Lessons learnt…

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Well, I had an unexpected bonus this morning with the opportunity to get some fishing in for a few hours so even though it would be a solo trip this time I was more than happy to oblige. The wind was forecast as a north easterly veering to easterly so not ideal but I was keen so set the alarm for an early doors start down in The Purbecks. With coffee consumed on the drive down I was raring to go.

It was pitch black when I arrived but I could hear a steady surf rolling in which was encouraging. I quickly got prepped and set off to my first mark. The first spot I chose was not too rocky so I was hoping I wouldn’t have too many problems getting snagged in the dark, especially with a favoured Komomo II lure working just below the surface. Drag set on reel and I cast into the darkness. After several more casts working this part of the shore nothing materialised so as the light changed I decided to move on to rougher ground but continued with the same lure…. after two or three casts the lure was hit no more than a rod length away from my rod tip and ‘fish on’…. the silver flash as it hit followed by a surface roll  gave away it was a bass which was pleasing  but it very quickly went pear shaped. School boy error number one – always remember to tighten the drag more when moving from open to rough ground….the fish  made a dash for cover and in a split second I was stuck fast – no amount of coaxing could get it out and the inevitable happened with fish and lure lost. I hate losing lures but even worse when you know it could be still attached to the fish – hopefully the fish will lose it. In the course of all this I’d also managed to take a soaking as a wave slapped into the rock I was fishing from and covered me… I cursed slightly! At least the sunrise from this mark was worthy of a picture…

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It was time for a change of tact and I moved to a new mark and decided on trying a new soft lure I’d purchased after hearing of it’s apparent appeal to bass. It was the Fiiish Black Minnow which originates from France but has been getting results in UK and Irish waters by all accounts. I had it rigged with a 12g shore jig head and the 120 Khaki body. This lure comes in three parts – the jig head, the ‘Krog’ hook and then the soft body. Apart from looking appealing the real benefit is how the hook conceals itself in a similar way to a Texas rig hence making it less likely to snag in weedy and rocky marks:

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So, with the drag set and the Black Minnow rigged and ready to go (or so I thought) I cast out and literally within a couple of turns of the handle,  on my first cast with this the lure, it took a  great hit and line was starting to be taken as the fish headed out to sea…. this felt like a better fish and after I managed to get it back towards the shore the swirls on the surface and a sighting of the silver flank confirmed it….. then for the second time in no more than an hour things went pear shaped. The bass was only a few yards out now but made another surge for freedom, shook it’s head and the line went slack…. I was gutted but not as gutted as when I wound in to find the jig head and body in place but the just the hook gone. This was likely to have been my second schoolboy error – new lure, did I check it was 100% properly rigged – no I didn’t and I can only presume the fish took advantage of my shoddy rigging. Here’s how I think I must have rigged the hook and jig head:

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… and here’s how I should have checked it was rigged:

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You have to imagine the body part attached but I think the mistake is plain to see. I may have been extremely unlucky with the fish managing to shake the hook out of the correct position but I believe on balance of probability I contributed to my own downfall in this instance. So, once again I cursed myself – it’s a sickening feeling losing a decent fish in these circumstances but you have to take it on the chin and learn from it.

The positive note was that the lure was obviously attractive to the fish so I rigged up with another one – making sure the hook was set correctly this time – and had another go. There were no big takes again but I was getting tell tale nibbles from wrasse and one greedy one went for it…

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That was as good as it got and at around 11 a.m I called it  a day and headed back along the shore contemplating what might have been… there were some valuable lessons learned today for sure! It had been a lovely morning though so I mustn’t grumble… a bad days fishing is better than a good day at work after all!

Until next time…

8 thoughts on “Lessons learnt…”

  1. Only I can get away with this…….Amateur!!! Lol

    Glad you got out mate and even though not the result you wanted I'm sure you learnt some valuable stuff so not all lost.

    Nobbs

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  2. Yep, Black Minnows are great, my favourite lure at the moment – not had any problems with mine yet and the design of the lure seems to protect the soft body a lot better than most sps which just rip after a fish or two. I fish from a yak, so casting distance isn't a problem, guess it might be from the shore though?

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  3. Cheers Kester – I was pleasantly surprised how well the BM cast from the shore with a 12g shore jig head…. not bad at all. The soft body probably takes it to around the 20-22g mark I'd estimate and despite a bit of wobble in the air I managed a decent distance. Wish they did a shore jig head lighter than 30g for the 160 version!!

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  4. I think the 160 is meant for vertical jigging – the tail paddle is at 90 degrees, so it would probably go a bit bonkers on a straight retrieve. Very similar to the SavageGear Sandeels in bigger sizes (60g plus), their tail paddles also get more and more vertical. Ordered the 160 with 60g head for the yak, hoping it'll get through the pesky mackerel to cod underneath, AND stay free from the pot ropes! Tight lines.

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