Thursday, 29 September 2011

Red Eye Sessions

Last week saw a few of us take on a challenge......... road trip and fish devon and cornwall! Myself, James, John Barribal and the north devon bass fishing bandit Joel Squires had a fun couple days lined up. on the thursday Me and Jimbo headed up to north devon to have a days banter and fishing with North Devons Finest Bass Guide Joel Squires he's a fully insured bass guide with over 6years guiding under his belt up on that beautiful part of the world. we would be crambling around on the secret squirrel club rocks hoping to nail one of two spikey buggers.
as you can see the north devon coast is a demanding bit of coastline and i would highly recommend help from locals or a guide Joel. this fishing is about as fun as it gets as you can be a kid again scrambling in and around rocks casting in and around these stunning rocks and gullys which every inch just screams BASS! the ground here is fairly shallow so surface lures and shallow divers like Popkeys from IMA and X120's and X140's from Megabass are just what the doctor orders..... i started with the Popkey as this lure can be worked to chug just under the surface and in this choppy water i stuck on a Limited edition Candy flashing plate version which had a good amount of flash and bright colours to stand out in the white water crashing in and around the rocks. Joel sticking with his long range minnow type lures which certainly did the trick! i managed to rise a nice fish which tail slapped my lure right off the surface but i couldnt get the bloody thing to hit again...... in steps Joel :-(
flukey sh&t i swear i warmed that fish up ha ha ha good on you mate. after a spirited fight which i would of put money on the fish snapping Joel up on some rather frisky looking rocks right in from if us...... talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! after some quick photos this plumb 4lber was returned to fight another day, you cant beat seeing these fish swim off :-) the tide was pushing now and was time to head off to the next spot where after 10mins of me thrashing the water to a foam with my IMA Sazuke 140 up pops a face i didnt want to see...... and no i didnt mean the Ex Mrs it was a couple hundred pound seal...... :-( so that nailed that on the head! off to the next spot we go
now talk about out of this world fishing....... clambering along this rocks like a bunch of mountain goats it surely couldnt get any more remote and bass fishing bliss, i honestly couldnt care if we caught or not i just love being on places like this, and thats what i love about being one of the truly luck ones who does this on a regular basis i have some amazing memorys of being to places like this with like minded guys and above all friends! what more can you ask for? i actually managed pretty well to get every bass within 20miles to stay clear of my lures (doing my bit for the conservation of bass ;-) ha ha ha) after a couple hours playing around the weather decided it was time for us to stop our north devon adventure as the swell and wind had other ideas. still a fantastic days fishing with a top guy, thanks Joel your a star and look forward to joining you again soon either bassin or on my turf for the pike! please look this guy up a truly great guide and a true gent well worth hooking up with for a days guided bassin!
so after a long drive home from North devon all the way to Ivybridge where me and James would grab some grub and a couple glasses of red before another early push friday morning down to meet with John Barribal owner of the Lure Heaven lure shop and of coarse his own online shop which stock pretty much all you could ever want for you modern lure angling! we had a quick poke around the shop looking at the lures he imports himself as well as the giants like Megabass, IMA, Savagear, Graphite leader and many more it was time to head off to some rock marks James and I had spoken about over the last few weeks it was finally time to get out and have a chuck! as you can see above it isnt the type of fishing you can just turn up and flick you lure out! you really do need to have your comman sense about you when venturing out like this to these marks....... pretty much most of this climb was shuffling around on your ass and all fours! not for the weak hearted thats for sure! remember fish arent worth your life be safe all three of us are experienced fisherman with many many years of this kind of stuff under our belts!
it wasnt long before we had fish nailing the lures.... on 3-4 occasions i had fish nail me on the drop fishing off a point where there was lots of busy water and they werent tiddler pollack thats for sure! after a few changes of lure from Megabass Flutta'bait the Savage sandeel and then i stuck to my guns and wacked on the trusty Owner SledHead weedless jig and a Megabass Giant Xlayer in smoke and glitter and i didnt have to wait for the fish to react well to this change! on the very first drop in to a good 30-40ft hole just off the rocks the rod slams over and iv got some good head shake and a charge but off it comes....... the very next cast i retrive slightly shallower hoping to hit a good Pollack or Bass rather than risk tackle loss with the monster rock pigs here, BANG im in!
heres a plump little 2lber which scrapped like a beast under the rod tip. awesome fun on my Sakura Mazerra 742ml to 21g and Shimano Stradic FG4000 loaded with sunline super PE 24lb a pure pleasure to use :-) you should of seen the colours on this whipper snapper while it was scrapping in the water..... an electric blue running through the fins and dark as night on its back a truly differnt fish when there yanked from the seas by us anglers! after some quick snaps it was returned for another day and behind me i could hear John into a fish too a small Pollack had nailed his Bait Breath lure on the Owner 3/16 OZ Sledhead too. it the day was flying by and we wanted to up anchor and head to the north coast of cornwall to get some gawjus sun set scenes over the wild storm beaches and hopefully a bass or two......
but as again you can see here good old mother nature had other ideas........ the winds had ment to of swung due south but plainly had stuck at southwesterlys which gave us some interesting coastal conditions....... now im a lure junky and to be honest there is much i wont fish within reasons but i must say im proud to admit when nature has beaten me! Me Jimbob and John scrambled down some ledges in search of some rocks to attack the seas but from up here it looks rough as a tivvy rave caves lass's undercrackers but trust me when your stood on the ledges with wind, swell and choppy seas its a different ball game, you canb usually fish two of these conditions but all three work against you to a point its hopeless. we pissed around in hope but then pops up a pair of seals and then a pod of dolphins GAME OVER.we moved off to this stunning beach which had gullys and deep holes dotted all over it just as the light was dropping, while Jimbo and John shot some product shots i did what i do best and scrambled across the muscle beds in search of Bass but it just didnt happen, i think if we had been here a hour before so the water wasnt so low it would of been a different story! all in all a brilliant days fishing here in sunny cornwall and by this point the looks on mine and James face said it all we had just about ran out of energy after this two day long fishing marathon covering Devon and Cornwall with some of the most back breaking cliff stomps and the most beautiful surroundings you could ask for! if you want a adventure head down our way for some awesome fishing in the salty stuff!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Drop Shot

Drop shotting is a awesome method for presenting a soft plastic in a way that it is kept "in the zone" with deadly results! this method came here with real bonus's for the likes of big Perch and Zander fishing where the presentation is about as good as it gets! i used this method in the sea also for Pollack and Bass with good results, but for me my heart still sits on the fresh water side where you can work docks and locks with ease in a way previous methods just dont cut the mustard! im going to take time out to put a few piccys up to show how to rig "drop shot" with my fav softplastic the Megabass Xlayer :-)

here im about to tie the Palomar knot, form a tight loop with your Fluro (20lb in this case as there are pike present on my local venures, you can uptrace with wire if needed) this is the part you push through the eye of the hook so forming a nice small tight loop is important, the lighter the fluro the easier this bit is. flure strength is a totally person choice between 15lb and 20lb covers all my needs even in salt water.
then you form a simple overhand knot with the loop you have just pushed through the eye of the hook. I generally use carp hooks from Korda in size 6's and 4's as there sharp as shit and really do hook the fish specially in boney mouths! at this point in the above photo you pass the hook through the loop created hanging here on the right of the picture and then moisten the knot and slowly pull tight, making sure eveything is nice and tidy.
now at this point you will have one end of the fluro attached to ya braided mainline and one end will have nothing attached and hanging
you need to now pass this lose end back up over the hook and thread it down back through the eye (making sure hook is pointing up like the abive picture) this keeps the hook always pointing upright like a scorpions tail, this also is important as it helps the overall action your imparting on the lure.
as you can see the Palomar/drop shot knot is now tied and ready for action. now on the lose tag end you attach your lead/weight this can be tied like i do or you can get leads that have the pinch pull system where leads can easily be moved or changed as well as less snag resistant. i start at about half a ounce for my general drop shotting and if needed move to a heavier weight to keep my gear in the zone!
once your lead has been attached your pretty much there ready for action! all you need now is to choose your soft plastic to wack on the hook :-) i LOVE the Megabass Xlayer as its action literally dances around on the drop shot and perch go pretty much cross eyed when they see them! rigging couldnt be any easier and more deadly
you insert the hook point in the end of the Xlayer and pull it out just before the first rib (ribs always up on the Xlayer for better hook position) you can also rig this just nipped on the nose or even "wacky" which gives you even more lure movements if you want to spice it up a bit! push the Xlayer around the shank so the eye of the hook lies tight into the end of the lure.
once the Xlayer is on the hook you are ready to seriously upset some Perch or even Wrasse etc! this method has accounted for fudgin loads of decent fish in the last 5years or so and apart from it being awesome fish catching method the Drop Shot is a brilliant fun way of catching you fav fish on a cracking method! please do give it a try :-)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Guernsey G.B.A.S.S

In August a Motley crew of Anglers ventured across the channel to Guernsey like a bunch of pirates armed to the teeth with numerous rods from Mullet to our Bass lure rods...... we had just over a week to play around hunting down the legendary channel islands Bass! the first day we arrived we headed out the the campsite to set up base and have a quick scout about in time for some late afternoon Mulleting in the harbour at st.petersport and more importantly get midlands based angling sniper Andy Hart his first Mullet! after a bit of pre baiting and hunting the harbour for the mullet it wasnt long before we found a good shoal.....
Andy nails this beaut almost instantly after me and James fed them up and what a cracking first mullet! quick scrap under the rod tip it was shot with the camera and returned to fight another day! we all headed off to the outer piers and break water where we found some awesome looking spots for later on in the week, Andy also nails a Garfish on a jointed plug hunting for Bass. the next couple days are spent wreckying for venues for the G.B.A.S.S comp at the end of the week where me James and Andy would enter in hopes of taking at least the visitors prize :-) we new where to hit after a few nights out with local leg-end Tom Brock where we nailed a few smaller Bass and Tom got proper smashed up by a beast of a thing! i reckon the fish he lost had every ounce to of been the winning shore fish!
Heres James fishing on a mark where i had just nailed two more bass on the Sakura magic eel fished on a glider jig head this lure just looked amazing fished in the really busy white water where these fish cruised the rocks...... check out the full reports and pictures in Total Sea Fishing mag in the next couple of months, the next few evenings we would go to the weighins at Boatworks in st.petersport where we could see there wasnt much happening which made me happier knowing i had'nt had many decent fish just schoolys etc this was certainly tough fishing but does it get any more beautifull than these wild rocky beaches and bays Guernsey is deffo a place ill be visiting again very soon! the last night of the comp we all stood around the weighin waiting for the beasts to be weighed in when two young lads who had already managed a 7lber for the small boat section the young lad only being 7! his slightly older fishing buddy had only nailed yet another beast just scraping the double at just over 10lb! this turned of to be the winning fish with a few guys weighing in 7's 8's and a few 9's please check out for more info on fishing for Bass in and around Guernsey. i highly recommend it! keep your eyes peeled in TSF mag and world sea fishing for more reports and features
all in all an amazing week with good company!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Urban Beautys

Hectic few months things have finally settled and with that comes the shite weather :-( i havent been out as much as id like but after some pissing around on my local canal doing small wrecky sessions and a few evenings on the topwaters i decided it was time to figure out where the big perch have been hiding throughout the summer, and boy did i stumble across them! Theres a urban fishery not to far away that for the last say 5years has really come into its own with good heads of perch and pike i posted up last summer a few trips here and always managed to pull it out the hat. i know of some huge perch being caught here so i got my self down there armed with drop shot and carolina rigs hoping for some action.....
after a full morning of fishing the carolina rigs through this stretch i managed 14 perch to just over a pound all to carolina rigs either texposed or on mozzi hooks, the best lure by far was the smallest size of the Megabass Xlayers..... there action is superb and perch just nail them! but here i was struggling to hit the 2lb plus fish! i turned one perch which was bar far the biggest iv seen here locally and was deffo over 3lb and for a moment got my heart pounding :-) but nothing came from it! i decided to head to a small corner where two trees are sunken from the near bank where instantly i get what im after! in the first drop (now on drop shot) i get smashed up and get two 1lb perch one after another.... then a tiddler which had 3 perch follow it up, all over 2lb biggest being a good 3lb! the very next cast i nail this beauty which on the lie detectors hit 2lb 3oz :-) i managed by the point 40plus perch from quarter of a pound 8 of which went a pound plus! the biggest being this 2lb 3oz. drop shot deffo showing the larger fish and such a enjoyable method!
Me and Ady decided that enough was enough i needed to head out to piss off some pike! the same local urban spot has always had the potential to throw up some monsters...... people are feeding the swans/ducks and geese all day long here and the place was crawling with roach and dace perfect pike prey! it wasnt long before the action started! Ady having the first bit of action when this awesome fish nailed his twin tail out in the deeper channel she tipped the scales at 12lb 7oz and certainly started the day off well :-) in the very next swim i cast out my savagegear Da'bush spinnerbait out and half way through the retrieve i felt a sharp knock but no take.... as i lifted the bait of the water up comes a big old head! another mid double comes charging in after it! i was buzzing now, but i think she saw me as it didnt comeback :-( it wasnt long before i had some more luck with another fish of around 9lb smashing my lure but again not hooking up i was now a nervous wreck as seeing Adys double got the juices flowing! the fish couldnt come quick enough!
finally i nailed this lively pike it literally lept 3ft out the water i couldnt believe it! proper took line like allot bigger fish! gotta love summer pike there soooooo explosive! quick photo and it was returned the afternoon then went very slow with only one more small jack showing when it hit my spinnerbait and came off the conditions of the weather and venue couldnt of got any better but it just didnt happen :-( we at least thought more jacks would come out to play! so we headed back to where we had the fish in the morning, with almost instant results! i had another big double i would say a good 13-14lb plus..... it was super long and very meaty this fish chases 3 times even head butting the lure but again wouldnt smash the lure VERY frustrating fishing! while i was playing around tryin to get this fish to take Ady hooks another fish the rod looped over but even that one came off with a twin tail pulled down the hook it was getting a bit downhearted now! couldnt complain though as there was obviously a amazing head of decent double plus fish all within half a mile stretch! we walked back to where i saw my fish double of the day and managed to turn it again right under the rod tip but still no take! :-( ohhhh well i know the fish are there i WILL be back end of the week to settle the scores all in all a great day out with surprising results