we came to was that it didn't matter where we were. With a sunset like this to look at we didn't really care. Fish or no fish, it wasn't going to matter.

With eager anticipation we jumped back into the car and headed down the hill to the car park. The light was just starting to fade so we both quickly threw on our gear, Put our rods together and made out way down to the beach and headed towards our favourite spot on the beach (it's our favourite spot quite simply because it's where we always seem to do best)

The plan we had formulated through the day was firstly to fish 2 rods each. One close in with a big squid bait for a Bass and the other at distance to try our luck and see if there were any early Small Eyed Ray about on the North coast yet.

My distance rod was going to be my trusted combo of an AWB 122 with a TSR strapped to it and a clipped down pulley rig. But for the second time in the year i was having a go with a set up that's new to me. In the winter i  had bought a Shakespeare zed lite 2-4oz Bass rod (circa mid 90's) to sell as second hand stock. It had the original crappy rings on and the duplon handle was a bit on the tatty side but i was blown away by the blank. Firstly it looked fabulous. The blank itself and varnish protecting it was pristine. It has that Kevlar weave that many of the top end rod's of the 90's had (and some still do) in a light red and a light green colour which sounds grim but it looks lovely. The action was something else, just what i liked, a nice and soft but crisp tip action rod with a nice progressively gutsy mid to butt section. I just couldn't bring myself to sell it.

So i stripped it down and had a new set of Fuji bnog's put on it. With a new Fugi dps 22 reel seat and a length of x-weave shrink tube it back to looking it's best and had been given the rebuild such a rod deserved.

I already had a nice fixed spool to go on it and although the Biomaster 8000 was a touch on the big side i couldn't justify a new, only slightly smaller reel to go on it when i already owned a gloriously smooth reel. Si loaded that up with 50lb braid and a short 3ft 40lb leader. I always keep my leaders short when using braid as any knot tied using braid is rock hard and can easily pop the liners out of the eye's.

Being that i was planning on using this combo for close in fishing i didn't fancy using my usual pulley rigs so instead settled on using the simplest rig of them all, a running ledger. I was only going to be casting 30 or 40 yards maximum so there was going to be no need to clip any bait down. Up until now i have spent many hours refining how i fish on the beach in whatever conditions but with this set up being new it will pay to try some different things. I'm pleased to report though that it seemed to work well. I made it quite long at about 6ft of 30lb memorex and used a zip slider with a 4oz swivel pear lead. Of the 3 casts i had i didn't have a single bit of a tangle. But that said, it was as flat as a ballet dancers tit's and with the small tide there was no rip either so I'll need to try it in a few different types of conditions to pass any judgement.  On the whole though I'm really pleased with the set up so far. It sets a lovely tip and it's nice and stable on a sand spike. I just cant wait to catch a mahoosive Bass on it. The combo of a light, tippy rod and braid should be great.

So back to the report. We had plenty of bases covered. Between the 4 rods out there was one at distance, one given a fair old chuck, one a mid range and another in very close with all rods on either unwashed squid or jumbo sand eel.

The sunset was breathtaking. It felt kind of special out there. Things just felt right again. As the light dropped further there was a lovely sight that you just don't see very often. It was dark but the sun was ever so lightly illuminating the clouds on the horizon. It looked spectacular how there was a slight red glow that faded into a fiery orange, then from a light green into a deep blue, then the stars and darkness of the sky. All within about 15deg of view. Venus was also particularly bright which was nice to see. The only thing i could liken it to was the glow that see around the Earth from pictures taken from space. I just felt totally at peace. I tried to take a picture of it but an iPhone camera has certain limitations. 

So in the end the fishing was crap. Between the 2 of us we didn't have a single bite. But it didn't matter one bit. That one session, although poor in terms of fish, has given me back the bug. The motivation i need to get back out and start this years campaign proper. There are going to be plenty of blanks along the way but it's all part of the game when fishing for big Bass. A bad nights fishing is better then a good day at work.

I'm just not sure if my new found enthusiasm stretches to fishing tonight. Flat calm seas and North East winds. That said though, it's a nice tide at a nice time. You never know. I might just give it a bash.

Tight lines


Friday, 3 February 2012

Nothing to report......

Ok. I admit it. I have lost all interest in catching anything other then Bass. In recent weeks I have trying to motivate myself but it's just not happening. Though I never seem to struggle in the autumn. There are weeks that go by when I'd be out every night if I could. So I find myself asking myself why? Why am only interested in Bass fishing and nothing else? What is it about being on the beach that i love so much?

I think the first thing is that Bass are a worthy adversary. There not an easy fish to catch. That said though, they are not really that difficult either. For me, Bassing is all about being in the right place, in the right conditions, at the right time. Get those three thing's right and you can catch Bass on virtually any Cornish beach. It's putting the hard hours in find all these factors out that is the difficult bit. But then i suppose that those factorsare applicable to any type of fishing, not just Bassing.

Then there's the beach itself. It so much more pleasant being on the sand with plenty of room around you. It's easier to cast, it's quieter and it's generally darker. I'm probably talking rubbish here but I feel like I'm more 'at one' with the sea and thus the fish when I'm on the beach, purely because you spend about a third of your time in the water.

I spent the latter part of last year trying to scale all of gear back and fish light with one rod. Just wearing a waterproof bum bag with minimal gear in it and waders. It was nice to wade out, cast and then come back to standing knee deep in the water with the rod in your hand. Of course i would take a sand spike so I could have a drink of roll a fag or go for a chat but you really can't beat having the rod in your hand. For the first half of the year i fished the usual 2 rods. My problem with this is that when you are fishing at distance your looking at the best part of 20 minutes to reel in, change your bait, wade out, cast and wade back and that is just for a single rod. That's 20 minutes of a having a fresh bait out there with only a couple of glances towards your rod tip. I must have been missing fish. I just must have. Using a self hooking rig like a pulley does of course help but there's not a single Bass angler out there that can say that they haven't missed a massive bite what ever rig they are using. There's just no better feeling then getting that whack, whack, whack when the rod is in your hand.

The beach just feels different too. It just seems to heighten your senses. It might be pitch black walking to the beach but I can tell by the sound of waves if it's right or not. Maybe it's just the fact that your stood up all night and constantly moving up and down with the tide all night that makes you feel like that but I can honestly say that I feel different when I'm out on a beach.

The good news for those of you that haven't yet caught the Bass bug is that there are still plenty of fish out there to catch. For a start there are plenty of decent Dabs out there. I'm still hearing of some decent Codling caught and there are still plenty of whiting around. It's also going to be worth a bash at the flounder this weekend with the frost and building tides up and coming. Crab activity will also be at about it's lowest point of the year. Talking to the boat anglers there are still plenty of good size codling about but they seem to be just too far off shore for us shore anglers. Not too much out of range though as I've spoken to several anglers catching big fish within 400 yards of dry land.

I've half arranged a session out on the Huss this weekend so lets just see if I can muster up the motivation.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

So, how's your motivation?

Well, it's January again and the winter fish have certainly shown up in good numbers. It's not the easiest time of year to get yourself out fishing with the unsettled weather but plenty of those that have been putting in the effort have been having fish. I'd go as far as saying that the Cod and Whiting fishing have been as good as they ever have been in at least a decade.

All over the county there have been numerous reports of big Cod in good numbers. Only last week, a good customer and friend, Jason 'penfold' Hawke had a 8lb 13oz Cod (pictured left) from a deep water mark down west. He's gotten off to a total flyer in the club this year landing that big cod, a 2lb 1oz 13dr Whiting, a 3 beard Rockling of 2lb 4oz 9dr and a Dab just under a pound. That's given him around 450% in the club and county championship for 4 fish. This just shows exactly what can be done if you are prepared to put the hours in.

(for those that don't know how club and county championships work, they are based on specimen weights for each species and are given a percentage based on your fishes weight compared to the specimen weight. That specimen weight is deduced by using a formula that takes several years returns into account)

The county Whiting record also went twice in the last month. First was a mighty fine fish of 2lb 15oz 9dr only to be demolished days later by a monster fish of 3lb 7oz 9dr.

Having said all of this I really should follow my own advice and get out myself a bit more. Like most people, i really struggle with motivation at this time of year but that's more due to the lack of my favourite fish. Bass. It sounds foreign to many but if it's not shiny, silver and spiky I'm just not that interested. In the right conditions and on the right mark, there are still plenty of Bass about but it's been a while since we have had good South Westerlies with a big ground sea. I've had a couple of Bass on each of my last few session's but nothing to write home about.

It's also the right time of year to be setting yourself a couple of target's for the coming year and reflect on the year gone by.

Last season I'd decided that i wanted to catch a Bass every month of the year and i'm happy to say that i (and woody) succeeded. February and March were the month's i was worried about. but after we both cleared that the rest of the year without an issue. There did seem to be a sever lack of big Bass last year though with very few proper fish being caught. My best of the year was only 4lb 14oz but i can console myself with the fact that only a few of the other out and out Bass angler's had anything to shout about. Why? Well I don't have a clue as there were shed loads of smaller fish around but I'm just hoping it turns around again next year.

I suppose for this year rather then set myself any targets I'm going to make an effort to fish for other species. I always used to enjoy going rough grounding, hauling big ugly fish with very sharp teeth out of the depth's but in recent year's I just haven't done any at all. So hopefully you'll all be seeing reports of big Eels and Huss in the coming month's but rest assured that if the conditions are right I'll be out on the rock's catching Bass.

It would be great to see a few comment's below of if you managed to make your targets and what yours are for the next year.