Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Tenryu Is Reborn!

At last I have had a good chance to get out and find some Bass to Christen my rebuilt Tenryu Injection, I`ve been so busy the past month with LRF that I was concerned I was going to be out of touch with a few local Bass marks, normally when I’m on a bass hunt I would set at least a 6 hours aside, an plan to cover as much ground as possible, but with everything being so busy I only had a few hours to chase down a wrasse or bass, my first stop was Portland Bill, the tide was flooding fast an things looked perfect for bass but to rough for the wrasse, after 50 or so casts around the rock marks, it was obvious that there was no wrasse, Pollock or bass to be found, I decided to cut my losses an head to Plan B with the final few hours I had left.

Now this mark can throw up some big fish when conditions are right, but you have to approach the mark like a ninja not to scare any fish off, head lights off, and being as quiet as possible is key. When I arrived at this mark I could see the odd fish surfacing, I presumed it must be mullet, as the mullet fill this mark in their thousands, so I waited until the tide had just turned an started to ebb, from previous experience I know the bass are behind a reef at this mark waiting for the ebb to bring food to them. Soon enough the evident sign of bass smashing baitfish was present over the reef, time to lay a cast over the top an fingers crossed get a hit...


Lure of choice was the popular Zonk Gateride in Rainbow Pearl, worked dead slow, to keep it simple on a standard 3000 size reel I’m doing 1 turn of the handle every 2 seconds with the odd pause now and then. This simple method at night has scored me dozens of bass now, and normally a much better size fish than in day light hours. Also I think it`s worth mentioning that waiting for the tide to ebb an gain current pushes the weed down an allows you to work a diving hard lure at this mark. Fishing this mark on a low or high slack water would restrict you to surface lures and weed less soft plastics.
The DFR Injection performed incredibly, now that the rod is balanced and weighs a tone less than standard it’s a dream to use. Richard from Dorset Rods put all my rambling ideas and rebuilt this rod in to something significant;

A custom 1 off titanium butt section with cross hole to fix lanyard for kayak use, and dare I say skishing ... maybe if I man up to it, think I will need a few lessons in Jersey with the Legend Keith White first. The butt section also allows for weights to be added bringing that tip section up past neutral, my personal preference is to have a rod that site between 30 an 45 degrees for HRF. This position also helps a lot when used on a kayak or if waste deep in waders.

Gun smoke PacBay guides make this rod a true down an out rock fishing rod, how many times have I fallen an cracked a plastic or ceramatic tip eye, I’ve lost count.. Call me clumsy but it happens to us all eventually. These PacBay eyes are solid stainless steel inserts that cannot be broken and save a tone of weight from the original titanium eyes that the rod was made with. I had concerns that the eyes may not be braid friendly or fluorocarbon friendly being that the width of these guides are a lot less than standard guides, which could create a kink in fluorocarbon leaders an mainlines on the cast or when under heavy load while playing out a fish. Now I’ve caught a few good fish I need not worried, I’ve had absolutely no problems at all. One thing I will mention, an it’s a minor detail is that these guides are a lot noisier on the cast than the standard guides.. But like I said, minor detail.

Half way through the build I asked Richard if he could bind the last four Guides in a bright white, I remember reading Keith Whites blog on the development of the Century HPR rods, after owning an using the 7.3 HPR having these bindings bright white makes absolute sense. Reason being is most of my bass fishing is done at night and as much as seeing that rod tip at night helps you connect with bites, my biggest reason was to protect the rod from me dropping a foot on the blank while messing with a fish, or when walking along making sure I don’t ram the tip through a fence or between rocks.

When discussing reel seats and how you want your grip to feel is something I had never really thought about, until Richard showed me the dozens of EVA grips and combinations he could build them in. Having to think about how you want your reel seat to screw up or screw down, the length of the grip and width was an eye opener. When I thought about it in depth it made sense to have the reel seat screwing up, as I normally always hold my rod forward away from the reel its self. This would stop the reel seat screwing lose in the palm of my hand, which has driven me mad on a few rods I’ve had in the past.

Next up was the decals an paint job which I left in Richards hands, my only request was to lose the Tenryu paint job to save weight an lose its identity that so many people recognise an want to talk about, when I’m bass fishing it really gets to me when someone shouts out “NICE ROD” or they have to join you on your one man rock to ask you a dozen questions. Seriously I’m fishing not standing at a bar having a chat over a pint!

The decals were kept simple yet stylish completely different to the original boldness that Tenryu had used, to say I’m happy with the rebuild is a understatement, I’m over the moon with it. I have many rods that I am slowly selling now as this DFR rod has become my go to rod for my HRF and bass fishing, the blank has been built how it should have been built in the first place. Richard.. Thank you, your skills are second to none mate, give it a few years of my heavy abuse and I`ll properly be asking you to rebuild it yet again.

Just a quick heads up to the growing Weymouth LRF scene, I`ve put a list together of all the meets for the rest of the year, anyone can come along to these meets, if you get in contact with me before turning up I might just have a spare set of gear for anyone who wants to have a go. These meets are just open meets for fun, so please come along and have a good time fishing.

 Here`s a picture to finish the blog post off, Billy Short with a Red Band Fish, I’ve seen these in a few pictures before, but I haven’t caught one on lure or with bait so I have to take my hat off to him for going out an targeting these fish with LRF gear... I’m jealous mate, but well one indeed!

Hope you enjoyed the read !

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

What A Weekend!

Its weekends like the last that make you wish they were longer, The open day at Chesil Bait n Tackle was a huge success with plenty of people walking away with new ideas an a better insight into HRF an lure fishing for bass, all thanks to Danny an Jim from Top Water Lures. From the minute I walked in the buzz was something special. Walking in to the shop to find the likes of Richard from Dorset Fishing Rods, Matt Jones a member of the Sunline Pro Team, Paul Burridge from the Portland Sea Angling Group. A lot of these people you only hear an speak to over the internet, to get to meet them all face to face on the same day.. Brilliant!

I only had a chance to watch one of Danny’s demonstrations for five minutes, an I certainly wish I had longer to watch because the skills an experience being shown that day were second to none, fingers crossed the guys at the shop hold another open day, because the growing interest in HRF an LRF is incredible.

Now I know there were a few people at the open day that were hoping for a trip down the Harbour, an I do apologise if I was busy or missed you, please get in contact an I shall happily meet you for a session down the harbour. I did however manage to get a couple hours out with Charley, we started off talking the basics of LRF an the concept that any fish can be caught on lure, an soon enough Charley was pulling out Wrasse an Gobys by the numbers. Check out the smile in this picture.. Again the LRF addiction is there.

Half way through the short session we were joined by Matt Jones who is a down an out master of LRF, I felt a bit sorry for Charley because when two anglers who practice LRF come together they don’t shut up for a second talking lures, rods, jig heads, lines, reels the works. After a few dozen casts an a number of common mini species I felt the strangest bite, or what I thought was a bite.. My rod tip was juddering an going, when I struck into the fish I got the strangest surprise.. A greater Pipfish!! The fish coiled itself up my line until it reached the surface, when we landed the fish I have to be honest here.. It was foul hooked but more in a lasso kind of way so the fish was completely unharmed.

Thanks for the pictures Matt!

As soon as we got back to the shop I saw Charley eyeing up the Zalts an solpara, two fantastic rods, I cant remember if an which one he brought but fingers’ crossed I shall see him down the rocks or round the harbour sometime, Or meeting the newly formed Weymouth LRF crew! There has been a lot of talk for a few months now about getting everyone together, so a few emails an phone calls later saw the all smiling all singing LRF crew hit the harbour last night. Now I know if we could have got all the people that live local to Weymouth we would have had over 20 anglers but to see the 10 of us show was amazing! How times have changed, as this time last year I was the only one I knew walking round Weymouth casting 1g jigheads an 1inch lures.

Here’s a cracking photo of what fishing is all about, Mike handing his rod over an showing a young family how to catch mini species using LRF.

There was plenty of fish caught, Pollock, Pout, a cracking Wrasse for James, a few Scorpion fish through out the group, 3 species of Goby that I saw but more importantly there was 4 leopard spotted Gobies, three of which were caught By Iain.. Lucky we had both James an Rob who are professional photographers.

Something I would like to add is a big thank you to Mike at Chesil Bait n Tackle for a bunch of discorgers he kindly gave the LRF crew. For anyone who doesn’t have one of these handy please invest in one for LRF as they cost pennies an save so many fish when deeply hooked. I’ve found this happens a lot when using the split shot rig an any hook under size 14 can be a nightmare to remove. So please please consider using one.

Hope you enjoyed the read, going to try an get out on the rocks the weekend an chase down the bass an wrasse with the rebuilt Tenryu Injection… CANT WAIT!!!

Tigh lines!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Today is the day

It’s the big day at Chesil Bait and Tackle, if you’re a lure mad addict like myself, then get yourself down to;

77 Portland Road
Meet the Legends Jim and Danny from top water lures, grab a burger off the BBQ, have a cast in the casting pool with some of the top quality bass and wrasse lures. There will also be a raffle being held and some of the prizes are from the tackle giants DUO and Megabass!!!
Scott beauchamp with a stunning Sand Smelt

If you’re interested in a LRF taster session down the harbour then pop in an if I’m available I shall happily take you down and show you how to catch the mini species, like gobies an scorpion fish. Trust me its loads of fun.
Iain Turner with his first LRF Rock Goby
The Olympics are over, the sun is shining! The wind isn’t blowing! We have some brilliant tides falling on sunset tonight, an I can’t think of one place round Weymouth and Portland that wouldn’t be worth casting a lure out for a bass or over some rocks for the wrasse!

See you there....

Sunday, 12 August 2012

T Minus 7 Days and Counting.

Just a Quick post, and reminder for the Open day At Chesil Bait an Tackle next weekend, I’ll try not to repeat everything I wrote in the last blog post, But its game on next Sunday! There’s going to be a lot going on at the shop,There is rumour of a raffle for everyone who comes to the shop,A few new Lures that will be hitting the shelves, Danny Parkins an Jim O`Donnel will be giving first hand demonstrations an advice using the casting pool, an dont forget the burgers on the barby!You will find everything here that is all things Lure fishing from major brands like Megabass, Major Craft, Seaspin, Sunline, IMA, Ecogear, Tackle House, Century, Raptor Lures, Shimano, Molix.. the list is endless! 

The shop will be opening up at 10:00AM an shutting things down at 3:00pm, So far the traffic around Weymouth has got a little bit busier, but the Olympics will be coming to an end this week an traffic is expected to die down a little, so please don’t be put off by the traffic, it isn’t half as bad as a normal summer without the Olympics.

You will be able to find the shop at 77 Portland road on the left as your heading to Portland, Parking can be found in an around the local roads within a short walking distance. If you fancy an hours trip down the harbour on the day to try out LRF I’ll be happy to drive anyone down an give them a short lesson, 100% guarantee we will catch a mini-beast, if not.. As Matt Hayes always says “I’ll eat my hat”

The last few weeks I’ve yet again been blown away, not just at the amount of interest in LRF fishing, but the fact that when you think you got your local waters figured out.. Someone comes along an throws a curve ball at you, just like this chap, Mr John Stainer.

Now, I used to do a little bait fishing both sea an fresh water, so talking rigs an bait isn’t hugely unfamiliar to me, I spent a good few years sat on the pebbles of the mighty Chesil beach hauling out the many Bream, Pout an Dog fish with the occasional bonus fish showing up like a trigger fish, but when a guy like John contacts you asking if you would like to fish, an he says he’s taking some left over peeler crab from the match the day before, I though what the hell.. Fishing is fishing an I’m guaranteed to learn something, that’s what fishing is all about right?

An ho.. How i did I learn my lesson!

John took me to a mark that I would normally walk on by, searching out deeper waters, searching out structure an weed beds the usual fish holding grounds that a lure fishermen might look for. But nope I got to this mark an realised I was completely under gunned with my plugging gear, John threaded the line up his rod, tied on his rig, baited up an pendulum cast his peeler out to sea. 30 Seconds! An I swear on all my rods, his bait was in the water 30 seconds on his first cast before it slammed over with this stunning looking Bass. Check out the shades of golden sands in this fish… pure predator perfection.

So leaving that session with my tail between my legs an a little red faced, Im not afraid to admit it, because it doesn’t happen very often, I decided on a quick LRF session with my old mate Rob. Within my first few casts with the Major Craft Zalts I had my line pulled sharply along the harbour wall, I didn’t know what I had caught till I went to handle the fish an got a sharp prick in the palm of my hand. I was amazed to see its my new PB smallest Bass, now most people wouldn’t get a kick out of that.. But I challenge anyone to go out an catch one smaller with rod an line!

As the night drew on, with plenty of small Gobies an Pollock along the harbour walls, I hear Rob shout my name out an say “will!, think I need a hand, I’ve got a little problem” . I walked over to see his brand new Major Craft Zalts bent double with his 2.5LB fluorocarbon flying off the spool. This couldn’t have been the worse place to catch a bonus fish either. This was a 16inch gap that runs along the jetty platform an harbour wall, an the fish had just ran out under his feet in to the harbour. After a good few minutes of constant clutch adjustments an being incredibly careful, this shiny bass of around 2LB came to the surface.

The Gap of DOOM!

I think both of us were shocked, but this was a gentle reminder that big fish take small lures, an with a little skill anything can be landed. This fish was caught on a size 18 hook an pink Power Isome weighted with a single AAA split shot, the fish took the hook as rob was lowering the lure down the harbour wall, while searching out the mini-beasts.

A few days later, me an my photographer mate Rob Mears went on a short LRF session to celebrate some recent news I had (more on that in the next post, fingers crossed). We decided to try the other side of the harbour to what we would normally, here the water is very shallow an has very little current, we were getting very mixed results from the start only finding the odd few gobies here an there, until rob pulls out the bonus fish of the night, his very first flounder an it was caught on lure as well.. Just check out his smile in this photo.. that’s the addiction of LRF taking hold right there.

Had a cracking few hours fishing with James Fulton Standley yesterday down the harbour, town was packed with holiday makers, but that’s the beauty of LRF, find a quiet corner an drop that lure in, 99% of the time it will result in a fish on the line. pretty sure he had a good time, an I think we are going to go out next week an nail him his first bass!!!

Hope you enjoyed the read everyone, im off now with rob to get a load of photos done of my Tenryu Injection that I got back form Richard at Dorset Fishing Rods today.. All im going to say is that it looks insane! Balances perfect for HRF an the build quality is second to none! Well happy. More to follow next time!
Tight lines.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Hot off the Press! HRF an BASS pros are coming to town, An the building Weymouth LRF scene.

First up is the great news that on the 19th of this month Chesil Bait n Tackle are holding an open day, an have managed to get the legends that are Danny Parkins an Jim O`Donnel to come along. This is an opportunity not to miss.

These guys know their fish an know their lures better than most in both sea an fresh water, an had countless articles in Sea Angler Magazine. the guys will be happy to answer any questions on rigging, techniques an tackle. There will be a casting pool out the back of the shop for demonstrations, the shop will be opening at 10:00am an closing at 3:00pm. So please take advantage whether you are a novice lure angler or an seasoned pro.. There will be something here for everyone.

For all of those that don’t know the area, parking can normally be found around the local roads around the shop an is never more than a short walk away, traffic around the area has been deafly quiet with the local Olympics scaring most of the holiday makers an locals out of town.

So bang the address into your TomTom an I shall see there!
Chesil Bait 'n' Tackle
77 Portland Road

So what have I been up to the past few weeks, incredibly busy with the amount of interest in LRF fishing in Weymouth, its incredible that once you show someone how easy an how fun this way of fishing is, you can see the smile get bigger an the LRF addiction takes hold, its when you see species after species come to the net, an the concept that anything can be caught on lure if you adapt your approach, we are only bound by the ropes of our imagination. Some species take time others become regulars that you would never have thought would take a lure.

Over the past month I have been working hard to meet as many people as I can even if its just for an hour to get them on the right track, showing them how to use an handle the LRF gear they have brought, or dropping one of my spare rods in their hands. So far each person I’ve met has walked away smiling having had a great time. Best bit about it for me is that I enjoy the company an get a kick out of watching others catch plenty of fish, its brilliant! So this blog post is going out to those who have made the last month as great as it has been for me, thank you.

I mentioned last time about a huge scorpion fish I caught, seriously I wish I had weighed that fish because it was monster, as much as these pictures do the fish some justice, but you had to be there to see it in the landing let! Here’s a few pictures courtesy of Robert J Mears photography.

It wasn’t long behind the scorpion fish when Rob Mears came up trumps with this stunning looking Tompot Blennie.

Here’s Shaun Carrington with one of his first gobies, soon as I met this guy down the harbour his enthusiasm was inspiring, talking to him last night he’s now looking to set up a LRF Weymouth FaceBook page. Brilliant! (sorry for the poor quality in the photo mate, my phone was playing up)

I had an amazing LRF session with Billy Short who runs the local Juniors angling club, now this guy knows his local waters better than anyone I’ve ever met in Weymouth. Mention his name an everyone knows this guy for his angling skills. A short walk round the harbour fishing a few corners an fish holding structures I soon realised we are like two neighbours of different generations talking the same talk, as much as he learnt the art of LRF I couldn’t get over how much I learnt about the harbour let alone talking other marks along the Dorset coast, thank you Bill! (note to self, next time I meet Bill, take note pad!)

I think the final species count was 9 in four hours, with nearly 40 fish between us, 3 species of Wrasse, Pollack, Mackerel, Pout, an 3 species of Gobies. We struggled like hell for that last species to make it 10 species but time ran out an we had to make a move.

Now its not very often you meet someone who you just click with, an from the off you know you can have a good laugh an good fish with, Mr Craig Allington picked up LRF in a matter of seconds an was smashing the fish out left right an centre, tuning into the split shot rig, tuning into the principles of structure holds fish, be it steps in the harbour wall, or an old pipe formation in the sea bed. I think we hit 6 species in matter of 45 minutes but the prize fish was his first lure caught flounder… I don’t think he realised at the time that in our local waters this species can be a tough one to find within a 25ft cast from shore. Big well done mate!

Just a reminder about the flounder, unless you are targeting the larger fish, keep lures small, the above picture just highlights the mouth size of these species.. Craig was using a size 18 hook an single AAA split shot to find these fish.

Keep it small, catch more fish.

I Made a trip to the Art Of Fishing yesterday as I had a day off work an fancied a jolly, I Have been searching for a new LRF rod for a while now, I am fully in love with my Major Craft Zalts but the need for a slightly heavier rod for searching out deeper waters that are out of the reach of the Zalts was becoming a must. Ben Field contacted me to let me know about the new range of Tict an Yamaga Blank rods that were coming close to what I was looking for. Now I’m not one for just reading reviews, or going on someone else’s word, so I jumped in the car an made the epic trip to Plymouth to check out these two rods, meeting Matt Newcombe I realised he knew exactly what I was looking fo,r an putting both rods in my hands I could tell strait away the Tict was a stunning well balanced rod but just a little over powered for what I was looking for, my heart was tearing me in two for these rods, an if I could have afforded both I would of walked away with both.. But the Yamaga blank had that little extra flex in the tip section that was the final decision making factor.. I shall tell more about the rod after I’ve caught a few more fish..

Here’s the christening fish from last night.. Hope you enjoyed the read an mass amount of photos..

If anyone wants me to meet them for a few hours to show them LRF, please look me up on FaceBook as Will Harding or email me at

Until the next time
Tight lines!