I don’t mind confessing that it’s been quite a while since I’ve had chance to get out and have a proper evening’s fishing. With opportunities generally slim, rather than winding myself up about those times coinciding with bad tides or rough weather I pretty much just told myself that I wasn’t going to fish at all in any real capacity for most of the past 6 months or so. However, with that sabbatical now over, I’m starting to get out a lot more regularly from now on.
While LRF has become very much about the species hunting aspect over the past few years, back in the old days (5 or 6 years ago) when we were really only just finding our feet with it, it was more about casting away from the walls and picking up Pollack, Mackerel, Bass, Scad and the like. We hadn’t really figured that we’d end up catching so much variety under our feet. I’ve fond memories of those early days, and it was very much a winter thing at the time – something to do when the bass weren’t feeding.
When the water cools the fish obviously slow down, and unlike the summer months when you’re better off fishing heavier and more aggressively, even simple fish like the Pollack are massively easier to catch by stepping your tackle right down and fishing as light as you can get away with. Last night was a prime example and a really fun couple of hours.
With the shop being closed on Wednesdays through the winter, Tuesday evening gives me a chance to get out late and have a go. After closing I headed down to Fowey. Stupidly I’d not even bothered checking the tides, so was a bit grumpy when I got there to find hardly any water. I had no plans for this session other than to catch a few fish, so although I parked at the ferry end of the town, it wasn’t long before I’d headed all the way through to the other side.
There seems little point down here in targeting the pitch blackness after dark as all the fish seem to head for the lights, so that’s what I did too.
Finding a favoured spot, from the very first class I was catching – even with there being a lot less water than normal in front of me. There was quite a lot of fresh water coming down the river with the tide as it ebbed so I was a bit surprised at the number of fish there to be honest. I caught pretty much every cast for the first 90 minutes (mostly Pollack up to around 1lb and a couple of Scad). Interestingly as soon as the tide reached its lowest point at about 9pm, I hardly saw another fish so I didn’t stick around for too much longer.
It was a nice chance to play around with some lures though. I caught on most things I tried, but definitely the smaller the better was lesson of the day. In fact, on the largest lures I tried I caught the smallest fish. For consistently larger fish – and more of them – lures like the Fish Arrow Flash J 1″ SW were the best. The Reins Rockvibe Shad 1.2″ and Tict Brilliant 1.2″ also caught a stack of fish.
Although we sell a lot of the Fish Arrow lures, I must admit that this is the first time I’d fished the 1″ size myself. While I expected good results, I didn’t actually realise how durable they’d be. The Reins and Tict caught me loads of fish too and I can strongly recommend them, but the two Flash J lures I used caught me 20 fish between them, and the last is still rigged on the rod now, ready to go next time! I’ll sound biased but it’s definitely a new favourite.
Overall I was really happy with the setup I took with me. For this style of fishing it was perfect. The solid tipped Slash Vision Blood 732 was absolutely perfect for this slow, straight retrieve style of fishing. This is EXACTLY the type of fishing that solid tipped LRF rods are made for (along with one or two other specialist applications). #0.25PE Tict Ash braid, a 5lb fluoro leader and 0.9g Reins Aji-Meba head was all I needed. I did mess about with some heavier jigheads and larger lures for a bit but they were completely ineffective all bar the two smallest Pollack I caught all night – even though the bigger fish were there. You could easily have missed them if you’d gone in with a bigger lure or heavier jig. This has tended to be the way at this time of year for me, all the way through the years that I’ve done this kind of thing.
Anyway, all in all a nice night to get out and catch a few. Now I have that one out the way I’ll start getting a bit more specific about trying different things in future sessions. There are a couple of things I’ve been working on that I want to share.
Over n out.