Tuesday, 20 January 2015

By Any Means Necessary (I will catch fish!)

We’ve been in the grips of a low pressure storm here, which has dumped tons of hail, rain and some pretty nasty winds on us for about 10 days, but last weekend we were blessed with a couple of pristine winter days. The wind direction was good, the tides were perfect, this was not a weekend to stay inside! So me and my fishing buddy David headed out for two days of rock fishing. Finding potential fish holding spots takes commitment. I’ve been spending weeks watching weather patterns, tidal trends and walking the shoreline at low tide looking for the rough ground these coastal fish love so much.
Winter fishing at its most beautiful.
Saturday saw me showing my stubborn side and persisting with the fly rod, desperate for that first saltwater fish on the fly, and David on the spinning gear. For easy access we went to a known spot and scoured the coastline all day. We had one fish to show for it, a decent Pollack on David’s spinning gear in the evening low light. It was a tough day, but sometimes it doesn’t work out.

Sunday was to be a different story. You all know how much I love my fly fishing, but I was desperate to knock into some fish, and to be honest, the lure fishing game is brilliant anyway! So to explain the title of this post, By Any Means Necessary, if you really love our sport then you should be putting prejudices aside and catching fish wherever you can on whatever gear you can. With this in mind I left the fly rod at home and grabbed the spinning rod.
David's fish from the second day, a
nice schoolie sized Pollack.
We must have been feeling somewhat adventurous on Sunday. Heading slightly further afield with an hours hike in to another known rock mark, the day was looking prosperous. With some choppy waves and a good strong tide running in I was sure we would locate some Bass. Despite the initial excitement of site fishing for Wrasse, exhibiting some strange surface feeding behavior, the rock mark didn’t produce for us. With the sun going down and wind picking up we moved locations to find less wind, more sun and more fish. Heading along the coast path we came across a rough track, leading towards the waterline again. After a pretty nasty climb (note to self, bring rope next time) we hit one of the best looking rock marks I’ve found since I’ve started fishing here. Rough ground and deep water, the perfect combination. Working the soft plastic lures tight to the bottom requires patience and self control. The Pollack are hard on the deck in the day and come up to feed as the light fades, and the Wrasse are tucked up in the rocks and kelp. A slow and jigging retrieve proved most productive. As the tide started to run in we both knocked into some fantastic fish and had a great session.
For two days we fished hard.
Chucking lures, climbing and hiking.

The cream of the crop, a 20.5 inch Pollack from the shore in January.
 On a 7ft 9-27grm spinning rod this thing put some heat on when it
was hooked! 
For the middle of January we managed to pull out some stunning fish, including my specimen Pollack of 20 ½ inches which tipped the scales at just over 3lbs, plus a much smaller Pollack which was left to swim another day and a hostile Wrasse which bit my lure in half! Dave took two nice fish over the two day session. It's safe to say this helped me shift my cabin fever and I suggest that you go and do the same, because when the fly isn’t producing, there is no shame in breaking out the lures or bait. If it catches you some fish then why not. This was a real 'red letter day' for me, and I will not forget it in a long time! Get out there and nail some fish By Any Means Necessary!

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