Monday, 1 April 2013

Winters grasp

Can this cold front hold Britain in its grasp for much longer? reading the reports on Sky News this March has been the coldest in over 50 years, now as much as a lot of people me included are concerned that our central heating has been on full blast now for what seems like forever, my thoughts tend to wonder about what damaged this cold grasp is having else where except on our bank accounts,  I remember reading "Hooked On Bass" by Alan Vaughan & Mike Ladle where they briefly mention effects weather and climate can have on future bass stocks, how a good breeding year where natures chemistry is perfect can produce a heavy stock of fish and completely revive stocks, now things may have changed a little since this book was written as commercial pressure has probably double since the book was published, but their points are still valid which brings me to my concerns, and not just for bass stocks but for most if not all fish that breed inshore around the UK.. reading the countless sea fishing related blogs especially lure related that are filling the internet shelves its very apparent that peoples salt water catches have dropped off so much so that a lot of those anglers are now spear heading new methods in the UK fresh water scene, so what could we be expecting in the future years from our sport as a result of this winter? A couple small things I have noticed already is the abundance of small young  flounder in our local harbors and not just Weymouth, could this be because the larger predators are staying out in deeper waters and not venturing into feed? I understand that  now is the time for them to start leaving our estuaries and harbors but over the last five years of fishing many different style of bait and lure tactics I haven't seen them in such an abundance as now... 

This time last year both myself and partner in crime lolly were hitting half decent wrasse and bass regularly and with somewhat ease from such marks as Portland Bill and local Weymouth marks, but this year seems like the fishing gods aren't  ready to pull the starting gun trigger to this years season, as much as I get a kick out of fishing for anything big or small, there are only so many Gobies and Sea Scorpians we can catch before the thirst for something bigger takes hold, so to fill my time as I watch the sea temp slowly rise and in some cases fall (crazy I know) I have embarked on a few new ideas and embracing my passion for photography and filming, I`m no expert at neither but my basic understanding that serves me well, and my camera guru Rob Mears filing in the blanks for me, I should now be able to learn and answer a few questions that roll around in my head when I`m fishing, for example: what is at the bottom of that dark deep gully? why can I only catch a Spotted Gobie from a couple locations, whats holding them there? why do I snag on every cast in the same place? I have dozens of questions I want answers to.. 

Something that has always stuck with me was after a visit to Jersey to fish with pro angler Keith White, sitting round a coffee table before fishing he asked me what I thought was a simple question.. "what sort of ground are you fishing Will?" well my obvious answer was "big rocks and boulders the size of small cars" his reply was the key to me not losing half the tackle as I did before that visit; "what sort of boulders what are they made of, granite, sand stone, flint etc etc etc." the more I fished over the last two years that not so simple questions has ran through my mind at every location I fish as every location is different, from stone type and boulder size to weed type and height, they all have a impact on what rig, bait or lure I should be using, fishing a certain pattern of jig head may work wonders over a soft sandstone ledges and drop offs, but work that same set up over a harder porous more jagged terrain and you could be asking for trouble.

So to help me answer some of these questions for myself and you guys reading this i have acquired Gopro and made a few home made parts to attach it to a telescopic landing net pole, I can now capture some under water footage, before you watch this video bare in mind this is basic test footage and is nothing special,  for those that fish this mark, keep an eye on the blog as me and a couple friends are going to be exploring a lot of the popular local marks like this one.. look for those under water features and snags like ropes etc. 

Fingers crossed, when this season picks up and the weather sorts its self out there will be a lot more footage, like lures and techniques from an under water perspective, I`ve had a few attempts now at trying to capture a fish hitting a lure and its like capturing lighting in a bottle, near to impossible with the current fishing conditions, trying to hold the camera still in swell, finding crystal clear waters, knowing what depth your fishing and filming at.. these are all problems I am learning to overcome one by one. 

So over the last few weeks whats been caught, apart from a stinking cold and something close to hypothermia not a great deal to sing home about, its tough out there and conditions have been the toughest I`ve seen them in years, I managed to get out for a quick session with Iain Turner and Simon Harris which proved very fruit full, I don't know what Simon was using because he racked up a score count with in 3 casts and 3 species, Goby, Pollock and Sea Scorpion while both me and Iain had to settle for a few tiny flounder between us, cant complain at least we were catching, and these fish saved us from a cold blank on a bloody cold night.

Perfect way to finish the evening!

Contradicting myself here a little, I had a couple hours play around some old lakes I used to fish as a nipper, taking just the LRF rods I was shocked at how small the lakes look now I`m a little taller and a lot wider, I used to carp fish these lakes day in day out on my school holidays as my folks used to be busy running a farm, dropping me off at the lakes and picking me up before dark was a easy way to get me out the way, I never used to complain tho. 

It felt very surreal having Lolly there and showing her different tactics like basic float fishing while watching the sun set, made me start feeling like a young kid again, it was a shame  it was super super cold and the fishing again was tough, but we did manage a few roach between us, next time we head there I`m dusting off the bite alarms and carp rods, those fish must have put some weight on in the years I haven't fished for them, I`m also sure Lolly enjoyed her self as she has gone and renewed her license before I have!!! 

Hope you enjoyed the read guys, fingers crossed the fishing picks up and I can get busy again, I have so many ideas for this summer that I`m hoping I have time to make them all happen.

Tight Lines!!