Saturday, November 29, 2008

FISHING THE TIDAL RACE! PIV

Part Four- You, your boat and the fish
Over the years you meet a lot of very interesting people. I happened to meet John Devereux owner of the Celtic Lady when I was much younger (12) when I was deep sea fishing with my father. I met him as an adult for the first time during the early autumn of 2003. At the same time I was guiding Clive Gammon for bass fishing in Wexford. Not that Clive needed it of course - for he had been fishing here with Des Brennan since the early nineteen fifties.
I was fishing in the company of legends. John is the oldest serving coxswain in the history of the RNLI and Clive well......we were fishing the race using live sandeels. John and I have fished the race ever since aboard the Celtic Lady, regularly catching some superb fish, having great fun and even experiencng some scary and of course frustrating moments. We learned and probably, for the first time in these waters witnessed a lot of new fishing together.




For us working at the race, it was about boat positioning, lure choice, presentations and then re-positioning - a constant learning process. In all the years we have bass fished so far, with so many fish and experiences, we have learned that the boat and its presence and position is the singular most important factor for success. Not only does it influence your fishing but it also influnces the fishing around you, and other boats also affect you. Very few people understand this and hence the fishing is often not at its best or even non existent. Fish are spooked and driven elsewhere by many simple factors - so simple sometimes people cant see them and then everyone looses.
photo of Clive courtesy of Terry Thomas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FISHING THE TIDAL RACE! PIII

Part three - Reels

To your right is Julien LaJournade, editor for Voyages de Peches. Pictured here during the summer of 2003 at the tidal race in Wexford, Julien was and continues to be of great help to SEAi. It was though his inspiration and support via his magazine and the many lure fishing techniques that he gave me, which helped SEAi develop in its early days. Now even today, six years later on, he is still very interested.

I distinctly remember the first day we fished on the boat, it was the first time I had seen a Shimano Stella. It was also the first time I had held a fixed spool reel of such high quality and state of the art engineering. Today I can see why its still the main choice of the worlds top sportfishermen.

Out here, the fixed spool rules for advanced lure fishing and only quality will survive. I'm not saying you need to rush out and spend 800 euros on a FS spinning reel but some time spent and invested wisely before your choice is made will pay off in the long run.


Recommended Reels: Shimano Twin Power, Daiwa Certate, Shimano Stradic.

Monday, November 24, 2008

FISHING THE TIDAL RACE! PII

Part two (Monday) - Rods

When I first started fishing in this tidal race I used only one rod. Today like my braid solution I now use three different types. The type I use wil depend on the application I am fishing.
The rods are specifically designed for modern lure fishing techniques and are generally multi modulus carbon with high quality fittings.


I tend to use the following

  • A longer rod for distance casting from the boat (2.7m)
  • A shorter rod for closer and deeper lure work (2.4m)
  • A rod for jigging (2.1m)

It is of course possible to use one rod for all three applications im just getting more demanding as I get older!

a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_wCtIXjvT9xE/SSseagOnj6I/AAAAAAAACMs/MzPvQsbfg0Q/s1600-h/DSC_0017.JPG">Depending on the type of fishing you would like to do or if the fish have determined the technique that is required to catch them, having the correct rod is essential to make the correct presentations neccessary. In other words fish may be on the surface at 80 or 90 ms from the boat or on the back of the reef ,10 meters deep.

It is important to remember that tidal races will produe speeds of 5 or 6 knots and some are even stonger. Playing and landing a strong species like a bass can be very difficult in such a tidal stream and the fish will use all of its strength and guile to use that stream to the best of his abilities. Using a poor quality rod or reel will lead to the inevitable loss of tackle.

Recommended Rods: style="color:#ffffff;">Illex, Zenaq, Wando, G-Craft, Tenryu, Smith, Jackson.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

FISHING THE TIDAL RACE! PI

Part One - Lines

In a tidal race like the one to the left there is no room for errors regarding basics like knots, line, rods and reels.

Bass (like the one below) and pollack fighting in the fast moving tide will test gear to its phyical limits


MAIN LINE : Your choice of line is very important from a BS point of view, the amount you will need and the type required in order to fish successfully. I tend to fish with the same size reel but I have 3 spools loaded with different breaking strains of braid for different applications. All the spools are fully loaded with braid straight through, in other words I dont use backing behind 100 metres of braid. The breaking strains I use are 8 kgs, 12kgs, and 16kgs.

TIPPET/LEADER MATERIAL: Tying a short length of tippet or leader material to you main line can be helpful from a number of different aspects. Lets dicuss the joining of the two materials first. My preferred knot is the reverse allbright, not only very simple to tie, it posseses a slim profile, is protective of the braid plus I dont think that in all of my fishing time have I ever had this knot open or deteriorate.

Your material choice be it fluoro or mono and its BS will influence the formation of the knot. The 'harder' fluoro material will need a few more turns for the knot to 'grip' the leader. Mono been slightly softer is gripped better by the braid and thens to bed in somewhat easier.





Be careful when 'tightening in' the knot and ensure that the
twists do not overlap. Take your time pulling the knot down
and ease the loops into position if needed.










The last connection is the leader or tippet to a conector of some kind. When I'm fishing from the shore I dont normally use a connector or link of any kind and simply tie on my lure using the rapala knot. Out here on the boat when we often need to change lures very quickly a good connector is essential. The strength of the connector is vital. Use a uni knot to tie the leader to the connector.

The link that has consistantly worked for me over the past years has been the illex hyper 8. Its almost a fail safe locking mechanism and is a definite must for this type of fishing. It is better to keep things very simple and I have found that over complicating things with swivels or traces does nothing to improve your experiences or chances of fish, in fact they may not work at all.


Recommended super lines: Daiwa Tournament, Stren Super braid, Nacrylan Evolution, Power Pro, Xorus Monster.

Recommended leader material: Gamma, Rio Fluoroflex, Seagaur, Variva, Frog Hair-Blue.

Keep it simple, strong, and yet balanced!

Friday, November 21, 2008

ALL NEXT WEEK IN BASSFISHING FILES

HOW TO FISH THE RACE HERE in six parts!

















I will discuss tactics and best methods for bass fishing in this fast deep tidal water
  • Vertical jigging
  • Surface lure fishing
  • Diving Lures
  • Soft lures an approach

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Can you 'dead drift' a surface lure?

Dead drifting is a tactic used in fly fishing where the fly is allowed to drift with no drag in the current. This year whilst fishing with George and Marc we 'dead drifted' surface lures in a local estuary, catching lots of bass. More in Bassfishing Files later this week.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Holidays Over











My short holidays are over! So its back to the grindstone. Will update the blogs over the next few days - please keep an eye on the new SEAi winter guiding service Pike Fishing on Fly & Lure.

I'm also already looking forward to next spring when I shall introduce my new service for 2009 - Saltwater Fly & Lure fishing for seatrout - this will be done from my new timber boat which is currently been re-built. Surely there is no stronger fighting fish in our local estuaries than these trout and the service is grounded in two years of research and development.

Monday, November 03, 2008

best BIG bass fishing ?

Arguably the best month (and most difficult) for a big fish on the fly, November is here. This week looks a little cooler with sharp northerlies and north easterlies blowing.
However tuesday and wednesday morning look very good and present a a good opportunity to the big fish hunter.
Water temperatures are dropping slowly and are now at 11/12 degrees. Its a long way from the cold of February and March so we still have a great chance especially in the next 7 days. It wont last forever and this is probably one of our last chances for the year!