Ok I will get to more posts about LRF and HRF this week. But I have just had the best fishing weekend ever and wanted to share the antics with you.
So I have mentioned the illustrious Lure Forum and one of the highlights of The Lure Forum year is the D&C Bumble. What a cracker it was this year!! Its a chance for Lure Anglers to get together from across the country and fish, share ideas, show off the bling and have a good crack.
This year is my second D&C Bumble and its put into perspective how I have changed as an angler of the last 12 months. Last Year I attended in shorts and walking boots, 2 lures to my name and no clue!! This year saw me with a few rods to choose from, 8 months of soft plastic lure fishing experience to fall back on and a RBB vest full of lure goodies. I had an arsenal this year :) Now I havent been after Bass on Lures so Im still learning and this is the place to learn. Organised by Nick BENNET, Local Bass Master Extraordinaire and his Devon Dumplings the weekend was a total success and I learnt so much again!!
The Lure Forum Massive
So on to the antics. I will Summarise the weekend Bass catch... one fish in two days. Where they were hiding who knows but thats Bass Fishing :)
So I decided early on in the proceedings to go to my trusty soft plastics and hunt the prey of choice for me, Big Pigs!!
Wrasse fight hard and fight dirty. A Bass will fight for a looong time and the lunges are electric. Wrasse on the other hand hit aggressive and hard from the outset but give up a lot sooner. The past 6 months I have been experimenting with lots of soft plastic lures weighted with worm weights from 5-10g, dependant on conditions, and the lures rigged Texas Style. The Texas Rig is a superb weedless presentation that lets you hunt in areas of heavy weed and dense rock without loosing the lure. This is prime Wrasse holding areas and where an exposed jighead rig or plug lure fears to tread. I will post exclusively about texas rigging as its a must for rockfishing!!
So Day one and the pig hunt starts. At a mark with Carl T of the forum guiding us and I find fellow lure angler, Sam Clarke, in a cracking bay with rocky gullies. Yep this looks nice. My set up is aimed at Bass so a little heavier set then I would usually use for Wrasse but Im fishing a MC Crostage HR with a Caldia 3000 loaded with Sunline Castaway Braid at 20lb and a 16lb Sunline Siglon leader. Im fishing a 4.5" Do Live soft lure in green with a 10g worm weight as conditions are harsh, mounted on a 2/0 weedless hook. Like I say a little heavier rated gear than usual but trying to adapt :)
So casting across the gullies Im chatting to Sam and the rod bends over, locks??!! Damn it how can I snag a weedless set up?? then the rod lunges 3 times and fish on!! A strong initial fight and I know its a good fish. Landed with help from Sam I measure my first Wrasse of the bumble at 45cm and 3.5 lb.
Now one thing with Wrasse is to boga or not?? Bogas are the lip grip you see me using in that picture. I try not to use them with Wrasse as it can damage the membrane in the lower mouth so I only use it if I really have to. This one was a fiesty one and I didnt want to risk dropping it on the harsh rock area I was fishing on and decided to get more control carefully using the boga grip but with a lot of care. Its a choice each angler must make and I for one always have the fish's welfare uppermost in my mind when fishing... a thought for you.
This was the best catch of the day for me and I was pleased to be off to a good start. next day I was taken to a mark which was simply Wrasse heaven. What I look for when Wrassing is structure (rocks, gullies etc), lots of weeded areas or boulder terrain. This next mark had a bit of all the above. Fishing the same set up I decided on a smaller lure that catches for me on every trip. The Snowbee Stinger Slider in green again. This lure has done the business for me over and over again. Its relatively cheaper than most soft lures and a worthwhile investment.. Try them. They do not disappoint :)
Structure a plenty a spy a gorgeous looking gully with high structure either side. Shallow water and weed. It looked bliss. A few cats down the gully and the Crostage bends over bouncing an all too familiar Wrasse rhythm. Fish On!!
Fishing with Fellow Lure Forum legend, Kev Pugh, I land a new PB for Wrasse. Measuring 46cm this porker weighed in at 4lb!! Kev was a top man with the assist as this pig was giving me no end of stick.
This time no need to boga which makes me happier. Lots of soft weeded rock area to land the fish and protect it during the weigh and measure. You can see the worm weight just above the head of the Stinger Slider Lure on the close up giving you an idea of the Texas Rig.
A great weekend and a PB Wrasse! How do you top that... a flash of silver perhaps :)
Two days later Im at a local mark with Mark Q from Art of Fishing. Mark has been an inspiration to me as far as Bass angling goes. He has a complete passion for the Silver beauty that is infectious when you talk to him. Well respected amongst anglers up and down the country I feel privileged to be able to fish with this guy and count him as a Mentor.
So set up is my usual Bass set up. MC Crostage HR 7'6" perfection, Caldia 3000 with the awesome 20lb Castaway Braid from Sunline and a 16lb leader of Sunline Siglon flourocarbon to give me some abrasion protection from rocks and Bass hits. Lure of choice in the condition... the amazing Duo Tide Minnow 125 SLD!!
After a few casts, a follow and a partial hook up im in despair!! Come onnnn!! Few casts later Bam..Fish On!! Mark looks at the bend in the rod and the screaming drag "That's a good fish !!" This is going to be my first lure caught Bass and it is a good fish. Just shy of 4lb its weighed at 3 3/4 lb.. Im in Bass heaven and shaking like a 5 year old at xmas!!
Now thats a weekend of fishing!!