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Rookie Bass Angler: October 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Perch Adventures

I have been promising myself to specifically target Perch on the lure gear and on Saturday I finally took the plunge. We geared up with small metal spoons, jigs, plugs and soft plastics - all the usual suspects really plus a few secret weapons of course!

As always the weather was far from ideal. 7 degrees and torrential rain made it, lets say a little cold and wet! 

Normally this would dampen the spirits but it was apparent that after the first few casts the place was stuffed full of Perch! The first cast produced a fish - not big but a fish. Was this a sign of things to come or was it simply one of those days were you catch a fish at start and never get a touch the rest of the day?

Thankfully our luck was in and the place was just crammed full of fish!

We started off using Illex Pintails on small jig heads which seemed to work rather well. We then switched over to some small sinking plugs made by IMA and DUO such as the Sukari and Spearhead Ryuki. These accounted for a few fish but they seemed to be more tuned into the soft lures.

As always the Fiiish 70 mm Black Minnow was deadly effective and it wasn't long before we had well over 50 Perch between us.

I decided to change tactics and rig up a 3inch Senko rigged Texas style with a 3g cone lead. I picked my target area which was a submerged tree stump - cast the lure in and let it contact the bottom. A quick twitch and jiggle of the lure resulted in a sharp thump and then - bang. Fish on! It was a great feeling to be actively hunting out the bigger fish around the heavy structure.

Hopefully this is just the start of our fresh water adventures - now the weather is starting to turn and our chances on the open coast are diminishing rapidly it will be Pike and Perch in the coming months.

We had nearly 100 fish between the two of us - what a day despite the rain and cold.

Stay tuned.

Friday, 4 October 2013

October Edition Irish Angler - Bumping Plastics For Bass

October edition hit the shelves today. This month I have an article in about bumping soft plastics for Bass - a killer technique and with the world going soft plastic mad it is worth checking out.

Get yourself a copy and stick the kettle on. 

Also available online. 

Check out Irish Angler website:


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Illex Element Rider S 210 M - Stalking Special (5-21g)

I am sure you have all seen this rod appearing in my photographs and pictures throughout my blog - lets face it, it isn't exactly subtle!

I have been fishing with the S 210 M now since the spring and ever since the first time I picked it up I was impressed with the build quality and fittings. The Fuji reel seat is comfortable, well shaped and just makes perfect sense when the reel is mounted. It feels natural.

Some people will be put off by the staggered tip .... yes, it can be a pain in the backside at times when transporting it or trying to get a courier to ship it within the U.K. (But that is a story for another day!)

I like the staggered tip though - it transfers the power quickly into the back end and the feel and sensitivity is superb.

My first fish on the rod was a Sea Trout. I spent the first few weeks chucking jigs, metal and plugs ranging from 3g to 18g on it and it really handles them all with ease. I was surprised actually at how light it can throw ... of course it isn't as sensitive as a purpose built LRF rod but when loaded up with light line it can still transmit feedback from smaller lures.

It wasn't until my trip over to Wales that I managed to nail my first Bass on it. The first day we went out we were wading in the shallows, bright blue sky, roasting day - it was stunning. I was fishing a weed less, soft plastic among the suspended weed and bang - fish on! A great rod for fishing soft plastics and in fact if I had to categorize this rod I would say this is where it comes into its own.

A combination of a stiff-ish yet responsive tip mixed with a powerful back section allows you to detect bites then strike into and control relatively large fish. I have yet to tackle anything bigger than 5lbs on the rod but so far it has not worried me when playing a fish.

Like I said I think this rod comes into its own when using all manner of soft plastics from weightless lures, micro plastics on jig heads to larger shads and paddle tails - it really is a delight to fish with. Recently I have been using the Fiiish 90 mm Black Minnow on this rod and the two just work in perfect harmony. You can feel the tail vibrating through the rod as the lure falls and every little bump or hit gets picked up and transferred into the rod and your arm.

The one thing that does however annoy me a little is the shortness of the handle. I feel it is about 2 or 3 inches off being perfect. After long periods of time fishing your wrist does get a little sore because you can not properly brace the rod against your forearm. This does become noticeable when fighting bigger fish but it isn't a major issue just a slight inconvenience.

Just a few thoughts on this rod - really wish I had have discovered Illex as a brand sooner ..... Great product and I am sure I will be using their rods again in the future.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Weekend in the West: Part Two - Pollack

I had a blog post up the other day about my Wrasse exploits from the weekend. We also nailed a few nice Pollack but I thought it was best split into two separate posts so here we go ...... BUT before we start some of you will be wondering - those fish aren't 5lb ..... And you are right I only have up the ones up to 4lb, the bigger ones are still being edited so watch this space.

At various stages last year we witnessed some very large Pollack follow the lures to our feet but not committing. We watched fish in excess of 7lb swim right past us with no inclination to feed - it was frustrating and just down right odd. This year we haven't encountered any beats of the same calibre but we did manage a few up to just over 5lb, which believe me certainly puts a bend in the rod.

The first few casts attracted some interest but no solid hook ups. Simply fished sink and draw the action of the Black Minnow lure is unreal.

A Pollack of around 4 lb came up from the depths, hung for a second and then crash dived, smashing the lure on the way down. The rod nearly was pulled from my hand. After a very close quarter battle we netted the fish and got a few snaps before sending it back to the depths.

The Fiiish Black Minnow really does the business when it comes to Pollack fishing.

After fishing for a while on our first spot we decided to grab a bite to eat and relocate around the corner to another nice spot. The granite rocks step down into deepish water and there is a nice current flooding through a narrow gap - perfect Pollack territory. It wasn't long that my Dad hit this fish on a chartreuse paddle tail lure.

The one thing I noticed was all the fish were in great condition. Some of the Pollack we have had in the past can be lean and a bit slim but these fish were solid and packed full of food.

Along with some slightly bigger fish we hit the usual carbon copy Pollack all between 1lb and 2lb weight.

Switching over to the Illex Element Rider Stalking Special made for great sport with these smaller fish. I also switched down to the 90mm Black Minnow fished sink and draw.

This is the kind of fishing I love - getting out on the rocks with minimal tackle and roaming around searching out the fish. A great way to pass a weekend away from the town and cities.

The Illex rod performing to its best as always!

That rounds up the weekend and hopefully if the weather stays settled we might get out for a few trips yet.

Tight lines.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Weekend in the West: Part 1 - Wrasse

It has been a while since I have had the time to really sit down and do a proper blog post. So first off - I apologize for that.

The weather all summer has been, lets say, less than kind to me on the West coast. Huge swells have stopped me getting access to my favorite lure fishing grounds but thankfully we had a break in the weather and we headed out in search of some Wrasse.

Any time I have managed to get out I have been having great success of the Illex Ammonite Shad in the watermelon / bluegill colour. The Wrasse simply love them. I have tried this lure rigged Texas style and it works but I have had more hits using a 7g Jika rig - Just goes to show the presentation really can make a huge difference to bites.

I also started to play about using black lures - something which I have read about and heard others talk about but not something I had tried before. It wasn't long before we smashed a few using the 4 and 1/2 inch Sluggo rigged with a glass bead and lead.

It still frazzles my brain that nobody else is out chasing these wonderful fish on lures around the North West .... I have yet to meet another lure fisherman or another angler for that matter. It just screams HRF for Wrasse! I am only learning about the art of catching Wrasse on soft plastics but I would love to see someone with the knowledge and expertise to come and explore this part of the world with me. I am pretty sure it has a lot of hidden gems lurking beneath my feet.

I love my photographing but the best part is always watching them kick back and swim off down to the boulders and kelp.

The weather (as always) was changeable and we got all four seasons thrown at us in the space of two days but we stuck at it - I was determined to squeeze in as much fishing as I could while we still had some sort of calm weather and before the cold starts to set in.

It has been great fishing with the Century HPR 7ft 7 - A simply awesome rod for battling Wrasse in heavy ground. It has great tip sensitivity yet powerful to wrench those pigs out from their hiding spots.

We found it hard to track down any great numbers of fish but moving around seemed to produce steady bites and hook ups. No insane quantities but we still managed to nail a good few.

Hopefully if the weather holds up we will be able to make another few session before things start to slow up for the year. Keep an eye out on the blog next week for the other half of our weekend in the West. I will have our Pollack pictures up. 

Stay tuned!

Tight lines.