Sunday, 30 September 2012

Inspiration, Lure Master Mr Takayoshi Orimoto.

What an amazing past few weeks, fishing is on fire from local rocks marks, with wrasse and Pollock showing in good numbers and the harbour is full of mini species.  So where to begin... The Weymouth LRF crew had the honour to fish with Mr Takayoshi Orimoto and the Maraukyu team, there was plenty of fish caught but yet again the tides and LRF meet didn’t collide to show up some bigger fish, I had the chance to meet Takayoshi for an hour before the meet and was amazed by his style of fishing for bass, fluent accurate casts between boats and tight to walls, some would say he was mad and trying to lose his lure, but what I learnt was Takayoshi was working the water in a grid pattern covering every inch of water in front of him, using an Ecogear power dart jig head with a spinner blade and shad was allowing him to cover all depths of the water column.
After a few followers and missed bites for the Maraukyu team they joined us for the regular Tuesday LRF meet, luckily the poor weather forecast didn’t come to anything and we had fun dry evening fishing the inner harbour, we had a small comp for the biggest fish over an hour, the prize being some rare new large white Isome, I can’t wait to see more of this product in the UK as it looks incredible!
Winner of the comp was Simon with this stunning looking Sea Scorpian above. Well done mate, I’m seriously jealous!
I couldn’t make out what Takayoshi was using for terminal tackle, but he and Maraukyu member Peter were hammering out the Pollock.
Here’s a picture of Nick Marlow with another stunning Sea Scorpion, looking back now I’m surprised at how many sea scorpions got caught that night, normally we see one maybe two, but I’m sure there was at least 6 between everyone. (PS. Nick ,the rod you showed me... stunning!)

To finish off the LRF meet I managed to get everyone who joined us for a group photo with the Maraukyu team, I’ve got about five versions of this photo and each one there is someone with a rod crossing there face or someone looking like they have two heads. So I apologise to anyone now who isn’t happy with the outcome.

Over the past few weeks, both me an Rich from Dorset Fishing Rods have been embarking on what we call MuRFing or MRF, something that isn’t seen as a type of fishing and isn’t something we are trying to create, we call it MRF because its exactly that, fishing small lures over rough ground searching out bigger fish, a standard LRF rod wouldn’t consistently handle some of the fish we are catching, hitting 2LB plus wrasse in a boulder field there is a 1 in 10 chance that you are going to land that fish and a even slimmer chance you are going to get your end tackle back, take some of the 3LB Pollock we have been finding.

YES we can catch them and land them on LRF gear and trust me we have, but what we have learnt is that every fish we catch we are maxing out the capabilities of our rods, and leaving our selves no reserve. This is where my faith in the Major Craft Zaults grew, I know after over a year of using that rod, the blank has a bucket load of power in the mid section capable of stopping average size bonus fish... but would I use it for “MRF”? my answer is no.  These Japanese LRF rods rated .5-5g are special works of art in my eyes, not built for the stresses and strains of crash diving rock Pollock and wrasse.
Some readers might be thinking, well use a HRF rod average rating is 5-25g, plenty of wrasse stopping power and if you have the right rod then there is plenty of sensitivity there for lure fishing. But what me and Rich are finding is that rods that fall in the middle of HRF are so much more versatile for both LRF and HRF, take the Yamaga Blank blue current 80 Tubular, this rod is rated 1-11g weighs next to nothing has a stunning crisp through action and plenty of power to stop crash diving Pollock and wrasse at close range. The beauty of using a rod this light yet NOT LRF is that we can work light lures effectively searching out the rougher ground in confidence that we have a good chance of landing the fish we connect with there are also added advantages of casting distance that I mentioned in the last blog post for searching clean sand beaches.
On a number of occasions now we have come across some stunning fishing conditions over the past weeks, in a matter of a few hours we have been hitting fish numbers of 40 plus, we aren’t necessarily targeting species in particular.. We are lure fishing for everything and most casts result with a fish on the line and a fish on the bank.

A lot of the fish being caught are on the Large Pink Isome by Ecogear, or the Ecogearaqua 3 inch Bug Ants, Pollock and wrasse love these lures, on occasions as soon as the lure has hit the water fish have been smashing the lure and taking us by surprise.
There seems to be a few people out there saying that the Ecogear Isome is cheating in some respects, I even noticed people knocking it as a lure/bait, call it what you will if it catches fish I’m going to use it. That’s what it’s all about right? I had a local angler message me saying that they are now planning on banning it from a boat competition after he bagged up big time. So before those individuals try and rope me into yet more Jealous fuelled politics, one of my favourite lures lately has been one from Andy at Jacks LRF, he sent this out to me as a sample and all I need to say is WOW fish love em!

To finish off this blog post I just want to add a big well done to Rob for nailing his first half decent size wrasse on lure, this fish took rob off guard and certainly gave him the run around but he got her to the net in the end. Think you owe Rich a pint for bringing the net Rob!
Lure of choice was a Reins RockVibe Saturn in a green and blue fleck, wrasse love these lures!
hope you enjoyed the read!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

News Just In, Takayoshi Orimoto Is Coming To Town.

Well the post title says it all, one of the best Japanese lure anglers is coming down to join us this Tuesday in Weymouth, details are a little unclear at the moment whether he will be able to join us for the LRF meet but I’m sure he will be making an appearance at Chesil Bait n Tackle in the afternoon. Fingers crossed the weather gods play ball as the reports are looking like it could be a wash out in the evening, a far contrast to the beautiful sun that we are having this weekend.
Takayoshi is the product development manager for Marukyu, one of the leading tackle and bait suppliers of the world, type Takayoshi Orimoto into YouTube and you will see that Orimoto has had a huge influence on the world Lure market, pioneering all manors of lure fishing, especially EGI (SQUID) and Rock Fish. I haven’t had a chance to meet Takayoshi yet, but from what I have been told by the guys at Marukyu he`s a character you won’t forget after you meet him. To have the opportunity to meet Takayoshi is something that doesn’t come along very often so keep your eye on the Ecogear FaceBook page or look me as ‘’Will Harding’’ I will keep everyone informed as I get more details from the Marukyu team.
So what have I been up to the past week or two, well my man flu has cleared and I’m back on form again, the few sessions I had while I was ill that I mentioned in the last blog post about flounder and bass got me thinking. Have I been missing a trick? I know LRF and HRF is all about rock fishing, rocks equal structure equals fish we all know this, but those few short sessions really were an eye opener to me and left me thinking that if I can just stroll up to any old beach, cast out a well presented isome worm and find bass and flounder, well anything is possible right? Yes there was a little water craft involved in that I was fishing the high water on a slightly SW wind, but I know from experience that bass are never that easy.  So I went back the following evening to try my luck, conditions were as good as before but this time no bass or flounder, just a lot of casting and a few shy nibbles, it was only when darkness had set in that my Yamaga Blank fully bent into a fish at distance. Strangest fight I have had this year the fish stuck to the bottom all the way to the shore.
Bingo! Another first on lure for me. Tub Gurnard!!
Check out how camouflage this guy is to the pebbles, stunning creature.
I’m always asking myself what is the key to some of the fish I catch, sometimes it’s just sheer luck, sometimes experience leads me to the fish, having the right tackle for the situation is a great start. so for now until I can regularly predict these catches like flounder an gurnard, I’m going to put my hand on my heart an say it’s a mixture of luck, quality tackle with a small amount of experience, if it wasn’t for the correct line, rod and reel then I wouldn’t have the balanced out fit to fish 3.5g of weight at distance on a sandy beach, yes the lure is important but if I can’t control that lure and feel the bite then I am going to miss a lot of fish. The Yamaga Blank rod is near to perfect for what I am asking of it being 8ft long and rated 1-11g it has ample amounts of power but with a lower rating that allows me to feel every bite and every ridge of the sea bed.
Using a PE Line like the .4 Sunline Small Game PE makes for incredible casting distances, zero stretch in the line makes sure every bite and vibration is transmitted back to the angler, its bright pink colour can be seen at night and makes tying leaders knots a breeze. These PE lines are costly but the advantages you gain from them are incredible. Just like cleaning your reels down after a day’s fishing I like to wash out my braids also, this may sounds over the top to some readers, but have you ever seen all the oil and diesel that floats on the surface in the harbours, yes I try to avoid these patches of pollution but sometimes you can’t avoid it. I’m no scientist but I’m sure it can’t be doing any good to my mainline! As with anything, take care of it, and it will take care of you.
The Shimano Stradic CI4 2500F, I like this reel so much that I now have two of them, I have never felt a reel so smooth and solid for its price, confidence is everything with reels and like any other reel from the Shimano range, I have confidence in the Stradic, line lay was impeccable with no need to add washers on the spool shaft. The weight of the reel is 200g.. there are lighter reels out there like the Quantum EX0, but at 200g it`s not heavy at all compared to some in the price range.
Also a key aspect to every reel I buy is the bail arm, what I look for is a solid made bail arm where braided lines can not trap or damage, back in the early days I had so many problems with braid and reels and this simple aspect made all the difference.
I had a urge to go after something a little more fierce earlier in the week, it had to be bass and bass only, conditions seemed almost perfect for the mark I was thinking of,  when I arrived I could see baitfish being smashed on the surface everywhere, I went through nearly all my soft plastics till I found a white paddle tail from JacksLRF, I used the same pattern of lure in all different colours but it was only white with the yellow tail that the bass would strike out at, I believe that there must have been so many baitfish I had to use a lure that would stand out. I had three bass and one mackerel, one of the bass being nearly 3LB which bent the rod double and gave me a run like I have never had from a bass before... incredible! The Yamaga Blank rod was bent double.
Hope you enjoyed the read guys, here`s a picture of Rob Mears’ biggest catch from the harbour on the last LRF meet... I will say no more...
Tight Lines!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Weymouth LRF Buzz!

Rock and Roll! Considering that 2 years ago I was properly the only chap waving a LRF rod around the harbour, now every time I take walk down the pier for an hour’s mini-beast hunt I’m bumping into all sorts of people on the same mini-beast hunt that I have been on. There is something special happening in the Weymouth angling scene for sure, there are people meeting and friendships being made, people fishing together for fun, having a good laugh and helping each other out.
So far the egos haven’t crept in, and fingers crossed the direction the local lure scene is heading keeps on track because it’s all looking positive. Some of the guys don’t realise the attention it’s getting, to gain a page spread in the local paper the Dorset Echo made me smile. An in fairness they did an incredible write up and got some fundamental details spot on.
This last week has had a few ups and downs for me, started off really well with getting to meet the Ecogear team at the Weymouth LRF meet, was a real shame that the meet landed on low water and fishing was hard, but everyone caught a few fish, looking at some of the photos of John, Nick, Rob and Jon the smiles say it all, I’m pretty sure they enjoyed their selves, fingers crossed they make it back down to sunny Weymouth again and get to meet a few more of the LRF anglers.
Star of the show was Rob’s cuttlefish, certainly a stunning creature, I’m currently looking into Major Craft Egi (squid) rods from Japan at the moment so I can target these species efficiently. If it’s one thing I’ve learnt over the last few years, having the right tools for the job can make your success rate go through the roof.
So like I said, this week has had its ups and downs, and the big down was me going sick with man flu, I had to cancel a holiday this weekend down Devon with lolly and her family and had two days off work, I did managed to get out for a few strolls on the beach to get some fresh air, an I would have been stupid to leave the rod in the car. Now something I talk about now and then to a few guys an I have read about on a few other blogs is this middle ground between LRF an HRF, now from day one the boundaries have always been set that LRF (LIGHT ROCK FISHING) is 0-7g or less weighted rods, HRF (HARD ROCK FISHING) 5-25g or more weighted rods, now I’m not one to pigeon hole myself into anything, just like in the last blog post where I spoke about using bait as another method in HRF. So where am I going with this.. Well I’ve been coming across marks that I know hold fish that would be perfect for LRF tactics, but the problem of casting distance has been an issue. Using a HRF rod would lose all concept of feel an contact with the micro lures...  so I’ve started playing around with a few rods like the tubular Yamaga Blank Blue Current 80, rated 1-11g at 8ft long, coupling this rod with the Shimano 3000 Stradict, Sunline small game .4 PE braid made for a very well balanced outfit.

Strait from the word go when I reached the beach I could see disturbances on the surface and a few birds diving, but to my surprise on my first few casts at this mark I managed to catch a few flounder, and drop a much bigger fish due to it burying itself in the sea bed at range. Lure of choice was some of the larger Power Isome that the Ecogear team left behind from the LRF meet. The flounder were going mad for the larger red isome mounted on a size 14 course hook with a molix 5g tungsten cone weight , Very much similar to the HRF tactics for wrasse less the EWG hook, I wouldn’t use the tungsten cone weights for wrasse fishing due to the expense, but on shingle clean beaches they are perfect. This set up fly’s through the air and allows you to cover some big distances on light tackle. Using the Yamaga rod and Sunline PE allowed me to feel every curve in the sea bed and every shy bite. I only managed an hour on this session due to my man flu tablets wearing off and I had to get home.
So after a rest up in bed and dosing myself up with more flu tablets I went back to the beach to see if could find that bigger flounder that I lost, but to my surprise not a single flounder in sight, what could have changed in 24 hours??
Then the answer came by a sharp pull on the rod tip and short but feisty run of the drag, it didn’t take to long to land this stunning school bass. I’m guessing the bass have moved in within the last 24 hours and cleared out the flounder. Which is a real shame as I’m only just starting to profile them and understand what works best where and when.
I managed to finish off the session with a couple bass and one mackerel, not bad for only an hour’s fishing before my flu tablets wore off. I believe it’s the Lure forums annual Bumble this weekend, so I wish all you guys off the forum the best of luck, would love to have joined you but I’m feeling to rough as I write this blog post. For anyone fishing ultra light there is plenty of mini-beasts in the harbour, and plenty of bass from the rock marks.
Tight Lines!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

On Board with the Sunline Team, plus LRF an HRF action!

A few weeks back I mentioned I had some great news that was in the pipe lines, and I can now let the cat out of the bag and announce that I’m now part of the Promotion staff for Sunline. When I got the call I couldn’t have been happier with the offer, I’ve always been a big fan of the Sunline range especially for my LRF angling. The great thing about the call was the appreciation for honest anglers and that it has been noticed that everything I write about on the blog has a picture of the fish to back my words. I love fishing, photography and writing so seeing this blog grow over the last few years has been a passion of mine. To have have Sunline supporting my efforts is an honour.

Check out my Bio pager HERE.

You will endeavour to see some product reviews of the Sunline range from time to time, I’m currently using the Rock Bite Fluorocarbon for some LRF projects I’ve been testing, I shall write a full review on this mainline in the next few weeks... all I’m going to say about this project is that it involves LRF tactics and big boulders at night.

Now for a little humour.. When given the call from Sunline i was asked to go out and get decent photo for the Bio page for NiceFish! Easy I thought, go out, do what I do best and catch a few fish an take some photos.. Wrong! First problem was that the weather has been appalling and falling on poor tides, every time there was a perfect break in the weather I was either working or fishing one of the LRF meets in Weymouth. So I thought a night skirmish for bass might be the best idea, only one problem, I`m on my own and capturing a decent picture of a shining bass is near impossible. So here is one of my failed attempts. No smile and what i call a light bulb fish, when I got home I was gutted! The problem is I rush to get fish safely back in the water causing them as little harm as possible.
luckily when i caught my first bream on lure my mate Rob was on hand to take a few decent snaps for me.. which is the above photo used on the bio page. cheers buddy!
So where are we at with the Local LRF scene, still growing that’s for sure and there have been some stunning fish caught and a few random bonus species like Bill`s lad Sam here with the first cuttlefish that I’ve seen caught from Weymouth stone pier.
The cuttlefish nailed one of the many pout that we had been catching along the harbour wall, it always amazes me how when LRF fishing a bonus species comes along an makes your day, this cuttlefish certainly put a bend in Sam`s rod.

There has also been a lot of firsts for the LRF group, with a few species that I haven’t caught myself, like Dorset Fishing Rods Richard Cake`s Dragonet, I have been hunting for this species for over a year now, an he managed this on his first LRF session! He puts it down to his match fishing experience from the course fishing world, mate... when have you ever heard of whacky rigging in course fishing??

Mike from Chesil Bait n Tackle is now becoming a regular every Tuesday so I was well chuffed when his rod bent double as this scad, horse mackerel, AJI call it what you will started ripping line off his reel,  It’s really nice to see one of the tackle shops really embracing LRF and getting involved with the local scene, Chesil Bait n Tackle have really got there kit together with a great selection of top end LRF rods an lures.
Right then lads, the second LRF meet we all got our butts kicked by Lolly, if that was a competition she would have won by a mile, as we were all stood around talking lures and what looks best she was there none stop hammering the fish and finding out what catches best.. (Look out Plymouth! She’s our secret weapon)
Both me and Scott had a couple of nice Wrasse and Blennies on the LRF gear a few nights back, the colours in Scott’s Green wrasse were stunning.
With the past few weeks of half decent weather I thought it was time to chase down a few rock pigs, I have to admit it’s been harder than then earlier in the year but they are still there, I’ve been playing around with different Baits an presentations while using HRF tactics. Now I know there is this Line between Bait and Lure anglers but the results you will get if you can open up an cross those lines is incredible!
Pop a peeler crab on a Texas rigged EWG hook and 3.5g cone weight, wrap it up with bait elastic to form a slug with the hook point tucked in the bait making sure the rig is weedless. Cast out and slowly bop it back to your feet, I tried this and ended up having fish after fish on a night I heard others blanked both on lure and bait. There is no tail nipping from smaller fish, missed bites or tackle loss, when a wrasse or Pollock hits this set up its aggressive as hell. I tried this set up with other baits and had mixed results that I shall report on again soon, but if you’re a bait angler not convinced of HRF tactics please give this ago. I’m an ex bait angler now lure angler and this method opened my eyes further.
To finish off the blog here`s a couple of pictures of Rich from Dorset Fishing Rods, you can see the sort of terrain that we are having to cross to get to these marks, it’s not for the faint hearted! Sadly the fishing was poor over the last few days with only a handful of decent fish between us. That’s not including the 30 or more small fish that Rich had fun winkling out under his feet! Next time I shall take an LRF rod down for some serious fun.
Hope you enjoyed the read, loads of thanks goes out to Rob Mears for some of the brilliant photos, an again big thank you to the Sunline team.
 Tight lines!