On a new spot with the father…

“Yes!!” was the word that came to my mind on finishing work on Friday and looking at the weather for the weekend. In particular the Sunday was looking the best option with a slight off shore breeze throughout the day and then turning to a more southerly direction as the afternoon came in. But what was going to be the location of choice? The same usual spots where we know there are fish and what types can be found in that particular location is always a good bet when wanting to catch something but I have an inner excitement when it comes to finding new spots to fish and what maybe lurking under the water. This would be the plan of action.

My father and I had a look through the charts of our area and had a few ideas that may be of interest but after a a while we settled on a spot that seemed to provide some bit of interest with regards to water depth and general location. The spot we decided on has a very gradual sandy bottom that slopes all the way down to 140ft of water and looking at the charts there is deeper. This area would for sure produce some flatfish. There are also rocky rough ground areas dotting around the place that could hold some more species. The launch spot is nice and easily accessible with a slip to launch from, so this made things all the better.

Saturday evening came around and the car was loaded with all the gear for our days outing and the Hobie would soon be out on the sea again. Bait can be difficult to find sometimes at this time of year and with that in mind we bought some frozen bait we had in the freezer. Tackle wise I decided to use two of my light 12lb rated rods with my two small multipliers and also a rod I got off Daiwa at the Ireland Angling show. This rod is a light dropshotting rod and is 7ft in length. I couple this with one of my small fixed spool reels and the 9lb J-Braid by Daiwa. All the gear was loaded and everything we needed was packed.

We arrived at the spot on Sunday morning with high hopes that we might catch something at this new venue. The sun was shining and a gentle off shore breeze disturbed the seas surface. It was a picture worth saving and one that has not been seen of recent.

Paddle Out

Paddle out view

Paddle Out 2

The plan was to find a suitable looking bottom on the fishfinder and then use the drouge out to slow the drift down a little. There were a a few bait pockets showing on the finder and it was not long and I was soon landing a few Mackeral. This was great to get some fresh bait for the day. I fished two rods on the drift. One rod with the Cox and Rawle-Flattie Rig and the other had a simple single hook ledger rig with a size 2/0 Cox and Rawle Uptide Extra hook. As I drifted along my father contacted me and told me that he had just landed a small Turbot. I headed over and soon had a Turbot of my own.

Holding Turbot

I headed out a little deeper to around the 60ft mark and started drifting again. I picked up more Mackeral and a Herring. One of the flattie rods had some interest and I landed a small Dab.

Herring

Dab

I love drift fishing in deeper water as I never know what will be around. The water was still not its crystal clear blue but the fishing was still relatively good. The next bit of action was a great fight with a Thornback Ray on my Daiwa Dropshot rod and 9lb J-Braid. The Ray made a few runs and I was not expecting to get one and on this light tackle was an absolute blast.

Ray Fight

Thornback Ray Underside

Holding Thornback Ray

The afternoon came fast and the day was drawing to a close. My father had Pollock over near the rough ground. I decided to head over and fish a small soft bait and try catch some other species. It was not long and I was in and I landed a nice Ballan Wrasse on the soft Plastic. What a fantastic way to end the day at a new spot and one spot that I am sure to visit again.

Ballan Wrasse Rear

Until next time,

Tight Lines.

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The first Pike off the Hobie Revo 16

Pike fishing for me is not something I do enough over the year. When I do head out after Pike it is never deadbaiting but rather lures are my preferred method. The range of lures on the market these days is vast and choosing can often lead to confusion. Recently Daiwa had sent me over a box of goodies to sink my teeth into and put the gear under test. Among the items sent were a few of their soft baits in a few variations and for Pike, I like to bigger soft baits. So I chose the ones I would likely be using and to accompany the soft baits I was sent over a number of various Daiwa Jig Heads in different sizes.

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I had put together some wire traces before my outing and used a relatively easy to WP_20160203_19_23_20_Prowork wire. This is rated at 28lb and is stranded which makes it more user friendly and less likely to kink. The problem with some of the bigger soft baits are that a Jig Head is just not big enough for me to have full confidence. The thought of a fish attacking the lure but only at the lower half played heavily on my mind. This led to me adding in a treble stinger hook which came in the form of a Cox and Rawle size 2 Treble Hook which would sit further down softbait and is attached to the eye of the Daiwa Jig Head. The Daiwa Jig Heads I used were 20g 6/0 and 15g 4/0 sized. When using a nylon coated wire I was taught how to tie this wire rather than using crimps but for the stranded wire I was using for the pike traces I had no option but to resort to the crimping method.

Here is a few photos of the rigged Daiwa 20cm Duck Fin Shad in UV Pearl colour.

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For my Pike rods I use my two Rozemeiger setups which are coupled with bait casters and are spooled up with the new 20lb Daiwa J-Braid. This braid is unbelievably  thin for its rating and is a dream to cast with. The general tactic was to troll around the lake targeting the drop offs and any structure that was a little deeper due to the Pike possibly still holding a little deeper. So with the tactics sorted and the kayak loaded there was nothing else for it but to load the Hobie and head down to the lake.

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I was greeted by an overcast day with a wind blowing down the lake. This proved to be no issue with the Hobie Revolution 16 as the Mirage Drive System powered through it. I am so happy with the Hobie as the ability to keep a constant trolling speed while having the added advantage of no hands on a paddle is brilliant. I started tolling and kept an eye on the fishfinder for any signs of structure. I came across a weed bed that is just 2 foot below the surface but has a big drop off and goes down to approximately 30ft down. The lures were working nicely as I could see the rods vibrating with the action of the lures. The Daiwa Soft baits were trolled along the weeded drop off when all of a sudden one of the rods buckled over. I quickly moved the second rod into the rear rod holder and the fight was on.

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The wind did not help much but using the Hobie to keep my position made things much easier. The fish made a few runs and I knew it was a better fish. Sometimes a Pike does not put up much of a fight but this fish was giving a good account of itself. When I got my first glimpse of the Pike my suspicions of a good fish were confirmed.

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After a couple more short bursts the Pike gave up and I lifted her out of the water to get my lure out and a couple of photos before I let her go again. While taking my photos  I noticed I was being watched by the Fisheries which is always good to see a presence by these guys.

Ian Burton-Holding Pike

Ian Burton-Pike on Lap

Pike Straight2

So with the photos done I lifted the Pike back into the water and it was clear it was in a hurry to go as it slashed me in the process of heading back down to the depths. What a great little session that was and to get one on the new soft baits by Daiwa is great. I had another fish on a short time later but it managed to shake the hook. You win some and lose some.

Until next time,

Tight Lines.