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Rookie Bass Angler: May 2012

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Sea Trout - Some Observations and Comments

First thing I have to confess, I am by no means an 'expert' on Sea Trout! I am at the bottom of the learning curve when it comes to catching these fish in salt water. 

However, I have been out now for a few sessions the past three weeks and I am already starting to formulate theories to catching these fish. Each time I go out I learn something new or am presented with a new scenario which I had not accounted for - but this is, in my opinion the beauty about fishing. 

Old Classics Always Work!

No matter how many times we go out fishing for Sea Trout we never leave with an Abu Krill - why? Because it works - Fact!

I admit that I am always looking to use new, shiny lures to catch fish on but there are times when you just have to accept that old lures work, have done and always will.

It is always worth having one or two in the box just to be sure. If you are like me, you will want to try using lots of new stuff or different things to see what works .... experiment and learn.

Lure size: From 50mm to 140mm

Luckily the first few sessions we had in the estuary the water was crystal clear, sun was bright and high what looked like a nice day was perhaps not so good for fishing. 

We tried a range of lure sizes and found that we had the most luck on smaller sub 80mm lures and in particular small metals. 

Contrast this to our next session when we found the water brackish, dark and an overcast sky. I hit two Sea Trout between 3/4lb and 1lb 4oz on a Megabass X-140 in Hama Shirasu and an IMA Gene 130 chrome sides, blue back. These lures were considerably larger than anything I would expect a Sea Trout to hit. 

My logic to using them was this. Firstly, I was trying to hunt out big trout, thinking that (rightly or wrongly) big lure = big fish. Secondly, I thought that these trout are in eating sandeels and in reality big sandeels will be around the 110mm - 150mm, so why not try bigger lures.

I had tried these however on the bright days to no success - this got my thinking. Perhaps when the water clarity was not as clear the trout could not clearly identify the size of the lure and only picked up on the flash and thus they are not as aware of the size? I had thought the bigger lure would be easier for the fish to 'find' in the murky water.

Either way I was astounded to hit a Sea Trout on the X-140. I bought it as a Bass lure, and no questions about it - you simply know this thing will nail you a hungry Bass, but a Sea Trout? It certainly had me giggling on the sand when I landed it. 

Profile and Shape:

Another conclusion which I have come to is that profile and shape is vital for Sea Trout. When we look at the lures that have caught me fish they are all slim, thin and sandeel like in profile:

Abu Krill
Herring Lure
Various salt water Flies
MB X-140
IMA Gene 130
IMA Komomo SF 125
IMA Sasuke 90
Smith Troutin Surger
etc .....

I have yet to try soft plastics yet - maybe the summer will see that experiment started!

But then you get adventurous and try something different - say a small Tackle House Feed Shallow or a 115mm Angel Kiss - no fish. That is fine because I suspected they would perhaps be too fat or thick. Will it stop me trying them again - no. I think it is worth thinking outside the box and trying bigger, larger lures at times. Mix it up and see what works.

We tried a small Abu sinking lure which we had sprayed a red belly onto, primarily as a small Bass plug.

Four casts later we got the head shake and the fish was on. This shows you that theories are great but every now and then they go out the window! This lure is stubby/chubby - whatever you want to call it. It is not sandeel shaped!

But it worked!

Anyway these are just a few observations I have made over the past few sessions out after these fine fish. I am still hunting for that fish which will break the 2lb mark, which may sound small for some people but for a Donegal trout it is a decent one. I think my next trip will take me out to the very mouth of the estuary and into the surf to see what lurks in the waves......

As always the fish go back with a good kick and a splash to fight another day .....

The adventure continues.

Tight Lines,


Thursday, 17 May 2012

More shiny stuff

After sitting around finishing my university work i decided to bite the bullet and buy myself a Duo lure .... These have been on my 'want list' for quite some time. 

Ordered it from Italy, waited about 13 days and it arrived - Well worth the wait.

Its 140mm Duo Tide Minnow Slim 

Looks lethal for Bass and perhaps slightly larger Sea Trout? Time will tell.

Anyway, I was bored so got the camera out and took a few snaps.

Off again this weekend to West of Ireland ..... hoping for another session at Sea Trout and water dependent perhaps a Salmon.

If I am exceptionally lucky and we get some nice settled / warm weather I may go an have a look for Mullet (but that is a long shot)

Not long either to my trip to Wales, which I am rather excited about ..... Need to start polishing the lures.....!

Tight Lines,


Friday, 11 May 2012

First session at Sea Trout

First Sea Trout of 2012

Weather was still cold, it hasn't really seemed to warm up at all yet with the temps hanging around that very dodgy 9/10 degrees ..... I just don't think the fish are active enough yet. Anyway it was a nice enough day and we set out down the estuary to hit the last two hours of the drop and the first two of the flood.

I had a few lures I was looking to test out for the first time ......

First off was the Megabass Metal X Bubble - despite it only being 8g it flies out, and I really mean flies. It casts like a bullet. I was not sure really how to work this lure at first but soon I got into the mode of retrieve and twitch and at times just a steady retrieve and then, thump, thump, thump .... that unmistakable sea trout take .... I had my first Sea Trout of 2012 about 3/4 of a pound.

I hit this fish as the tide was dropping back ..... I then changed over and tried a few other lures with no luck, but I think it was a timing issue.

The tide turned and about an hour up the tide I started to hit fish on a lure I have had for years ..... a little blue and silver Herring. No idea what it weighs, I am guessing around the 8g mark also. It is just a little metal bar. I added an extra split ring to the tail of it and a new hook.

I was getting nailed every cast ...... I had four fish on and each one spat the hook.... as only sea trout can - i have no idea but their ability to un-hook themselves amazes me every time. I lost a good fish of around 1 and 1/2lb

My dad came down to where I was and he landed a nice trout of the 1 and 1/2 lb mark .... a similar size to the one I had just lost.

It was an intense bit of action with hook-ups, takes and runs and some bad words as the trout kept tormenting us!

Almost all the trout that day were taken on either my Herring lure or an Abu Krill (good old classic)

We returned a day later to find the estuary a little murky and a lot colder ..... We only picked up one fish on a little bent metal bar, long in profile and almost 'S' shaped ..... very fine, couldn't be more than 3mm thick - homemade special!

The last day was a mixed one. Lovely weather but poor fishing ..... We had been chased in alot by fish but not many hook ups or even nibbles. I was messing about with my new IMA Sasuke 90mm at the edge and a little trout just cruised in, circled it... I twitched the lure and it turned and came at it again but it was very shallow and the trout just swam away. It was only a tiddler but interesting to see how they react to lures etc....

The IMA Sasuke will definitely be in my Sea Trout box this year.....

A change of tactics and a little bit more time certainly paid off!!!!!

What a way to end the session ... a nice little, perfect trout .... gave a very good account of itself also. Intermediate line and caught on a silver/blue/white fly - have no clue what it is called .... it was a hybrid out of my Dad's fly box ......

These few days really got me hooked on Sea Trout, they are fantastic fighters and as I have learnt, not as easy as you might think to get onto dry land.

All the fish we caught went back into the water!

Stay tuned .......

Tight Lines,


Friday, 4 May 2012

Progress with my fly fishing

Last weekend we decided to hit a local catch and release trout fishery.

Weather wasn't too bad but it was a little chilly .... not a great day for a fly hatch but it was either go or sit in the house.

I have to say it was a huge change from the previous weeks fishing in Wexford for Bass!!!!

I was once again trying to practice my fly casting and presentation etc ..... then Bang! My dad has a good fish on, it ran him up and down the bank, reel screaming, the usual from a decent fish.

As usual i spent the rest of the day with no luck at all but that was to change ......

I stopped to compose myself, cast out and thump, i had a nice little rainbow on ... relief!

I fished on and then stopped to change my fly, as i turned around i realized the sunset ..... wow!

I changed to buzzers and fished on into dusk producing a little brown trout and then my best rainbow trout to date.

A slow day but every time I go out I learn something new and i progress a little more.

Onwards and upwards!

Tight Lines,