Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Cornish Lure Festival :D

What a fantastic event and what luck we had with the weather (apart from Friday night of course) First of all a huge congratulations to Craig on taking the bass section with an awesome fish of over 10lb and 74cm, a worthy winner and also a big well done to the runners up. Big congratulations also to Josh for taking the species prize with an incredible 14 and again to the runners up. I narrowly missed out on a placed finish by 1 species, next time maybe :)
Before I get into the report though I'd best not forget to mention a few people for helping me along the way and joining me on a few sessions. Those people are Rodd, Steve, Jake and Scott as well as Ryan and friends who I met whilst bass fishing and many others I had a chat with over the course of the weekend, it really was a quality festival and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Friday - After signing in at Plymouth just after midday I was off on my travels into Cornwall for the first time and full of hope. I had a few marks penciled in to try for both bass and for the species so I had a rough plan of action. At my first stop I met a bloke in the car-park that told me he had caught a bass of over 9lb the week previous and pointed out a few spots in the area that were worth trying, a promising start. I started off with the LRF gear targeting wrasse in the gulleys and started getting a few taps, eventually managing a hook up on my teaser. To my surprise though it wasn't a wrasse as I had expected but a small mullet, what a way to start my trip. After this the nibbles stopped, so I turned my attentions to the bass. In front of me was a lovely weedy reef, so I clipped on my seaspin proQ 120 and began working the surface just the other side of it. I must have been non-stop casting for around half an hour with not a sign of a fish but the lure was working nicely, so I couldn't bring myself to change (bad habit) Persistence did pay off though and a rise came, the fish missing the lure at first pickings so I began twitching it faster as I always try and do after the initial rise and as usual, the fish had another go again missing..... it didn't come back a third time though,  a change of venue was in order. I took the advice the bloke I'd chatted to and headed just the other side of Looe. I got down to the mark and was distracted again by a number of deep pools and gullies, so minis were my target.

First drop I had my second species in the form of a blenny before finding a lovely deep hole where I could see a few fish swimming around. I dropped down a chunk of isome on a fine metal shirasu jig-head and immediately a blennie took interest, from nowhere though a larger fish shot across the pool engulfing my lure with ease. I struck straight away and the fish was hooked. I thought I'd got a rockling at first but as I pulled it up I realised what it was, a giant goby (species 45), my first ever and a fish that was high on my 'to catch list' :) well chuffed! The only other fish I had on the first day was a small sea scorpion. Whilst at this mark though I bumped into a number of LRF'ers including Josh, Toby, Scott and Jake. So day 1 down, 4 species landed, not brilliant but I was underway.

Saturday - The second day dawned and it was another species day with some bassing planned for the evening rising tide. I started like alot of fellow LRF'ers at Mevagissey. I was first there at around 6am and the previous nights lash down had heavily coloured the water in the harbour. Luckily though the outside was gin clear and flat, perfect for the mini's. Before I targeted them though I had a few chucks off the front, casting across the murky water and retrieving it back into the clear stuff. The pollock were jumping on my tiny x-layer almost every chuck and after having around a dozen of them I managed to get a mackerel to tick off as well. I then moved to the back dropping down the margins for the wrasse and sure enough after being frustrated for a while by small taps, a fish was hooked, a  little corkwing taking my tally to 7.

At around 9 a few more people started to appear. First to join me were Rodd and Steve fresh from a morning on the bass. It was the first time I'd met them both but they were both more than happy to share a few of their marks with me and kindly offered to show me a spot later in the day where I could hopefully get my first bass of the festival. A very friendly gesture that was just what I needed, after all when your chasing fish in unknown areas, what better way to find them than to get advice from people who know the area. Thanks again guys if you read this. It was down to business again though with the mini's and shortly after I'd started fishing again we were joined by Scott and Jake. I'll be completely honest and say that if it wasn't for these two I probably would never have taken up LRF, it was their reports that made me want to try it out and now I'm hooked on it. Plus they are both fountains of knowledge in the smaller species department and I've learnt alot from watching them and listening to their little tips. With the breakwater now getting a little busier I had a little move along towards the point. Changing again to the shirasu head and isome the first few drops produced a couple of scorpion fish. It wasnt long though before the tiny rattles came back and when I hooked up after a long annoying wait to strike I was into my 8th species, a pout. The next drop more rattles and this time it was another new one and one I definitely hadn't expected, a dragonette (species 46) The
mini bashing continued until around 12.30 finishing with 5 dragonettes, a similar number of pout and a few other things, but nothing else new. I had arranged to follow Rodd and Steve to the mark but having pulled out I had a call from my brother and completely missed them leaving. After I'd put the phone down I was a little confused, where had they gone? Anyway after returning to Scott and Jake, Scott managed to get a location up on his phone and I had a road name to go for. A short drive saw me arrive at where I thought the beach was but turned out I'd gone to the wrong one. After walking aimlessly for around 30mins, I found myself back at the car and trying to remember the name of the road I needed to find. It popped back into my head and somehow I managed to locate them all be it about an hour later than planned. Again both Rodd and Steve were very helpful in guiding me around the mark and pointing out certain spots to go. I started chucking a few hard plastics about, everything from my patch's to feedshallows but all working the top few feet of water. After having no luck for half an hour I switched to try for a ballan at one of the spots I'd been shown. I tried a few different lures but as soon as the x-layer went on I had an instant hook up.  
giving me plenty of stick I tried my best to keep it up but inevitably it took me to ground. Without panicking I let some line off to give the fish slack. I waited for around a minute before I felt some movement again. With a quick wind down and strike upwards the fish came free and now I was in the driving seat. It went well though and took it's toll on my lure clip which had to be changed, but I got the fish in so that a few mug shots could be taken. I then made the trek to the far end of the mark to fish over some weedy ground that just looked extemely bassy. I was joined down the other end after a while by Steve and Mike. I saw no action at all on my surface lures but Steve, after seeing a few fish in front of him, had a few half hearted takes unfortunately without a hook up. Mike who was a bit further along was pulling wrasse in with no problem and after myself and Steve had decided to move on, we walked back past Mike just after he'd had a lovely fish of over 3lb. As we walked back we had a few chucks here and there to no avail so in the end, I decided enough was enough and headed off on an hours drive to try for the bass once more at the mark I'd missed one on the first day. As I neared the mark I noticed a group of lure fisherman on a particular spot. I pulled up and watched for 5 minutes in which time I saw them land a couple of bass. Needless to say I was geared up and running down to the mark in no time and after a quick chat and realising one of the lads was Ryan Timberlake from the forum. I looked over to see what lures they were using and the savage gear eels seemed to be working for all of them, so on mine went, 2nd cast, bang, Bass on! Pictured and measured at a wee 42cm it was my 11th species on what had been a great day. I stayed for around an hour, landing 6 bass in total on 5 different lures
before leaving the guys to it.

Sunday - It's a long report already so I'll cut Sunday short. I had no new species which was slightly disappointing but again I had fun fishing with Jake and Scott and a few other lads. The only other thing that must be mentioned is how jammy Jake is. After strongly making out he is so unlucky in raffles, you just knew that he was gonna win something but oh no, he didn't just win a prize, he was the first ticket drawn out and so managed to blag a new rod lol. I think I might try that trick next time lol.

Anyway, that is my Cornish Lure Festival report,
I hope you enjoyed the read and stuck it out despite me prolonging it somewhat.
Again a massive congratulations to all the winners, top angling guys!

Tight Lines,

P.s I almost forgot, Rodd makes a damn good home made curry. If he offers you some take it :)

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