Weather. You can’t fight it but you can work with it if the fishing bug continues to niggle. Early December is a time for Cod fishing on the boat, or would be if we were not hit with a new hurricane every weekend. Is it me or since we started naming them they’ve got a bit above themselves? Never mind because several years ago I found LRF and I had something to do when the wind got up. Back then I would never have thought that on a December day in 2015 almost 40 anglers turn up to fish an LRF comp in Weymouth in, you guessed it, a very windy day but it did happen and it was proper good. I’ll come back to this at the end as I want to get some house keeping out of the way first in the form of the mighty Ned Rig!
I have had the Ned rig components in my possession since the summer before they were made available in the UK and despite glowing reports from the Team I hadn’t really used it much which owes more to my reluctance to give up my sea fishing (I have had small Bass on the ned though, it will work for big fish as i hope to prove next year) and hit the canals than anything else but with the aforementioned wind Ive been on the canal for a few weeks now so its been time to unleash the Ned. Out of the packet they are a lifeless lure but this is the first clue on how to use them. When teamed with the Shroomz Jighead it kind of explains itself. Slow is the key, almost dead sticking at times. I know that they can be used effectively with a quicker retrieve but for me its the deliberate patient approach that gets the most out of the Ned. Whether its a burrowing worm or grub or some other kind of replicant I don’t know but it works and works well. I don’t try to get too tied up in why a lure works or why it doesn’t, Im not in the business of reading fishes minds but I think a point worth mentioning is that a fish doesn’t need to be hungry to take a plastic, just inquisitive. A Perch cannot feel without inhaling and hopefully for the angler that results in a hook up regardless of whether the fish was hungry or otherwise (this is true of all fish and worth remembering). The Ned rig then is a teaser thats too good to pass up for even a lethargic predator and thats a formidable weapon for the Perch hunter. Im all over it at the moment and that won’t be a surprise considering my affiliation but check out the YouTube videos and you will see this style has some serious pedigree in the states and for good reason. I haven’t yet experimented with colour choice or cutting the lure down as others have I’m just using it as any punter would do and thats out of the packet with no pro-cure or additive so there is still room for fine tuning and the catches could get even better.
For what its worth I’ll list my ideal outfit for fishing the Ned rig as it may be helpful for anyone that maybe struggling to fish it correctly. Rod is key for me, the faster the better. I use a 0.5-7g tubular tip extra fast rod teamed with a 2500 reel. Line is a 0.4PE braid. A very direct but light setup and one of my favourites when aiming for the bigger canal Perch. The key is to have that direct contact with the lure and a rod thats too soft or slow will lose all feeling and not do the Ned justice. Go light, go fast. #CANALFINESSE!
So, back to the now infamous Weymouth LRF meet/comp and i don’t want to hijack his good work so do please check out his Andy Myttons Weymouth LRF page. Andys has been a real cheerleader for lure fishing generally but especially LRF in and around Dorset and has helped put me and countless others on the fish when visiting for a day. He is as someone said to me the other day “one of the original crew”.
It was still with some surprise though that the informal (to begin with) meet turned into some kind of iron horse and knocked my socks off with sponsors knocking doors down to get involved and anglers travelling to attend. Any comp is only as good as those that turn up and I cannot remember a broader spectrum of anglers attending a comp. There was the British Lure angling champion, the street fishing champion, some of LRF’s founding fathers, newbies, freshwater anglers, tackle company owners, old heads, kids with parents and……. me! Im not into every aspect of angling but a broader demographic at any event this year you would be hard pushed to find. This is completely what LRF is all about, accessible to everyone and without heirs and graces.
Yes its FUN FUN FUN but not without giving something back. That cool reel you use, that japanese blank, that pink ultra light line, yep thats all LRF’s doing (probably) and modern Perch lure fishing, it is basically LRF by a different name and certainly most of the top end finesse equipment has a japanese rock fishing background. LRF just keeps on giving and the Weymouth event just reinforced the point.
The fascination of catching different species on lures is one that has captivated many and when packaged up in a ‘everyone gets a prize’ parcel plenty of folk will turn up just like they did in Weymouth. Everyone caught I believe which is great on a December day. The Whiting fishing was too good, in fact I lost the afternoon pretty much slow retrieving white Grubz for the toothy critters. Wrasse are still around and even a Mackerel was landed! Check out the Weymouth LRF page for all info of future meets of which I’m sure there will be many, failing that just wet a line in the harbour one day, it really is the UK capital of LRF.
I hope this is the start of some big LRF events next year with the emphasis on value and fun. Some weekenders maybe? I have said before that I am meeting LRF anglers at Perch events all the time when we really should have some big events of our own. It will happen as a windy day in Dec 2015 just proved. Hats off to Andy Mytton and everyone that turned up, it felt like the first of something.