Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
Here’s a bit more about my recent fishing in Brazil. Richard and I were keen to catch some better quality fish from the shore so we explored several spots within twenty minutes drive of his house. We tended to fish round about first light (04:30) and generally had to be back fairly soon because of family constraints (holiday plans/young baby/wives/etc.) so the sessions were short.
For those with an interest in tackle - I used my bass gear: ‘4Surespin’ spinning rod fitted with my Shimano Stradic 4000 loaded with 20lb Nanofil. The normal set up was a trace consisting of few feet of clear, 20lb Amnesia tied with a surgeon’s knot to the braid, then a small (40lb) swivel and a short, trace of knottable 30lb American Fishing Wire. The lure was attached to the trace by either a little, strong clip or a tied loop in the wire. For lures armed with big single hooks I usually put a small, stainless split ring through the eye to make it easier to fix to the clip (they often don’t go through the small eyes and thick wire of these hooks). Apart from the wire trace this is more or less my normal bass gear.
Anyway, on my first morning I went out alone on the beach at the end of the street and to my surprise landed a snook of a couple of pounds on a 178mm, Pearl, Evo Redgill. I really was surprised because these fish are fairly scarce on that particular beach. The fish took in only inches of water a couple of yards from the edge. Anyway, Richard had other beaches in mind for us to fish later in the trip. We tried a few but the one that eventually produced the goods was called ‘Mermaid Beach’. In this spot the usual mile upon mile of golden sand was briefly interrupted by a stretch of rocks and a small river. On our first visit, again at dawn, we found that the rocks were fishable at low water but there was lots of weed and the sea was quite murky. We both thought that it looked really ‘snooky’. I decided to have a few casts using one of my Slandras in a shallow sandy bay with masses of loose weed in the water while Rich pressed on a bit further (only about 100m) to try from the rocks with a heavy ‘Binsky Blade’. We’d only been fishing for minutes when Richard hurried back to tell me that he’d had a bite. However, his lure with its two small trebles was gathering weed almost as it hit the water so it was almost useless.
He prompted me to have a go with the weedless, unweighted Slandra. Sure enough it easily slid through the crap and on only my second or third chuck it was grabbed a few yards from where I stood. The reel screamed and the fish ploughed off through the murk gathering strings of weed on the line as it went. After a fair old battle I was able to slide a snook of ten pounds, through a narrow gap in the rocks so that Rich could lift it out. Fantastic! We packed in and drove home for breakfast well pleased with our catch.
Of course we were keen to have another go but because of holiday/family commitments we had to wait for the next series of tides two weeks later. When the day arrived we were disappointed to find that the sea was rougher and even weedier than before. Richard’s rod was armed with a ‘Sluggill’ (which caught him a decent guaguanche barracuda on another session) and I was using the biggest ‘Slandra’ from my box, again unweighted. At once Richard’s lure was picking up weed but I managed to steer mine through the salad without much trouble. After a couple of casts Richard decided to try a bit further along the rocks so I took a couple of paces to the right to get a better angle for my cast. Richard never left because within seconds the soft plastic was monstered and I found myself playing a much bigger fish than before.
For fifteen minutes I played the fish plus a few pounds of accumulated weed on the line. It made several powerful runs before we could even get a glimpse of it, then a big yellow tail waved above the surface. When I was eventually able to slide the fish onto the rocks for Richard to pick up (the earlier practice with my 10 pounder was invaluable) we found that the body of lure had disappeared completely leaving only the hook. A small price to pay for a 22lb snook in mint condition. It really made my holiday memorable! I’m waiting for Rich to email me about catching a bigger one.