Thursday, 31 January 2013

Finding Shelter

Where fishing is concerned, the number one subject of the last few months seems to be the weather, and with the first month of 2013 now gone, it would appear little has improved. Wednesday saw a break in the torrential rain, however the gale force Westerlies that remained were gonna make things tricky. Finding shelter seemed the only option, with some reports showing wind swell of 17 feet on the coast.

So I picked my spot. Pretty much guaranteed no swell here, but the wind is still a big factor. With a handy point surrounded by the sea, it does mean you can pick a spot that is going to offer a little protection, and fish with the wind on your back if needed. It was that strong down on the waters edge, that I was easily knocked off balance by the gusts.

I was looking to get into some Wrasse action with the Major Craft Bait Finesse rod, paired up with a Shimano Calcutta 51DC baitcaster, and spooled with some Sunline Siglon 10.3lb fluoro mainline. Its a mix or rough weedy grounds, with occasional sandy patches, so weedless soft plastics Texas rigged was the best option, and as he tide began to flood, the occasional investigative tap, tap turned into a  couple of Wrasse landed.

The lure doing the business today was a 4" Nories Shrilpin, on a size 2 weedless wide gape hook. With the conditions how they were, and the poor vis in the mixed up water, a short session with two Wrasse to show for it was most welcome, especially as opportunities to get out on the Coast have been few and far between of late.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Major Craft Volkey BFS Christened

Wednesday seems to be the day I take myself off for a little fresh water action. Whilst the majority of the country is covered in snow with minus temperatures, West Cornwall is enjoying some sunny and relatively mild weather. This suits me as far as staying comfortable whilst out and about fishing!

Having christened the Major Craft Volkey Big Lake Special last week on the Pike, today I set up the Major Craft Bait Finesse rod (more details HERE), with the thoughts of targeting Perch. Paired it up with a Shimano Calcutta 51DC spooled with Sunline Momentum 4x4 PE#1.0 / 16lb. This 8 strand line has really been impressive during it's use over the last year or so. One thing that always suprises me is just how strong it is, a very tough braid, and it has served me well on both fixed spool and baitcast reels. A selection of Ecogear soft lures and jig heads completed the kit list, and I was ready to go!

Today was to be a short session, making the most of the late morning conditions. Working one side of the reservoir, divided my time between a few locations that have shown fish in the previous few weeks.  With a mix of straight retrieves, and bottom twitching, after a tentative knock, a fish on. Brought into the net at the bankside, a healthy Perch in great condition.

The lure combo that tempted this Perch, was an Ecogear 4" Power Shad, mounted on an Ecogear 3D jighead, with an Ecogear Blade Spin mounted on the underside of the jig head.

Things went quiet afer the one Perch, and after a few more knocks, and a follow from a small Pike, it was time to head home, short and sweet. Target fish achieved, and the first bend in the Volkey Bait Finesse rod. Looking forward to getting a few more sessions under my belt with this rod, I have a feeling it will quickly become a favorite set up to use.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Shimano Stella 5000SW

I was needing a reel to put on the Major Craft 11' Hira Suzuki rod which I recently talked about in this blog post  HERE After doing some research, and trying a few reels on the rod here and there, I finally settled on a Shimano Stella 5000SW. This reel is a decent size and weight, and feels at home on the big 11' rod.

Coming in at 400g, with a great line capacity, a tough salt water proof reel, it's more than up to the job of launching lures out at long distance in search of Bass. As you would expect from a reel of this pedigree, just turning it over in the hand, the build quality is imediately apparent, with those 14 bearings making the action super smooth. Line capacity is stated as 240 yards of 10lb mono, I spooled it up with 200m of Sunline Momentum 4x4 with some additional backing to fill the cold forged aluminium spool out nicely.

I had a few casts this afternoon with this set up, and initial thoughts are very promising, great distance and control, I can see it being a very useful tool in the Bass hunting stakes this year. I have also picked up a couple of bigger, heavier lures to throw;

DUO Tide Minnow 150 Surf (150mm / 29g)

DUO Tide Vib Slim 140 (140mm / 32g)

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Major Craft Volkey Vs The Pike

I have been super-keen to get out with at least one of the new Major Craft rods this week, so today I headed off locally to see if I could find some Pike. A cold, early start, with light rain and grey skies. Opting for the heavier approach, the set up I went with was the Major Craft Volkey Big Lake Custom (7' long, rated 3/8 - 1&1/2oz) with a Daiwa Ryoga 1016HL loaded with 25lb Sunline Castaway 1.5PE / 25lb.

Working a deep section, just tripped the lure along the bottom, like a baitfish feeding. Slow with pauses, a good take and hook up saw the first fish to put a bend in the rod. Once netted and onto the grassy bank, could see that this Pike was a new personal best for myself. A quick photo, and released nice and healthy back to the deeps. 

As the day started to brighten up, and the light winds swirled, I began to walk around the reservoir I was on. Moving in towards the shallow and weed lined water, switched lures to a unweighted weedless rigged softie. I had a couple of follows, followed by a good take at the line of weed, which I saw myself, but the hook up was not to be. I have found this to happen a few times now when using weedless rigged large softs with Pike, whether it is bad angling, or mismatched tackle, definitely something I need to work on.

As the day went on, made my way back to where I had my first fish, to see if any other were at home. Just when I was looking to call it a day, a strong take, and then the fish came alive, the new rod had a proper bend in it, and the drag on the Ryoga started to sing, something I don't hear very often! Four really powerful runs from this fish, definitely the best fight I have had from a Pike, and on the heaviest gear I have used for them. Up on the bank, yet again, my PB had improved (starting to think I need to take my scales with me now!).

Really pleased with how the session turned out, and a very promising start for the new Major Craft Volkey Big Lake rod. Next up will be the Volkey Bait Finesse, or maybe the KG Evolution Hirasuzuki, as I had a nice delivery come this week, with a particularly tidy reel which will be perfect for the 11'er - More on that to come soon!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Major Craft Volkey & KG Evolution Rods

I have recently received the Major Craft rods I recently talked about in a post HERE So here is a post looking at the rods as I unwrapped them from delivery. I find it really useful when considering new tackle to trawl the interent looking for pics and reviews, so hopefully these photos will help shine a light  for any of you considering a Major Craft rod such as these.

First up is the Major Craft KG Evolution Hira Suzuki Series KGS-1102HIRA. This rod is 11' with a casting range of 10-45g. This rod is a beast in the hands, and looking forward to using it well in 2013. I don't have a reel for this rod yet, but thinking 5000 size Stella SW;

Next up a couple of casting rods, both under the Major Craft Volkey label. The rods are both one piece construction, but very different from each other.

The heavier of the two is the Major Craft Volkey Big Lake Custom Series VKC-70H/BL. This is a 7' rod, rated 3/8 - 1.5oz (approx 10-42g) It is paired in the photos with a Daiwa Ryoga 1016HL;

The second Volkey casting rod is much lighter, the Major Craft Volkey Bait Finesse Series VKC-69ML/BFS. Again a one piece rod, 6'9 and rated 1/16 - 3/8oz (approx 2-10g) The rod is paired with a Shimano Calcutta 51DC in the photos;

The Volkey rods are ready to go, hopfully targeting some Pike and Perch respectively as the weather chills down Nationally. Hoping to source a suitable reel for the Hirasuzuki this coming week, then it will be a big lure and distance game down on the coast! Hopefully will have some catch reports soon featuring these new bits of kit. Various shops now Stock Major Craft in the UK now, so take a look around if you want one, or check out the English language Major Craft website HERE

Saturday, 12 January 2013

DUO Lures Facebook Contest

DUO are currently celebrating breaking the 20,000 Facebook fans mark, by holding a short term contest. Its quick and simple to enter, you simply need to become a fan of DUO on Facebook, by clicking the 'like' button on their page, which can be found HERE Then you simply need to 'share' the photo on the page, which is the same as the one below, and leave a comment of your choice.

You have to be quick, as this contest will finish on January 20th 2013, and the winner will no doubt receive some of the excellent goodies available from DUO. Good luck! Don't forget to check out the DUO website, available in English language, to see the full range of products available

Friday, 4 January 2013

Lets Get This New Year Rolling

2013 is here, time to get the first fish of the year under my belt. Planned earlier this week to fish the coast, but the gap in the weather seemed to get smaller and smaller the closer we got to Friday, so played it safe and decided to hit the fresh stuff up for some Pike hunting instead. Fishing a West Cornwall Reservoir, the water clarity was looking good, and the surface was just being rippled by a building wind.

With the reservoir providing a bit more room to swing a lure, I was using the Daiwa morethan Branzino Urban Side Custom 8'7 5-24g rod, paired with a 2500 size Daiwa Certate, loaded with 0.8PE / 12lb Sunline Castaway. My wire trace was 10lb Drennen Super Soft, crimped direct to lure. A selection of heavy jig heads and and Ecogear soft lures completed the tackle list.

The lures rigged on a heavy jig head, meant I was able to bounce along the bottom on a slow retrieve, like a small bait fish feeding off the reservoir bed. The water was deep in the section I was fishing, but the set up still allowed good feel at distance. It was not long till the first Pike of the day was guided into my landing net and on the bank. Over a couple of hours, managed to land four Pike in total, which were all progressively bigger. The last fish of the day was a PB for me, but as I do not carry a measure or scales anymore, can't confirm a weight or size.

Pike #1

 Pike #2

Pike #3

Pike #4

The lure doing the catching today was the Ecogear 4.5" BTS shad in a couple of different colour patterns, rigged on 10 & 12g jig heads. The lure looks great in the water, especially being tripped along the bottom, activating the paddle tail.

So a great start to the new year, some decent action and an unofficial PB. This year I am looking forward to getting out onto the fresh water locations more and more. Next target is the first salty beast of the year, and hopefully sometime soon!