Saturday, 25 August 2012

Fishing Jersey with lures : Part 2

We were now 5 days into our 10 day visit and it was time again for some wrasse fishing on the SP's. We had chosen to try a new mark pointed out to us by Mick, a very nice looking area of rough and bouldery ground, ideal for our target species. Sam again decided he would try for a bass but his days efforts were not rewarded with any fish. For myself, Ed and Jon though it was a different story. Ed was first off the mark with a small ballan of around 1lb and Jon followed him the next chuck with one of his own. I in the mean time was concentrating my efforts fishing into a nice gully a little further along the coast and was rewarded with a few small ballans, as well as a  couple of corkwings and a single rock goby. A quick wade across though after the tide had dropped a little, saw me fishing into some much deeper water and expecting something a little bigger. Jon and Ed had not spotted my move and so it was just me and Sam on this island, Sam still on the plugs and me on the SP's. After 20 mins or so of bouncing bottom it was time to try something different, on went the 3" one up shad and a slow but straight retrieve was the new tactic. First cast I had a take, reeling in the lure to find its paddle tail had been bitten off. New lure on, 2nd cast and another take, this time a hook up but the fish managed to throw the lure. 3rd cast I finally got a good hook up and this one was taking some line so I knew it was a little better. In it came after a spirited fight and weighed a respectable 3lb 11oz. This was the last fish of the day with exception to a few giant gobies from the rockpools on our way back to the car.

The next session on the lures is one I'll remember for some time. A session aboard Callums rib which he'd kindly let Mick borrow to take myself and Ed out on in the hunt for a Scad on the LRF gear. We met Mick outside the shop shortly before dark and set off to St Helier harbour to board the rib. After reaching the spot and finding we had the mark to ourselves, Mick inspired us with some confidence saying that the evening looked spot on for a few fish, brilliant news! Myself and Ed started with some small 5g metals whilst Mick had opted for a 3" reins rock vibe shad fished on a 2.6g aji-meba jighead. Mick was first in with a decent sized pollock of around 1.5lb and I managed a pollock myself, all 2oz of it lol. With things not as hectic as we'd hoped, we headed off to a different mark to see if we could find these seemingly elusive scad. After a few chucks I had another small pollock but it was Ed who was first into a better fish, his rod bent over double and the fish diving regularly stripping line from his spool each time. Myself and Mick were temporarily on hold, eagerly waiting to see exactly what he'd hooked but after another dive, the fish threw the hook before we could see what it was, gutted. Thoughts were a nice pollock at first but just a few casts after Mick was in and landed our target, a scad making us think differently. This was the first scad I'd ever seen in person so I got a little excited at this point but I couldn't get a hook up. The fish were now occasionally starting to hit the surface within casting range, ever adding to our excitement and keeping us all on edge. Then Ed's rod once again arched over and in came his maiden scad, which although not seen in the photos
 he was extremely happy about. It just wasn't happening for me though and before I knew it, Mick was starting the rib up ready to return to the spot we'd started in. As we steamed over, we could see a few fish rising to the top just as Mick had told us to expect. Adrenaline still going we were casting out into the rising fish and we were all hooking up fairly regularly, but it was not what I was after, instead a passing shoal of mackerel that were taking everything we threw at them and were clearly visible swimming around in the water, a fantastic sight to see. Mick then hooked another scad raising my hopes once more, but they didn't seem to like my lure one bit. I was running out of ideas fast, switching to small sp's and only getting macky, so when Mick offered me one of his rock vibe shads I was on it like a fly to s**t. I did have some in my  bag but for some reason had completely forgotten about them until after the session had ended. Anyway, this switch was crucial and on just my second cast I was into a scad of my own. These fish really do go well on
Scad - Species 56 of 2012
the light gear and just as Bob had quoted in the shop 'they fight like mini tuna.' Safely on the boat I was obviously very happy, probably over excited to be fair, I doubt Mick has ever seen someone so happy to catch a scad, but for me usually fishing for them in North Wales where they are as rare as chickens teeth, it was brilliant. Once off the mark there was no stopping us and between us we must have landed a good 10 or so scad and a similar number of mackeral. However, as well as the scad fight there was one fish I hooked that went much harder. It was the turn of my drag to start screaming and the 5lb fluoro leader was really being tested, the fish continually stripping yards from my reel. Mick
immediately thought bass but I couldn't tell in the early stages. Sure enough in time the fish tired and with both Ed and Mick stood in anticipation the fish finally surfaced so we could have a look. Mick was right, it was a bass and my first one on proper LRF gear, very enjoyable. A few more quick dashes for freedom before it was netted and brought in for a picture. It was by no means a monster but at around the 2lb mark it certainly made a great account of itself in the fight. Time was flying by and we'd had a cracking evening, so after ending on such a high note we headed back to the harbour to join Jon and Sam for a nice celebratory beer and takeaway. This was one of the highlights of my trip so massive thanks has to go out to Mick for making the effort to take us out and for putting us on our target species and also Callum for letting us on the rib.

The rest of the holiday didn't quite live up to this session (on lures at least), but it was memorable for one member of our fishing foursome, my younger brother Sam, who after all his efforts on the plugs finally got his deserved reward with this nice looking bass taken from a deep rock mark on a large savage gear sandeel. I must say, he deserved it as usual, he really does put in some effort for the bass even when the conditions are against him. Thanks must go to Dan Ferguson again though for the mark and giving him the confidence to use the larger SG Eel.

The only other lure caught fish came on our session inside the harbour where all of us but Ed managed to land a good number of sand-smelt on unbaited sabikis (a new one for me on lures) as well as a number of black and rock gobies and a single herring. This is the only pic out of around a dozen where I managed to catch the smelt still and not jumping all over the place lol.

Well, that is it, the conclusion of my Jersey lure reports. I hope they have been interesting to read and they give at least a small insight into a visitors account of the Jersey lure scene. Can't wait for Jersey 2013 now and already have plans for a long weekend later this year :)

Thanks for looking,
Tight Lines,

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