Monday, April 20, 2009


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.

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