The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the UK is about to have its first proper heatwave of the year, which might make day time fishing a little tougher from my experiences, but get your back side out of bed early enough or fish on through the evenings and results can prove to be outstanding, if you are fishing day light hours, make sure you are prepared, take that extra bottle of water, double check you have sun cream, sun glasses and make sure someone knows where you are going and when you will be back, one trip in a remote location could spell disaster.. I have had fishing sessions cut short before because I completely under estimated my water consumption while climbing up and down cliffs like the east side of Portland, when the rocks heat up and the sun hits its highest point, temperatures can sore, also add the fact that the water is reflecting a percentage of the sunlight your effectively getting a double dose.. so look after yourselves!
So, what's been happening over the past weeks, fishing has picked up ten fold, and I'm hearing reports coming in now of some decent bass catches from all the local Dorset marks, I've said this before and I will happily say it again, around Weymouth and Portland I cant think of anywhere you couldn't cast and have chance of catching that silver bass, don't spend hours trolling the net in search of misleading answers that could be years out of date, get out there and find those fish!
One of the biggest achievements for myself this month was to receive my certificate to be a level 1 Angling Coach, which with the help of that shark fanatic dude Mr Paul Burridge who encouraged me to do this course, I found simple enough and highly enjoyed the course, I learnt a huge amount, not necessarily fishing related, but coaching skills and people skills, anyone who has fished with me on a long term basis knows all to well that my patience can run thin at times, the course ironed out those creases an taught me coaching skills that aid me to work with individuals, small groups and cater for all situations including health and safety and risk assessments, trust me.. doing a mock up risk assessment to take an individual to a lake fishing for carp can be an eye opener, taking every risk in to considerations, from health of the individual, weather conditions, and terrain hazards such as slippery river banks, tackle being used such as sharp knifes or scissors, makes you think we live in a mine field!
I also met some really decent guys on the course, from novices to pros, salt and fresh water.. this course isn't just for the experienced anglers, but for those who want to help promote and support angling in the way it should be.. coaching, supporting and getting everyone involved from the youths to the elderly is what its all about.. I've seen many side of the angling industry good and bad that has left me bewildered at times, taking part in this course refuelled my enthusiasm and gave me faith that some anglers are not in it just for profile, but for the passion of angling.
The course was held at Longham Lakes just outside Pool, the training facilities at the modern built cabin were fantastic and the grounds were stunning, check out the ramp and platform for wheelchair access on the lake. I wish I lived closer because seeing the pictures on the walls of the cabin of the fish caught there makes me want to dust off my course fishing gear and chase down some of those monster carp.
I have been thinking a lot over the winter on where LRF (light rock fishing) can be used more as a educational method, I know this all sounds strange, but hopefully it will make sense in the end.. I've been fishing LRF now for a good few years, and the knowledge gained not just as a fishing practice but the knowledge gained about species and habitats, as a bass angler myself I know that sometimes the fish will not feed unless conditions are right, on top of that your lure or bait must be or represent what the bass are feeding upon to achieve the highest chance of catching your target fish. So using LRF and UL (ultra light) tactics to find out exactly what is there can provide you with knowledge that you might have just cast to one side.. I've lost count of how many times I've caught species from locations that for one I wouldn't have put money on being there.. also we all know time of day effects what species are active, I know that searching for active Pollock at mid day around Portland bill can prove tough, BUT, try for those Corkwings and small Ballan wrasse and its easily fish a cast.. so why not use them as bait or match your lure as these are the prominent species active at thus given time of day, food for thought.
With this theory in mind I have been keeping a small record of what I catch and where, already I've noticed patterns in bait fish behaviour like these sandsmelt that I caught on the outer wall of the stone pier.. again fish a cast, yet if I fished the opposite side it was micro Pollock and pout, yet at night these species seem to swap sides and the sand smelt spread out and became less abundant. working back into the harbour species such as seascorpions and blennys become more abundant alongside all the common gobys.. all bottom dwelling fish, I hope it all makes sense what I'm typing and that LRF as much as its a HUGE amount of fun to fish this style, it actuality will provide you with a equally huge amount of knowledge.
I've also managed a few very productive sessions with the delightful Lolly and good friend Mr Turner, after showing Lolly how to tie up and use the drop shot rig she ended up showing us lads how its done by pulling in a 17 fish form corkwings to pollock, most of the fish were caught using ragworm I believe, when she found that hole full of fish there was no stopping her!
It wasn't long and we got to hear her drag singing and her Major Craft Solpara bent double on this critter, before we started fishing I knew she wasn't happy and felt under gunned using LRF gear off Portland as that's all we had in the car, with Lollys skilful playing skills and a high end decent Japanses rod, tackling this fish was no hassle what so ever, and I'm confident she could have beaten one twice the size.
I've been using the Burkley's Sandworms a lot this past week, and I've got to say that I'm well impressed, both on the mini species and the larger species, being a lot more tougher than the isome it lends its self a lot more to being used on Texas rigging with EWG hooks, there is no need to use a assist spring that I have pictured and mentioned in previous posts...
Hope you enjoyed the read guys, just like to thank Paul B again for encouraging me on the Coaching Course, mate.. your an absolute star! and I cant wait for when you complete your level 2 and we can kick a lot of our ideas into touch..