Sunday, June 7, 2009

A nice day out

I had a phone call during the week from a chap called Nick Hewitt, he was wondering if there were any bass guides on boats in Jersey. I told him that there wasn't and said he is free to join Bob and me for a days plugging if we go. So, Saturday comes, we meet Nick at the shop and head down the harbour to launch the boat. The conditions were lovely, slightly overcast and there was a chance of a bit of rain or thunder, just how I like it to be honest.

I phoned Nelson to see where the boys were, they were down the east and had had 6 bass already, not bad, and it made me want to shoot straight down there. But, knowing the best of the dropping tide had gone I knew of a couple of spots on the way that fish quite well over the low tide so decided to try there first.

Nick then informs me he had never caught a bass before! So the pressure was on to catch him his first. About one minute later he only goes and hooks into a screamer of a bass, it ran and dived and head shook all it could. After a fairly long scrap it rose to the net, and bleeding alot from the gill area I was afraid it would not survive, but luckily it did.

We unhooked it, took some pictures and had a quick debate on whether we thought it would survive or not. I washed it in the sea for the photos and it seemed to stop bleeding straight away, so the decission was made to return this beautiful fish as quickly as possible. Fair play to Nick, he totally wanted to bass to go back too and was happy to see this fine specimen returned.

We guessed the fish to be 7lb and quickly returned it, there is no feeling like watching a beautiful bass swimming back.

We moved on and Nick manages his second bass! This is becoming the normal for Bob and me, we take guys out and they show us how to do it. A little while after that I managed my first one of the trip and shortly after that we met up with Nelson and Neil and we all crept about the shallow waters searching for some more silver bars. The water was gin clear,we could see the bottom very clearly even in 20ft of water. This does make finding the fish harder, especially over the slack water period. A few drifts down some gullies and I wasnt happy, the ground was perfect if the water had been a little deeper, a little faster and a little less clear.

So with a feeling that it wasnt going to get much better and the risk of a huge down pour of rain I decided to start heading back to the harbour and try a few places on the way back. First area I saw looked much better, the tide was a bit stronger and there was weed over rocks below us in about 10 to 15 ft of water, and the tide was flowing towards a band of rocks that were breaking up the flow.

First cast and Bob hooks a fish and as I was filming it Nick hooks one too. At last, a shoal of fish, and Neil and Nelson were just behind us, they straight away started hooking fish too. Here is Bobs first of the day, and his first on the Tackle House Feed Shallow 105, a great little lure that casts like a bullet and is very easy to work as all you need is a steady retrieve.

Here are a couple of Neils, a very proud man with his new Megabass rod, and of course his beloved Megabass Vision 110's, he really is a walking Megabass catalogue!

I think Neil ended up with four or five bass for the day, which is great really for the water we were fishing, really shallow and really clear.

So we ended up with nine or ten bass, a big mackerel and a few pollack, not a bad day at all. I think boys had about the same. Happy days indeed.

Xorus Patchinko

It is my favourite surface lure of all time, the Patchinko is simply a work of art when it comes to catching bass in most top water situations. It casts further and more accurately than any other lure of its size and practically works itself.

The Patchinko is a walk the dog style lure, that is a zig zag motion along the surface. This is achieved by jerking the rod to make it zig, then jerking the rod to make it zag, and all the time winding the reel. The action is made easier by the under slung connection on the head, this keeps the head up in the water and the bulbus back end of the lure, which is where the weight chamber is, makes it rear heavy and gives it true and accurate casting.

I use the Patchinko is most sea conditions, from flat milky calm, to really rough and choppy. It casts extremely well into the wind and very rarely tangles. In calm water I tend to use the lure with much more subtle actions, almost a long slide method, where you leave a second or two gap between each jerk to allow the lure to slide a bit further on each zig and zag.

In choppy water I jerk the rod quite quickly to make the lure spit water a bit like a popper, just try and make a little more commotion than the sea is. Be quite violet with it but stillnot too fast, as I find although you will catch fish even at fairly fast retrieves, you will find bigger fish with a slower retreive.

Don't forget the rod should be twitched with the wrist, not the whole arm. You make the butt of the rod bang between your ribs and fore arm. This is made much easier with fast actioned rods, and although you can use most types of spinning rod for surface work, you will tire, and will not get the best action from the lure.

Here is a video of Bob working his favourite yellow Patchinko

Here are some results of the Patchinko over the last couple of years,

The Cabot

Andy Stonehouse loves Patchinkos too!!

Bob and his beloved yellow
Me with a 7lb 12oz, I was actually not even winding the lure when the fish took it
There is no feeling like taking a bass off the surface, it truely is breathtaking and something that every angler should experience.

Still quite tough out there!

So I havnt been writing the blog much, but that doesnt mean I havnt been trying to catch fish, its just still quite tough out there. I have had a few bass, last weekend I managed six to 4lb 3oz, but to be honest I was lucky as Bob,Nelson and Neil did struggle to get one or two each.

I managed yet another decent wrasse on an Xlayer Ayu, this one didnt half scrap well as I was in fairly shallow water and had cast up between two heads and I was twitching the Xlayer back along the sand between the heads trying for a bass possibly hiding under the kelp hanging off them.

The Xlayers mounted on Xorus/Decoy heads just work a treat and we have had a few bass on wrasse on them now.

Here is that wrasse, I could catch these hard fighters alldaylong on light gear they are simple amazing fighters and pound for pound there are not many as good a fighters in our waters.

My Super Mix 240 is becoming my favourite rod ever,this little thing is impressing memore and more. Its softer tip just has so much feel in it, I am starting to be able to feel the bottom and tellthe difference between pollack,bass and wrasse that are nibbling at my soft plastics, its amazing how delicate some fish mouth bait and how other dont give you a second thought and just simply smash into your softy.

Here are some other fish that the boys have been getting recently, like I say its been hard but we dont give up easy.

He has well and truely christened his new Megabass rod with some great bass.
And Doug went out with Nelson last week and had some great fun with the wrasse and Doug even managed a cracking bass on a plug,5lb 12oz and that puts Doug in the lead at the moment in the Sinkers boat lure caught bass trophy.