Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Estuary Fishing....

 So carrying on from the previous post I said I would talk a little about estuary fishing and things I look for when I feel it seems right to head to such a location.

Estuaries and tidal lagoons seem to attract a lot of anglers and rightly so as they are prime locations for bass. More often than not, estuaries contain a large amount of juvenile fish species and are great nursery areas, so there is going to be a lot of food available to the bass. Moving water, gullies and wave action are indicative of estuaries and simply scream bass.
During the bass season, conditions sometimes deem the rock marks unfishable, be it very coloured water or flat calm conditions. This is when I turn to estuaries trying to aim for big tides....

Time of year, there is one problem with estuaries and the likes and that is of the build up of weed you can get at these locations, we all know that green weed thats a nightmare to get off your hooks. So generally we get our best fishing early and late season when the weed levels are not as bad. But if weed is a problem simply fishing your plastics weedless will help you deal with the problem.  

Tides,  watch for the biggest tides of the month 4.3, 4.4. 

Flow/Current, the attraction of these areas are the flow and current, which seem to hold the majority of bass. It makes sense as its simply a matter of the bass finding some kind of shelter (gullie, drop off) and picking off the food which is getting washed out by the current.

Importance of keeping in contact, when you are fishing these areas we have found that generally soft plastics are the best methods, xlayers wave worms, tiki stick etc. Making sure your xlayer is keeping in contact with the bottom is crucial, so make sure you can feel it bumping. Playing around with various jig heads. What you want is your soft plastic flowing through the current at a reasonable pace, but not so fast that the fish dont have time to pick it off.  

Underwater features, if you can get try to get an aerilised view of the estuary noting any features you can see, these are 99% of the time hotspots in estuaries. Just like looking for structure off the rocks.

Dropping tide theory, well it makes sense, bait move into estuaries on the filling tide to feed etc. And then move back out on the drop bass can make the most of this by just sitting in wait on the ebb tide. We have had most of our best fishing on ebb tides. However a rising tide in a estuary can also produce great results. It all comes down to getting out and trying to understand what is happening at your mark.

Hold on, by far one of the most exciting ways to catch a bass, bouncing soft plastics through a  current  feeling absolutely everything, and then you get that unmistakable take and the line starts to peel of your reel, FISH ON! Fighting bass in a fast current really is a case of holding on.

So these are just some of the things I look for when fishing the estuaries around here. And thankfully it won't be too long before such areas will be firing with bass again....

Tight lines,


Monday, February 20, 2012

Thinking about your fishing.....

A question we get asked a lot in the shop is "when is the best time to catch bass on lures".... I wish there was a simple answer!!!

However there are a few things I think are important when it comes to increasing your chances. 

When I started lure fishing I blanked as good anyone (and still do) however I would like to think not as much anymore, and for me it all comes down to thinking about your fishing. 

The word "watercraft" gets thrown around a lot in fishing and all it really is at the end of the day is thinking logically about Where When and How! 

Rock Marks

For me favourable weather conditions are the first thing I look for. When it comes to weather patterns what I like to see is High pressure with either a Southerly or South Westerly wind direction these are the prevailing winds for Ireland and generally bring damp mild weather, anything from a force 2 upwards will create a "fizz" or life on water and that is what you want, this fizz as we like to call it increases oxygen levels in the water, and probably encourages the bass to actively forage along the rocky shore. 

Tides are for me the next most important (blog post to follow) but generally if you want to increase your chances aim for spring tides 3 days either side of new and full moons will produce the best fishing. On our stretch of coast 3.9 to 4.2 produce the best results for us (the smaller set of springs during the month). 

Clarity, this is a much talked about topic when it comes to lure fishing, and it can be one people can get over bothered with if you know what I mean. Crystal clear water and very murky water certainly make it harder but definitely not impossible. What I love to see when I arrive at a rock mark is a small tinge in the water not quite crystal clear but certainly not overly coloured either. The Copper Coast as it is so shallow can get coloured very easily but by simply adapting (thinking about your fishing)  you will increase your chances no end (vibrating lures, soft plastics etc.). 

Marks, if you email us we will send you a link to all our marks highlighted on google maps....yea right. This for me is what it is all about. Getting out and discovering the coastline making a decision based on what you are looking at, at your chosen mark. Anywhere where there is shallow rough ground along the copper coast you are likely to pick up bass and when we say this to people they don't believe us, but we are not lying. 

What you are looking for is structure and tide movement. How many of us look at a rock and think there has to be a fish sitting around that, look for clues as to where the fish might be. What a predator wants is cover and ambush points so in your mind try to figure out where these points might be at the mark you are fishing. To increase your chances even more visit your mark at low water, look for gullies, holes, weed cover, bolders anything you think a fish might use as potential cover because 9 times out of 10 they will when the tide pushes in...

These are just a few simple rules I follow when I am fishing off rocks.

Thinking about your where you are (fishing some bassy looking ground) when your best chance will be (i.e over high water or filling tide when all those ambush points are covered or getting covered) and how (what lure will get down to where the fish might be and what best represents what they might be feeding on) will make a big difference. Don't just go out there and flog lifeless water. 

However the bass will always find a way to through what you think you know right back in your face when everything seems just right.... and I guess that is the joys of it. 

Some things I look for when estuary fishing or fishing moving water will be in the next blog post....

Tight lines,


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Zonk Gataride....

The Zonk Gataride is one of those lures that everyone seems to ask about when they come into the shop, it certainly is a much talked about lure (and rightly so). The Gataride is by far my number one bass lure and 9 times out of ten the first lure I pick out of my box when I arrive at a mark.

With regard the divide over the Gataride, we all know it has a fragile bib and smash it into structure and you can kiss you Gataride goodbye. It simply wasn't designed to be fished over the rough ground we fish it, but that sure as hell isn't going to stop me using it because it works so well and simply catches me a lot of fish.  
To be honest I learnt the hard way how to fish these lures on my marks, but get to know your area and you won't break or snag your precious Gataride.

I generally retrieve my Gataride quite slow (when fishing shallow ground) with the rod tip in the air, this way if you feel the lure bump into a rock you simply stop retrieving and the lure floats up and away from the rock out of harm's way and you can start retrieving again. If you crank the Gataride over shallow ground you will be looking for trouble. Even with a slow retrieve the Gataride still picks out the fish, a quick crank and pause letting it float back to the surface is lethal with this lure.  

The much talked about hinged lip is what gives the Gataride its superb action which the bass just can't seem to ignore. It is also a definite to have in the box if you are fishing in rough conditions as this very stable lure will bite down perfectly to where the fish are feeding.    

There are two types of lips on the Zonk Gataride Yoro-Yoro and Hi-Pitch.

The Yoro Yoro is designed to run slightly shallower than the Hi-Pitch. So if you are fishing shallow ground I would recommend starting with the Yoro Yoro as you will not get snagged up as easily. They both catch, but in my opinion the Hi-Pitch just seems to have a little extra erratic action than the Yoro Yoro does not. And that is why the majority of the Gatarides in my box are Hi-Pitch.

The Gataride also accounted for a lot of fish in the dead of night for me last season, the great thing with the Gataride is that it will work well even on a very slow retrieve (what you need at night).

Tight lines,