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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Happy New Year and first fish for 2017.

Happy New Year and best of wishes for 2017!
I am now back home in Greece and yesterday managed the first little session for 2017.
We're having a pretty cold winter (-5C) and things have changed from the last time I fished here at this time of the year but slowly I hope to get good idea about the available fishing now.
Yesterday I fished at Keramoti harbour and the target was bass. It was a calm and relatively mild day and I arrived an hour or two before sunset in order to have a good 'feel' for the place and the fish movements. There was plenty of fry in the water and diving birds feeding and occasionally I'd see small bass groups moving around. I wasn't expecting big fish but was hoping for anything and had the ML setup with me.
I settled for a previously overlooked slim paddletail from Pontoon 21, the Attira. It has a lovely subtle action and on a 7g darting/standup jighead gives a lovely presentation similar in size and colour to the baby mullet milling around.
After spending some time at various points and corners of the harbour I moved to the ferry terminal soon after getting dark. I was working the lure on a medium retrieve with frequent touchdowns and finally got a take near the bottom and the first fish of 2017 was on the cement! A hungry little basslet...
Quickly released I kept fishing and had a few more takes but they didn't commit.. I later realised that most of these sharp takes were from diving birds! 😆

First fish of 2017!
A ferry had just anchored and was using its thrusters to adjust. The area of disturbance can be a good spot to fish and it proved true this time as another basslet hit my lure. There was a short time of activity and I tried some different lures and presentations but apart from some bumps I didn't get another fish. Stubbornly I stayed on till later on after having some coffee to warm me up (the convenience of harbour fishing...) but things got really quiet and decided to call it a day.

Another basslet...
Nice presentation..
 I think next time the LRF/UL setup might be more appropriate for this mark... In order to get bigger fish I think a visit to somewhere more remote is needed. But first we need the latest snow and freezing temperatures on the forecast to clear!

Tight Lines for 2017!

Gear used.
Rod: Spro Mobile Stick 80MH
Reel: Shimano Stradic ci4 2500f
Mainline: Duel Hardcore X4 PE 0.8
Leader: YGK Nitlon DFC fluorocarbon 8lbs -12lbs
Lures: Pontoon 21 Attira 7g standup jighead.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

The last Skye fish for 2016!

The past couple weeks I have managed to do two outings in order to close my 2016 account up here in Skye. I would've liked to have been on the rocks much more often as the weather has been very mild and settled for the most part, but being very busy at work, didn't get the chance. Nevertheless both sessions were on fire with lots of decent fish coming out and I have to say that I feel 'full' of fishing bliss! lol I'm now going back home and I hope to be making some reports on my fishing there...
On both sessions The fish were very active and the general weather patterns were the same. That is around 10C temperatures with brisk westerlies. On the second session the winds were a bit more than brisk with a moderate swell! This didn't slow down the fishing though... I used the heavy gear on the first day and the ML/HRF setup on the second one. I had lots of fish in the 3lbs-5lbs bracket with a couple more than that and also a few cutoffs even on the heavy gear! Moreover the coalies are now in their best size with a proper fatty caught the other day on a 5" paddletail and 3/0 jighead. 😲
I also got a surprise in the form of a beautiful male cuckoo wrasse in the last session.

A good stamp of fish...

Metals were very productive on the calm day...

Heavy Texas does the job...

A solid fish!

Of course the SaltyBait always produces..

Such beauty..

As I mentioned, the second day conditions were far rougher and this affected the fish lure preference but not their feeding activity. While I caught plenty of fish on metals on the calmer conditions of the first day, it was a different story in the swell... I had far more consistent results then with 'flashy' colours and loud presentations i.e chartreuse paddletails on cheburashka, pearl-white sp's on Vassalo Swimming jigs and Carolina rig with red floater before the hook. It was also very noticeable that the use of the lighter gear didn't inhibit me but instead helped with fishing lighter weights and picking up bites better despite the swell and current. The finer lines really cut through the water...
Chartreuse was the colour of the second day..

Loud presentations in the swell...

A fatty!

Recaptured fish!

On the 2nd day metals were preferred by the smaller ones.

Nice one!

A lovely surprise.

The place of dreams...

Goodbye.. for 2016...

Another interesting occurrence on the second day, was when the sun came out and soon enough the bites from larger fish slowed down.. I then switched to small slow jigs and reverted into catching fish albeit the smaller ones and also coalies. As soon as the sun got behind the clouds and became darker, the bigger fish started feeding again and the softplastics again picked the best ones out.
Below the action filled videos!

These two days were all I needed before leaving and I'm now looking forward to some good fishing back home! I'm hoping to get some bass and barracuda from the salt and chub and pike from the freshwater... Lets see!

Tight Lines and Merry Christmas!

Gear used.

Rod: MajorCraft Solpara SPS-1002LSJ, 3.05m. max 50g and MajorCraft KGEvolution Basic KGS-902L.
Reel: Shimano SW Biomaster 4000XG and Shimano Stradic Ci4 2500f
Mainline:YGK G-Soul WX8 PE1.2and  Duel Hardcore x4 PE0.8
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 25lbs, 16lbs and12lbs
Lures: 20g -30g metals, 16g-20g cheburashka with various paddletails on  #1 offset ewg hook, Carolina rig with 20g -30g tungsten bullet-8mm glass bead-swivel-25cm line-#1/0 offset ewg hook and various softbaits.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A good start to December!

This mild weather has kept up luckily and gave me the opportunity to have another session at the rocks of Neist Point. Ι was expecting to find slight southerly winds but instead got brisk westerlies although nothing to worry about if not a positive factor...
I begun casting metals and from the first cast got fish on! They were hitting aggressively soon after touchdown but as I was using the ML setup lost a few to the kelp... An indication of how aggressive they were was when I got a fish up with the jig lodged in the middle of its mouth and not caught by the hook!
A dull yet mild day...

The rip line close inshore...

Good numbers of 3lbs pollock hitting metals..

A few bigger ones as well...

One look and we all know whats happened here...

Yep.. Greedy pollock.
After a while I moved to my favourite spot on Neist as I wanted to try for other species as well, especially since it was near sundown now. I tied a good old Carolina rig with a 20g tungsten bullet weight, 8mm bead followed by the swivel, 25cm line and a red floater before a 1/0 ewg offset hook. I mounted a 4.5" Lunker City Ribster and after checking it out in the water, was happy with the presentation. The addition of the floater lifts this unsalted lure off the bottom and gives it a very natural movement. On the first cast I got snagged soon after touching bottom but as soon as I pulled the lure out of the snag I got a fish take it! It took drag at ease and after a couple runs cut me off! A good fish...
 I tied another Carolina rig in the same way and started getting a good number of pollock on it. The presentation was working either dragged and hopped on the bottom but also on straight retrieve. Another indication that fish were very active...
I got another good fish that managed to cut me off on the base of the rocks and as I couldn't be bothered tying another caro rig I switched to a 16g cheburashka and paddletails. Working it on the bottom I got a 'snappy' take and a different kind of fight.. Soon after I landed a beautiful ballan wrasse! More pollock followed but the bites were growing thinner as the sun dipped down. On another cast I got a weird take on the bottom and heavy weight on the line.. I had my suspicions and I was proved right after hauling a pretty ling on the rocks! It was hooked on its side (!) and looked like it had been in a fight on its younger days. I released it soon after a couple photos..

A very provocative presentation...


And another one!

Beautiful December ballan!

The condition of these pollock was noticeable...

Checkout the bite mark...

They are becoming a bit of a regular occurrence before nightfall...

Chunky fish...

I fished for a bit longer but after catching a couple more pollock thought it best to get on my way as I was working in the evening. A good day on the rocks any day but for this time of year it was superb results! The size and condition of the pollock was surprising though after seeing the large shoals of baitfish (sprats?) close inshore not as much so... Will be uploading the videos soon enough!

Tight lines!

Gear used.
Rod: MajorCraft KGEvolution Basic KGS-902L.
Reel: Shimano Stradic Ci4 2500f
Mainline: Duel Hardcore x4 PE0.8
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 12lbs
Lures:20g metals, 16g cheburashka with various paddletails on  #1 offset ewg hook, Carolina rig with 20g tungsten bullet-8mm glass bead-swivel-25cm line-#1/0 offset ewg hook and a 4.5" Lunker City Ribster.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

A wintry day with the young guns.

The past couple weeks had a proper wintry feel to them with frosts every day and cold winds for the most part. I always find these first frosts poor fishing-wise and thus I only went on a couple half-hearted outings. I had one session on a deep northern mark and found loads of fish albeit the vast majority of them on the smaller side... It was surprising that there were still cuckoo wrasse about though and I might still give it a go for their ballan cousins. I fished with the heavy gear that day but I believe that the time has come for the finesse gear to get to the forefront... Moreover although the metals got plenty of hits, it was the softplastics that gave fish much more easily... Saying that had I added a couple more assist-hooks on the metals things might have been different. As per usual the coalies are at their most aggressive this time of the year and I had some fun fishing for these Northern-Aji with the lrf gear as well.

Even in the bleakest day, coalies can keep our line taut!

This week though we had very mild weather and little wind, thus I was gagging to go out the first chance I got! Unfortunately the car is at the garage but thankfully two of my young friends wanted to do some fishing and today we drove up to Neist point at midday.
We setup to one of my favourite spots and evidently there were plenty of fish swimming about. I had one LRF and a medium-light rod with me and after showing the how-tos to my friend Connor (that hadn't fished before) we started fishing.
We were about 2 hours before high tide and I started with a simple 16g cheburashka, #1 Offset ewg hook and a 4.5" Lunker city Ribster.
We were getting bites from first cast and I was soon into a decent fish! The fight is so much better on the ML gear! The heavier setup has been extremely useful when dealing with big mamas in the kelp forests and also in rough weather but for this kind of mark and calm conditions the lighter stuff rules!

The first decent fish...
I then switched rods with Connor and I took the LRF setup. Soon enough I heard Connor shout that he was in and the drag was screaming line out! It was a much better fish and after a few powerful runs managed to get into the kelp. I then showed Connor how to feed it line and got the fish unstuck. A few moments later I went down the rocks to land it for him and take the obligatory photo before releasing the fish. It was a good fish but for someone who hasn't fished before that was a feat! Beginners luck and all that eh?!
Happy with his first catch!
After Connor got his fish it was my mate Dylan's turn and after an average fish he managed a better one as well! The fish were in good condition and very hungry. It was fascinating to see at one point the wind threw a bottle into the water and soon after a large pollock came up to it from the depths to investigate! Should've brought the topwater lures...

Dylan with his second fish.

The fishing was pretty hectic with some decent fish showing but after having a few more pollock, I wanted to chance it for something else as we were near sundown... I started bouncing bottom with the lure and after a few casts I got a solid take and heavy weight on the line without the pollock's fast runs. The culprit came up soon enough and it was no other that a beautiful ling! This was the perfect end to the day and we then packed up ready for the way home.

Pollock in very good condition.

A beaut of a ling!

Below some thoughts on the day.
  • Fish still very active, especially at deeper marks and on settled weather after rough spells.
  • Fish keeping mostly deep and close to the bottom but still willing to come higher. Coalies all over the water column as usual.
  • The time for finesse and softplastics is here... Metals can be effective (especially slow jigs) but need more assists on them.
  • Harder to find the bigger fish consistently now. Some marks inundated with loads of smaller fish.
  • Finesse rods will come to play more frequently now as there's need for better bite indication and subtler presentations. Fish although hungry, didn't slam the lures as in the previous months.
  • It is a great feeling to introduce someone to fishing and help them catch their first fish!
Will get the video of the session up on Youtube soon. Hopefully the weather will stay like this till Tuesday for another outing...

Tight lines.

Gear used.
Rod: MajorCraft KGEvolution Basic KGS-902L.
Reel: Shimano Stradic Ci4 2500f
Mainline: Duel Hardcore x4 PE0.8
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 12lbs
Lures:16g cheburashka, #1 offset ewg hook, 4.5" Lunker City Ribster.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Found a wrasse-hole in November!

Its been months now that I had my eyes set on a sheltered northern mark that is near some fish farm cages. I went to check it out last week but the weather was horrid and chose a different mark instead. Today after going to Neist and finding it too rough, I decided to try the new mark. The weather was largely dry but there was a persistent S/SW wind that made fishing uncomfortable. Nevertheless I got down to the rocks and started fishing opposite the cages (a good spot to fish in any area that has cages). I begun with a 30g Salty Bait tipped with a Gulp Sandeel. The casts weren't very far because of the wind and the depth there wasn't massive (15m approx). The ground was kelpy close in but after the first few meters the bottom dropped into broken reef.
After a few casts, I started getting sharp bites. I struck and felt the thumpy headshakes typical of a wrasse. Soon enough I had it on the rocks and then proceeded in catching a few more. Not something I expected on a windy afternoon in the middle of November! They were fairly concentrated but after getting a few and having a few shed the hook, the spot quietened down.
I decided to move to another rocky outcrop but this made getting fish up a bit tricky as access to the water was limited. Undeterred I kept fishing and caught another wrasse and some pollock. The latter were a pain to get in as I had to scramble down to the only access point to the water and in the process a few fish shed the hook or got me kelped...
Oh hello!

Pollock on heavy Texas rig..

A good presentation.
On the day I tested some new 28g tungsten weights that were just the ticket for tackling the wind...
I was also getting a lot of coalie-bumps on my lures and after a while I decided to play with them on the LRF gear and light metals. The mark seemed to hold a good head of them and soon I had some on the rocks intended for the pan..!

Scottish Aji!

Recently I purchased a Savagear Black Savage (what a name!) waterproof suit and also a Stormr Strykr jacket, so I'm now hoping to be well protected for my winter's fishing. Initial vibes from both items are very good and I will come back to them once Ive spent more time in them!😊
Savagear Black Savage.

Stormr Strykr.

Tight lines.

Gear used.
Rod: MajorCraft Solpara SPS-1002LSJ, 3.05m. max 50g. Majorcraft Crostage CRK-T782AJI
Reel: Shimano SW Biomaster 4000XG. Shimano Stradic 1000fc
Mainline: YGK G-Soul WX8 PE1.2.Ygk G-Soul x3 0.3PE
Leader: Duel Hardcore Powerleader fluorocarbon 20lbs, 25lbs. YGK Nitlon DFC fluorocarbon 8lbs.
Lures: Various