19 March 2012

Troutin' About (Part 1)

This weekend marked the opening of the trout season on my local river, the Dodder. It's where I caught my first fish many years ago and for that reason I've always been very fond of this little river. Well, that and the fact that it also offers some fantastic trout fishing on my doorstep, right in the heart of Dublin city.

I was joined on the opening day fellow Lurefish Ireland angler Sam and Stephen of Irishsportfishing.com. However we wouldn't be fishing the fly this time, instead we would be using the kind of ultra light lure gear that we use for LRF (light rock fishing) and fishing both hard and soft plastics for the trout. We actually fished the soft plastics for the trout in a slightly different way this time and used ultra light 1/80 Oz Tungsten bead jig heads. This allowed us to fish the small soft plastics more like a fly I suppose, allowing them to sink slowly and come around in the current as we slowly worked them. It proved to be a very effective technique and accounted for a few decent fish over the weekend. Anyway I'll let the photos do the taking and just say what a fantastically enjoyable weekends fishing.

Finally check out Stephen's recent article on the day he spent with us here.




Here's the kind of gear we were using for the trout over the weekend, Illex Jacoknuckle and Maria Ma Worm Action Fish soft plastics, 1/80 oz Tungsten bead jig heads, high quality fluorocarbon and braided lines.



My Set-up:
Rod: MajorCraft Solpara 7'3" 0.5-5g (solid tip)
Reel: Shimano Rarenium CI4 2500Ra
Line: Sunline Small Game 3lb Flurocarbon mainline / Sunline Rockfish 0.3PE braid
Softplastic Lures: Illex Jacoknuckle 2" and Ma Worm Action Fish #1.8
Jighead: 1/80 oz Tungsten bead jighead size 10 hook
Hardplastic lures: Illex Tiny Fry (50mm,2.7g, Suspending)

Sam's Set-up:
Rod: Rod: Reins Raz 7' 6"-0.4-7g
Reel: Daiwa Certate 2500 Line: Varivas 0.3 light game
Leader: Triple fish 6lb
Softplastic Lures: Illex Jacoknuckle 2" and Maria Ma Worm Action Fish #1.8
Jighead: 1/80 oz Tungsten bead jighead size 10 hook

12 March 2012

Freshwater Predators

I must admit that I'm really enjoying freshwater lure fishing at the moment and after last weeks successful perch fishing session, I decided to have another go again this week. However this time I was joined by fellow Lurefish Ireland angler, Sam. and not only would we be fishing for the perch but also seeing if we could perhaps tempt a pike or two with a lure. I've had so much fun catching perch on my recent freshwater excursions that I haven't really given the pike the attention they deserve, this week however would be a little different. I had decided to focus on them a little more whilst Sam would focus on the perch.

We set up at our first mark with Sam fishing both drop shot and jig heads for the perch and me fishing a Tsunami 4" Swirl tailed shad for the pike. I was sure that this mark would throw up a few perch but for whatever reason they just didn't seem to be about or interested in the lures. Meanwhile I was making my way along the river bank looking for that elusive pike, I had just about made my way back to Sam and was about to suggest a change of venue when the rod arched over, a pike at last and a decent one too. I hadn't really fished properly for pike in a few years so I was absolutely delighted when this little beauty slipped into the net, a fine river pike of about 6.5 - 7lb or so. We fished on for another while but with no sign of any more pike or perch, a change of venue was called for.

The second mark didn't disappoint and the perch were as entertaining as ever, providing Sam and I with a great mornings fishing. The big perch eluded us once more but that didn't matter, we still had lots of fun catching them on the light gear and a variety of soft plastics. We also managed to catch a little dace on the soft plastics too and a jack pike of about 1.5lb or so to finish up the day. A very enjoyable days fishing it has to be said.








My Perch Set-up:
Rod: Major Craft Solpara7' 3" (0.5-5g) Solid Tip
Reel: Shimano Rarenium 2500
Line: Sunline 3lb Small Game FC
Lures: Spro, Maria and Manns 1.5" paddle-tailed sp's on 1-2g jig heads

My Pike Set-up:
Rod: Cormoran TR4 7' 6-28g
Reel: Shimano Rarenium 2500
Line: Sunline Momentum 4x4 15lb braid
Lure: Tsunami 4" Swirl-tailed shad

Sam's Perch Set-up:
Rod: Reins Raz 7' 6"-0.4-7g
Reel: Daiwa Freams
Line: 3lb FC
Lures: Illex, Maria and Manns 1.5" - 2" paddle-tailed sp's on 1-2g jig heads, Ecogear Strawtails on a drop shot

Sam's Pike Set-up:
Rod: Graphite Leader Argento
Reel: Daiwa Certate 3000
Line: Sunline Momentum 4x4 15lb braid
Lures: 4" - 6" paddel-tailed soft plastics

04 March 2012

More Stripies (Perch)

I figured I'd try something a little different this weekend as the sea fishing (lrf) over here has been relatively poor recently, so I decided to venture inland to freshwater in search of Perch once more. I must admit that these little spikey warriors are fast becoming one of my favourite fish to target, they're more than happy to take a lure and they go well on light gear too.

This week I headed to a river mark known to produce the odd large perch, in the hope of catching that elusive 2 or 3lb perch. I was fishing with the same set-up as I use for a lot of my LRF (light rock fishing), a MajorCraft Solpara 0.5-5g (solid tip), Rarenium 2500 , 3lb Sunline Small Game FC straight through and fishing small 1.5" paddle-tailed soft plastics on 1-2g jig heads. I got to work making my way along the bank, slowly bouncing the small soft plastic lure along the bottom and it wasn't too long before the little lure got the attention of the first perch of the day. It wasn't a particularly big fish but it was the first of many. Unfortunately though I didn't find that elusive big perch this time but I still caught plenty of perch, about 25 fish or so in the end, none particularly big but great fun all the same.


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Finally, I’m delighted to be able to be announce that I am now a part of the UK and Ireland Sunline Team, along with fellow lure fanatics Matt Newcombe, Matt Jones and Paul Gunning. It’s an honour to be a part of the team and to be associated a company such as Sunline. 


I'm very much looking forward to putting a few of the quality Sunline lines through their paces over the coming weeks and months. This week I had the opportunity to try out Sunline's Small Game FC in 3lb and I have to say that first impressions are very good indeed. The Sunline Small Game FC performed really well, its a nice soft line and lays on the reel nicely, knots well, good sensitivity and doesn't stretch too much. I quite like using fluorocarbon lines straight through for certain situations, it simply saves time tying and re-tying leaders and as a result makes chopping and changing rigs a little easier. I'm looking forward to using it a little more over the coming weeks for both my ultra light freshwater fishing and LRF.


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My Set-up:
Rod:  Major Craft Solpara7' 3" (0.5-5g) Solid Tip
Reel: Shimano Rarenium 2500
Line: Sunline 3lb Small Game FC
Lures: Spro, Maria and Manns 1.5" paddle-tailed sp's on 1-2g jig heads