Monday, 17 September 2012

Catch Report 17/09/12.. More species and a disaster!!

Headed out to a new mark with Mike Sullivan from The Rockfishing Revolution today with expectations of a full on session! I wasn't dissappointed.

Getting home from work at 0730 and it wasnt long before Mike was at the door to get on the road. We hit the mark an hour before low tide and intended to fish the flood. On arriving my eyes just lit up. This was screaming HRF fishing!! The structure and cover here was shouting Wrasse and Bass. And we were here for the Wrasse! Swell was non existent and the weather seemed to be holding up so it was a session with much promise.

To start off I adopted LRF mode and while Mike went off to get his new baitcaster setup working some likely gullies, more on that later, I had a hunt around the deeper rock pools for some small species. Lure Heaven's Species Hunt has a lot of local anglers doing some very strange things to get a few more species on the tally. Its now got me rock pooling ;)

After a few pools I saw some gobies hiding in the flora of a pool so dropped in some red Power isome on a size 14 hook and waited for the show to start. It wasnt long before two gobies were fighting over the Isome and it was soon converted into a landed fish. This fella didnt even manage to register on my rule.

LRF Black Goby at 6cm
So the species hunt was off to a good start again. But it was time to stop playing in the rock pools and get to some serious Wrasse hunting. Decided to give the new mark a good testing and go with the bigger lures. Started with a Tikki Stick in Mulberry Swirl. Rigged on a size 1 RockFish hook with a 10g cone and 2 jingle bells. The weight was up as the swell was starting to build on the flood and needed that extra to get the lure down through the water column.

After a few knocks but nothing committing decided to turn to a new favourite in the form of a 5 inch Paramax from Ecogear. This lure took a bashing. Bite after bite was coming thick and fast but nothing converting into hook ups. This was probably due to the hook being too small and I should have upgraded to a 1/0 or 2/0 for this lure. However on a steady retrieve with sink and draw action the lure was hit hard with a small tail nip and a solid thump. The fish ran straight under a ledge and would not budge. Trying to reposition to no avail it was time to resort to straight out and out bullying to get the fish out. However on this occasion the war was lost. Resigning to the fact that the bigger lures really weren't working I swapped over to a daiwa Tournament D'tail. This lure has performed well for me and straight away, after relocating to a nice sized pool of calmer water, the lure was getting hit hard. Wrasse like but not as frantic and I soon pulled a Giant Goby out from under a shelf. This is my first lure caught Giant Goby so very pleased with this catch. I went to add him to my species hunt and placed the laminate next to the fish on my tape. Reaching for my camera disaster struck. As I looked down to my belt to retrieve the trusty camera a gust of wind blew through the gully I was in lifting the card up off the rock and into the pool behind me :( No problem Ill just scoop it out. Ah this card sinks!! Unfortunately I wasn't prepared to drop 12ft into the pool to retrieve said laminate from the sea floor, so if anyone sees Davy Jones using my card please feel free to nobble him :) Frustrating to have a good catch like the giant goby and now no card. Still photographed and returned and hopefully the guys at Lure Heaven will still let me count it.

HRF Giant Goby at 18cm
Agonising over whether to try retrieve my card or not I had to move on and hit a new gully to tally a Wrasse to the trip. A likely mark was soon found and on the second cast a famililar feel of Wrasse taps were felt followed but the bend in my HPR. Although the Wrasse tried to run I had the drag screwed down tight and soon landed a beautiful fish, Again photographed minus my scuba diving laminate but Ballan Wrasse was soon added to the species list.

HRF Ballan Wrasse at 35.5 cm
Pleased to fianlly hit into the Wrasse as Mike had landed 4 by this point on his Slicer and Baitcaster :) Just shy of the 2 lb mark and measured at 35.5cm not a monster by any stretch but a welcome addition to the species hunt.

The weather finally decided to beat us to it and end the session as the swell was more in keeping with a bit of Bass angling and the weather decided to turn to rain whilst the wind picked up. I was pleased to see how well the baitcasting setup was working for Mike and we discussed its benefits for use in HRF. Could it go further... it can and I have decided I will look at some Baitcast Finesse over the coming year. Not fully up to speed with it at this time so will update more once I have decided on a setup and fished it. We also discussed another project Im currently working on. More on this when its fit to be revealed ;) Finally decided to finish with the braid for my HRF fishing for the meantime and experiment using a decent Flourocarbon throughout. The Sunline range will be my first port of call to see what they can offer by way of a good 12lb FC for HRF tactics.

Lots to consider and think over. Was brilliant to get back out with Mike once more. We always have an idea storming session each time we do finally manage to arrange a session out on the rocks. It usually ends up costing a bit more money too ;) Lots to look to the future and contnue to develop my sport.

On a last note I should hopefully receive a GOPRO HERO2 HD camera for use on my trips in the next couple of days. This will enable me to show you the mayhem both above and below the surface of the water so I look forward to adding some vids of RockFish Rookie antics very soon.

Till then Tight Lines!!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Catch report 14/09/12 - Species hunt well underway...

Well my laminated entry card for the Lure heaven Species Hunt arrived in the mail this morning and was waiting for me when I got home. Can only mean one then. Time to crack on!!

Decided to have a short blast of a session out with Paul SMITH and our mascot, Rocky! We headed out to a busy mark early evening and dodged a few nearby anglers to get stuck in. I opted for a quick dropshot session to start and using Jacks LRF dropshot hooks, again with red Power Isome, was quickly into a fiesty little Corkwing Wrasse. Great start and I quickly went to unhook the lil fella and made a grab for my species card. Unfortunately I believe this fella must have seen "Finding Nemo" as he soon flipped and tumbled himself to the edge of the wall I was fishing and back into the blue before I could record him :(

Still onward and I decided to continue on the dropshot and hope to hook up again with my movie buff friend. Another tap and I was soon back on with another fish. On the retrieve I had a lovely little pollack who only just made it on the measure :) Cracking little fish and finally my species hunt was on.

LRF Pollack at 11cm

Still using the dropshot technique with a little pink Power isome another species arrived in the form of a Smelt.

LRF Smelt at 17 cm

Switching tactics I dropped to an old favourite, metals. Using the Jackall Mameta, which seems to be going under a new name in the uk as the Jackall Aji Mame Special Jig, I started to cast out. Using the 4.5g in a bright yellow/green Midnight Banana colour I had six Pollack in succession, one fish on each and every cast. These were quite healthy specimens and of a better stamp than Im used to at this mark. The better of the fish was this 32cm fella. Paul seems to think I had a better one and they were putting a cracking bend in the Major Craft Zaltz ZAT, my LRF go to rod. 

LRF Pollack at 32cm
I was really pleased with the return on the fishing tonight. Slightly gutted about losing the wrasse but they're always around so I will chase another soon. Paul had some cracking Pollack too and had a crazy foul hooked Pollack on, aptly named, a crazy lure!! We both had a cracking hour and a half out on the lures. Planning some adventures for later on the way home I'm well and truely on the species hunt trail.... get involved!!

Finally, hoping to catch up with my old HRF mentor, Mike SULLIVAN, from Rockfishing Revolution this coming Monday. If our meet ups go anything like usual I should have a cracking post to report on our antics and maybe even a glimpse at the future of our angling pursuit and a real life comparison of old and new ideas ;) Till then tight lines....

Dont forget to check my updated species count on the species post at this blog :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Night Time Wrasse and a must enter comp....

Popped out last night with usual LRF amigo Paul SMITH but felt like something different. Paul had made some attempt to explore a new mark very close to where we fish LRF. This mark was to hunt some more pigs thou and so with both HRF and LRF packed we headed out.

I havent been to this mark before and exploring a new mark at late evening with the light almost gone wasn't the ideal situation but on arrival I could see why Paul had started to have a sniff around the area. Rocky shelf shore line with a heavy weeded blanket across the stretch of coastline. It was looking healthy for some Wrasse action and we know a local bait angler has had 4-5lb fish somewhere in the area.

Weapon of choice for the evening. 7'3" Century HPR with a Caldia 3000. Stepped up to 20lb Sunline Castaway braid and a good 2 foot of Sunline Siglon FC leader in 18lb. Have moved to a heavier braid and leader recently as the areas I have been exploring have gotten a lot rougher and snap offs have been occurring. I have avoided going to heavy as it can cause the braid to "hinge" as it breaks into the water and the lure swims differently. So far so good. This outfit was tipped with a size 1 Rockfish worm hook, 2 jingle bells ;) and a 5g conehead. Lure for today was the Diawa Tournament D'tail in Ayu.

With the rig ready to go I started to cast close to where we first arrived. The lure was dragging through the weed and the conditions were not ideal. Fishing 3-4 hours into the ebb probably isnt the best time to hunt Wrasse  but you sometimes have to just push on whatever your faced with. I quickly changed position to hit a spot on the corner of a rocky outcrop. The lure hit open water and a very slow retrieve with a twitch here and there to get the fish interested. 15 minutes into casting and the HPR bent into a strong bite and immediately I had a scrap on my hands. The power in the fish was awesome and I was sure it was going to be a good sized fish. Took some dragging through the heavy weed but was soon landed. A lot smaller than I thought it would be at just shy of 2lb. Must have been the extra pressure caused by the heavy weed that caused the feel of a much bigger Wrasse.

I love the spotted pattern on this one. Was a lovely colour too. Whilst at the mark we met with a fella from South Wales who was working with the Royal Marines. He was using small plugs but we soon converted him over to weighted weedless presentation. Im sure he will be buying some gear to carry on this style which he found helpful. Best of luck Gethin and I hope the fish abroad bite for you :) The tide had dropped to a height that made it impossible to pursue anymore Wrasse so we headed to one of our usual LRF spots to see Andy Younger, Sam Clarke, Frankie Costello, Mark Power and Dean Pilgrim all into some cracking fish on the light gear. Cuttlefish still causing issues but Andy, Sam and Frankie had some lovely Scad. Poor cod and gobies were also being caught. Nice job guys!

Finally Lure Heaven is running a species hunt over the autumn/winter. It started on 1st September 2012 and runs until december so plenty of time to get involved and catch some good species. It covers both salt and fresh water species so expect some future posts on some freshwater adventures :) Check the Facebook page for entry details but I believe you share/like the facebook advert and then send in your contact details to receive your card that will be required to be included in all catch photos.

Hope your catches are plentiful if you enter the comp and tight lines..

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Catch reports... A catch up!!

Having been a bit rushed off one's feet for a few weeks the blog has unfortunately had to take a back seat.. as has the fishing :(

However have managed to make up for lost time the past few days and so I will condense what has been a few good fishing trips :0

First up was the Art of Fishing Wrasse comp. I had been trying some new areas for Wrasse recently and in company with Paul SMITH and Frankie COSTELLO. We headed out to the mark shortly after a quick sign in at the PLYMOUTH BARBICAN shop. After a small chat in the parking area we headed out to see what we could winkle out. Conditions have not been best for Wrasse recently and any fish were going to be hard fought.

Frankie and Paul with our mascot, Rocky!
We quickly got stuck in off the rocks but it was soon panning out to be a very hard session indeed. I had a mare of a day having some incredible bites but I didnt manage to hook a single fish!! One take had me look over at Frankie who commented on how much of a bend the fish had put on my 7'3" HPR. Hoping for a big donkey all I ended up with was a hook fly out the water with no lure :(( ... and they didnt even leave a tip!

So an infuriating day for me turned into a cracker for Frankie. Still having to land a HRF Wrasse he soon winkled out his first from under a ledge we were fishing. This continued to be the best spot of the day and we got hammered for bites! Frankie converted another bite into a landed fish and the best of the day.. really chuffed for him to have two Wrasse on his first HRF session with fish landed. Cracking work!

Nice deep coloured rock pig at 35cm
A great day to be had by all and the competition was won in the end by a 51cm fish I believe which is a cracking effort considering how bad things have been.

This past Thursday I hit the LRF with the usual crew and it panned out to be an unusual night. Back using the metals I tested the Jackall Mameta in a bright pink. First part of the evening was the return of the living cuttlefish! Obviously attracted by the vibrant pink on the lure I had no less than three cuttlefish with yet a sniff from a fish. However the first fish soon came and I had this little pollock attack the lure on a straight retrieve.

Moving to a new pool and continuing on with the same metal I had a quick tap of a bite transmit down the MC Zaltz and converted into this fella coming out of the water.

A fine looking Sand Goby who thought that the Mameta was certainly a tasty treat. After a few more gobies the light was dropping away so i decided to go to a bit more dropshotting. Using a 5g dropshot with a new size 14 LRF dropshot hook, both from Andy KENDRICK at the awesome Jack's LRF. These dropshot hooks are the business. Easily threaded the doubled Sunline flourocarcbon through the eye and tied with a Palomar knot, all in the dark :) I use flourocarbon throughout for dropshot as I find it just makes sense. The Palomar knot is the best way to secure a decent dropshot rig and once you try it a few times its a relatively easy knot to tie.

Popping a very small section of Pink Power Isome on the hook I dropped it tight to the wall I was fishing along. Bites started almost instantaneously. This is normally the way with the dropshot. I really must try it in an HRF environment. Soon a small Pollock was retrieved. Re rigged with fresh Isome and back in the water. This time the bites came thick and fast. As I retrieved what appeared to be a small pollock I saw a larger dark figure make a beeline for my catch. Not sure what it was but very nearly ended up with a surprise on the hook :) However on the retrieve an even bigger suprise.. a small pouting. My first on the light gear and a real sign that winter is on the way :(

The evening was closing in and time to finish up on the light gear for another evening. A great night and some odd goings on with the cuttlefish and some signs that the season is drawing to a close with the sign of pouting in the water.

My final session came yesterday when I returned to a new and unknown mark which is begging to be expored. Joined by Frankie again for this trip there was a bit of a hike down to the mark. This mark is a beautiful strip of coastline and Im rapidly coming to enjoy being there. However the fish have not been kind so time to prove that the Wrasse were in.. After fishing some likely areas on at the start of the flood we moved across the gullies testing the water at every stage with no bites. Standing at the end of a gully I dropped a Snowbee Stinger Slider right at my feet down into deeper water and in front of what appeared to be a rocky ledge. A few tell tale nibbles started on the lure and the 7'3" HPR bent over. Fish on! It returned to its home under the ledge and took some coaxing out only to run for a heavy weeded area. With the drag now screwed down hard a quick bully away from the weed stopped the Wrasse in its tracks and soon landed. A cracking fight and a healthy fish just under the 2 1/2 lb mark was released after photos.

Rock hopping again another good network of gullies were soon found and these ran to meet each other in a large pool. Taking position over a rocky ledge there had to be fish somewhere in the area. The ground was boulders and weed lining the edges of some deep water gullies. Optimistic I cast the lure searching for some tell tale signs of Wrasse. After little reply from the water I again dropped the lure at my feet to sink just in front of the ledge I was stood over. Whilst admiring the sun, which was on the way to setting, I had an almighty thump on the lure and this fish peeled away some line from the Cladia 3000. Unfortunately it was to retreat back under its ledge. I soon realised that there was no way to bully this one out of its hole. Slacking off some line I repositioned myself at a better angle and started to slowly retrieve on the Caldia. After some coaxing the fish finally moved and ran across the gully to avoid being landed. There was a tremendous amount of power from the fish. I would soon see why. The fish gave a cracking account for itself and was finally landed. It was soon apparent where the power came from as the paddle on this fella was a sight. Weighing in over 2 1/2 pound I was pleased with the scrap this fish put up. Reminds me why I love Wrasse fishing over any other.

Nice paddle on the back end of this pig!
All in all a good day fishing and I really have fallen in love with this mark. Still needs to throw up some bigger fish mind :) More return visits will be had. The walk up was a bit of an epic climb but the views were second to none.

Tough life all this fishing malarky!! Tight lines all...

Monday, 13 August 2012

LRF Gear Discussion Update...

Had a look at the stats recently over which posts are read and the LRF and HRF gear discussions seem to be by far the more popular posts. With that in mind I have decided to write a further post on LRF to update you with the latest gear available on the market.

So time to have a look at some of the updates to the LRF gear available on the market.

Lets have a look at some new rods in the form of the YAMAGA Blue current 74 and 80. This pair of rods have a super sensitive feel but both are stiffer in feel than my MC Zaltz ZAT, yes still using this beautiful rod. However the 74 is rated at 1-8g and the 80 at 1-11g. This draws me to these rods as during this season I have found I have used metals a lot more than I have done in the past. This has been down to the poor weather and tougher conditions we have endured this year. The Zaltz rated 0.5-5g has handled the metals within the rating well but the soft tip does make me nervous about going to much over on the weight of the metal lure. The Blue Current gives you that extra bit of weight option when choosing the lure weights. Peace of mind considering the number of LRF tip sections I have heard of snapping this year alone. The second rod is from the TICT range. TICT have produced a number of LRF bits in cluding rods and end tackle. The Inbite 710 TB is a lovely looking rod. With a casting range of 0.9-12 g it covers all the angles for the same reasons as the yamaga rods. From a wagle in the shop it also has the same responsive feel. I have not fished any of these rods yet but I do prefer a shorter rod for LRF. My initial thoughts and feelings go with the Yamaga Blue Current 74. It has the weight range I need with the lighter feel I prefer and is a shorter rod similar in length to my Zaltz. All three rods fall in the mid price bracket with the TICT taking the more expensive end over the Yamaga rods.

There has been a new entrant on the reel front. For a specific LRF reel I have seen a number of Daiwa Gekkabijin MX 2004 being used within the group I fish with. This is a pure finesse reel and quite affordable to boot. This is a shallow spool LRF reel which is silky smooth and able to really adapt to conditions when fishing light gear. The Gekkabijin ticks all the boxes for a specific light game reel at an affordable price. This still falls within the mid range price bracket.

Finally to the end gear. First off the people at TICT have produced a range of jigs and plastics for your LRF fishing needs. The jigs have been designed with roles in mind. The Dart Jighead M is designed to zip from side to side when twitched on the retrieve. The action has to be seen. This little jig really gives the lure a life and the quick darting action gets the fish interested. I have used these jigs and I find them simple to use with a great action for your effort. The Bull Head 'Strong Shaft' is a strange looking fella. The concave design gives a resistance to the retrieve. This serves to do a couple of things. Firstly the resistance means you can fish a lighter jig and still feel the pull of the lure. This also keeps more tension on the line during the retrieve. The shape of the jig also means you get a better pressure wave created by the jig and lure on the retrieve. This could mean that the fish home in on this action and find the lure. I have yet to try these jigs but have been asked about them a lot when fishing Tict gear so will have to give them a try.

Finally the lures have also kept on coming. TICT had a handful of new lures arrive including the Brilliant in 2.5 and 1.5" , Fisit 2.5" , Lizard Tail 2.4" and Venus 1.5". I have used the Brilliant and it has a great action on a dart jighead. With a good sized paddle on the back end and a ribbed body its a cracking little lure. I also like the look of the Lizard Tail which will likely be the next lure I try in this range. Also fishing well for larger LRF species and crossing over into a bit of smaller HRF work is the Lunker City Fin-S. These have been working well for me and I particularly like the Arkansas Shiner colour which has also done well as a colour fishing the larger Slug-go for HRF. Worth a look for a change of tactic and seeking out the larger LRF fish. Although they have been around for some time I have just starting using this lure as a mainstay of my LRF soft plastic arsenal.

To finish with I would like to introduce you to a few of the hard plastic lures / metals I am starting to use. This is a follow on from the metals I have already posted about and my interest in metal and hard plastic lure is increasing as a viable tactic for LRF. I have got three new lures types to experiment with. The Daiwa SC Shiner which is a great little suspending lure and very hot with Mackerel but also a tempting Bass treat. The next is the Jackall pyun pyun lure in 4.5g. This has performed well for Mike SULLIVAN over at Rockfishing Revolution for the period he has been using them and so I will take on the lure for a further period of testing. And finally a new metal in the form of the Jackall Mameta metal lures. This is a cracking little sinking lure which comes with an assist hook attached to the eye. Superb looking metal with a little extra "sting" :)

So there we have it. A few updates to my original post as things are moving on all the time. Interestingly it also moves with your experience and I have found I use metals a lot more than any other lure a t the current time. Plastics still produce the goods. Mytactics have also changed to suit the condition and following the session with my folks the other day Ill post up some simple tactics and how I attach end gear. This is borne from the questions I was aksed at that session which will be the same of most new anglers to LRF.

Till then, Tight lines.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Introducing lure fishing to a new generation...

Yesterday was a really inspiring day for me. I took three nephews out with my dad and brother in law to introduce them to lure fishing. None have any real fishing experience and certainly never held or fished a lure rod or soft plastics, which was going to be the order of the day.

So a couple of days ago I took the guys down to Art of Fishing for a look at the kind of gear we would be using for our day out. My dad was after a set up so we left with a Garbolino Magister paired with a Shimano Nexave 1000FC. This was to be spooled with some Sunline Siglon Flouro in 3lb. Armed with a pocket in set and some Power isome we were set.

So yesterday we packed the gear, including three wired young gents, and we made our way off to the mark. I chose a mark which was easily accessible and parking was bang on the fishing area. We were to fish off hard standing to avoid clambering over rocks as one of the guys was quite young. After an inordinate amount of time setting up rods for all we were straight into fish :)

One of my nephews was fishing a Shirasu jighead with a glow white Ecogear Minnow SS. It wasnt long before he was into his first lure caught saltwater fish in the form of a rather hungry mini Pollack.

On the other side of the mark I was fishing with another Nephew and we were using a drop shot rig of a 5g drop shot with a size 14 hook and a small chunk of red Power Isome. After an infuriating number of taps the rod finally bent into a take and he retrieved his first lure caught fish, a lovely little Wrasse.

Josh has his first lure caught Wrasse

We fished on for a little while longer but the annoyance that is tombstoners blighted the mark and made it both unsafe and innappropriate to fish any longer (the language was terrible). So we packed up and headed off to a different mark just for a final cast or two. This mark was quiet with no one else around. We continued to fish and on a simple Isome rig on size 14 with a SSG split 2 inches above the hook we had the surprise of the day when this little fella popped up.

Think it is a sand goby although never seen anything like this before. A great finish to the day and a retreat for tea and medals! I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Was great to see the little guys getting excited over lure fishing and their catches. The sun blessed us all day which made the day even more special for them and they went home chuffed with the tales of the "big" catches. First question when we got home.... "so are we fishing again tomorrow?"

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Catch report 08/08/12 - Sunsets and Bass

Took advantage of some glorious weather to visit a mark on the south east coast with Mark QUINTON. Mark knows this coastline like the back of his hand and we have explored bits of it over the summer. Today was a new spot for me and it looked amazing. We arrived as the sun started to lower in the sky, the water was crystal clear and the swell was calm and pushing at the end phase of a flood.

Started out with trying to get my first of the year off the top. Using a Zenith Z-Claw and firing it out on the 9'6" GL Argento RV the lure worked like a dream. Whilst i got used to fishing off the top again (its been a while!) Mark hooked into a fiesty Bass!! The fish were around which was a pleasing sign. Shortly after Mark's fish I saw the familiar swirl on top as a bass shot up to take my lure and dissappear back into the blue. This one didnt put up too much of a fight but did try and snag me on a rock. Quick assist from Mark saw the fish back in the open water and landed safely. A Beautiful fish, shown here resting in a pool before release.

Things went a bit quiet so time to change tactics and I popped a Megabass X120 SW on and first cast brought the cracking sound of line peeling away from the reel. This fish was up for more of a fight and took some controlling to land it. Another beautiful silver and was more than happy to flare its dorsal to show how unhappy it was!!

Time was running out and the dark was quickly racing us and our fishing time. So time to shift to a new rock outcrop and try a different approach in the water. I have to say the Megabass was performing well. a cracking lure that flew out like a bullet on the Argento and was retrieving really well. Generally sticking to a fast straight retrieve with a couple of jerks and pauses thrown in. The new position worked and the reel screamed again!! This was a better fish, probably the bigger of the three and was playing me. He moved from one outcrop of rock to another trying hard to snag my line so he could make a bid for freedom. After a tense 3 or 4 minutes with braided line brushing up agaunst barnacled rocks he was back in the open and quickly retrieved to be landed. Great condition fish at 2lb this was the best of the night.

Time to leave and we retreated back to the cars under a brilliant red and orange sky as the sun set. Great to be out fishing with mark again and you cant get better than this as a view and fishing mark. Good session to test the rod and lures. I really like the Argento. Casts a long way with minimum effort and has tremendous power. I would say on the fish we had tonight, smaller than usual sessions, it wasn't a hard fight and you do need bigger fish to really get a feel of the fish but on the flip side it really handled these fish with ease. The Megabass lure was the star of the night for me. Worked really easily and hooked up on ever take. True beast of a lure which ill use a lot more.

Next Ill be out taking a few youngsters out for a day on the LRF. Report to follow if I survive the experience :)

Friday, 27 July 2012

And now for something completely different....

Right really need to get back to a few more posts so here we go. Angling time has been a little light of late with a sporadic quick session with Mike SULLIVAN when and where I can. Hope to rectify that this weekend. Looking forward to it and trying a new mark I discovered from a recent activity that has had me side tracked ... I'm doing a bit of Geo caching and boy it's superb! Now not going to turn this post into a geo caching update as there has been a simply unforgettable trip that today's post really about. However if any of you haven't heard of geocaching before or done it then I would recommend it and you can find out all about it at . Just tell em TheSeryph sent you ;p

Anyhow the geo caching has been fun and I have managed to tie it into a spot of mark hunting for my Wrasse fishing but this week I had the most amazing fishing experience to date. Monday I went out on the Crusader out of Plymouth Harbour for a spot of Blue Shark fishing!!

Now although we did do a lot of lure fishing for Whiting and Mackerel the sharks were on bait which is the first time I have bait fished in an age. Amazing how all the new techniques I have learnt over the past year and so have dislodged the old bait techniques. Luckily I had my old fishing partner in crime Nik MORTIMORE along on the trip and work buddy Nick BLOOM to help me through the boat fishing again!!

We were greeted by a glorious sunny day at 0700 in the morning as we headed off shore some 25 miles or so and commenced our day out to find the sharks. After a tremendous amount of mackerel and whiting coming up on the lures, a fin!! Everyone became really animated as we saw our first signs of shark activity. We had been waiting hours to see the sharks come in but this one was very cautious and just played with some of the baited rigs we had out in the water. Then all quiet.

We continued to wait out the sharks when more fins approached our rigs area!! Then a sight to behold as two dolphin leapt from the water and arched their way across the open water to the side of the boat! I have seen dolphins in warmer waters abroad and they never fail to really touch a spot somewhere deep in your soul that really moves you. And so the wait continued... we had a take on a lighter rig which failed and so it came to me to take the next rod. One of our floats disappeared into the deep and line started to peel off the reel. Silence..... whizz.... off the line peeled OMG BIG FISH ON!! I took over the rod and the force pulling on the rod was something unlike I have ever experienced in my time fishing. The float was still under the water and not visible until..pop.. it arrived on the surface and moved toward the boat. It was soon that a dark shape could be seen and we sighted the beautiful form of what we found out was a female Blue Shark. Now this is THE biggest fish I have ever had hooked and the pressure was on to land this fish with all the boys watching... no pressure then :))

This is a short vid clip courtesy of Nik MORTIMORE... Thanks mate :)

The Shark circled the boat some 4 or 5 times during a session of over 35 minutes to get it close to landing on the boat. Its a rare thing to actually land one of these fish and this was one of the fewer occasions the Crusader skipper allowed the landing of the shark. I was going to actually handle this thing!!

Finally aboard the Crusader it was time to water the shark down.

Hose down to keep her watered while I try to settle her for photos.
Steady girl I'll need that hand later.

Quick photos before returning it to the water to fight another day. 95lb Female Blue Shark.. boy what a beauty! Big thanks to the Skipper Rick and his crew

I cant describe how amazing this experience was. To be hands on with such a powerful and beautiful fish goes beyond words. Certainly a high point for my fishing times and one I hope to repeat at some point as it was an experience like no other. I hope to finish this post with a vid of the Sharks release and will add it as soon as I can get hold of it.

Till then all.. I have some Wrasse to hunt so tight lines!!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Testing Testing... Vibe (Blade) lures!!

So to another post covering ongoing testing of new gear. This one carries on from the  original testing testing post on metal lures. However I decided to be more specific as I have been exclusively using vibe (or blade) metal lures and had some great results. Its definitely a lure I'm using a lot more on my LRF runs and it's producing well. The weather prompted the return to metal as the wind and rain has been terrible and really left me with little choice!

Firstly the lures. I have been testing some old favourites and a new find, thanks to LRF amigo Tony TOLLER.

First the old favourite, the Ecogear VX35. I have to admit I have been dubious about the use of Vibe lures and the VX35 has been sat in the tackle bag for some months. But as I say the weather has been most unkind to my LRF band of brothers and metal seemed the way forward. The VX35 is a 3.5g sinking vibe lure from the great Ecogear stable. It has a choice of 2 anchor points. A forward point for straight retrieves and a rear point for a more vertical style of angling.

Second was a new find. I have managed to get hold of some JAXON Switch Blade Holo Reflex and Merla Holo Reflex lures. This was packaged with some SPINMAD Amazonka lures.

Top to Bottom - Amazonka, Merla Holo and Switchblade Holo

The Jaxon switch blade lures come in at 4g and are similar to the VX35 other than the switch blade has a third anchor point. The Merla lure came in at 4.5g and with a very triangular head cuts through the water very well. This also has the similar 3 anchor point design of the switch blade. The Amazonka lure came in dead on 5g so was the heaviest of all the lures. It had a simple blade design with most of the weight to the front and bottom of the lure. Again it had the 3 anchor point design.

So to the test. First up to bat was the VX35 which I have in a Ltd Edition colour. I wasn't sure if this brown colour would do much but after moving around at a usual mark I was soon into a hard fighting Mackerel. The VX35 transmits the vibration really well and using the front anchor on a straight retrieve I wasn't surprised the Mackerel homed in on the lure in the water.

So already into fish I cast out around the same area to see if the mackerel were schooling. Shortly after I start the retrieve.. fish on but a weak take. Definitely a smaller fish but I was very surprised when this little fella popped up.

LRF Rock Goby on an Ecogear VX35

This lil fellas must have been hungry as it shoot out to take the lure on the retrieve, first time I have watched a goby take a lure in such a manner. He was very quick to give credit where its due and soon back in the water.

So the VX35 was producing the goods and I cast out again to see what else I could find. Unfortunately the wind blew the lure in a cross wind and landing in a thick off shore weed bed the VX35 was MIA!! Still time to try a session with the new lures from JAXON.

I started with the Jaxon Switchblade holo in the pinky/bronze colour. Casting from a prominent spot at the usual mark for LRF I w3as into a fish on the second cast. Using the Switchblade in a similar manner to the VX35 I used the first of the three anchor points on a straight retrieve with a couple of twitches. This lure didn't seem to transmit the same level of vibration that the VX35 did but it still landed a good Mackerel.

LRF Mackerel on the Jaxon Switchblade Holo

Back to casting and a lighter take. On the retrieve I had the smallest Pollack I have ever taken from any mark. This little fish was not much bigger than the lure which is less than 5 cm in length. This lure was producing as well as the VX35 but a slight change in anchor point, using the middle one, gave better vibration transmission resulting in this fish.

LRF Pollack on the Jaxon Switchblade Holo

This was the last Blade lure catch of the session so as a side line I rigged a 3.5g dropshot weight with a size 14 hook and a 2cm piece of pink Power Isome. Dropping it off the hard standing I was on, close into the wall, immediately bites were felt. Soon the Zaltz tip was tapping and bending well. On the retrieve a Blenny was hanging on to its kill with a vice like grip.

So to the lures. Of the two tested they work in a very similar way, give similar results and fish well! The main difference.. the cost! The VX35 is a very well made lure, which is to be expected from Ecogear. The material is pristine and the craftsmanship, well you can see and feel its quality. The Jaxon is a little bit more rustic in its build. It doesn't have the same quality "feel" of the ecogear but then I can buy 4 Jaxon lures for the price of 1 VX35.... and with them fishing in a similar manner with both producing good catches it isn't hard to love the Jaxon Switchblade Holo. In my opinion having some competition on the market is good for all of us. It promotes development into better lures and also introduces a competitive market. Something that we, as the angler, can only benefit more from. Not to say I wont replace my VX35 in the future but at this time I'm happy continuing with the Jaxon lures as my metal vibe lures!!

next post will probably be generated by the use of some eagerly awaited Tict product. Soon as its been tested it'll be up here for your reading. Till then Tight Lines!!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Catch report 09/07/12... For whom the bell tolls!!

Sound.... does it affect lure fishing. It's something I have been thinking over for some time. Why do we have companies spending time and money in producing sound making devices such as glass rattles for our lure fishing? Why do some soft baits already come with rattles as part of the design of the lure, Megabass xlayer for example. Does it make a difference?!

Well only one way to find out and this recent experimentation was fueled by a rather interesting article written by Del THOMPSON over at Scilly Lure Addicts. Del was obviously looking at sound as well and found a small 6mm metal bell on ebay. His findings were that the sound made  HRF fished Wrasse more aggressive and really attack the lure! Time to test this theory for myself.

I managed to purchase a stock of 6mm jingle bells. Linking up with Paul SMITH, we headed out to a mark which I have only fished on the ebb and so was interested to see how it does on the flood. However on arrival it was a disaster. The weather had been particularly awful the previous days with weather warnings across the county. The water was horrendous. Imagine leaving a teabag in a mug of hot water for a few hours then add the smallest drop of milk. You now can see what I saw off the coast at our mark.

Still we had taken the time to travel so fish on we did! I Texas rigged a few different soft plastics during the session but in place of the usual bead I rigged a pair of jingle bells! The sound was very subtle. Casting throughout the morning I had a few bites but no real dedicated takes. The fish were being fussy all through the flood which wasn't helped by the non existent visibility in the water.

However as soon as the tide was high Paul said he thought he had a knock but was now getting nothing... time to bring in the bells! Casting in roughly the same area I went for a quick straight retrieve with a couple of twitches. Primarily due to the fact is was relatively open water and Paul had thought he had seen silver!! Within 8 or 10 feet of where I was stood... Bam!! Strong attack on the lure but no take. Cast and repeat..... Bam!! Every cast was receiving a strong attack but not a hook up. Something was not happy with my lure. With the visibility so poor was the sound making the difference? This continued for some minutes until the HPR bent over quickly but shortly after locked up. No not snagged.... must be a Wrasse!! Giving a bit of line I then saw the most amazing sight. The Wrasse was running with the lure across open water doing its best impression of a Bass! I have never seen Wrasse run like this and this fella was not giving up. The fish was landed after the longest scrap I have had with a Wrasse and this fella, just over the 3lb mark, was photographed and released.

The lure was utterly decimated. I have not experienced aggression like this in any Wrasse I have previously landed. It was a cracking experience and echoes the findings of the Scilly Lure Addict Mr T ;) that the sound seems to provoke an aggressive response from the fish. So sound may actually make a difference. This was the last fish of the day so I dont have any further takes to compare but this will be an ongoing test now to see how much sound affects my fishing.

Here is the lure, well what was left of it. My beloved Snowbee Stinger Slider with a third of the back end missing and teeth marks all over. Never have I had a lure returned in such a state following one single fish. He was the Hulk of the Wrasse world :)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Catch report 05/07/12 - Pushing the light game boundary...

Weather and work are really messing with my fishing karma at the moment. But with an eagerness to push the limits of my sport I have managed a couple of shorter LRF sessions recently with local LRF amigo, Mike SULLIVAN hailing from The Rockfish Revolution.

We have discussed LRF a lot recently and having broken a few of those "you can't do" scenarios over the past months (4-5lb Bass on 5g rods!! on more than one occasion..since when!) we have decided to see how far the LRF wagon will take us. LRF has been, till now, predominately Harbour/Marina fishing close to civilisation. Now LRF is fun fishing!! It can be unlikely that you will blank a session [although some starting out will do, even some of the more seasoned members of our group still do ;)] and this in turn keeps people interested in this style of fishing as well as the pure variety of species and accessiblility of marks that comes hand in hand with LRF style angling.

But is this the limit of LRF style fishing or can we take it a few stages further? Well of course the answer is always going to be onward and upward :) and this has been the mission for the past couple of sessions. So where to start. Well both being avid HRF anglers as well as having the prime rough ground marks of our coastline it's a natural place to start. No!! I dont mean rock pool LRF, although it will have to be done ;) I mean back to my favourite of all species and lets push the LRF limits on wrasse.

First session took me back to the mark which started my journey into angling. It's as good a place as any to look at LRF wrasse with it's heavily weeded and rocky terrain. It was a cracking session with Mike clearly taking the better fish, mine coming on the last cast before giving up :) but left me with some observations on how I am limiting my angling by forcing myself into catagories when I fish. To explain, I turned up to the mark for an "LRF" session. As I have previously explained here this means a more "urban" approach to my fishing in this style. However, this was no longer harbour LRF style fishing this was coastal LRF style which brings into play all the usual coastal angling factors. I had no waders with me, well that ended up with wet feet. I was fishing heavy weeded and rough terrain. Even the smaller jigs and lures got snagged very easy and I had no light weedless tackle!! I lost the most end gear I have in any session since I learnt Texas rigging was the way forward.

So by pigeon holing my fishing styles into prescribed and immovable "templates" I had probably one of the worst sessions in terms of fish for quite some time. But there was a blank saving wrasse hiding in a hole who was more than happy to try and stuff an Ecogear Bug Ant 2" in white. My first fish on the bug ants which haven't overly produced for me in the past.

LRF Ballan Wrasse

Pause for thought and a quick login to Jacks LRF shop. Size 6 and 8 weedless hooks on the way. I didn't imagine for a second that texas rigging would come into play with my LRF angling but this last session supplied more than enough evidence that marks such as this will produce fish if you have the right gear.

In our second session we hit a place I have thought about trying for some time. Again back to the coastal shore on the rocks but taking the weed out of the equation. The tide was high and with it brought waves hitting the rocks which is unusual for this mark. Not the best day to start on a new venue but we fished on. As with any new area it takes a while to seek the holding areas for fish and it was sometime into the session before we hit the right spot. Wrasse for both myself and Mike, who also picked up a quick take OTD from a pollack.

My wrasse come from a break in the rock which went down through to the main body of water. The tide was pushing a column of water into this area and the wrasse was waiting for food, taking the white Paramax as the  water level dropped.

LRF Ballan Wrasse

All in all some interesting angling over these sessions. I will be keen to return to the weed once I sort out a weighting system between 1-2g for the weedless rigging of the lures. Now that I thought about it a visit to some local marks filled with rock pools could be in order to see what they throw up. Can't believe Im ending a post and leaving you on that thought :)

And to all those attending this weekends Cornish Lure Festival, Good Luck and enjoy!

Till next one, tight lines!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Catch report 24/06/12 - Testing Illex Superpin Tail soft plastic.

So a break in the weather finally when Im not working and its off to a mark for a spot of Wrasse hunting. Really keen to keep up my experience fishing HRF Wrasse on plastics and a close friend, Paul SMITH, joins me on this trip having suffered a year long blank so far.

For this trip Im keen to test two new purchases. Finally I can say that my Century HPR has been purchased following a rather depressing session a couple of months ago which led to my much enjoyed MC Crostage snap into pieces. However this cloud definitely had a silver lining and enter the mighty HPR.

I have gone with the 7'3" Staggered tip which is a Wrasse beating beast of a rod.  The first thing you really notice about this rod in the sunlight is the amazing petrol blue colour that shines through when the light hits the rod. Power comes in extremely early on this rod which is ideal for stopping the dirty trickster that is Wrasse. It has a slightly longer handle at the reel seat compared to the Crostage, which will take a little adjustment on my casting but it casts like a dream. 5g and a lure and its outta there, although it was also pitching very welland accurately. Very pleased to finally have this added to the arsenal and Im sure it will serve me well over the coming months/years. This rod is built to last! Much stronger and resilient than a number of like rods this is hopefully going to make it a hard rod for me to break... considering my current track record with rods this is a big plus point for me :) When we talk HRF/LRF fishing you will noticed the phrase "balanced gear" over and over again. The theory being that rod, reel and line all balance each other out so the rod will sit in a neutral state (horizontal) with minimal support at the reel seat. The HPR balances very well.. I mean very well!! With the Caldia 3000 (and previously used with the Rarenium 3000) this rod balances perfectly!

Why a staggered tip?? Well it's very simple...... power and strength. If your really bothered about portability then your probably better off getting the EBT version of this rod (equal butt and tip) which is your recognisable spigoted rod roughly in two halves. The staggered tip is a one piece which is slotted into the butt when used. It means you have a whacking great rod bag and it can be tricky to transport (no issues in most car models I have transported it in so far) but the rod is one single piece which offers those slight advantages. . This rod was designed with Texas rigging in mind and really suits my style of fishing for Wrasse.
Second test for this trip is the recently purchased Illex Superpin Tail plastic lure. Seriously if you see this at your usual stockist get some. These lures look like bait fish in a bag. Ultra realistic they swim amazingly well rigged texas style using a low weight and are just teasing any number of fish species to bite. These have to be good for Wrasse, Bass, Pollack you name it Im sure it will eat these lures. Fairly pricey for the number you get but still worth it all the same. The only slight niggle I have with this lure is the Wrasse I caught this session absolutely destroyed these lures. Two takes and the lure was nearly in half but this is Wrasse fishing and the lure feels solid enough when rigging. I will see how they go as I use them more extensively over the coming sessions.

So to the session. Weather was looking good and the sun was present but not glaring. Winds where up and swell was coming in. Not ideal as the surf was also rolling in but I was hunting out some usual sheltered spots that normally hold a few Wrasse. To be honest at first glance I started to wish I had packed the Bass gear as it was looking ripe for Bass and Pollack :)

We hit the mark bang on low tide which was a low 1.2 metre. Taking a few minutes to rig up I took Paul over to a likely spot and we started casting. The HPR was working well and I was enjoying the feel of it. Fishing through heavy weed I could really feel the features under the water through the rod and my Caldia 3000 reel. Within a few casts the rod tip has the familiar feel of Wrasse nibbles and fish on! This Wrasse gave up on the fight very early on which was a bit dissappointing, livened up a bit as I got it close to the rock I was fishing from and a little tacker is brought in.

Nice coloration which is one of the reasons I enjoy fishing this species so much. Photos done it was back in the water. I continue casting when Paul gets a tight line and his bushwhacker starts to bop... fish on!! On the retrieve the Wrasse manages to pull a dirty tactic and gets free. Paul was using a jighead and exposed hook and on the retrieve the lure has come away and the Wrasse won that battle. I suggest he switches to a weedless texas and fine tune his texas rigging. Immediately his fishing "feels" better and we fish on.

It isnt long before my HPR bends over again. I cant get over how quick the power comes in again and this fish is definitely better and putting up a good fight! The thing I really notice about the HPR is that it doesnt have the exaggerated "bounce" some softer rods have and makes controlling the fish on the retrieve so much easier. It doesn't take the fun out of the fight mind and I really enjoy landing this fish. Mush better at just over 2lb with similar coloration.

The interesting thing with this fish is the evident green/blue colour in the mouth of the fish. Wrasse do get a blueish mouth colour when they're spawning but I would expect that to have been earlier in the year. But who said nature had any rules!

We fish the rest of the afternoon but it all goes a bit quiet. Paul has a good take in a rocky outcrop which is a strong Bass like take.. unfortunately his braid is over the rock and the braid snaps clean off so we don't get to see if we had a Bass or not! We discuss structure and feature and why we choose to fish certain areas. Its a shame as the tide isn't racing up the shore as quick as I'd like and some of my favourite areas are yet to flood. But its time to call it a day. Was a cracking day and great to have Paul out for a session. Hopefully next trip we will get him into some fish :)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

HRF - Wrasse and soft plastics ....

With the weather disrupting my course of LRF sessions this past couple of weeks my mind has gone back to my favourite target species...the Wrasse!! And with this I have been thinking about my current soft plastics and getting them back in the water.

As I have mentioned before HRF soft plastics can be split into a couple of areas, one being for Wrasse. I was introduced to Wrasse by Mike SULLIVAN of Rockfish Revolution about 12 months or so ago. When others were conversing about the fight Bass give on lures and others were catching many different species often on light game I was learning about Wrasse behaviour, weedless texas rigging and the item that brought me into Rockfishing in the first place.. the softie :)

Soft plastics, when rigged weedless, allow the angler to really search out the fish in the most insane structure and feature known to the shore angler. If we look at Wrasse and their territory we generally end up in an area of rough ground which has many rocks about the place covered thick in weed and ledges formed from gullies and reef. Perfect ambush features and good bolt holes to run when they get threatened! And believe me Wrasse are THE dirty tactics fish when trying to escape. Many a time I have had to stop a Wrasse running for its bolt hole and have lost some of those battles. This is an important concept when we look at rods.

Generally I have also found Wrasse to be very close to where Im fishing. There is little need to cast out to the horizon to catch Wrasse as they just aren't out there unless there is a holding feature present. Of the Wrasse I have caught the majority have been within 8-15ft of where I was casting. This is where the pitching technique really comes into itself. Pitching is a casting technique where you "underarm cast" the lure out to your target area within  approximately 30-40 feet. This cast also makes little surface splash and helps to reduce the chance of spooky fish. To really understand this technique I would recommend you either read articles in the Rockfish Files #1 by Keith WHITE or search on "pitching cast" on Youtube to watch it in action.

So onto the world of Soft Plastics. There are a number of different types of lure on the market when it comes to soft plastic lures. Worms/Stick, Paddletails, Creature and Goby style lures are all available but for Wrasse I think they prefer a simple worm/stick bait over any other.

I have tried many lures over the past 12 months and I have always found my go to lure for Wrasse has been the awesome Snowbee Stinger Slider. This lure will always perform well when any other has let me down. I'm so confident in this lure I have recommended it to many fellow Wrasse hunters who have also had success on the lure. This is the first lure used at the start of a session and I will usually swap to a lure im testing once I have had a few fish on the snowbee.

Other lures Im currently using with some success are -

From top to bottom - Gary Yamamoto Senko, MegaBass Xlayer, Lunker City Sluggo and Hawg Wild Lures Stick.

From top to bottom - OSP DoLive stick and MegaBass Hazedong

From top to bottom - Ecogear Aqua Bug Ant and Swim Shrimp

And so to how I use these fantastic pieces of plastic. I will use a Texas rigged plastic for 95% of my Wrasse fishing. It allows me to get the lure into thick weeded areas and dense boulder rough ground and retrieve the majority of my gear. We all probably know that area of ground deemed to be a "tackle graveyard" whether its using lures or bait. Texas rigging is the tackle graveyard beater. I will rarely lose more than one or two lures to a snag during a decent 4 or 5 hour session. Most of the time Ill leave the shore with all the gear I brought. The other 5% of the time I may try a weedless presentation with the weight.

So here is a quick guide to rigging a Texas Rigged Snowbee. Same principles apply to any lures you rig. For this rig you will need a weedless (offset or EWG) hook, a worm (bullet head) weight and a bead. I tend to use the Rockfish hooks from Decoy in a size 1 to 2/0 generally. Jacks LRF also do a great selection of lighter gauge hooks, again generally in the 1-2/0 range that work well with slimmer and lighter lures. Worm weights.. well you can spend a little to alot on these. I would recommend 3.5, 5 and 7g as essential with maybe a few 10g for bigger lures and stronger tidal current. You can get cheap lead weights right up to, my favourites, the eco pro tungsten weights and beads. A word of warning with anything you use in salt water, particularly weights, if you do like I do and carry your weights and hooks in a small bits and bobs case be careful if you have cheap metal weights. As with most things salt water will rust and rust spreads like the plague. I have learnt from experience that if you dont rinse your kit before replacing in your luggage you'll end up with a rust epidemic. The reason I now use the tungsten weights which seem to have the power to repel any rust issues :) Beads are much of a muchness. I use Eco Pro beads as the last and dont shatter. They are also designed to go well with the Eco Pro Weights in as far as they fit well and make a really good noise. I also like the plastic "plaice" beads. But its down to your own personal choice.

To start with thread the worm weight and then the bead onto your leader. You can peg your worm weight if you want a stable compact presentation or you can let it run free. I dont think it makes a huge difference other than on the sink rate of the lure on the drop after a cast. A pegged lure will sink quicker compared to a weight that has entered the water say 6-8 inches up the leader due to the cast. The lure will have 6-8- inches of line to drift down slightly slower than its pegged counterpart. Pegging a weight also minimises the action of the weight on the bead and by default a pegged rig will generally make less noise as there is less action of the weight hitting against the bead. Personally I dont peg my weights but have started to experiement with pegging to see if it helps or hinders my fishing. Next tie on your hook and we are ready for the lure. On hook size to lure size. I have always followed the very good advice that a hook should be approxiamtely 1/4 to a 1/3 the length of the lure itself. I generally go more to the 1/3 end of the scale and I have rarely had any hook up issues if I have had a take.

So to set your lure you will first need to work out where your hook will be exposed and skinned so you know which way to insert the hook tip in the end of your plastic. On this Slider we want the hook to be skinned on the flat side of the lure. Therefore we will insert the hook into the end of the lure and bring it out on the ribbed side. How deep to put the hook into the plastic depends on whether you want the lure to cover the hook eye once rigged or leave it exposed. I have recently started to cover the hook eye on my rigs as I believe it helps retain the lure prsentation when the rig is complete and fished. Measure where you want the exposed hook shank to be as below.

Weight, Bead and Hook attached
If you want hook eye exposed
If you want hook eye covered

Once the hook is fully through the lure you need to twist it around the shank of the hook so the 90 degree bend comes straight out of your lure where we threaded our hook tip and the hook point is facing back toward the lure body. You may want to apply a little bit of angler glue to hold the end of the lure on the shank by the eye. I dont do this yet but do see the benefits and this would make a better presentation on some of the lures I use.

Bring hook point out Where you want the right angle bend to be.
Twist lure about the shank so we have the hook point parallel to the back of the lure body.

With the hook lying over the body of the lure we know need to work out the point at which the hook will pass back through the lure prior to skinning the hook tip. This is done placing your thumb tip and the bottom of the hooks "bend" to measure off on the lure the right spot then push the hook tip right through the lure as straight as you can.

Mark the lowest part of the hook with your thumb here.

Push the hook point through the lure body as straight as you can.

The lure should know look like this

Nearly done....

Finally with the hook tip laying flat against the flat side of your lure you can now skin the hook point to prevent it from snagging. This is achieved by pulling the lure body above the hook point toward the hook eye, pulling it up tight against the hook point and then letting the lure body relax back to its original shape. The hook point will embed itself in the lure body. You dont want it too dep in the lure but enough so you can run your finger over the hook point without it catching on your finger!

Push the lure body, using my left hand above toward my right, and let the hook pint settle into the lure as you let the body relax back to its normal shape.

Hook point is "skinned" which means it is now protected by the lure body to avoid a snag but will be exposed should a fish put pressure on it.

Voila a rigged and ready snowbee slider!! This method works with all lures. Some lures have features like small gulley like incisions in the side of the lure to house your hook tip, therefore eliminating the requirement to skin a lure.

If you have a heavier lure and the tidal current is not huge you can rig your lure in the same way but do not thread the weight and bead on your leader. This is a weightless weedless rig allowing a slower sink rate through the water column and for the lure to move with any current that is present. This rigging is particularly good with the senko/sluggo stick and the DoLive lures.

So that pretty much covers the basics. My favourite way to fish for Wrasse and other coastal HRF species. There are other ways to achieve the method I have presented to you including weighted EWG (Extra Wide Gape) hooks and weedless Jigheads. I have yet to try them extensively and will post about them as I do.

Do try this tactic with Wrasse and I'll gaurantee you will be hooked on this HRF species and method of fishing!!