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Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized Sunglasses

Its simple, as well as the safety aspect polarized glasses are a tool which assist greatly in catching fish.

Earlier this year I purchased a pair of Amber Flying Fisherman Boca Grande glasses which I am very happy with for most fishing situations except very bright days when a darker lens such as grey is naturally more favourable. Wearing a quality pair of polarized glasses increases awareness and allows you to achieve a much better understanding of your surroundings.

You can purchase a pair for as little as €20 which is less than the price of many modern lures on the market these days but I would advise spending a little more if budget allows as the quality will increase greatly as will the protection from harmful UVA & UVB rays.

If you do not own a pair for fishing you really should !

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Bass Fishing At Night – Lures

Night Time Bass

 

 

You often hear me mentioning the phrase ‘get out there’. By doing just that you hone your skills, you develop a better understanding of the fishery’s current capabilities to produce fish, you sometimes fail to catch fish but all the time you are learning by just being there observing your surroundings.

I went out my front door last night at 11.00 pm armed simply with a lure rod,reel and some soft plastics in search of a fish or two and was not disappointed. Each time I head out lure fishing at night there is a feeling of added excitement. Wave Worms fished weedless produced fish ‘on the drop’ last night over a shallow reef. Bouncing soft plastic lures is a very effective method of catching fish, also retrieving them slowly over reefs at night is especially productive.

If lure fishing at night is something you have yet to try I would encourage you do so but do take great care and plan ahead thinking of any possible dangers especially flooding tides cutting you off from rocks or stranding you on a sandbar. If possible fish with a friend who is also familiar with the chosen venue. Always carry a wading stick and wear a lifejacket if deep wading. Some locations that produce very little or even nothing during daylight hours could very possibly fish much better under darkness, Just keep your headlight off the water at all times! 

You can choose to book a Workshop where you would develop key skills to lure fish for bass successfully at night which includes on the water tuition/fishing at night In a safe environment. Guided trips at night are also available simply get in touch using the contact page above to create your bespoke package.

 

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‘Night time Is a time when being alone on the shoreline on the rocks or beach with the stars or grey clouds or blackness of clouds with no moon, can bring you so very close to full awareness of the mystery of life that we are witness to. I don’t know why this Is so and I never will know. I feel It though, feel It so strongly when I walk In those places where no one Is, except me and other nocturnal beings’ 

Source: Ken Abrames – A Perfect Fish.

 

 

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Twaite Shad

Its that time of year again when the Shad arrive in numbers into the Barrow system to spawn. All though Twaite Shad are also recorded as being caught in various other rivers over the years the best location to catch them is the river Barrow with St Mullins being the main hotspot. Spring tides at the end of April and into early May see the herring type fish move upstream to spawning locations. They are a great sporting fish attracting anglers from all corners of the country including many ‘specimen hunters’.

Most anglers use a lure called a Tasmanian Devil or Tassies as they are commonly known to target Shad with many other small metals and hard lures also very effective an often overlooked, do not forget to debarb your hooks. A light or ultra – light spinning outfit is ideal for casting small lures across the river to cover as much water as possible. A long handled landing net is ideal especially during low water levels.

Below is a picture of a specimen fish which was released after some quick photos and scale samples. As always when fishing take care when landing fish and ensure correct equipment is available to hand to ensure the fish returns to the water unharmed. Taking the time to revive any tired fish is important also.

Twaite shad

Saltwater Fly Fishing – Equipment Basics

In this blog post we discuss the basics about SWFF equipment. Fly fishing in saltwater is tough even to the most patient of anglers. Success does not come easy, it takes time and effort but is rewarding when it all goes according to plan.

 

Stripping Basket

 

Rods.

When buying your first saltwater fly rod for bass fishing in Ireland consider buying an 8 or 9 weight rod. Manufacturers rate there rods by AFTM number so match your reel and lines accordingly.

A slower actioned rod is often a good choice for a fly casting beginner as it generates slower line speed therefore being a little more forgiving. To put it very simply a slow action rod bends more during a cast than a medium or fast actioned rod. Whatever your budget is for a swff setup it would be fair to say Invest the majority of your available funds on the rod and line firstly.

Echo edge swff rod

The Reels.

Reels must be balanced on the rod and be large enough to hold sufficient 20lb backing and a full flyline. You can waste money rather quickly on a reel that will seize up in the saltwater environment. Choose a reel that has been proven to last in the salt. Its main objective is only to hold line, chances are you will not see the end of the spool too often in Irish waters.

Vision Koma reel & Echo edge rod

Lines.

Weight forward (WF) lines or shooting heads are often used to combat the challenging marine environment. Floating and intermediate lines would be first choices. Choosing the correct rod and line to suit your needs is very important so for example a nine weight rod requires a nine weight line in order to load it correctly.

Rio, Guideline and Scientific Anglers make good quality lines amongst others. As an example If you need to purchase a number eight weight forward floating line you will see WF8F on the box. Check to see of your line has a loop on the end, If your fly line is not provided with a welded loop you will need to either create one or purchase some braided leaders.

 

Saltwater Fly Fishing

 

Leaders.

Tapered leaders are not essential but do aid turnover. Tapered leaders can be made yourself at little cost or purchased in store ready to go. If you choose to use a leader ring this will prolong the use of a leader greatly as you only ever need to replace the tippet or point section. Polyleaders can also be used, polyleaders are and extension to your fly line to which you attach a tippet, they come in various density’s to cover many presentations.

saltwater fly fishing leaders

Flies.
One or two medium sized fly boxes filled with a varied selection of flies from the below list will be more than enough to get you started. Fish with flies you are comfortable casting given the conditions on the day. Lefty’s deceivers are a great all round fly for many species, the go to pattern for many anglers.

  • Deceivers.
  • Clousers.
  • Flatwings.
  • Rays flies.
  • Gurglers/poppers.

 

Clousers and deceivers

Other items:

Line Tray .

Wading Staff.

Line nips & hook removal tools.

Spare leaders, tippet & braided loops.

Lightweight Waders & Jacket.

I hope this brief overview was of assistance to you. If you have any further questions send a email or alternatively you can take part in a SWFF workshop.

 

 

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Lure Clips

There is a huge amount of selection when it comes to lure clips, all of them vary greatly regarding ease of use, strength, versatility, price, size and so on. I have tried dozens of clips some of them shown below.

Clips are great when it comes to changing lures promptly but in reality clips are only as good as the knot that secures them. You can tie your lure directly using any knot but a great alternative is the Rapala knot which aids movement of the lure (or fly) greatly.

Lure clips

Jigs n Hooks

There is a vast selection of products currently available to present soft lures. In this post we discuss some of these products and there applications focused on Bass fishing but applicable in many ways across the board.

Be aware that each of the below might look similar but offer very different presentations. The amount or positioning of weight or lure rigged will affect action greatly.

 

Standard Jig head.

Jig head

Standard heads are prone to snagging up more often and collecting debris on or below the surface which all leads to possible tackle losses. If your loosing jigs your loosing lures, clips and most important valuable fishing time is wasted tying new leader knots and so on. Of most benefit over clean ground or when vertical fishing from harbour walls or boats.

 

Weedless or Texas Jig Head.

Texas jig heads  weedless jig head

Texas heads are a little more expensive than a standard head but if your loosing less it balances out cost. You can fish these pretty much anywhere with little hardship therefore maximizing time spent fishing. With all weedless options you can tuck the hook point into the lure slightly to further aid its effectiveness.

 

Weighted weedless hook.

weighted hook Weighted hook for soft lures

Many weighted hooks come fitted with a spring like attachment called a Hitch-Hiker, you must ‘screw’ the lure on to the Hitch-Hiker before inserting the hook. Good practice before inserting the hook point through the lure is to ensure the positioning is correct by offering it up beside the hook to guage its correct position. Note the varied position of the weight on each hook type, this will affect its action greatly.

 

Unweighted weedless hook.

weedless hook

You can cast these into the roughest ground. Most importantly you can retrieve them very slowly which is a great advantage when water temperatures are low, or for big fish. With the right lure you can also skim lures on or just below the surface, this provides a great visual aspect using soft lures.

 

Cone headsCone heads or drilled bullets placed above the hook offer a simple alternative to a Jig. As you can see the cone head is placed up the leader before tying on the hook and rigging the lure. You can use a stopknot to hold in position or simply let it run freely on the line.

 

Below shows two more options to rig a soft lure, Wacky and Dropshot style.

Rigging styles

The weight of jigs and weighted hooks you carry will depend on the water depth and tidal situation in your area. The majority of what I use locally when bass fishing would be from 3-7 gram. I would say in most cases you should aim to fish as light as possible. To balance or to add weight to a lure you can insert tungsten ‘nail weights’ into the lure. I must mention that all hook sizes vary greatly between manufactures so choose a Jig or hook that has sufficient gape for the lure you intend using to aid hooking fish.

Use the contact page to email any questions you may have about this topic.

 

Representation

Once upon a time my view of flies was centered on trying to duplicate the object I was trying to imitate. I did this for many years and tied many flies that caught fish well, then one day something in my way of looking at nature changed and I began to see flies differently. I experienced a shift in my perception, a paradigm shift and no longer viewed flies as objects that should look exactly like replicas of what I was trying to imitate. I realized that to fish, flies are perceived as living beings and even if they are perfect replicas to the human eye they may not catch fish because a fish. A fish responds to the illusion of life, not exact physical likeness.

Source: Ken Abrames – A Perfect Fish.

Bucktail blend

Bass On Lures – Equipment Basics.

The bass and its protection.So you have just started or are considering taking up lure fishing for Bass and are confused about equipment selection. What length rod?  What size reel for what size rod? Braid or Mono? What lures do I need?  In this short Blog post we will discuss the basics about bass fishing equipment.

Firstly regarding rod and reel selection it must be a balanced outfit that is fit for purpose. You must be able to cast and retrieve lures effectively in a correct manner to aid presentation. Before you buy ask yourself where you intend fishing and what action type, size and weight lure you intend using?  It varies with personal preference but generally speaking a fast action rod of 8 feet in length casting 10-35 gm with a 3000 sized reel is about right. There are lots of makes and models to pick from so choose wisely.

Grauvell lure rod & pezon reel

Regarding lines the vast majority anglers choose braided lines with a short flurocarbon leader of approximately 20lb breaking strain. The two main types of braid are standard three or four strand woven such as PowerPro which give a flat or square profile and newer eight stranded lines like Daiwa Tournament or Sunline Cast Away which achieve low diameter rounded profiles. The Allbright, Reverse Allbright  (Yucatan) are all popular knots to join braid to flurocarbon but use whatever knot you feel comfortable tying.

See here for step by step knots.

Braid and Flurocarbon

Lure selection is most daunting for the beginner. Something I see on a regular basis and indeed I did when I began lure fishing was to carry too many lures, problem being many of them were too similar to each other. Without mentioning specific lures the main thing is to ensure you have lures to cover varied depths with different profiles/actions. You should be quite content with 6 or 8 lures and maybe a dozen soft plastics. When buying lures think about lure type, depth, action, profile then lastly consider colour choice. Think representation not imitation.

Soft lures rigged on weedless or texas hooks/jigs reduce snags and unwanted debris. Do not fish a Jig or weighted hook that is too heavy. Using only a wading jacket or a small lure bag will restrict the amount you can carry which is a good thing. Confidence in the lures you fish is very important.

Hard Lures Soft Lures

Other items include:

Lightweight Waders and Jacket.

Unhooking tools are essential for your own safety and the welfare of the fish.

A small spool of leader material in case of a break off.

Spare lure clips & Jigs/Hooks.

Wading staff for safety.

Spare spool loaded with line.

The marine environment is tough on your tackle so treat it with the respect it deserves. Servicing reels takes little time as does washing your gear (including lures) with freshwater after a long day out lure fishing. Having your equipment is good working order ensures many mishaps do not happen. Lure rods are delicate so a simple inexpensive thing like a plastic tube in your car will protect them greatly.

Expensive equipment is not a requirement for successful bass fishing. Buy practical gear that works not what is ‘in fashion’ at the time. Spend your money wisely is my advice, do not spend a great deal of money before understanding more about what you intend buying and how or why it works.

Sea Bass on lures

If you are interested in taking up lure fishing for Bass or wish to develop your existing skills further our workshops are a great way to kick start the 2014 season off to a good start.