Regular readers will know that tea feature heavily within these blogs, I refer you to my Cornish escapades over the past few years, in fact tea plays such a large part of my fishing that I use it as an incentive through my days afloat. One more bite =tea. Tie yet another leader=tea. Successfully open a split ring to get some assist hooks attached=tea. On a recent trip afloat however, tea was only made once PB’s were accomplished.
Again aboard Adam Kirby’s ‘Hot Pursuit’ (the PB maker) we set ourselves the task of catching something not entirely common round my parts and that double figure Pollack. Many boats leave Langstone and Portsmouth harbours seeking and catching big numbers of these wreck and reef dwelling members of the Cod family but a closer look at where the catches are made reveals more about French fishing than our own (so much for Brexit, eh!) On a recent trip Ad’ had taken a few decent Pollack and he just knew there were some lumps among the many fish he found on the fish-finder and our job on an outrageously stunning day was to go big and get hooked up to some monsters all within sight of land.
Tools for the day were Slow Jigging outfits with Damiki metals and a St Croix Extreme Inshore BC rod that was for the Mag Swimz and Streakz XL. The brisk journey to the first wreck was so smooth I could rig up along the way and in no time we were at the first inshore wreck. We sent our gear 80ft down and straight away got involved with the Pout. Now, while many bemoan the humble Pout its a good sign. Pollack, Bass and many other species gorge on the Pout so while not our target it’s pleasing to know that the wrecks are alive.
Several small fish and we move onto the next wreck and on our first drops we both get missed takes that feel altogether different so I slowly lower down the Magswimz again and BANG! The unmistakable first run of a very good fish gives me the first proper battle on my newish St Croix. This feels good, the rod feels nice, the reel is coping (second hand eBay purchase-Shimano Stephano) and I’ve managed to get the fish up off of the bottom. A few minutes later we catch sight of a superb Pollack and didn’t need scales or measure to know it’s a personal best. Nevertheless we weigh her and lay on the measure. It’s clear she won’t go back so we take our time after putting her out of her misery. 85cm and a shade over 12lbs, perfect start. It’s 7:30am and the flask is cracked open-could not be happier.
We drift the wreck again but the fish have moved off so on we go.
As the tide increases we move inshore to some ground that hold potential without really giving itself up. After a million casts Ad’ takes a cracking Ballan and I sneak a couple of smaller Wrasse on creatures and TRD’s. We try for a while to crack the code but for today at least we decide to throw in the towel and head back out to some wrecks again now the tide has eased. First wreck shows some big fish on the sounder and as there is literally no wind the drift is near perfect and we soon get some bigger ‘hits’. Ad’ gets a couple of 4-5lb Pollack pretty quick so we decide to go all in and out come the StreakZ XL. Rigged on 1 1/2oz TT HeadlockZ HD these lures play a dying fish perfectly and the Pollack couldn’t resist. As Ad’ plays a smaller fish to the surface I get engaged with another lump that goes on a run that I worry will end in tears as I can feel metal ship on braid but I manage to get the better of it and tease this powerful fish up the water column. It feels another step up form the earlier Pollack and I’m convinced it’s significantly bigger. When it reaches the net and we lift it aboard its a pristine Pollack that’s heavily built. Slightly shorter than the earlier fish but in much better condition. If the first fish was decreasing in condition and age this fish was going the other way and looked like it had some growing to do. It was almost a pound heavier than before although shorter and made for some lovely pictures. The flat sea in the background and smily face encapsulate the day well as does the tea that followed.
Of course we try again but without luck (unless you call Pout luck) and we come inshore to try something different and Ad’s persistence pays off with a couple of nice Bass to round off a great day.
It wasn’t all hot fish action. We tried lost of things that day, some worked and some didn’t but that’s fishing. I was the lucky angler that managed to PB twice in a day that owed more the Ad’s previous recce, he deserved them but I caught them. It’s happened that way before and vice versa and probably why we fish well together, we revel in each other’s catches, using the others luck to spur the other one and believe me when I tell you that I’ve slipped the net under many of Ads catches (that’s not prison slang btw!)
For those that want to know the Mag Swimz and XL Streakz were my mainstay that day for the wrecks. Rigged always on the TT HeadlockZ HD to ensure they stay where put. If I hadn’t had attached a few lures to the wrecks then they would still be good for many fish. No Pout, Pollack or Bass can put a mark in the Elaztech plastics, they come back as good as they went in every time. I was so pleased to finally use and catch on these plastics as I’ve had them in the bag for so long now without that little bit of luck that proved the point. If you wreck fish or Bass fish or simply fish big then I challenge you to find me a better action on a longer lasting lure in that size.
As for the rod it was the first time I got it bent up properly and it had plenty more to give. The casting weight suggest an ounce and a quarter top end but I’ll stick my neck out and say that vertically it will handle 3oz with no affect to sensitivity, it’s that good and coupled with a baitcasting reel it means I can fish a little slower than with the equivalent rated fixed spool rod with a big old Certate bolted on. That’s just me though, others will rightfully say different but I know that the raw St Croix blank is superb and fellow ZMan/Lure-Lounge teammates agree, the St Croix can add itself to this days PB’s.
It’s not all Tenryu slaying St Croix action though and the rest of the team have been enjoying some excellent fishing themselves. Aaron and Danny P continue to be piscatorial assassins in Devon and Cornwall. Aaron is slaying on the Damiki slow jigs at present and is putting another St Croix jig rod through its paces on the reefs with excellent results. Danny P is all over the Ballans which is no surprise at all given his track record and is worth a follow on FB for his tips and advice on Wrasse fishing as well as his ever growing fascination with fly fishing.
Speaking of fly fishing and Lee Garner is starting another St Croix love affair this time with the fly rods and again with top results. He is currently in Holland competing in the WPC and we wish him the best of luck. Lee is a top, top angler and I know he’ll do himself proud. He puts in the hours, does the travelling and is a top geezer.
Paul and Tim are no strangers to putting in the hours and when they’re not pinching my sea fish they are doing their bread and butter and that’s catching specimen Perch, Zander and Pike. These two account for more than their fair share of quality fish and are taking the ZMan lures to new levels in the UK. Give them a follow and ask questions, that’s what we are all here for.
That’s about it. I will be continuing my first love of light game fishing supplemented with a bit of boat fishing with plenty of practice for the upcoming TeamEngland meets. Exciting times ahead. From all of the team here at LureLounge we hope you are catching plenty and if you get lucky with our stuff then let us know. Tight lines. Dan Sissons.