After last week’s Pollack and Scad bonanza, this Tuesday evening I went back for a bit of the same. I wanted to try a few new tackle bits and also play about with some existing ideas. I wasn’t species hunting but really just wanted to catch a few fish. In hindsight I’m really glad that we hadn’t organised an evening like this for a Species Hunt comp as it turned out the weather was absolutely horrific!
My chances to fish are generally so few that I’ve given up even looking at tides or weather forecasts before planning trips. Bit stupid really. Last week the tide caught me out (although I still bagged a load of fish) and this week, after a dreary day sat in the shop the wind really seemed to get up in the evening. On getting down to Fowey it turned out to be the roughest conditions I’ve ever attempted to fish there. Most of the town stretches were completely unfishable in all but the very occasional corner where you may have managed a chuck with the wind at your back. So I had very few options.
I started out on one of our favourite walls casting under the lights. Always good for a few Pollack, I had about 15 feet of extra water here than last week thanks to the high tide. With the same Fish Arrow Flash J 1″ lure that I had on last week on a 1.8g head this time because of the wind I actually had a fish first cast. A Pollack (as expected) of about 8oz or so. I had a few more of these on the same lure before the rain really started blasting at me. I’d foolishly left the car coatless to beat a very quick retreat to a close by shelter. From here I could still just about fish but knowing where the fish were lying it would be a pretty long chuck across the wind. It was pretty much the only option I had though.
Ultimately, it ended being a lesson in presentation – or at least doing what you’ve got to do if you actually want to catch a few… The other option was to change nothing, fish easy and catch nothing.
I already knew that fishing light and small was the way to catch as many of these fish as possible. I also knew where they were hiding – in the shadows at the end of the wall – just out of the lights. Fishing closer to me or in the shallower, sheltered waters to my left may have been easier but I wasn’t going to catch much (if anything) there from experience.
It was also my first time out with a new rod and reel combo. The rod being a new Gamakatsu AJ Master 76 I’ve claimed as my own! The specs just match exactly what I wanted, but being rated to only 5g I was aware I might need more weight than this in the wind! I only had three lure options with me that would be heavy enough to reach the distance and be heavy enough to keep me in control of the lure in the crosswind on the retrieve.
1) Xesta After Burner Mini 7g.
2) Spro Teppan 7g vibration bait.
3) A mix of 3g+ jigheads.
I wasn’t expecting to have been using any of these options at this time of year as I reserve most for the summer months when the fish are more active and aggressive and the top two options are obviously well above the maximum casting weight on the rod. They were only really in my bag as left-overs. That said, the Xesta jig was first on to cut across the wind. Surprisingly to me the rod handled it and the lure very easily hit the mark. With a straight retrieve I was chuffed to catch another fish first cast. Following that they weren’t having it every time and I wasn’t feeling any indications from the fish as soon as I got past the mark (so 80% of the retrieve was a waste) but considering the conditions it was better to be catching t
han not! I also tried the vibe bait and heavier jigheads with a couple of 2″ softies but didn’t catch a fish on either. The Afterburner was the way.
For next time I will have to get back in to the Caro tackle again. In hindsight this would have been absolutely perfect for this session (as a way of presenting a small lure at distance) and I think I could have retrieve this more slowly than the casting jig as well – which I’m sure would have caught me more.
Towards the end of the session the rain subsided a little and I ventured (slightly precariously – getting blown off my feet) on to the end of the wall where I started. There were obviously a lot of fish there to be honest and I’d not been able to make the most of them from my far off position. It goes to show what a difference good presentation can make. There were a lot of fish there all along but I wasn’t catching every cast from my far off position on the heavier jigs. From here I could fish lighter, slower and more easily and was having at least an indication every cast, if not a fish. It didn’t take long to put another half a dozen fish back but being so windy I decided I’d head home and warm up.
A real shame overall about the wind and rain but, regardless, I ended up with probably 15 fish or so in a couple of hours. Lovely playing about with new rods and reels (super impressed).