Our new website!

Good old Clint!
Good old Clint!

It’s nearly the end of March 2013, and while we approach another exciting year in Cornwall, it is also time for a clean start online.

We’re bound to have a few teething problems early on, and certainly there are things that we are going to be constantly working on to improve, but hopefully you’ll all like the new look and navigation for the new site. We design and build all of these kinds of things ourselves and its a long, hard process, so all we hope at the end of it is that people are happy with the results.

2014 really is going to be an exciting season for us. Mostly because we just love having new products arrive, and this year is going to be very much like that. We have obviously always been aware that there are some popular products out there that we’ve just not stocked before, or some that we have failed to keep in stock regularly – for one reason or another. 2014 however is the year where we are going to endeavour to keep our selection of stock high, and supply routes easier and more constant. Right now (March) it feels like we have less products on the website right now than we have at times in the past (our Spring sale’s cleared us out). Even just within the next few weeks though, we will see those product ranges rise. There are a lot of items right now that are out of stock, but at the same time it is also important for us to keep these on the site just so that anglers like yourself are aware that we do actually sell them and can get hold of them. There are a lot too that we’ve not had time to put up yet that we will be stocking as we go through the year. There are so many new products and brands coming this year! The truth is that we can get hold of most fishing tackle items out there, so it is always worth asking, even if you don’t see a particular item or brand on the website.

Anyway, I’m just finishing this article before we start pressing buttons to make the new site live.

Hope you enjoy…

Ben & Jo.

LRF: I’ve bought a starter kit, what now?

So, you’ve taken the plunge and invested in a small but perfectly formed collection of bits and bobs to get you on your way. Multiple species await but you need advise on where to start, right?

The way that LRF sometimes gets talked about, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is a complicated thing to get in to. The truth is double-sided…

It is actually VERY easy to get in to, to try, and to catch fish. That’s why it is the perfect aspect of our sport to get more and more kids involved; dare I say it, even wives and girlfriends?! Jo would never consider bass fishing with me but is 100% up to the idea of catching fish from a comfortable harbour wall.

The only time that it potentially becomes complicated is… if you make it that way. It really is just as complicated as you make it for yourself – and by ‘complicated’ I really just mean ‘technical’. Not everybody will have the inclination to switch between 3 and 5lb lines for example to achieve perfect presentation of a small lure; set up a fancy rig; or switch from a size 6 hook to a size 8 for the same effect. We’re all different (despite the fact that we have a common goal) and my advise to begin would be to start simple and just see how you get on. If you call me in the shop and say, ‘Ben, I just want the minimal kit I can get away with so that I can give it a go’, I could pretty much guarantee that if you took my suggestions and put a lure in the right place then you WILL catch fish – without doing anything technical whatsoever! It’s child’s-play in all honesty, and that is one of the main appeals once you give it a go – it will take you right back to the good old days when you got really, really excited about catching fish – regardless of species or size.

Below I have set out some of the major steps I would recommend taking to get the best from your starter setup and to get you in among some fish. Naturally, some things will vary depending on your geographic location but on the whole, LRF’s simplicity means that these (or similar) should work for you.

TACKLE

Read my article titled “LRF: What tackle do I need to start?“. This should get you set up with the right equipment. We are always trying to find better products and improve the value of our starter kit, but I can’t recommend the tackle mentioned in the article highly enough. The article itself should explain why.

Whether you have chosen a fluorocarbon or a braided* mainline, with this loaded on to your reel, the process from here is extremely simple.

* if you are using a braided mainline then the first thing you will need to do is to attach a length of fluorocarbon ‘leader’. Just use around 2 feet to start – this will be fine. Here’s a good little link: Improved Albright Knot. One change I would recommend is to follow the knot as instructed, but do so by first doubling over the braid in to a loop (so that you are wrapping two strands of braid around the fluorocarbon rather than one). This will ensure that your fine braid knots tightly without slipping. It’s a little complicated but with practise should hold tight.

With reel attached to rod and line through rod guides you’re ready to attach your ‘rig’. You actually have loads of options, but I only recommend one to get you started – the jighead. This basically just involves you using a weighted hook with a lure of your choice (recommended around 2 inches in length). All you need to do is tie the jighead to the end of your line – and that’s it! With your lure attached, it’s just a case of casting out and using a simple style of retrieve. More on that lower down.

LOCATION

Where should you go for your first LRF session?

Look for easy access harbours, marinas or breakwaters to begin. Some
piers are also suitable, but not those that are too high from the water! Try to be fishing no further than 15-20 feet above water level. Ideally, get closer. Always consider what you will do if you hook a fish that is too large to lift (perhaps 1lb+). A bonus of such locations is that car parking can often be found close by which makes LRF far more accessible for a larger demographic of anglers than almost any other kind of fishing!

Water clarity can play a part. Clear water naturally makes things easier, but if your area lacks clarity, don’t be put off. All it means is that you may need to be slightly more careful with your lure selection and use those that are more heavily scented. This is where lures like the Ecogearaqua and Marukyu Power Isome come in to their own. Fish lures very slowly near to the bottom, and probably closer to structure and you will still stand a great chance of catching.

LRF can also be applied to deeper water rock marks, estuaries and some shingle beaches, but you will likely find that each of these will more productive in the warmer months. Tactics also vary. I’m sure I’ll cover more on those when things warm up a bit. LRF tackle can be fished in most locations around our coastline. Again, like I discussed in the ‘what tackle’ article, it just depends on the time and place as to what is most suitable.

If there’s water, fish it! And if you can grab a friend to go with you, do it! This is a super social way of fishing.

TACTICS

The best tactics to use do vary through the year, but in aid of keeping it simple, by far the simplest setup will involve is something along the lines of a size 6, 8 or 10, 2g jighead matched with half a Marukyu Power Isome worm (medium or large). With this you will be in with a great chance. What to do with it throughout the year varies, but I’ll keep it as simple as possible.

Winter:

In the winter, along with a slight shift in species (although we have been catching mackerel in January this year!), the fish are generally less active and the majority remain lower down in the water column (there are exceptions!). You may also find that the hours of darkness become the most productive. Day time can sometimes be hard – although you will catch. To begin, at night look for areas of water that are lit by streetlights. The lights will attract all manner of food and fish. The light isn’t essential but it will make your job easier while you find your feet.

So, let’s say you found a safe spot to fish and you’re casting in to say, less than 20′ of water with very little in the way of current…

1) Cast and allow the lure to hit the bottom – watch the line and the way it leaves your spool to judge when it is down – if you don’t feel it.

2) Pick up the slack line to regain contact with the lure.

3) With your rod tip pointing downwards and to the side, begin retrieving the lure as slowly as possible whilst keeping it from catching or tripping bottom. While fish are relatively cold and cautious, a straight retrieve (even with a straight tail lure that doesn’t appear to be doing anything) is often all that is required. Too much movement can be counter-productive. Keep it low and slow.

4) Should you feel a knock on the line, don’t energetically strike! Keep a cool head and keep slowly winding until you feel the weight of the fish, then slowly lift the rod and play the fish to the water’s edge. Small Pollack in particular have a habit of tail slapping a lure rather than eating it so you may feel knocks on the lure well before hooking one.

5) If the fish is small (you will have to judge this yourself) you may be able to swing it up and straight in to your hand. If it is larger then use either a landing net with a long handle, a drop net, or look for a safe position where you can reach it at water level.

Job done! Your first LRF fish is landed! This fish could be one of literally any species! It’ll be impossible to predict.

There are of coarse other things to try an
d another successful method could see you dropping a small lure vertically down the wall and to the bottom to tempt any number of bottom dwelling species. With time you will find that you are capable of targeting and catching multiple species from different areas of water in front of you – intentionally! Obviously fishing is of those things where you could really be doing one of any 5000 things, but the above should at least catch you a fish or two to get you started.

Summer:

In the warmer months, day time sport can be hectic. With the water temperatures higher, fish are more active and popular summer species like Mackerel, Garfish and Bass will provide good sport. Smaller species (and Wrasse) will also be active in close proximity to harbour walls and other structure. Night time can be equally productive – it tends to vary from place to place. Fish are more likely to attack faster moving lures and respond to more animated retrieves. A slightly quicker version of the winter tactic described above will still be very productive. This is the thing with LRF – you could easily just fish one single type of lure Ecogear Straw tail Grub or Marukyu Power Isome on a size 8, 2g jighead and catch fish all year round with one standard, straight retrieve!

Summer tactics can vary a little more because it will not only be the slow and gentle retrieves that work for you. Most things will! Better or more determined anglers among you will be capable of working out which methods catch you the better quality fish (more on that in a later article). Truth be told, even if you are inexperienced and are over-working a lure, active summer fish will often still be willing to play ball.

CONCLUSION

It would be all too easy to go in to numerous things for you to try. There are so many options, which is perhaps the reason why it can seem a little complicated before you give it a go? The UK is a big place and we all have our own different set of fishing conditions. The things that I have highlighted above have worked particularly well for me over the past couple of years or so and I believe the points to be a trustworthy starting point. Hopefully it all makes sense. Obviously everything here is aimed predominently at guys or girls that have very little LRF experience. Hopefully it will provide useful.

Ben

LRF: What tackle do I need to start?

This is just a quick article to explain to a friend the bits and bobs that come in useful when you first consider setting yourself up for a spot of Ultra light fishing. I will expand on it much more later. I’ve been reading more and more lately about people wanting to give light tackle and lures a try, but some of the recommendations coming from guys who haven’t tried it are just taking one or two people off track.

Moreso than with standard (bass) lure fishing, LRF equipment really needs to be quite specific if you want to get the best from it. That’s certainly not to say it’s complicated though! Far from it, it just needs a little thought and once you’re set up it is very, very easy.

LRF Checklist

  • Light lure rod (7+ feet and ideally with a maximum casting weight of less than 12g).
  • Small reel (1000 – 2500 size).
  • Mainline (braid or fluorocarbon. Braided mainline will require the addition of a short fluorocarbon leader. Fluoro straight through: 3lb. Braid: 0.4-0.6PE (6-10lb)(leader 4-6lb)
  • Small selection of jigheads and lures (jigheads from 1-4g with hook sizes between about a size #4 and #10. Lures from 1”-3”).
  • Drop or landing net.
  • An easy-access place to fish.
  • Preferably a fishing buddy or two.

Checklist in detail

The rod: Through experience, we’ve settled on rods that are around 7 feet in length but on occasion have found that longer and shorter rods can be useful. Just over 7 feet seems to be a very comfortable starting length though. Most of this type of fishing is easily done from harbours, pontoons and easy access rock marks where casting distance is not necessary and there are very few snags to complicate things. In reality, the shorter the rod you can get away with using, the more direct your line to the light lures will be. Ultra light rods sometimes come with solid tips for super sensitivity, but to get you started and in to a few fish, either a solid or standard hollow tip will be fine. Fast action (soft-tipped) rods certainly reign supreme, but just to get you out there, and light action spinning rod will suffice. With experience you will start to appreciate the differences and find your own way and personal preferences.

Recommended starter rod: Shimano Scimitar 7′ UL

Reel: Go for a small, front drag reel. It surprises many the things that you can do with a tiny reel, but I can assure you that small (quality) reels are more than capable of landing even 10lb+ fish! Small reels are better balanced with very light rods, and since you aren’t generally trying to cast a long way with LRF, even the smallest reel is likely to hold more than enough braid or fluorocarbon line.

Recommended starter/novice reel: Shimano Catana 1000

Mainline: If you ask me, your mainline (braid or fluorocarbon ideally) is perhaps your most important aspect of your setup. A fine mainline will ensure that your contact with lightweight jigheads (0.5g-5g) is much more direct. When I’m in the shop and talking to LRF newbies about their setup, the common concern that people have is with using lines that seem stupidly light. ”What will happen if I hook a big fish?” is a very common concern. As sea anglers we’re often pretty inexperienced when it comes to actually ‘playing’ fish. Of the guys I know, it’s generally the ones with a little coarse or fly fishing experience that most quickly become confident in actually letting a fish take line – they’re used to landing 20lb fish on 5lb lines. In reality it’s often not too much different at sea. Naturally it all depends on the conditions and ground that you are fishing over but assuming you are basing your first LRF attacks around harbours with clean ground and not too many snags, you will be amazed at how much pressure you can put on 3lb line! Set the drag on your reel and you will find yourself la
nding some very nice fish! I promise! Not every fish will be big enough to take line (don’t be a complete wimp when setting your drag!), but occasionally one will. Be prepared and take your time. The soft actioned rod will cushion your line against all of the fishes head shakes and you will be fine.

You have two options when it comes to choosing your mainline:

Braid: Slightly more costly, braid is thin and strong and is a great starter option if your budget allows. It’s thin diameter makes casting very light jigs infinitely easier and contact between your rod tip and your lure much more direct. I highly recommend not using braid above 6lb breaking strain for LRF. There is still a big difference between budget and quality 6lb braids, but whichever you choose, but not going above 6lb you should have the fine diameter essential for casting. I’m often questioned about this in the shop when customers think ”well, if 6 is ok, can’t I just use 10? I might hook a big one…”. the absolute truth is that there is a BIG difference between 6 and 10lb braids (cheaper ones), so ‘yes’, it does matter. You’ll still be able to fish, but i want you to catch fish and you WILL catch more with 6lb than 10lb. A 4lb difference when we’re talking about general plugging equipment would be almost zero but the lighter you fish in terms of jigheads and lure size, the bigger that difference becomes.

I would recommend uncoated braids in light breaking strains for this fishing, just because stiffer braids leave the spool in coils, and this will really reduce casting distance with light jigs. I’d also suggest using a bright colour like yellow, orange or bright green so that you can see more clearly where your line (and lure) are going. As you go up the quality scale with fine braids (all the way to the uber costly Sunline Small Game PE at the top), the braid becomes smoother, more supple and thinner – these features result in overall brilliant fishing efficiency. Starting with something like 0.6PE Gosen W (9lb) though is a nice step. I’d highly recommend starting with a strict budget to just get yourself out there giving it a go. Experience alone will guide your future tackle choices.

I would select a braided mainline if I were fishing a small jighead on or near to the bottom, or if I am hoping to provide some sort of specific action to the lure – with twitches of the rod tip for example. The lack of stretch in braid means that I (or you) should be able to feel through the braid when your lure bumps in to the bottom, or a fish picks up the lure!

With a braided mainline you will need to use a fluorocarbon ‘leader’. Unlike a ‘shock’ leader used for casting, this form of leader is much shorter. It’s function is two-fold. 1) Fluorocarbon is almost invisible in water so the addition of a short length between your braid and your hook will ensure that fish are not put off by the high visibility of your braid. 2) Braid can be easily broken if rubbed continuously over rocks. The fluorocarbon leader has a very hard surface so will protect a delicate braid from taking too much abuse. An 18” – 3′ leader will be enough to keep your braid out of harms way. If you get more in to the technical side then there are other features of fluorocarbon that will come in to play and you may want to lengthen your leader, but start short so that your leader knot (I find an Albright knot best) is below your rod’s tip ring and you should minimise problems with it choking in the small guides. On a 6lb braid for example, you would select a leader strength to suit what you are trying to do. If you want to fish slightly bigger lures and target 2lb+ fish, then a 5 or 6lb leader will be suitable. If you find that you are catching mostly small fish, or conditions are hard and clear, then even a 2 or 3lb leader will suit. By using braided mainline you can swap your leaders to suit. This leads us on in a second to your other option in a second – fluorocarbon.

Other tips for using braided mainlines: 1) Slightly und
er-fill your spool (3mm-5mm from the spool’s lip). 2) After casting, close the reel’s bail arm manually (with your fingers) – rather than winding it down. 3) After casting, sweep the rod backwards to pick up as much slack line as possible before you start retrieving. If you are to have trouble when using braid, it will 99% be due to slack line having found it’s way back on to your reel!

Recommended starter braid: Gosen W, 0.6PE. Recomended starter leader: Gosen Tiny Leader FC 6lb.

Fluorocarbon: Why fluorocarbon and not simple mono on my reel? Fluorocarbons have come a long, long way in the past 10 years. Originally they were stiff, hard to tie and practically impossible to load on a reel. They’ve always had their advantages though. Like I’ve said, fluorocarbon is almost invisible in water. It is also a very hard material so has great abrasion resistance for when you are fishing around rocks. There are a few issues with monofilament lines, and fluorocarbon gets around and improves on most of them (the list is long so I won’t go in to it fully). Mono; even though we’ve used it for years has less good abrasion resistance, generally more stretch and is also more visible in water. None of these are features that we require – if you are looking for better ‘presentation’. Modern fluorocarbons however are being designed now to be softer (so they don’t spring off of your reel), easier to tie and cheaper than they used to be. Fluorocarbon is still a few pounds more expensive than a cheap mono, but the benefits are many. Fluorocarbon also sinks! Mono floats. This may seem a tiny characteristic to worry about, but when fishing a 1g jighead and a 2” lure, this can make a big difference to your potential catches. The fact that fluorocarbon is ‘heavy’ also makes it a good option when fishing on windy days. This is where it can excel over braid. Light braids are easily blown in the wind, whereas fluorocarbon will generally be better behaved. There’s also no need for a leader when fishing fluorocarbon ‘straight-through’.

The down-side for many saltwater lure anglers wishing to use fluorocarbon mainlines is the realisation that to achieve that fine diameter required for casting such light jigs, fluorocarbon mainline choices should really centre around just 3lb breaking strain! 4lb is ok, as is 2lb for smaller jigs and winter fishing, but it is perhaps the psychological side that must first be overcome. Once you reach 5 or 6lb breaking strain, the thicker diameter brings a real downfall in your potential casting distance. It seems mental, foolhardy and impossible to use and catch fish in the sea on 3lb lines, but as the saying goes; ”don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”. We catch numerous fish to 4lb+ on 3lb lines and losses are very, very few and far between. I’m not recommending targeting 4lb fish on such light lines (the majority of fish around the harbours we fish average less than 1lb), but they do turn up by accident and 99% of the time they do get landed (quite quickly generally) and returned safely in good health. The theory of using light lines (before you’ve done it) can be scary. Once you’ve tried it you will find out exactly how strong 3lb line really is.

So, just to summarise the choice between braid and fluorocarbon mainline… Use braid for working or bouncing lures. Use fluorocarbon for steady retrieves (more than suitable for mackerel, pollack, scad etc) or on windy days when braid is being blown about. If I were to pick one, I would select braid and find myself some shelter on the windy days 😉

Recommended starter fluorocarbon mainline: Yamatoyo Spinning Fluoro 3lb – 150m or Sunline Siglon Fluorocarbon 3lb – 275m.

End tackle: LRF tackle is really, really simple. With the likes of the Ecogear ‘Pocket In’ sets available, you seriously do get everything you need to get you started in one little box. LRF lures may average about 2” long and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Lures like the EcogearAqua Straw Tail
Grub 2′, EcogearAqua Bream Prawns and the immense Marukyu Power Isome are pretty much all you will need to get you going on the soft lure front. For the warmer months absolutely add some of the Little Jack casting jig sets in 3, 5 or 7g! With some small jigheads averaging around the 2g mark and you will be out catching fish! I tend to recommend that beginners don’t try fishing with less than about 1.5g or 2g, just because by having that little bit of extra weight it will make your first steps a little easier and direct. 3g even will be ok to get you in to it. You will catch more fish in time by going lighter though. Saying that, if it’s windy and deep then even 5 or 7g may be necessary. It’s all about matching your tackle to the conditions, and not just fishing light for the sake of it. LRF excels in easy access areas where you may otherwise never consider fishing. Harbours, marinas, piers etc. are all great places to play. Weight of jighead is not the only important factor – you must also consider the hook size. You need small hooks! Most of the jigheads I use have hook sizes around a size 6 or 8 hook. By using smaller hooks, your tackle is balanced and you will hook and land small fish as well as large fish without issues. If you use large hooks, your presentation will suffer due to the weight of the hook and the smaller fish that you could be catching will remain in the water – rather than in your net! There is no better thing for learning than to be actually catching fish – even if they’re small. LRF is about making the most of EVERY fish that is in front of you. By fishing small your lure becomes food for fish big and small!

Recommended lures: as above. Recommended jigheads: Xesta Star Head, TT Head Hunter #6 and #4, Decoy Rocket Head SV-69.

Nets: A dropnet or a landing net should really be carried at all times – just in case. You’ll be able to swing most of your fish in (even on 3lb line), but occasionally you’ll hook something bigger. If you can get to water level to guide them in then, great! If not, use a net. A coarse/match style landing net and handle are usually ideal. A 3m+ lightweight handle and 20” net usually suffice. Of coarse, a dropnet is likely cheaper and bigger. It’s your choice.

And that’s it…! It really is simple. A small bag is all that’s required to carry such few bits in. Or even just use your pockets! Genius!

LRF is such a social side of fishing that I would strongly recommend trying to get a friend or two to fish with. You will catch fish big and small, and having a friend there to laugh at when he or she catches a proper midget is all part of the fun!

A few more tips before I go:

When playing fish on light rods, try to keep your rod at a 90 degree angle to the fish. This will ensure the rod and line can absorb any of the fishes runs.
When making the decision as to whether a fish is large enough to net or small enough to swing, if you have doubts immediately just net it. It will save faffing about or potentially making the wrong decision in trying to lift a fish and losing it with a hook in its mouth.
If swinging a fish in, be aware of the capabilities of your lightweight rod, reel and line. Do not over stress the rod or your reel. When a fish nears the shore and lies on the surface ready for lifting, wind the rod tip down to take up as much line as possible (so that you are standing with the rod almost pointing down at the fish), then lift in one smooth action. Do not try and crank the fish up using the reels handle. If it feels like there is more than a little strain on the reel then you probably should have net it.
Ultimately it is your decision whether you should be lifting or netting fish, but I’d just use a little common sense and wise judgement. Look after the fish and karma will treat you well.

Apologies for making this one such a hefty read. Things are developing so quickly with lure fishing in the UK at the moment that there is a very high possibility that if I come back to this article in 1
2 months time then parts of it will be slightly different. I’m still learning though, like everybody, and only time will tell where things go. It’s become apparent though that all of the rules we ran by for decades are quite often incorrect. A few days ago I counted how many saltwater species I have caught on lures this year. The answer was 29! TWENTY NINE!!!! All on lures. I know anglers who have had even more than that, and plenty of species that I didn’t catch that I should have done.

Please note: I only recommend light line in conditions and terrain that suit. Light tackle is great fun if used sensibly and at the right times and in the right places. Strong current, severe winds, very rocky ground or the regular presence of larger than average fish (you’ve got to be hooking/catching them rather than just assuming they’re there!) are situations where it would be wise for you to step your tackle up a bit. Whether you go just as far as 6lb or 20lb mainline and leaders is up to you and is a decision best made to suit the day in hand. It’s all about using a bit of common sense and actually thinking about what you’re doing to enable yourself to have the most fun possible – hopefully with as many fish landed as possible. One thing light tackle does do is enable you to consider fishing locaions that you usually ignore – inside harbours for example (if access is permitted). Lugging a seatbox and multiple long rods around may not be something you want to do in such a situation (people would think you were mad), but a small bag and a light rod enables you to keep moving and really explore different areas. This is one thing that I personally love so much about it. In such locations there are often very few snags (and a surprising number of fish/species – which is why it goes hand in hand. It’s a big mistake to think that LRF is all about fishing your current favourite marks with very light tackle. It’s about exploring pastures new and then applying what you will learn to other aspects of your fishing!

In conclusion LRF is not the complicated thing it’s often made out to be (by guys who haven’t tried it). It’s not something that needs to be forced on people, nor something that threatens all other forms of fishing with its righteousness. It’s just an extra string to your bow and certainly one of the most fun ways of fishing that I’ve ever tried.

Ben

Multi-Species Fun – An Introduction to ‘LRF’

Ever thought about targeting anything other than Bass on lures? Tradition says that bait is the way to go, but modern (mostly Japanese) tackle opens up literally hundreds of exciting avenues to be explored by the forward thinking saltwater lure angler.

Pollack, Wrasse, Pout, Whiting, Codling, Bream, Flounder, Plaice, Rockling, even Gobies (plus about a billion other species) are all catchable on lures! Step one is as simple as stepping your tackle down. Reach for the small baits, light line and rods and get out there and have some proper fun! Proper job meht! Take the kids even?! This is way different to spinning a jelly eel – which may still be effective on it’s day (much like anything) – this fishing puts the emphasis on light, balanced tackle and FUN!

Time and time again I have spoken to anglers who praise the enjoyment of fishing ‘light’, yet in reality hardly any actually do it! Shame on you I say! Fooool (Mr-T stylee)! People are really missing out on some of the best fun available to the UK lure fisherman. We’re talking 4lb and 5lb lines here by the way, not your old 10lb stuff. Think coarse fishing, and then lighten it! Picture yourself on a rocky headland with a 2lb pollack going balistic, a big cheesy grin on your face, your rod bent double and your reels drag actually doing what it’s designed to do (for a change)! You’d be surprised at what the tackle can handle. Targeting anything that swims can be a seriously addictive, great fun and massively rewarding in the techniques and theories it teaches you. For many of us I think it probably takes us back to our roots – before it got too serious and ‘samey’. Fishing light and with total respect for any fish you catch (no matter how small) brings an opportunity to try and beat your own personal goals without being overly serious.

Targeting mini species (and some not so mini) is about the best practise of lure fishing techniques that you will find – and believe it or not is highly relevent to your bass fishing – so don’t write it off before you’ve tried it! As an example, last winter I spent many an evening/night fishing a Cornish harbour for tiny pollack using 4lb lines and small soft baits. Catching fish on light tackle adjusts you mentally to feeling for the tiny bites associated with small fish and broadens your understanding of hooking techniques and bait actions. Being able to often see the fish under harbour lights at night really shows you what a small fish thinks of your even smaller lure, and how it reacts to each twitch you impart on it. Where am I going with this?!… well, as soon as you go back to your ‘bass size’ baits, everything feels GIANT. Lines feel so direct – a 7g jighead all of a sudden feels like you’re fishing with a 2oz bomb, and the bites you feel (even though small in reality) are far more obvious than you’ll previously have experienced. ‘Light Rock Fishing (or LRF as the Japanese call it) really is the best bass fishing practise youll get! Far from just being ‘bass practise’ though, it’s a massive, massive laugh in it’s own right, which, afterall, is what fishing should always be about.

Watch this space for more info in future, or check out Keith White’s blog (www.jerseybassguides.com) for numerous reports and valuable snippets of information on LRF. It’s very possibly the future of ‘fun’ fishing in the UK – so check it out. More doors are opening by the day so give it a whirl.

For a few bits to get you started you don’t need to look further than the range of Ecogear products. Check out the ‘Pocket In’ Mebaru and ‘Pocket In’ Kasago kits especially. These include a selection of baits and jigheads to suit all manner of species and conditions. Perfect for getting you started! Convenience to the extreme!