Monday, April 20, 2009

A good start to the season

I went out yesterday with Bob and Paul, we knew it would be hard as the tide was so small, only about 23ft or something ridiculous like that. Still, we went out west and tried a few soft plastics, after rigging them all up through the winter I am determined to catch some bass this year on them. Its working out how to twitch and retrieve them with confidence that is bugging me at the moment, but I will work it out.

So anyway, it didnt take too long and Bob hooked into a small wrasse of a couple of pound.

The fishing was slow but we knew it would be, and to be honest it was good to see how Paul fishes as he is a bit of a legend at this lark. He showed us some new reefs and I watched him sneakily to see how he retrieves, I havnt been doing it that wrong really, but making sure you keep contact and try to work out where the bottom is at all times is a big part of it.

We were getting small plucks from something whilst drifting an area and were not sure if it was pollack or cuttlefish having a go, so Paul put on a "stinger" that he had showed me how to rig a few weeks ago. This did the trick and we found the culprits were small pollack. This proves that Pauls stinger trick does the job.

A little while after we tried one more reef before heading home. Up until now we had been vertically jigging our softies but we went to a big reef system that was just covered with water and cast our softies at it, letting them fall to the bottom(about 15ft or so) and jig them back towards us. First drift and Paul hooked his first bass of the season, a little hard fighter of about 2lb.

Next drift and Bob hooked his first of 2009, another little cracker of about the same size. Both these bass took a Megabass Spindle Worm on 30g articulated jigheads. The Spindle Worm is a great softy as it takes no tide or movement to work that little paddle tail, it just comes to life insantly in the water.

A couple more small fish rounded off a great day. Small tides can produce fish if you are willing to get out and be a bit diverse. Softies are fun, its new to me and I like the challenge, although I cant wait to be catching on plugs again soon.


Its that time of year again, spring, the Jersey royals are all ready to be picked, swallows are arriving and the smelly long nose snipe are being caught. I love fishing for them with a float rod and a strip of garfish or mackerel, known locally as a "fionk". A simple sliding float set up works best, with your bait set from anywhere from 20ft deep to right up near the surface at about 3ft or less. I do find the early ones are a bit deeper than in the height of summer but you should still get one at about 10ft deep. A hook of about a size 6 or 4 is ideal and I tend to use a a flourocarbon hook length of anything from 6lb to 10lb. If you keep everything as light as possible these fast little fish can really give a good account for their size. I like a softish action 10ft rod or even a 1.75lb test curve carp rod, but an old style floppy cheap spinning rod is ideal really.

I had this one last week on my boat, it was 1lb 2oz, I caught it on a little Megabass lure that I had just had my first bass of the year on of about 1lb 8oz or so.

This week saw the boat caught Jersey Garfish record go too. This fine specimen was 2lb 4oz, it was so thick and will take some beating.

It is a shame that garfish don't like being handled much, I do think they do not survive very well once handled so you are best to either not handle them at all and cut the line over the side, or keep them for bait or even to eat.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Big bass at St Helier harbour

I have just seen a monster bass landed down the harbour. Julian "Spike" Wright has just landed a 16lb bass on a live pouting from the harbour wall. What a lovely fish, it looked bigger than 16lb to me, and Spike agreed he should go get it weighed officially tomorrow morning.