Terrys Travels A break in the weather
A break in the weather
A day at sea presented itself somewhat unexpectedly yesterday. During these erratic Winter months, windows of calm are few and far between. We had a rare break in coastal breezes, but on the down side, the tides were massive. This puts fishing at anchor in the deeps out of bounds, as I refuse to haul five pounds of lead up through the depths all day! So, what to do?
A quick phone call to the lads, with a suggestion of reef hopping in search of Pollock, Wrasse, Coalfish and anything else that might show up, if they fancied a trip....they jumped at it of course. On this occasion, the "big guns" will have to stay in the shed, light gear only.
Recently, we had dabbled with the reefs, enjoying fabulous sport on light gear, but regrettably moved off too soon to try the deep-water, which proved fruitless. Turns out, long-liners and clam dredging boats had worked the area and destroyed the important habitat for now. Will it recover? Does anyone other than anglers actually care? Anyone's guess really.
We promised to return and spend a full day on those reefs, and this small weather break offered that opportunity. Michael is always up for any fishing trip, whatever it may be, and Glenn couldn't wait to try out his new gear recently purchased. For the tackle tarts out there, he picked up a Savage Gear SGS5 lure rod, and teamed it with one of the finest reels on the market, the upgraded Penn "Slammer" 4.
I have a pair of these myself, super smooth, with powerful drag system, and basically bullet proof. He also brought along a couple of packets of Berkley "Gulp" Pulse Worms, having had a lot of success using them on the LRF gear. Hopefully a few fish will show and we can all have a play with the new gear.
Shakespeare "Pink Goblins" worked well today
Fresh bait can be tough to find just now, but a few Joey Mackerel obliged. As always, this would soon turn into a fun species competition between the three of us and the banter soon flowed, with Michael unable to tempt any Mackerel, the easiest of all species!
Michael had a busy day
He was the "Coalie" king today it seemed. As luck would have it with our timing, the big tides were slowing down, three hours on the ebb, so the first reef we tackled was reasonably comfortable to fish. Still powerful enough to push us along at almost two knots, but ideal Pollock conditions, as they queued up below us.
Glenn, with a hard hitting six pound Pollock
Lovely to see a decent stamp of Pollock
Glenn "sussed" the method first, using a metal jig lure, single hook and tipped off with a Berkley "blue-fleck" firetail. We have used these killer lures for decades now, wisely, Berkley have kept them in production. I chopped and changed with the Shakespeare "Salt Rigs" baited with small strips of fresh Mackerel, chasing species and finding Pollock, Cuckoo Wrasse, Pouting, Poor Cod and Coalfish.
Secretly hoping to find a specimen Scad or decent Ling as we dropped over the reef and into the deeps, but to no avail. Michael persevered with the "Pink Goblins" and seemed to pick off the species well, and without using fresh bait I hasten to add.
Cuckoo Wrasse weren't shy with the Berkley Pulse Bait
The tide eased to slack water, and on cue, the Pollock switched off the feed. This warranted a change in tactics, and we "hopped" from reef to reef, picking off the smaller species and really, just looking for something different. It was fun, but unfortunately nothing new showed. The tide began to push again, and can become quite fierce, if not dangerous at times over some of these steeper shelving reefs. With that, we made the decision to spend the last couple of hours over reefs closer to shore and safer water to concentrate specifically on Pollock. Glenn's jig-firetail combo proved to be a killer, with a fish a cast. This gave all three of us a chance to play with the Savage Gear SGS5 and Penn Slammer. Wow, very impressive.
Putting the SGS5 through its paces
Standard lead-head and firetail tactics worked almost as well on my equally suitable Penn Overseas rod and Spinfisher. They look dated now compared to Glenn's kit, but my old rod and reel have conquered hundreds of Pollock over the years. Still going strong, I don't feel the need to change them, despite the temptation. Put the tackle blinkers on Terry!
Berkley "Blue Flecked Firetails" ...deadly
The SGS5 is light and powerful. Teamed up with the Slammer, a fabulous combo for accurately belting out a lure, controlling hard-hitting Pollock and Coalfish with ease. We gave it a lot of "stick" this session, between bouncing lures over and through reef and kelp jungle.
Coercing six-pound plus Pollock away from snags, it proved extremely useful and a pleasure to use. The reel needs little introduction from me, stunning and reliable, and from excellent pedigree. I won't rattle on about how they are made and what goes into them. Suffice to say, the rod retails around £150, the reel around £200, you won't be disappointed if you take the plunge.
As a dedicated specimen hunter, it was a little disappointing not to land any target species today, but I have learnt over the years to realise something quite important. Quality time with good friends is a precious commodity. If you can find this, in whatever past time you enjoy, hold on to it, enjoy life. By the way, Michael kicked our asses on the species hunt, with un-baited "Pink Goblins", there's just no justice! Tight Lines.